Kinesiology internship provides on-campus personal training experiences
School of Kinesiology students gain hands-on experiences from the various courses, labs, internships, and clinical rotations offered throughout their time at U-M. However, it can be challenging to find opportunities that don’t involve transportation, especially on-campus ones.
Michael Stack, Applied Exercise Science lecturer, is eliminating that barrier.
Stack (MVS ’04) is the owner of MVMNT FIT, a HIIT circuit training fitness studio located on University Ave. across the street from the former School of Kinesiology building on S. Forest Ave. What stands MVMNT FIT apart from the other fitness studios in the area is that all of the instructors are current School of Kinesiology students.
“My goal was to have some fitness option on campus that could serve as an internship site for the School of Kinesiology,” he said. “Many of our students are from out of state and don’t have access to cars, which means the only time they could do any kind of internship was during the summer months.”
HIIT circuit training classes are designed to burn calories and body fat while toning one’s physique during periods of work and rest. The studio utilizes over 2,500 exercises and provides a training-like instructional experience to ensure a client’s workout is personalized to their physical capabilities, needs, and goals.
The five stations are equipped with six 46-inch flat-screen televisions mounted on the wall. Each screen displays a different exercise that varies in intensity and ability level.
Many fitness internships are either observational or don’t start getting hands-on until the final weeks of the semester. At MVMNT FIT, students supervise client workouts from day one, allowing the students to take the concepts they learn in the classroom and translate it into something tangible. “The instructor’s job is to be there, to cue, correct, make modifications, motivate, and create that fun, safe, and inclusive environment that you would want in a group exercise experience,” Stack said.
A bonus is that the internship is paid. “This not only gives students easy access to practical experience, but also allows them to make a little bit of money in the process,” Stack said.
Stack also said it builds students' interpersonal communication skills.
Michael Conner, a junior majoring in Applied Exercise Science, echoed Stack’s comments.
“It helps with my people skills and ability to talk to people because as a coach, I have to interact with all the clients who come in,” Conner said. “It helps me when start conversations, make small talk, connections, and get better at talking to people.”
Stack has owned MVMNT FIT since the summer of 2021 after the previous owner reached out to him because she was looking to transition out of the business. Since MVMNT FIT was already a cycling and circuit training studio, Stack decided to keep the branding and incorporate the same circuit training program as the one he uses at his other business, Applied Fitness Solutions (AFS).
Once the transition was complete, he began reaching out to AES students to gauge their interest in becoming trainers.
Applied Exercise Science senior Samara Chodock was looking for an opportunity to gain more experience working with clients. While Chodock is a personal trainer, she admitted that it was hard to find opportunities because she doesn’t have a car.
She said the MVMNT FIT opportunity has been awesome and has helped her learning come “full-circle.”
“In our classes, we focus on all age groups. We talk about physical activity needs and what different bodies and people need. I think working with someone who is 65 versus a college student who is an athlete is helping what I’m learning,” she said. “Additionally, I have made a lot of great new friends and see a lot of friendly faces in my classes because of my time at MVMNT FIT.”
Applied Exercise Science first-year student Abby Goldman is using her MVMNT FIT experience to count as one of her two internship requirements. She reached out to Stack after taking his AES 100 course. Goldman, who previously taught dance and cycling classes while in high school, said this was a perfect opportunity for her.
“Teaching classes is something I love to do. I can help people grow through fitness and connect with them emotionally when you’re in that workout environment,” she said. “That is something I value and what better way to do it and have it be part of my schooling.”
Internship opportunities aren’t just open to AES students. Stack sees potential internships for Sport Management students interested in marketing, and Movement Science students doing the pre-health track.
“As an alum and an instructor, the ability to provide opportunities for students that I didn’t have as a student here has always been what has motivated me to engage with the School of Kinesiology,” he said. “I think that’s the most rewarding part of this experience for me. I have created something, along with my team at AFS, which I’m able to give to Kines students who were just like me.”
If you’re looking for opportunities to get involved with MVMNT FIT, please reach out to Michael Stack at firstname.lastname@example.org.