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CCU Atheneum: Capt. Kenneth
Capt. Kenneth "Tad" Reed working out with personal trainer Emily Cottrill.

CHANTFit II of III: Tad Reed’s fitness journey proving hard work can pay off

by Nicole Pippo
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Capt. Kenneth “Tad” Reed has a demanding job as captain at the Department of Public Safety at Coastal Carolina University. Reed oversees Public Safety investigations at CCU, and he has difficulty setting aside time for exercising – which is precisely why he signed up for the CHANTFit program.

“My goal is a combination of losing weight, getting stronger and toning up,” said Reed.

When he worked for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (S.L.E.D.) in Columbia, Reed used to go the gym periodically. He retired from S.L.E.D. after working there for 41 years. He started at CCU in September 2018 and intended to squeeze in a workout a few times a week at the HTC Center during his lunch hour. That routine didn’t stick, so Reed is hoping his CHANTFit personal trainer will boost his motivation.

Reed considers himself to be somewhere between a middle and advanced level of fitness. “I’m 62 years old and I try to work out, but I really need something to push me a little bit more,” he said. “A part of why I agreed to this story was because it gives me another degree of holding myself accountable.”

According to Tara Josey, associate director of University Recreation and creator of CHANTFit, most of the participants are beginners who want to learn from a professional what to do in a gym and how to work out effectively on their own. Reed said he knows his way around a gym, but needs to learn about what exercises are best for him and how to stay motivated, which is where CHANTFit can help.

“I caught myself one day working out and got tired, then walked away from the workout,” said Reed. “The trainer keeps me accountable.”

This is Reed’s first time using a personal trainer. Emily Cottrill, a sophomore majoring in recreation and sport management from Pittsburgh, Pa., is Reed’s personal trainer. CHANTFit is also new for Cottrill, who is training CHANTFit clients for the first time this year.

“It is important that my clients have the support they need and the motivation to achieve their goals,” said Cottrill. “I want to help Reed feel comfortable in the gym and have new ideas each time he walks through the gym door.”

Reed meets with Cottrill on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1 p.m. to train. Typically in CHANTFit, the trainer is paired up with two participants and instructs them both during a one-hour time frame. However, it worked out that Reed can train with Cottrill one-on-one.

He’s not focused on the competition aspect of CHANTFit, where participants earn points by tracking their workouts and entering a drawing to win prizes. He’s just doing this program to become more active and stay consistent on his fitness journey.

Reed is married with two boys, ages 17 and 19, and a daughter who is married living in Charlotte. Reed’s wife and sons still live in Columbia and he goes home to visit them on the weekends as much as possible. His hobbies include golfing and boating.

WEEK ONE: Jan. 28 to Feb. 1

During the first week, Reed didn't notice a big difference in his overall fitness level. The first two sessions he had with Cottrill focused mainly on strength training.

“She’s made me do exercises that made me sore, but that’s what it takes,” said Reed. “The exercise she had me try on Wednesday absolutely killed my abs, but that’s what is going to get me to where I want to be in the end.”

Reed is committing more time to working out since he started CHANTFit. He trained with Cottrill during his time slots on Monday and Wednesday, and worked out in the HTC Center on Tuesday and Thursday during his lunch break.

WEEK TWO: Feb. 4-8

Reed is keeping up his momentum and motivation for the second week of CHANTFit. He is continuing to learn exercises from Cottrill that he has never tried before, along with proper form and technique needed to perform them.

“Emily has me doing various strength exercises for my arms, legs and abs,” said Reed. “I am feeling good about the program and realizing it won’t change me overnight.” Again, he has gone to the gym on Tuesday and Thursday in addition to his CHANTFit time slots. Reed even stayed active on the weekend by taking walks and working out at home.

WEEK THREE: Feb. 11-15

Week three is the halfway mark of the CHANTFit journey, and Cottrill has seen Reed’s fitness level advance.

“Tad has gotten a lot more flexible already and his strength has improved,” said Cottrill. “He is able to do more exercises with less rest time in our sessions.”

According to Cottrill, Reed is using a higher weight with a lower number of reps (repetitions) to increase his strength. It is important to her that Reed doesn’t get bored and that the exercises he performs each session don’t get repetitive.

“The workouts that I do with Tad change every week. Sometimes we are using the machines in the gym and sometimes we are doing high-intensity work with light free weights,” she said.

Reed is optimistic about CHANTFit and is happy with the progress he is making. “I truly believe it is making a difference and my long-term goals will be met,” said Reed. “I would continue with a personal trainer after the six weeks are over.”

CHANTFit is a way to kick-start a healthy lifestyle for those who need the motivation and accountability coaching. However, Cottrill says the participants need to put in time and effort to work out and stay healthy beyond the hour-long training sessions.

“The most challenging part of this program would be that I only meet with each client two times a week for six weeks,” said Cottrill. “For them to really reach their specific goals, it will take more than these sessions.”

Although this was Cottrill’s first time being a CHANTFit trainer, it won’t be her last – she plans to be a CHANTFit trainer again next year. “The most rewarding part is seeing my clients succeed and notice the changes in their bodies.”

The CHANTFit program takes place every January and is open to CCU students, faculty and staff. The HTC Center also offers personal training throughout the year. Nationally certified trainers coach their clients about how to successfully reach their fitness goals and offer motivational support.

The rates begin at $60 for students and $80 for faculty and staff. The HTC Center also offers partner sessions for students, faculty and staff at a discounted rate. For more information about CCU personal training, visit or call 843-349-2802.

The HTC Center on CCU’s campus is home to University Recreation, which offers free, year-round group fitness classes. Dance, mind and body, strength, and spinning classes are available with schedules updated every month. The classes take place on the first floor of the HTC Center in three dedicated studios. For a description of each class and to view the monthly scehedule, visit

The Fitness Floor on the second level of the of the HTC Center has state-of-the-art equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, smith machines, rowing machines, a free weight area and more. Current CCU students, faculty and staff must present CCU ID at the Welcome Desk prior to entering the Fitness Center. Guest passes are available for purchase at the Welcome Desk during business hours.

The 38-foot-tall indoor climbing wall at the HTC Center is open to CCU students, faculty and staff for free, and all necessary climbing gear is provided.

The Outdoor Recreation Program offers equipment rentals including stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, camping gear and bikes for CCU students, faculty and staff. Learn more about Outdoor Recreation at CCU by visiting at 843-349-5076.

The Williams-Brice Physical Education Center has several opportunities for fitness also, including a six-lane, 25-yard lap pool and courts which are open to University students, faculty and staff.

The teal-colored track is open for students, faculty, staff and the public when the track and field team is not practicing. The track is located across from Brittain Hall.

There is a disc golf field located near the U.S. 501 entrance to the CCU campus, and discs can be rented from the Williams-Brice building.

University Recreation hosts several other special events besides CHANTFit. For a list of special events and details about each one, click here.


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