Area residents now have their own personal trainer to help them achieve a wide variety of fitness goals.

Cambridge native and former Ballard High School baseball standout Kyle Culp was recently hired as the personal trainer for the Citizens Community Center (3C’s) Fitness Center in Huxley. Culp is an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer.

Culp always had a lifelong passion for fitness, but only recently turned it into a career path. The 25-year-old graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2011 with a degree in exercise and movement science, along with a minor in coaching. In addition to working at Sauer Danfoss in Ames, Culp now offers personal training packages for anyone, including discounts for area residents who are members of the 3C’s in Huxley.

Though personal training could have taken him just about anywhere, Culp decided to return to the Ballard community where he was raised. His passion for both physical fitness and helping people influenced his return to the area.

"This is home," said Culp. "I have family here, and it’s not too far to Ames, Ankeny or Des Moines if I want to do anything in those places."

He and his wife, Pam, live in Huxley, and on most weeks Culp spends a minimum of an hour per day four days per week in the gym. Even when he isn’t at the gym, he can usually be found doing something active outside. He enjoys playing baseball, as well as disc golf with friends and family around the area. He has fond memories of playing sports whenever he got the chance while growing up, as well as playing for Ballard High School. He played shortstop for the Slater Nite Hawks in a semi-professional baseball league until he took the night shift job at Sauer Danfoss.

While at UNI, Culp realized how much he enjoyed helping people achieve their goals while doing an internship at the Waterloo YMCA.

"There was one lady I worked with and her goal was just to increase her cardiovascular shape," said Culp. "It was really rewarding for both of us to see her get in better shape the longer we worked together."

Like many younger athletes, Culp didn’t appreciate the virtues of stretching until a back injury sidelined him from the baseball field. Now he swears by allowing a body to heal after a workout and reducing the chances of injury before any physical activity.

"Stretching and sleep often get overlooked," said Culp. "Your body has got to recuperate. I used to be one of those people who hardly ever stretched, but now I can feel the difference [when I stretch]."

Culp can design a fitness plan regardless of your fitness goals. This reporter wanted to check out his methods, so he asked for a workout designed to help increase cardiovascular strength and endurance. We performed high-intensity exercises with low weight but high repetitions with minimal rest time between sets. Culp had to explain some of the movements, as well as which muscle group those movements would be working.

Culp enjoys teaching people new ways to keep in shape, as well as proper technique. Whether you’re an athlete or just looking to improve your general physical fitness, he can help you achieve your goals. As with any exercise regimen, Culp recommends a lifestyle change as opposed to continuous dieting.

"Diets are the easy way out," said Culp. "You’ve got to keep eating healthy and stick with your physical fitness plan if you want to maintain results. You have to put the time and effort into it."

To learn more about personal training with Culp, contact the Citizens Community Center in Huxley at 515-597-2515.