COLUMBIA — Five months ago, 64-year-old Sue Dunkin had never had a gym membership, lifted weights or taken any sort of physical fitness class.
“I’m probably the most unlikely person to ever go near a gym,” Dunkin said. “The only thing I did consistently was walking,”
Dunkin said that although she was striving to walk three miles a day, she had always thought about getting more involved in working out. She finally realized that she wasn’t getting any cardiovascular training, stretching or balance training accomplished through just walking. She decided she needed a lot more physical training and signed up for Tiger Training at the MU Student Recreation Complex. Since then, whenever she isn’t on a business trip, she has been training with Abby Rolbiecki, assistant manager of personal training at the complex, three times a week for about an hour each time.
Starting June 14, Dunkin will begin a new workout called Bootcamp, a 10-week program made specifically for women, offered through the MU rec complex.
Dunkin said she wanted to participate in Bootcamp because she didn’t want to lose momentum in the progress she’s made with her physical fitness.
“I’m looking forward to meeting a group of other women who are interested in working on wellness and fitness,” Dunkin said.
Rolbiecki, the Bootcamp leader, said that the program involves different workouts and uses different things like circuit training, yoga and sand workouts.
“It’s opening all aspects of fitness to females,” Rolbiecki said.
Most of the workouts will be outside, involving the sand pit, Stankowski Field or the pool.
Rolbiecki stressed that the class is not just a one-day-per-week program. She said she will encourage women to workout throughout the week by giving them a log so they can keep track of their progress. She said she doesn’t want women to be intimidated by the class, however. She wants them to be empowered by the workouts they cover in the program.
“I want them to be able to develop a program for themselves,” Rolbiecki said.
Rolbiecki said that women are sometimes afraid of gyms, and she wants to show them that gyms don’t have to be intimidating. She wants it to be a program where women can empower other women and talk to each other about their barriers to successfully working out.
“I decided to do all females because I know how intimidating it can be to workout with men present,” Rolbiecki said. “My primary focus is getting women fit.”
Dunkin said when she is telling her friends about Bootcamp and trying to encourage them to take it with her, she always tells them the same thing.
“I generally tell them that if I can do it, anybody can do it,” Dunkin said.
Meg Dimsa, strength and conditioning coordinator at the MU rec complex, said Bootcamp was Rolbiecki’s creation. Dimsa said that as far as personal training goes, there is a trend in smaller group training, similar to what Bootcamp will provide. Dimsa said that personal training in smaller groups makes it more affordable for an individual to work with a personal trainer.
Though the class may seem intense, it will be beneficial for all women, those who have never worked out before and those who exercise every day, Dimsa said.
“We’ll modify each exercise we do,” Dimsa said. “One will be tailored to beginners and the other will be tailored to people of higher fitness levels.”
In order to make the different modifications for each exercise more effective, Dimsa said the program will have two instructors leading the class.