On the swim team at age four, a lifeguard and aerobics instructor at 16, nearly 20 years at Las Vegas Athletic Clubs, and the last decade as the Las Vegas Country Club Fitness Director, Amy Wilson is an experienced and multitalented personal trainer. She holds a University of Minnesota Twin Cities Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology and certifications from the Titleist Performance Institute for Fitness Level 3 and the American Heart Association for CPR. She is a Nesta CPT, Power Coach Level 2, AFAA Group Fitness Instructor, Les Mills Instructor, and Team Beachbody Coach. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Amy for 20 years and her passion for fitness and its impact on a person’s overall wellbeing has never ceased. Neither has her enthusiasm and positivity for anything life throws at us. I asked her to share some thoughts on fitness as we all set out to rock 2021.
Why are you so passionate about fitness?
My passion for fitness comes from what it has done for me and watching the magic it has had on countless people’s lives. I’ve watched transformations and had a front row seat to people getting off medications, kicking addictions, losing hundreds of pounds, easing mental disorders, building confidence, and reducing pain. I consider myself very lucky that I can help people achieve their goals in a very personal way and channel my love for fitness into life-changing moments.
How does fitness impact mental health?
I love this question! Movement is medicine, not only for our physical body, but also for our heart, mind, and soul. Fitness is not just about being a certain size, shape, or weight; it helps keep anxiety, depression, sleeping issues, and mental disorders at bay. The amount of people I’ve trained that use exercise as therapy is countless (me included). Stressed? Workout. Anxious? Get out and move. Can’t kick the sadness? Get your heart rate up and see those endorphins turn your mood around. Once a client gets attached to the way a workout makes them feel mentally, they stay active for life. That is the goal - living an active, healthy life. This is more important now than ever.
What fitness trends have you seen during the pandemic?
2020 definitely threw us all a curveball. People had to get creative, leaving their high-energy packed classes and high-end facilities, they began working out in small groups or one-on-one in their homes, garages or parks. Many clients were more comfortable having me come to their house for workouts versus meeting in the gym. Online training, coaching and workouts have also become much more popular.
How do you personalize your training?
Not only are everyone’s goals and personalities different, but also their physical make-up, so in each initial training session, we go over wants, needs, health and injury concerns. As a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Fitness and Power Coach, I use a 14-drill screening to find a person’s physical limitations and help athletes and non-athletes of all ages regain and restore sound bodily function prior to adding load. This has single-handedly specialized my training.
Training is very personal. Some clients want to be pushed physically and mentally to win the next tournament or turn pro, some have health issues, and some just know they won’t do it if they don’t have me to answer to. Regardless of what gets my clients training, life comes into each session. Forming a relationship and trusting each other is key.
Kelly Boyers, a westside resident, has trained with Amy for 9 years. She is Founder of Adam’s Place, a non-profit that provides peer support and coping skills education for children, teens and adults. She has 3 decades of experience in the healthcare industry focusing on children’s preventive mental health and wellness programs and shared some of her thoughts on her personal training journey.
How has one-on-one training impacted your life?
One-on-one training has given me the opportunity to learn about my body and how to take care of it and keep it strong and active. I feel better now than I did 20 years ago and have confidence in the routines I’ve learned and do them on my own too. Amy keeps me accountable and motivated. For me, it was a priority and I believe I will have lower healthcare costs in the long run.
What are your fitness goals?
To have shapely arms and strong abs, back, and glutes that help me best prepare to play tennis and golf and prevent injury.
Have you altered your regimen during the pandemic?
My goals changed during the pandemic; I increased my cardio and started to run a few miles each week. It gave me a sense of control and goal setting and helps me manage feelings of frustration and loneliness. I ended up getting a new puppy, Rue, to increase my exercise around my neighborhood. I met so many of my neighbors by being outside!
Investing in yourself is important. Work today is overly dependent on sitting, looking down, and not moving, which is not good for us. I have faced many challenges in my life and exercise, having a personal trainer, and Amy’s genuine interest and expertise has contributed to my healthy coping and moving forward.
My hope is that those who feel like they have nowhere to turn, give fitness a chance.