Last Wednesday in Gym A/B, UTMAC hosted its first ever boot camp. Thirty students showed up in their active wear with determined looks on their faces.
UTMAC director of health and wellness Andrew Williams led them through an intense full body workout regimen of three circuits, five exercises each. Students ran each course twice.
“We want to encourage a healthy lifestyle on our campus that will show students easy steps on how to get an effective workout with simple exercises. We just want to give students an equal opportunity to reach their goals,” said Mustapha Hashi, UTMAC director of public relations and communication.
“This boot camp was designed to test both your muscular endurance and your cardiovascular system,” said Williams. With motivational music pumping in the background, the gym was soon filled with students running and doing lunges, planks, floor wipers, and a multitude of other exercises designed to challenge every part of the body.
“Boot camp is a fantastic way to work out with your friends and meet likeminded Eagles. There is something empowering about finishing these sessions as a team,” Williams said.
Students worked together and encouraged those who needed it. A couple of personal trainers walked around and made sure that the students’ forms were correct as the workouts continued their course. Along for motivation was the UTM Eagle, who had a lot of energy to spare and added an atmosphere of teamwork and support while he ran around and encouraged people to work hard.
First-year CCIT student Karim Ebrahim was just one of the students who participated. Ebrahim is dedicated to going to the gym every day. He attended the boot camp because he was on a weight loss journey and decided that the intense cardio session would be a good addition to the weightlifting he does.
“I was personally looking to see how far I could go without resting. I also wanted to meet some likeminded people and get a good, intense workout,” he said.
With the encouraging results he found at the end of the boot camp, Ebrahim is looking forward to attending future boot camps. “I discovered that I could do a lot more than I thought I would be able to. It also helped that I did a more intense workout and found an excellent set of exercises to do in the future,” he said. There were also new students who do not go to the gym often but decided to attend the boot camp with hope of improving their healthy, active lifestyle.
“I was hoping to work on my nonexistent cardio,” said Ryan Persaud, a fourth-year student in English and philosophy. When asked if they would attend another boot camp in the future, both Ebrahim and Persaud said yes.
“It was intense, motivating, and great for the body,” said Ebrahim.
Since this was their first boot camp, the UTMAC team eased people into it using only body weight for the work out. However, according to Williams, there will be other boot camps to follow. “Once we see the level of commitment people are willing to invest in us, then we can get equipment like ropes and parachutes and get into some fun stuff,” he said.
Along with a sense of accomplishment and pride, the students that finished the boot camp received a prize of a small protein shake and a choice of a shaker bottle or T-shirt.