Eboni Bryson | Staff Writer

As we steer into the New Year, some students are looking for ways to shed those Winter Break pounds. In an interview with N.C. State personal trainer Kenny Ragsdale, the Nubian Message gathered insight into his views on fitness and his advice for those that want to face those New Year’s gym resolutions head on.

NM: How did you become a physical trainer at NC State?

KR: I started out personal training when I was a sophomore in high school. I really enjoyed it and realized that I could go somewhere with it.  My junior year in college I decided to go for the NCSF Personal Trainer Certification that N.C. State offered.  Shortly after acquiring it I began working as a personal/group fitness trainer for the university.  With this certification I’m able to train people here at State as well as any other fitness facility. NM: How did you become so invested in fitness?KR: Fitness is a passion to me. Around the age of 10 my dad inspired me when I used to watch him workout.  He saw my interest and worked with me on different beginner lifts and exercises.  I started reading article after article to gain as much knowledge as possible to help educate myself and others.  I started out bodybuilding, but I then transitioned to CrossFit which involves functional movements working multiple muscle groups each session.

NM: Generally in the African American culture, we get many of our health habits from our older generations.  How do you feel about this?  

KR: Diabetes and obesity are growing problems in America, but combatting these issues comes back to self discipline.  It all starts at home, with eating right and exercising.  We tend to have bad nutritional habits, which lead to conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure running rampant in our culture. I believe that self discipline is a major part of fitness and that its 70% nutrition and 30% fitness. Nutrition plays a critical role in trying to get fit.

Ragsdale, a senior at N.C. State works as a personal trainer on campus.

Ragsdale, a senior at N.C. State works as a personal trainer on campus.

NM: What do you believe schools can do to help combat these growing health issues?  KR: School districts need to see what works and what doesn’t. Most importantly, the parents and teachers need to emphasize to children the importance of a healthy diet and being active.  They can do this best by living it out themselves first and being an example. Teach kids that eating your vegetables and getting your exercise is more fun and beneficial than just trying to get a good grade in health class and slide by.

NM: What suggestions do you have for those looking to get fit in the new year?

KR: 1) Set a fitness goal (i.e. lose pound, build muscle, increase endurance)

2) Make or find a nutritional plan to fuel your body (i.e. lean meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, and no sugar)

3) Make or find a workout regimen that best aligns with your fitness goal(s).

4) Keep a journal of each day’s meal consumption and workout session.

5) Have a friend or support group join for motivation and encouragement.

6) Believe in yourself!


Watch Kenny’s short video of easy workouts below!