Premium Partners

Home School P.E.; Tour de France; 2006 Calorie Burning Challenge

These innovative programming ideas motivate members to exercise using all offered programs and products.

Home School P.E.

South Run Recreation Center, Springfield, Va. WHILE THE LACK of physical education programs in schools throughout the U.S. is much talked about, especially in light of our nation's growing childhood obesity epidemic, one group that is overlooked is home-schooled children. Most parents aren't knowledgeable about what it takes to get kids motivated to be active and to keep healthy. So, when South Run Recreation Center's Fitness Director and Personal Trainer Laurie Strickland started to miss working with children (she previously taught physical education), she designed a program to target homeschool families. The program costs $50 to $60, depending on the number of weeks in the session. It started in September 2005 and continues throughout each school year (early September through early June), and is broken into a fall and spring session. Classes meet once a week for 45 minutes "during South Run's occasionally slow mid-day hours," says Strickland. Children participate in a variety of activities, including team and individual sports and games, such as freeze tag, juggling, tennis, dodge ball, baseball, soccer, hockey and kickball. The students also have the opportunity to participate in the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge. The program was designed to have two separate groups: one for five- to eight-year-olds and another for nine- to 14-yearolds. The Spring 2005 program attracted 29 home schoolers, but, since there were few participants in the older group, Strickland combined the two age groups. The remainder of the programs have attracted approximately 23 students, and kids have been divided into the two groups. Strickland says that the children have really enjoyed the program, and she believes it will continue to attract a greater number of home-schoolers. South Run has also benefited from greater exposure to families that never knew the facility was there. Strickland adds that some of the students even come to the facility during non-program hours.

Back to top

Tour De France

World Gym Express, Fairfax, Va. WHILE MANY AMERICANS were entranced by this year's Tour de France, especially in light of another promising American victory, World Gym Express decided to capitalize on the excitement by holding its own Tour de France competition.During the three-week race,World Gym Express members participated in the in-house Cardio Contest, as well as brought in referrals so they could enter to win a bike. According to Owner/Operator Sharron Grzybowski, the Cardio Contest consisted of members performing "cardio activities to receive kilometers as points; one minute of cardio earned the participants 1 kilometer, and they could earn up to the number of kilometers that the Tour rode on that particular day" (for example, on Saturday, July 15, the total ridden was 230.5 kilometers, and Saturday, July 22nd, the total was 57 kilometers). Member Linda Lenertz won first place by completing 2,476.6 minutes of cardio, and her husband, Jim, came in second, completing 2,402.1 minutes of cardio. "Linda and Jim have been World Gym Express … members for over a year," says Grzybowski,"and have participated in each of our contests since joining - each time getting stronger and better, and working harder toward their goals."Winner of the bike was Kirsten Murphy, who brought in two referred members. World Gym Express holds promotions regularly, says Grzybowski, to encourage healthy habits. Members get more fit, and World Gym Express benefits through member retention and new members. "During the summer, it is especially easy to over look your exercise regimen - opting to spend time outdoors instead of in the gym working on your cardio and strength routines," says Grzybowski. Not so at World Gym Express, where two contests are held each year, "each one more successful and more fun than the other," Grzybowski says. "The goal is always the same: To help encourage our members to meet their goals, motivating them in a safe and friendly environment."

Back to top

2006 Calorie Burning Challenge

Courts Plus Fitness Center, Faro, N.D. If members are challenged to lose weight, it's not likely many will turn the challenge down. That's why the 2006 Calorie Burning Challenge at Courts Plus Fitness Center was such a success. The program, which began February 1 and ended April 30, focused on increasing the number of calories "burned" through cardio exercise on equipment, tracking food intake through food journals, bi-weekly weigh-ins with participants' motivators (personal trainers) and once-a-week personal training sessions. According to Fitness Director Hidie Larson, "the challenge was designed around 3,500 calories and 1 pound of fat." Fat and muscle models were placed around the fitness center to promote the program, and weekly information tables were set up at which personal trainers answered questions. Members could choose from one of two challenges. Challenge I was based on three levels (using 17,500 calories, 28,000 calories or 35,000 calories) and cost $25. Challenge II added once-a-week personal training for 12 weeks to Challenge I, and cost $270. The challenge was also divided into three age divisions. A $100 prize was awarded to the members that used the most calories, lost the most weight and lost the most body fat in each division, for a total of $900 in prizes. To qualify to win the prizes, participants were required to weigh in, food journal and track their calories used. "We had 90 participants in the program, with them burning 1,730,000 calories, losing 376 pounds and an average of 1.87 percent body fat," says Larson. The program benefited Courts Plus members by increasing their awareness of how much effort they actually put into their exercise sessions. "There was a competitive edge flying around the club with how many calories their competitors were burning," says Larson. "It pushed them to work harder every session."The facility benefited by increasing revenue, generating an additional $5,130 from personal training.And, says Larson, "Eleven of the 19 members that chose Challenge II are still working with a personal trainer."

Back to top

Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide
AB Show 2022 in Orlando
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Learn More
AB Show