Riverland teams up with Troy Williams

Published 11:42 am Saturday, April 1, 2017

AUSTIN — When Riverland Community College looked to expand the way it teaches personal training, it knew just where to turn.

Riverland is teaming up with Troy Williams of Impact Martial Arts and Fitness to help its students gain an edge in physical training, and Williams has delivered with his usual enthusiasm and drive.

Starting this school year, Williams arrived on the RCC campus to teach a personal trainer/athletic coaching certificate program. The 18-credit program runs two semesters and certifies students as coaches in the Minnesota State High School League. It also qualifies and prepares them to take the test that gets them certified for personal training.

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Suzy Hebrink, who teaches physical education and faculty at RCC, said Williams offers a unique perspective on personal training.

“I think in Austin we have a great base of people in this career who could’ve stepped in. Troy has a wealth of knowledge as a trainer and as a business owner,” Hebrink said.

While many high school coaches are well-versed in strategy and leadership, some are not familiar with the correct weight training program to put their athletes on. Williams said it’s important for coaches to also learn the skills of personal training, which the course offers.

“Unfortunately with a lot of these programs that are set up, it’s just something that’s written on the board and it says go in and do your work,” Williams said. “There’s a lack of supervision and students are getting hurt. If you’re a coach who builds the program, then you know exactly what they’re going to do in the gym and to be educated and certified is the difference.”

Nicole Edwards of Albert Lea is certified in message therapy and works at Chiropractic Sport and Spine Clinic. She took Williams’ course to broaden her scope of practice to help people find balance in recovery.

“Troy’s an amazing trainer,” Edwards said. “He really brings a different dimension to what a lot of trainer’s typically do, which is heavy weight training. He does a lot of body weight training and strengthening and that’s what I was hoping to gain from it.”

The personal trainer/athletic coaching course focuses on classroom work in the first semester and hands on activities in the second half. Eventually the students go out and work in local gyms as part of the course to obtain some field experience.

That experience has been beneficial to students.

Justin Maxted, an Australia native playing baseball for RCC, hopes to eventually work in something related to physical therapy or health.

While there are online courses and text books on personal training, Maxted said that working with Williams is something you simply can’t replicate on your own.

“The hands-on experience is invaluable,” he said. “You can read about it in a book, but at the end of the day it comes down to knowing how to do it properly and getting that physical experience. It offers me perspective on how I can develop myself as an athlete. This is the field I want to go into as a career. Troy is a great instructor. He’ll talk to you and get to know you and he’ll work with you.”

Williams has enjoyed his time working with the students at RCC. He’s excited about their potential as they all move into their careers

“It’s such a great opportunity to bring my experience and knowledge to this next generation of trainers,” Williams said. “I can actually bring them real world experience and I’m having a great time.”


Credits needed to complete course: 18

Length of program: 1 year

What the program gives you: a coaching certification and preparation to be credited as a personal trainer.