Faces of CNM: Joseph Gonzales
Joe demonstrates how to plank using proper form.

Faces of CNM: Joseph Gonzales

After graduating in May, Joe will be putting the skills he’s learned in the Exercise Science program into practice at a local gym where he'll serve the needs of people with developmental and physical disabilities.
April 25, 2019

As Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” blasts through the sound system in the fitness and exercise science facility on Main Campus, you’ll find Joseph “Joe” Gonzales over by a cable machine meticulously training a client.

“Remember to keep your back straight and really focus on engaging your core here,” Joe says to his client as they work on a back-muscle exercise.

Joe is graduating in May with his associate degree in Exercise Science. His original plan was to enter the Physical Therapy Assistant program, but he decided that exercise science is where he belonged.

“It’s completely changed my outlook on the career I can have and the profession that I want to be in,” he says. “It’s been a hugely enlightening experience.”


As an intern in the Exercise Science program here at CNM, Joe says that he has received extensive hands-on training and experience working with a diverse group of clients.

“The internship has been great,” Joe says. “I have the pleasure of getting to work with students and staff at CNM on their fitness goals. It’s a great learning tool to be able to put the knowledge I’ve gained in the classroom into practice.”

Joe isn’t just working as an intern. He holds an externship with Adaptability Fitness, a local gym that specializes in working with clients who have developmental or physical disabilities. The gym offered Joe a job working as a trainer as soon as he graduates on May 4.

“It’s a tremendous gym,” he says. “I’ve been able to learn so much working with these special populations and it feels truly fulfilling to be able to help them stay strong and healthy.”

Joe says that at Adaptability Fitness, he works with a diverse group of clients, some who have Downs Syndrome, Elhers-Danlos syndrome, dwarfism, or fused spines.

“It was interesting being able to find new ways to adapt to their disabilities and adjust their training regimen based on that,” Joe says.

Once Joe graduates, he will need to get his personal trainer certification in order to continue working in the field, which he says should be a breeze thanks to the comprehensive exercise science program here at CNM.


“I’m going to go hard on that cert,” he says. “I’m not too worried about it because I’ve already taken really tough anatomy courses here. I feel like I’m adequately prepared.”

Scott Burley, Exercise Science program director, says that it’s been a satisfying experience getting to see Joe grow into an excellent trainer.

“He’s done a magnificent job training them (clients), creating exercise programming and working on technique, and really helping them achieve their goals,” Scott says. “He’s grown so much. He’s really come out of his shell and is on his way to becoming a top trainer. Any gym would be lucky to have him.”

Learn more about CNM’s Exercise Science Program.