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Faculty Spotlight: Justin Harper

I feel lucky to be able to wake up every day and talk about fitness, work out, help people get healthy and hopefully change people’s lives.

– Justin Harper, Fitness Faculty – Bryan University

Justin Harper, fitness faculty member at Bryan, LOVES fitness. He has a deep passion for it and he wants you to love it too – especially if you are in one of his classes at Bryan University. Justin’s teaching has a deep impact on students and they have a deep impact on him. His passion is two-fold: one for teaching, the other for personal training and staying fit.

Justin was always around sports his whole life, and grew up an athlete playing sports as a kid. He went into high school starting to take things more serious and as he got through high school, he focused on football. After hard work and dedication, he was able to earn a football scholarship to the University of South Dakota. That is where Justin’s passion really set in for fitness because he saw it at a higher level. He had a strength conditioning coach come in with a specific game plan to help him get better as an athlete. He also loved seeing all the cool things that were cutting edge in the world of fitness that took his high school frame – a kid weighing 130 pounds – and turned him into a bulked-up 185 pounder ready to hit the gridiron. He really enjoyed this fitness transformation. Naturally, as a student in his undergrad years and then later during his master’s program, he went down the fitness path and wanted to elevate the fitness education he had.

He hasn’t stopped since.

Now, he works as a personal trainer, working with a variety of clients, but also a faculty member, teaching students. He finds both to be really fun and satisfying.

One of the reasons he really enjoys working at Bryan is the ability to impact students not only in the classroom setting by sharing knowledge through live interaction, but also with videos and activities. He also loves the ability Bryan gives to its faculty to continue to work in the field as they teach.  All of the faculty at Bryan are active in the field currently, which Justin believes delivers an impact to students: not only by getting to see an expert demonstrate techniques and instruct them, but also by sharing real life experiences and advice.

Working in the field is very important to Justin because it keeps him current as trends change in the fitness industry. He has found that what was popular or known to be effective last year might not be the same in the current year; so it really helps students’ understanding and keeps everyone up-to-date. This makes the fitness and personal training program at Bryan more appealing and students really seem to enjoy the insight and expertise.

Justin loves the Bryan community: faculty members, employees and staff. Justin comes in every day and tries to impact people in a positive way and always has a smile on his face. He approaches the job the way it should be approached. In Justin’s mind, it’s easy work when you’re working with a great group of faculty and other support staff that are really making the job easy and makes the environment fun to be in.

So what makes the Bryan University faculty great?  Justin thinks they’re all unique in their own right and what truly makes them stand out is the shared vision and goal to impact students, impact the community and the simple fact that everyone just “vibes off of each other.” That’s why he thinks it’s a cool place, one that he hadn’t really experienced in other places he’s worked in the past.

Does Justin have any advice for those looking for a career in fitness? You bet.

If you’re looking to become a personal trainer, his first piece of advice is to make sure you have a true passion for being a trainer because it’s not what it seems like all the time; sometimes you just see that person taking someone through the gym and helping them with their reps and their technique but there’s so much more that goes into being a trainer. So make sure you’re willing to not only talk the talk but walk the walk. He also said he thinks it’s important you exhibit the healthy lifestyle that you’re going to be preaching on a regular basis. So just being willing to lead by example.

Leading by example, walking the walk and talking the talk – these attributes sum up Justin Harper perfectly and make him a true asset to the Bryan University fitness faculty.

If you are not a student, but are thinking of a career in personal training and fitness, what are you waiting for? Contact us and set up a time to speak with one of our admissions representatives. Or, check out program options at Bryan University:

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