On-campus boot camps ready to pump you up

Thanks to U of W grad Stef Rempel, boot camps on campus are a structured way for students, staff and community members to get sweating. Cindy Titus

School is back in full swing and for many students this means it’s time to get back into the habit of working out.

However, sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym, especially after a long day of classes. Stefanie Rempel, University of Winnipeg boot camp co-ordinator, says that the two hardest parts of working out are motivating yourself to do it and knowing what exercises will best benefit your body.

In 2009, after achieving her Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) certificate, Rempel was approached by Tom Nicholson, associate director of Recreation and Athletic Services, and Tricia Klassen, the Bill Wedlake Fitness Centre manager, about starting a boot camp at the U of W.

The boot camps were to provide an on-campus workout for students and the public. The camps proved successful from the beginning and now the U of W kinesiology graduate runs four six-week sessions on an almost year-round basis.

Rempel sees the boot camp as a great way for anyone to work out and allows each individual to push themselves to their own limits.

“You do as many (repetitions) as you can in 30 seconds, which allows for everybody to benefit,” she said. “One person might get 10 reps in, while the person beside them gets 20 reps in.”

It is a good workout for anyone from a beginner to someone who is used to exercising and wants to be challenged.

Elizabeth Proskurmik, former Wesmen men’s volleyball trainer, on the U of W’s boot camps

Elizabeth Proskurmik, the Wesmen men’s volleyball trainer from 2004-2008, tried the boot camp last year and spoke positively of the experience.

“It is a good workout for anyone from a beginner to someone who is used to exercising and wants to be challenged,” Proskurmik said. “All the exercises can be adapted to fit anybody’s needs, and I always felt challenged.”

The boot camps run for a block of four to six weeks, depending upon the time of year, and usually consist of three workouts per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Currently, camps are offered in two time slots, 6:30 – 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Rempel includes cardiovascular fitness, weight and resistance training and core body work in each session, providing a full body workout. She also stresses the importance of stretching because it promotes the healing process and helps to prevent injury later on.

She begins each block with a review of the basics of her exercises to ensure everyone uses proper technique.

“It’s important that we go over all the basics … We don’t want people doing things improperly, because they could injure themselves,” she said.

Doran Reid, the U of W’s athletic director, participated in a boot camp last year and found it to be a springboard to continual fitness.

“It was a perfect way to start my day,” he said. “After those sessions I definitely was in better shape and am now motivated to keep up my own ongoing exercise routine.”

A six-week boot camp session costs $110 for students and $130 for the public. Sessions take place in the Auxiliary Gym in the basement of the Duckworth Centre.

If you are interested, contact Stefanie Rempel at st.rempel@uwinnipeg.ca or the Duckworth Customer Service Desk at 786-9349 for more information.

Published in Volume 65, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 23, 2010)

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