Meet the Personal Trainers at RU

The personal trainers at the recreation and wellness center on campus offer advice.

By Jasmine Singletary |

Radford University Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) offers group exercise classes, strength services, personal training, and wellness services. 

The personal trainers at the Fitwell center are students who are dedicated to helping others achieve their fitness goals.

There are currently seven personal trainers at the SRWC including Trinity Haynes, Devonte Cooper, Gordon Robinson, Walker Franklin, Noah Inman, Braxton Zirkle, and Asia Dewer. 

Each of the trainers has talked about what got them started and advises students for the upcoming semester.

Q: What made you get into Personal Training?

Robinson said, “I started in athletics playing baseball and running track throughout high school. I went through the personal fitness program and, from there getting into weight training and strength and condition aspects.

“With my continuous time in the weight room and having an athletic conditioning background, I decided to start helping others learn to stay healthy while being a student on campus.”

Cooper said, “I always wanted to help people. Fitness is just one of those things that came naturally. I did an internship at the YMCA, and that gave me the opportunity to work individually with people, and that really made me know that this is what I wanted to do.”

Haynes said, “I started teaching Groupx classes my freshman year and really wanted to help and encourage people in fitness.”

Inman said, “Since middle school, I got into strength training for football, and I really enjoyed it.”

Dewer said, “I played a lot of sports and was very interested in medicine from a young age. 

“The more I learned about rehabilitation and athletic training, I started to like working out and helping people understand the proper way of working out.”

Franklin said, “I was influenced by people at the SWRC and fitness has always been a passion of mine. I want to see people as enthusiastic about it as I am.”

Zirkle: “I got really interested once I started to see changes in my own body. I know the struggles I was going through, and how much my self-esteem boosted once I saw results. I just want to help others feel that and be the best version of themselves.”

Q: Is there a specific area you specialize in?

Robinson said, “I do a lot with strength and condition, but with personal training, there are a lot of people who are new to fitness, so definitely working with beginner clients. 

“Helping people learn so they can become independent in their fitness journey.”

Cooper said, “It would be more strength and conditioning and bodybuilding style of training.”

Haynes said, “I specialize in cardio and fit training.”

Inman said, “I focus on strength and mobility training.”

Dewer said, “Being that I have a background, it would be athletic training; I would want to focus on that. Also, strength condition and rehabilitation of muscles.”

Franklin said, “Some of my main focuses are on strength training and functional movements.”

Zirkle said, “I focus more on strength training and powerlifting.”

Q: Any advice for people interested in becoming a personal trainer?

Robinson said, “Reach out to other personal trainers and see if you could shadow them to find out if you’re into being a personal trainer. Also, sign up for personal training sessions for yourself.”

Cooper said, “As for becoming a trainer, follow your instinct and be very patient with people.”

Haynes said, “Being passionate about your clients’ goals, it will show them that you believe in them.”

Inman said, “If you have passion for it, do it. Put yourself out there and learn a lot about fitness because fitness isn’t just one thing. 

“It is a broad subject of different training styles and goals clients will want to work towards.”

Dewer said, “I think the important things are communication and having a good attitude. I find that people’s fear is getting to the gym. Making them feel comfortable in the gym is what will keep them focused on their goals.”

Franklin said, “Study and research, find out what program is right for you because there are a lot of them out there. You can also ask other trainers for assistance in finding what fits you best.”

Zirkle said, “Getting out and meeting people is one of the perks of the job. If you’re interested in helping people in different ways, personal training would be good for you.”

Q: Any advice for people interested in getting a personal trainer?

Robinson said, “Explore your options; there are many formats that can help you achieve your goals. Research to find what you are looking for. Many gym and fitness centers offer a lot of programs that can assist you in finding what you need.”

Cooper said, “For getting a personal trainer, I recommend asking what type of certification they have and what they had to do to get it. It helps you understand was this an overnight certification that they did online or if they really spent time practicing and perfecting their craft.”

Haynes said to “find someone you like and can work with your routine. This is important because if you don’t like what you’re doing, you will not want to continue doing it.”

Inman said, “Letting them know it is more than just losing weight; the goal can be anything.”

Dewer said to “find someone who has a good attitude and makes you feel welcomed. Having good communication skills with your trainer is key also.”

Franklin said, “Make sure the personal trainer’s program is best suited for your goals, and find someone you feel comfortable with. This makes sessions run smoother.”

Zirkle said to “approach it positively. Nothing worth having is easy. Personal trainers are here to help you stay on track and keep you motivated for the far-sighted goal you want to achieve. Trainers at the SRWC are here specifically to serve the Radford students are their goals.”

Contact information for personal trainers below:

Gordon Robinson:

Devonte Cooper:

Trinity Haynes:

Noah Inman:

Asia Dewer:

Walker Franklin:

Braxton Zirkle:

The SRWC offers one-on-one and partner sessions, packages, and low pricing to assist students while being on campus. 

Consultation, full fitness assessment, and function movement screenings are also available to help students find out what they need out of the training sessions.