Making Your Fitness a Priority

Steve Ritz Fitness FirstSteve Ritz, Exercise Physiologist and founder of Fitness First. 

Steve has been involved in the fitness field since 1991 working with a wide variety of people ranging from cardiac rehab patients to professional athletes. Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College as well as a Master of Arts degree majoring in Exercise Physiology from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is also certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Some highlights in his career as a fitness professional include Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach for the MN Vikings and training both major and minor league players for the Cleveland Indians Organization. Steve has also had involvement in various college and high school settings including Villanova University, North Dakota State University, Gustavus Adolphus College and Anoka High School. Fitness is a way of life for Steve, and he enjoys educating and making it a priority in other people's lives. Steve has worked with many clients diverse in age, gender and fitness level. 

FITNESS SPECIALISTS

Greg Gerding has been a Fitness Specialist at Fitness First since 2003. He has been responsible for formulating fitness programs for clients with unique skills and goals, training clients from a broad demographic spectrum, and providing a monthly educational update for staff and clients on a variety of health and wellness topics. Greg has a calm, helpful and caring personality. Clients find training sessions with Greg to be challenging and enjoyable. Greg is certified as an American College of Sports Medicine Health Fitness Specialist. He is also employed at Medtronic as a Sr. Buyer/Planner. Greg’s business acumen allows him to relate with clients and the demands they face in the workplace. Greg is married to his wife, Ann, and they have two boys named Grayson and Will. Gerding believes strength training, conditioning, and nutritious eating should be a priority in every person’s life. Greg is excited and motivated to educate and help Fitness First clients attain their health and wellness goals.

Education: B.S. degree from St. Cloud State University majoring in Business Management with a minor in Computer Science, American College of Sports Medicine- Certified Health Fitness Specialist.

Interests: strength training, running, spending time with family, reading, music, basketball, and golf.

Tony Austad joined the Fitness First staff in June 2010 as a Fitness Specialist. Tony’s initial involvement with Fitness First was as a college intern during the summer of 2009. Tony graduated in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College majoring in Health Fitness. He completed his Master of Arts degree in Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology from Minnesota State University, Mankato in May 2012. Austad has expertise in the areas of strength training, flexibility, nutrition and muscular strength and endurance testing. He is also a certified Health Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine. Tony has great knowledge and experience developing and implementing exercise prescriptions for people of all ages, gender, and fitness levels. He developed these skills through his experience as a Human Performance Lab technician while a student at Gustavus. Tony enjoys motivating and educating clients on the scientific fundamentals of fitness.

Education: B.A. degree from Gustavus Adolphus College majoring in Health Fitness, M.A. degree from Minnesota State University, Makato majoring in Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology, American College of Sports Medicine- Certified Health Fitness Specialist. 

Interests: strength training, hockey, fishing, music, and spending time with family and friends.
                                               


Nick McCoy has been a Fitness Specialist at Fitness First since his June 2007 internship. Nick graduated in May 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College majoring in Health Fitness with a Coaching minor. He is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. Nick has experience in vo2, body fat, flexibility, muscular strength and endurance testing. McCoy also possesses a great deal of knowledge designing exercise prescriptions for people with diverse backgrounds. He acquired these skills from his experience as a Human Performance Lab technician while a student at Gustavus Adolphus College. In September 2009, he was promoted to a management position of the Chaska and Excelsior locations. Nick’s duties include opening and closing the facilities, staff scheduling, new client orientation, as well as design and implementation of exercise prescriptions. He is also involved in organizational and administrative duties ranging from the design of advertising and promotional materials to the hosting of college interns. Nick enjoys working with clients of all ages and abilities, deriving great satisfaction in helping people reach their health and wellness goals.

Education: B.A. degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, majoring in Health Fitness with a minor in Coaching, American College of Sports Medicine- Certified Personal Trainer.

Interests: soccer, tennis, racquetball, bowling, fishing, 4-wheeling and strength training.

Zach Vine joined the Fitness First staff as a Fitness Specialist in February 2015 after interning in summer of 2014. Zach graduated in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College majoring in Health Fitness with a Coaching minor. While a Human Performance Lab technician at Gustavus Adolphus College, Zach gained experience in body composition, flexibility, and aerobic testing. Vine has coaching experience ranging from youth athletes to the high school varsity level. These experiences have allowed Zach to reinforce his passion for educating and motivating people helping them undergo physical and mental development. He enjoys working with the diverse clientele at Fitness First and derives great satisfaction helping them achieve their health and fitness goals. Zach is excited to apply his knowledge of physiology, combined with an approachable demeanor to provide the best service possible to the clients of Fitness First.

Education: B.A. degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, majoring in Health Fitness with a minor in Coaching.

Interests: strength training, football, wrestling, coaching, lacrosse, music, and camping.

 

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