Oamaruvians on a fitness kick

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A growing number of people in Oamaru are signing up to fitness challenges and boot camps, being drilled and pushed to the limits to improve their health and fitness.

One of those programmes is Strength and Conditioning coach Jamie Rhodes’ six-week challenge at the Waitaki Community Recreation Centre.

Kicking off in February, Rhodes’ challenges involve three group training sessions per week, including a mixture of indoor and outdoor resistance and cardio workouts, with an emphasis on core training.

“Hill sprints, long runs, full body muscular endurance circuts, outdoor body weight circuts, a lot of core work,” he said.

Since February, the challenges have changed and developed but he’s finding really good results with what he’s doing now.

At the end of the six weeks, participants have a weigh-in and are assessed with beep tests, Yo-Yo tests and aerobic and anaerobic tests, with an overall winner being announced.

Twenty people took up the last challenge, which finished on Friday night, with Dan Keno coming out on top as the July to September Six Week Challenge winner, but Rhodes commended all the participants for their commitment, attitude and achievements.

“Everyone pretty much doubled their scores. Some doubled them plus a bit more,” he said.

“They’ve all got heart. They don’t quit.”

Rhodes has always had a passion for helping people, and loves seeing them achieve their goals.

With a diploma in sports and fitness from Aoraki Polytechnic, Rhodes is a fitness and conditioning trainer – not to be confused with a personal trainer.

“Personal training is more one-on-one helping people, while conditioning is more outdoors full body and a bit more specific about speed, agility and power,” he said.

His main passion is for rugby conditioning, and with one more year’s study next year, he’s hoping to make it a full-time job in the future – ultimately for an ITM Cup rugby team.

For now, he’s happy in his hometown of Oamaru, boosting his CV and getting some great opportunities with some big names.

Kicking off challenge number four on September 17, he’s thrilled with the feedback he’s received and the results he’s seen so far.

“It’s always good feedback. I’m a pretty honest person – if something’s not working for one person, we’ll change it and do something else. It’s not my way or the highway,” he said.

“Everyone’s different. Not everyone has the same body.”

By Rebecca Ryan