Indiana State University Newsroom

Exercise science students help people get in shape

April 15, 2014

"3 ... 2 ... 1 ... stop!" yelled Latham Small.

Darylann Dillman hunched over, trying to catch her breath. Sweat poured down her face.

"We have two more sets," said Small, a junior exercise science major at Indiana State University.

Dillman was tired but the look on her face showed determination.Each set alternated from walking lunges and chair squats, then it was time for abs.

"He has helped me more mentally, I am definitely more confident in the workouts I do," said Dillman, a student at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Dillman has been working out at the YMCA for a year and has been under Small's supervision just over two months. Small and his P E 492 class go to the YMCA two times a week to teach clients and educate them about working out.

"I am not very good at pushing myself, he is very good at that and has increased my intensity level," said Dillman. "Hopefully this experience will help me keep doing it on my own,"

Some of Dillman's friends come with her to give her support.

Many of Small's goals for his participants have been accomplished, but the Rockport native still hopes to educate them more and make sure they are doing the correct lifting techniques and breathing patterns.

Some of the clients Small trains go against what he says. He will provide them with knowledge, but they don't always take it.

"It is frustrating sometimes," he said. "The majority of the time I love what I am doing and the ones that come to you regularly want your help and to see them succeed makes my day," he said.

Small praises Indiana State classes that prepared him to be a personal trainer. Faculty members recommended he get certified before he started classes and he is thankful they did.

"The professors and the department gave me all the information I needed to know," he said. "They teach us aerobic and anaerobic activities for all ages and size."

After college, Small would like to serve as a personal trainer in the military or run a gym in Indianapolis.

"The exercise science program specializes in teaching students how to pursue a career in exercise based careers," said Tricia Pierce, instructor in the department of kinesiology, recreation and sport. "This experience at the YMCA has been great for both the students and the clients. We hope to continue the program."

Photo: - Latham Small of Rockport, a junior exercise science major, works with Vigo County YMCA members April 3, 2014 as an experiential learning component of an Indiana State University class. (ISU/Sam Barnes)

Contact: Tricia Pierce, instructor, department of kinesiology, recreation and sport, College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services, Indiana State University, 812-237-2835 or

Writer: Beth Pickerill, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or