BATTLE CREEK, Michigan –
Members of the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center workforce began an 8-week program July 1 to benefit their resiliency with some help from the Battle Creek Morale, Welfare and Recreation team.
Sports and Fitness Facility Manager Martha Kerns said the virtual workout challenge is meant to encourage patrons to stay active and practice social distancing while building resiliency. She described the workouts as a mix of cardio and body weight exercises.
“There is a list of exercises to evaluate your start point and the same format at the end of the challenge will let you see if you have made an improvement,” Kerns said.
Two fitness center personal trainers, Daniel Roberts and Christopher Chisholm, developed the program, which uses high-intensity interval training techniques, strength
training and running. Chisholm said the training method allows the user to work on cardiovascular fitness and build strength in the same workout because of its fast-paced style.
“HIIT workouts get your heart rate up towards its max during highly intense intervals of functional movements and resistance training followed by short bouts of rest between intervals,” Chisholm said. “The intense exercise followed by short a rest and then repeated with a different muscle group also boosts the metabolism and keeps it in what we like to call the ‘fat burning zone’ well after the workout is complete.”
Roberts said the nature of the workouts and their use of bodyweight makes them “very effective and perfectly suited for at-home engagement.” Chisholm said their goal was to offer a program “that a large and varied group of participants could participate in and be excited about.”
The challenge to develop exercise plans for large groups lies in the different needs and capabilities of participants, Roberts said. He and Chisholm “drilled down to try to think of things that most everyone could do.” With interval training, Roberts said the idea is “to get the most bang for your buck, so compound movements are usually best. “If we have a pressing motion, we should balance that with a yielding motion. An example of that concept in action are pushups where we have to push and then yield.”
The strength and HIIT routines focus on building functional strength and boosting the metabolism, while the running routines are designed to increase aerobic fitness and oxygen intake while helping those who enjoy running.
“We worked together to develop a format for the strength and functional fitness, and then Daniel created HIIT routines while I created the running program,” Chisholm said. “It is a great team effort that we hope will serve a large variety of participants of all fitness levels.”
Both Chisholm and Roberts encourage those who start the program to stay committed and to exercise sensibly and safely -- to do what they can without doing damage.
“If the program says to run for 20 minutes and you have to slow down and walk after every 4 minutes of running, that’s okay,” Chisholm said. “You know where you’re at.”
Chisholm said those who have to adjust can try to reduce the amount of times they walk or the duration each time until they can eventually jog for the allotted time without walking. He said the same approach works with the strength exercises –“do what you can and work your way up.”
Both trainers encourage consistency to achieve fitness goals because doing something to work out and keep the body moving will always benefit a person more than excuses and doing nothing,
“We need to be dedicated and get results, but also smart enough to be sustainable in our approach,” Roberts said. “Play the long-game in fitness and you’ll make steady progress while other people come and go.”