BY BELLA GROGAN
Alumnus Blake Pereda, who graduated from the Bay in 2012, decided to go Florida Atlantic University (FAU). He went to study something related to exercise since he has always been passionate about physical fitness and health during his high school years.
“I always was taught by my family to do something you love as a profession, so I decided I would take that advice,” Pereda said.
While attending FAU, Pereda earned his degree in exercise science. He said staying fit and working out is an integral part of his life, so he feels he should study something he knows and loves to do.
“I have always had a passion for working out and eating healthy throughout my whole life,” Pereda said. “I knew I needed to study something I loved and that would not be boring to me; that’s why I chose to study exercise science.”
Pereda said he is now putting his degree to good use by working as a personal trainer at the Weston Family Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). According to Pereda, his job is to train clients and help them achieve their fitness goals.
“Helping people exercise the right way is a very important job to me,” Pereda said. “Many of my clients I’ve trained before had previously gotten injured because they didn’t know how to work out the right way.”
Pereda said he helps train at least five clients per day. In addition, he said he often assists with training a small group class.
“I enjoy training the small group classes because the energy of the group is more intense,” Pereda said. “[The small group classes] tend to have more motivation to complete intense workouts.”
Pereda said he usually works the evening shifts at the YMCA. He said he likes to get a workout in before starting his job and working with his clients.
“Most of my co-workers don’t like to workout on the days they are scheduled,” Pereda said. “I usually just finish my workout early before I have to work and take a quick shower.”
When Pereda is not training clients at the YMCA, he said he is either at a desk ready to answer members’ questions or walking around the gym to check up on everyone. He said he feels it is important to talk with members of the gym and encourage them to work harder since it makes them feel welcomed.
“[Walking around the YMCA] gives [members] a sense of belonging [by] having someone they know at the gym who can help them if they ever need,” Pereda said.
Pereda’s co-worker, Alejandro Estua, said he loves working with Pereda because he brings great energy to the workplace.
“Working with [Pereda] makes the job more fun because we are always laughing together,” Estua said. “We also work out together when we both aren’t on the schedule.”
Estua said he started working at the YMCA after Pereda. He said Pereda helped him get used to working at a gym.
“[Pereda] helped me a lot when I first started working because I felt a little awkward, but Blake was friendly and introduced me to many clients and members,” Estua said.