Meet Our Students

Student Spotlight: Rhett Gaddes

2013

Rhett is just about ready to graduate from Life Time Academy. Check out his video interview on the decision and experience.

Student Spotlight: Jill Jurgens

2013

We capture an interview with student Jill Jurgens on how Life Time Academy is helping prepare her for a career in personal training.

Student Spotlight: Lee Syndergaard

2013

Meet our NEWEST Academy Student in the Spotlight! Based in MN, please say hello to Lee Syndergaard. Lee Syndergaard was never athletic as a child. In fact he was raised in a home where sports and athletics were not encouraged. Many people struggle with being overweight, but Lee was on the other end of the spectrum, struggling with being underweight.

One day Lee decided he had enough of the "put some meat on your bones" comments & joined a gym. He had no idea what I was doing or where to start, as he explains, "I just started moving heavy things around at the gym. Eventually I started to see results; with that and the positive comments I received, I gained more confidence and wanted to keep going. I started setting and attaining goals and even inspring those around me to make changes in their lives."


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Lee Syndergaard

Student Spotlight: Courtney Chappell

2013

Meet Courtney Chappell, our fourth Academy Student Spotlight! Courtney is based in Houston and has an incredible story to share. She is currently enrolled in the Academy and will graduate in October.

Courtney Chappell was always an athlete; she had been involved in sports since she was old enough to hold a ball. She played softball, basketball and ran track. At the beginning of her H.S. freshman year, she was 5'7" and weighed 165 pounds. However, in one year she went from 165 pounds to 211. She was very active, both on and off season. Despite this she was the only one in her family who was overweight.

In her sophomore year she noticed some concerning changes in her body; eventually she was diagnosed with polycistic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The weight gain and inability to lose it made sense. Courtney says, "It took me a year to wrap my head around how to lose the weight in a way that worked best for me. In the Spring of 2012 I decided I wasn't going to diet but I was going to eat healthy."


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Courtney Chappell

Student Spotlight: Kathy Miller

2013

Kathy Miller has been happily married to her husband, Greg, for 26 ½ years. She's a proud mom of 2 — Jeffrey, 23 yrs & Kevin, 18 yrs. Kathy had been in the financial services field for years, but her family health history encouraged her to take a hard look at her career path. Her mother died of pancreatic cancer; her father is close to stage 3 of Alzheimer's. Her brothers and sister all had health issues. About 3 ½ years ago, she read an article that stated if a parent has Alzheimer's, then his/her children would be 30-50% more likely to get it. However, it stated that if the offspring were to exercise, chances of contracting Alzheimer's would come down dramatically. This was the start…

Kathy decided to act. She began a serious fitness regime, working with Life Time Fitness personal trainer, Josh Strathres. She also worked with dietitian Samantha Bielawski. Kathy was taught the "proper" way of exercising, i.e. zone training. She worked with Samantha and learned she was gluten intolerant, changed her diet substantially and lost 15 pounds. Kathy says, "Through proper on-going education from Samantha and with on-going personal training sessions with Josh, I'm becoming stronger and stronger every day!" After 3 years of working with Josh & Samantha, Kathy truly began to benefit and understand the skills that Life Time Trainers bring to their clients. Kathy says, "It is Josh's training that has given him the abilities and keen perceptive skills, to keep track of how I was doing, feeling, and what I was struggling with. It's his caring that has made an impact in my life. I have become a happier, healthier person…anxious to help others who are in the same shoes I was in!!"


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kathy miller

Student Spotlight: Jim Robinson

2013

Jim Robinson has helped many Fortune 500 companies in his professional career. But, according to Jim, "Its the people within these companies that makes a difference. I wanted to help people that work their whole life stay as young as they can." He felt the best way to accomplish this goal was a dual career as a part time personal trainer, essentially to "help people stay young in America." In addition, Jim had had Life Time Fitness trainers that helped him get into shape to compete in the Alpha Showdown, several Triathlons including the Life Time Tri in MSP ; and many Obstacle Races. These trainers were very helpful to Jim and he wanted to follow in their footsteps.

Jim decided to enroll in the Life Time Academy Personal Trainer Certificate Program. His education at the Academy set him apart from the competition in a number of ways. Jim explains, "Sure you can read a book and watch PowerPoint all day long, but hands-on is what is important. The Academy allows you to observe and test your skill set before you go out there on your own. Being able to learn from real trainers is a huge bonus."


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Jim Robinson

Student Spotlight: Keila Rector

2013

Keila Rector is an inspiration to everyone around her. Happily married to Allen Rector for 13 years, she is a highly successful business woman with three children, a very busy, active social life, with strong ties to her community and her church. Keila has been an Herbalife distributor for five years; in that time she created over a million dollar business and opened her own nutrition club where Herbalife nutrition could be shared in Eden Prairie. Because of the results in Eden Prairie, in 2012 Keila's location was voted the #1 weight loss center.

On a personal level, she has an impressive story to tell. Keila had been a collegiate volleyball player and was always very fit, but after sustaining injuries and three kids later she was in a very different situation. 5 years ago she was 80 pounds overweight. She lost those 80 pounds in only 10 months with a complete change in her nutrition. Three years ago Keila and her family moved to Eden Prairie and she joined Life Time Fitness. Keila explains, "Life Time helped my family build relationships. It's not just a gym. It's a community of like minded people, there's nothing else like it on the planet. I hope that every member that is new, or is even a veteran club member, feels that connection and sense of companionship that I gained here." Keila joined Life Time Fitness Chanhassen in 2009; she lost 4% body fat in 30 days through participating strictly in group fitness classes.


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Keila Rector