Staff Spotlight: Melanie Portal, Kinesiologist

Melanie Portal, a kinesiologist at the Copeman Healthcare Centre in Vancouver, recently completed her Master of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. We spoke with her about what she learned in the program and how it will help in her role at Copeman Healthcare.

Tell us about your program and how it will benefit you

My program had a heavy focus on coaching science and skill acquisition. Coaching science supports the theoretical development and practical growth of coaches and trainers alike, and skill acquisition focuses on the science that underpins movement learning and execution.

I felt the program would help develop my skills to further benefit my clients, especially in Copeman’s personal training programs. It allowed me to select classes relevant to my work, such as counselling psychology, nutrition and skill acquisition.

I’m looking forward to having a greater educational role at Copeman to help staff and clients improve the way they exercise, train or operate.

What was your top takeaway or key learning?

The primary takeaway for me was that personalization is key.

For almost any fitness-related topic there’s usually research supporting multiple points of view. Just because a certain exercise or coaching technique is based on research doesn’t mean it will have the impact you’re hoping for. As practitioners, it’s up to us to orchestrate the desired outcome based on all the different variables we encounter.

How is your new expertise being applied at Copeman?

I’ve been using my newly learned skills to further enhance the Movement and Strength Personal Training and Integrated Personal Training programs. The various courses I took have helped me with my coaching skills and been of immediate benefit to my clients who partake in personal training programs.

What do you enjoy most about your role at Copeman?

What I really love about my career is that it allows me the time to get to know clients and help them in a more meaningful way. This course was another step toward achieving that.

I’ve come to realize that exercise provides an excellent opportunity for people to open up and learn about themselves. So why not use fitness as a primary therapy, during which we can discuss other health topics?

The Copeman Movement & Strength Lab offers customized fitness programs through various personal training service options.