YMCA program takes aim at fitness

Published 5:00 pm Friday, December 26, 2008

FRANKLIN— Roger Lee, director of sports and recreation at James L Camp Jr. YMCA, believes he has the solution for those looking to shed a few of the pounds they added while cruising the holiday party circuit.

Starting Jan. 2, the YMCA is offering a new program called “The Triathlete Challenge.” The challenge is set up to encourage people to come to the Y and get in shape using measurable goals.

“A lot of times, people come in, see their friends and stand around and socialize instead of working out,” Lee said. “Their mouths get more of a workout than their bodies,.”

The other problem people have is continuing to go to the gym after a few weeks of attempting to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions said Lee.

“Our objective with the Tri-athlete Challenge is to give people the necessary structure it takes to really see a difference in their fitness levels.”

According to Lee, the challenge is set up for three different fitness levels: beginner, intermediate and elite. All three member levels will receive free training and monitoring from the Y’s personal training staff.

In addition to the monitoring from the training staff, Lee said participants would also be paired into groups of three to help keep them motivated.

The challenge is broken into six-week increments. A beginner starting off in the first week would be tasked to run five miles, swim 20 laps and cycle 10 miles.

“You don’t have to do it all in one day, the program is designed so that you can break it up and execute at your leisure.,” Lee said.

It doesn’t matter what level a member begins training, either.

“A trainer will be around in the facility at all times to help get you started.”

The program is designed to get the member ready to run a triathlon in Suffolk that’s scheduled to take place in April.

As for intermediate and elite participants, their challenge would be a little harder. For example, Lee said Elite members would run 20 miles, swim 72 laps and cycle 60 miles in the first week.

Lee said all excuses for not participating in the program have been stripped away. “If you don’t know how to swim, we have a provision for that. Instead of doing laps in the pool, you simply need to participate in a number of our group exercise programs based on your challenge level.”

Lee also said the Y’s facilities are open 15 hours a day and provide child care. “If you work 12 hours a day, there’s still time for you to come in,” he said. “If you need a babysitter, we have someone on-site. There is no reason for you not to get in here.”

Lee said the key to the whole challenge is to get people up, moving and in the habit of coming to the gym.

“I want people to get into the mind set of putting a visit to the gym in their schedule. If they do that, they may not ever lose a pound but, I know the jeans will fit a little better and they will definitely be healthier.”