The idea behind Fitness Club was to create a little extra motivation to get moving. I did not take any body composition measurements like weight, % body fat, height, VO2 max, etc. My only expectation was that the girls showed up on a regular basis and had a good attitude. The class was only supposed to last for 8 weeks; however, the girls kept coming and I extended the club for two extra weeks. Fitness club met almost every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the months of September through November.
For me, my goals were to make the participants more comfortable in a weight room setting. I think everyone has had an experience where they have felt intimidated or uncomfortable working out, especially in an unfamiliar weight room. I taught the basic etiquette for the workout equipment and cardio equipment. Almost the entire first session was spent just on technique and teaching the core movements that would be used in Fitness Club. After this, the workouts started coming.
The workouts were difficult, but the girls persevered and finished every time in their own way. When the girls needed some extra motivation, Ms. Anna and Ms. Adaisha were able to help out and lead a workout or two. After most of the workouts, I would prompt the girls with a question to write in their journals. We were better at writing in our journals some weeks more than others, but here are some of their entries below:
“The most challenging thing in fitness club today was burpees x50. It was hard and challenging because I never did them before and it was 50 of them to do. After a while, I got used to them though and did all 50.” Kendra – 14
“The thing I like about fitness club is that we get to work out and work with abs and get in good shape.” Fitness club member – 12
“My goal for fitness club was trying to work out and eat healthy.” Natalia – 14
“In the future, a way to stay fit everyday, I will jog everyday or go to a fitness club and eat healthy.” Imani – 14
“My goal was when I started was that I am supposed to stay in shape.” Malika – 12
“The hardest part of fitness club is you still have to keep going even if it hurts. I though the exercises were really hard because it hurts a lot but you can’t stop doing it. The only thing you have to do is try harder. Fitness club helps me use up my time better as well.” Nevaeh – 12
“Working out has helped me feel better about myself and lets me know that I can do what I put my mind to, without others telling me so.”
“Beside my physical appearance, it helped me more with sleeping and getting rest. My motivation and confidence is higher. Also, it has helped with stress and I’m doing better in school.” Kendra – 14
“My favorite workout is going on the bikes and getting my legs pumping so they can be strong.” Fitness Club member – 12
“Working out helped my sleeping because I will go to bed right after because I’m relaxed and I fall asleep quicker.” Natalia – 14
“Working out has helped me feel better about myself and lets me know that I can do what I put my mind to, without others telling me so.” LaKiya – 14
“My favorite is working out on the bikes because I can burn calories.” Virginia – 13
As an instructor of the club, I learned a lot in the process of leading this club. One of my goals for the next Fitness Club is to start each session with an open discussion on maintaining a healthy lifestyle after they graduate from high school and Girls Inc. Now, I will lead a short session of Fitness Club for the Kindergarteners – 3rd Graders. This will be a fun and exciting new challenge. Fitness Club for the teenagers will start back up again after the New Year.