Insight From a Personal Trainer

Serista in the Queenax room at the University of Tampa fitness center.

Serista Budhram is a junior at the University of Tampa who has a passion for working out and motivating others to work out. She was born in South Africa and moved to the states when she was 17 years old. Her love for basketball brought her to Rhode Island where she enrolled in a boarding school. From there, she lost interest and decided to move to Tampa. Serista is graduating in December of 2017 with a degree in finance. She hopes to stay at the University of Tampa to achieve her post grad goals. She will do so by enrolling in the 4+1 program which is an additional year of school to earn the Masters of Business Administration in an accelerated format.

Q: What do you like most about the new and improved fitness center?

Serista: I just like how it’s an attraction on campus. I love that it is an environment where people are happy and they are bettering themselves. I love it so much that I practically live at the gym. I come in at 8 a.m. every morning and stay until 10:30 p.m.

Q: Along with personal training, what other things do you do around the gym?

Serista: Since the gym reopened, personal training hasn’t started up yet but I stay busy with everything else. I am the student coordinator of fitness so I help manage the gym and the staff. I love my team that I work with because we are just like a family. I also hold trainings for personal trainer certifications. During the week, I teach six different group fitness classes. I teach the cycling class three times a week and the Queenax class three times a week.

Q: What inspired you to become a personal trainer?

Serista: I grew up playing basketball and loved it. After playing it for so long, I lost interest in the sport. Once I was at the University of Tampa, I got into spinning and the spartan skim down classes. I used to take a spin class just about every day. This led me into my passion for working out. I wanted to help others get motivated to work out. As of March 2015, I became a certified spin instructor. Several months later, I decided I wanted to become a personal trainer. I took a weekend long certification class which entailed a couple eight hour days. At the end of the weekend, I had to take a practical and an exam. It was very difficult but I ended up doing really well. By October of 2015, I was a certified personal trainer. I trained about three to four people per week along with the group fitness classes. Overall, I just wanted some diversity in my life.

Q: Do you have fitness goals for yourself? If so, what are they?

Serista: I do in my mind but then putting it into plain, my lifestyle is very difficult. I teach 6 classes a week, I am taking 4 classes at UT and I also work at the gym so it is difficult for me to have fitness goals this semester. Although, I do work out everyday because I am always working out with whoever I am training. Whether it be a group fitness class or a personal training session. In the past I have had some goals, but maintaining is more sustainable in the long run. I eat as healthy as I can and eat when I want to but it is all about moderation. I have thought about competing in a bikini competition but I didn’t want to take extremes to my body.

Q: What is the best advice you can give to the UT student body about maintaining an active lifestyle?

Serista: The best advice I can give to UT students is moderation and balance. I always say it is not about starving your body but it’s about moderation and a healthy lifestyle. Eating a piece of cake isn’t going to kill you.

Q: What sets you apart from the other trainers at the recreation center?

Serista: I am a very good motivator and I just want people to be happy. The first question I always ask my clients is “what do you want out of this?” Most of the time, they have weight loss goals. I love personal training but actually prefer group training because there are so many people who are motivated which keeps me motivated.

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