Meet your new personal trainer

Campus rec launches free personal training in pilot fitness program.


Lydia Hansen

Junior Maren Krugler takes a break between training appointments to use one of the ellipticals in the Walker Fieldhouse weight room.

Lydia Hansen, Reporter

Personal fitness just got easier, thanks to a new fitness program Campus Rec launched last week. Junior Maren Krugler, a certified personal trainer co-majoring in elementary education and exercise science, is now providing free personal training to anyone who is interested.

The program is part of a larger move by the Campus Recreation program to offer a wider variety of free exercise classes for students and make Walker Fieldhouse more accessible and welcoming for non-athletes.

“If you don’t really know what to do or where to start, that can be the wall that keeps you from starting,” said John Guetter, Campus Recreation Activities Director.

Guetter hopes personalized student-led training will help students feel comfortable using the facilities at Walker, particularly the weight room.

Meet your trainer

Maren Krugler first developed an interest in fitness and personal health as a gymnast, which she practiced until she tore her Achilles tendon in her senior year of high school. Not to be benched for long, she quickly found a new outlet for her interest in fitness and began American Ninja Warrior training at a nearby gym.

“I needed something because I couldn’t do gymnastics anymore and I needed to stay connected with exercise, I guess,” Krugler said. “I needed that in my life because it’s kind of my release.”

That dedication to personal fitness recently helped Krugler overcome a health scare. Over spring break of her first year at Hamline, she discovered she had leukemia and took the summer and fall off for treatment. Now in remission, she credits her overall health going into treatment for helping her bounce back quickly.

“I would do mile walks down with my IV down the hospital hallways,” Krugler said. “That was another reason I got into exercise because I feel like that was what helped me get better.”

Krugler’s health challenges are not over. She learned in January that chemo from her treatments had damaged the bone in her right shoulder, forcing her to postpone plans to apply for American Ninja Warrior. Despite these setbacks, she remains optimistic and dedicated to taking care of herself and helping others learn how to do the same.

These qualities led biology professor Jen Robb, who helped launch the personal training program, recommend her for the job.

“Maren’s sort of the perfect person for that,” Robb said. “She has a very wide range of experience and knowledge, and I think it’s really going to create a more welcoming environment for Hamline students.”

A campus-wide collaboration

Robb described the new personal training program as a marriage of Peer Wellness Education, Campus Rec and the exercise science department.

Last year, the Peer Wellness sent out a campus-wide wellness survey and collected information about overall health and wellness needs of Hamline’s undergraduate population. Robb, who is a faculty advisor for the org, said the data showed unmet personal fitness needs and lack of comfort in using the rec center.

“Students were just like, ‘I don’t know where to start. I’ve never gone into a weight room before, I don’t know where to start,’” Robb said. She thought student-instructed personal training sessions would address these issues.

When Robb initially approached Guetter about offering personal training taught by students certified in exercise science classes, Campus Rec was just allocating money for the new group exercise room in the basement of Walker.

“It worked out perfectly,” Robb said about the timing. “They were doing this but they didn’t have instructors, I had a bunch of people I wanted to make instructors and get this program going but I didn’t have a room.”

Sign up now

Just a week into the program, Krugler said she is already seeing appointments fill up. She had eight clients within an hour of a campus-wide email going out promoting the program.

Students, faculty and staff can sign up for half-hour appointments with Krugler. Each appointment is designed around the specific needs or interests of participants based on their fitness goals. Go to to sign up.

This is the first time Hamline has offered free personal training services, which is part of what prompted MFA student Savannah Brooks to sign up for an appointment when she heard about the program week.

Brooks, who does kickboxing and yoga weekly, was also interested in the training as another way to improve her personal fitness.

“I thought it was a good chance for me to work with someone one-on-one about my own progress,” Brooks said. She signed up for an appointment with Krugler right away and plans to continue working out with her.

Krugler is currently the only trainer Campus Rec has hired. Expanding the program will come down to supply and demand and the kind of response to the program over this semester. However, Guetter said he hopes to eventually add other group fitness classes, particularly during the day and with a wider variety of options.