HOUGHTON - Laura Sayen doesn't need to lose weight, but she does want to get better muscle tone, so she's taking part in the Portage Health Fitness Center Adventure Boot Camp.
Sayen said she doesn't mind the fact the exercise classes start before most people are out of their houses for the day.
"Early in the morning, it feels great having your workout done for the day," she said.
Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
The Portage Health Fitness Center Adventure Boot Camp was held at Houghton pavilion on the Portage Canal on Monday. The exercise program uses common items, such as tires, balls and raised platforms, to provide aerobic and muscle-building exercises. Although 32 people are part of the first session of exercises, not all of them take part each day.
After having three sons, Sayen said she feels a need to get toned up, and the exercise program is helping her do that.
"I have to be in better shape than they are," she said.
The six-week Adventure Boot Camp is run by Angela Luskin, Portage Health director of community health, and Emily Johnson, personal trainer at the fitness center, and Johnson said the exercise program started June 13 as a result of an idea she had to use the Hancock and Houghton area as a background.
"I knew there was a lot of opportunity for exercise here," she said. "We just wanted to get creative and get people outdoors."
Despite a chilly, rainy Tuesday morning, the nine women taking part in the exercises did so with enthusiasm.
Johnson said the exercises are both aerobic and strength building, and use common items, such as car and truck tires for lifting and for hitting with a sledge hammer, a raised platform for jumping, jump ropes and a rope ladder laid on the ground for agility exercises. Some exercises, such as push-ups and sprint running, just use the body.
"It's a creative way to exercise," Johnson said. "Anytime you move the body in a different way than it's used to, you're going to see results."
The current session for the program will run to July 22, Johnson said, and the next session will start July 25 and run to Sept. 1.
Johnson said the group for the inaugural session for the Adventure Boot Camp has 32 members, but not all of them take part in each workout.
Doing the workouts in groups was intentional, Johnson said.
"It helps people feel like they're part of something," she said. "It creates friendships."
Although the first group of participants includes only two men, Johnson said the program is meant for everybody, and men are urged to join.
Most of the participants said they wanted to lose 10 to 15 pounds, Johnson said, and a few said they wanted to lose as much as 30 pounds.
The program is meant for people who have been exercising regularly for a while, Johnson said. Those participants who said they want to lose 30 pounds may have hit an exercise "plateau," and the program should help them.
"To challenge them like this is a great way to push them to where they wouldn't have been otherwise," she said.
Participants can tell if the program is helping them with their fitness goals, Johnson said, because baseline recordings of weight, body measurements and range of movement are taken.
There are two workout sessions four days per week, Johnson said. The sessions are from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 to 8:15 a.m., but participants don't seem to mind the earliness.
"Morning seems to be the best for most people," she said. "They get up before their kids."
Johnson said the cost for the Adventure Boot Camp is $150 for six weeks. To sign up for the next session, call Johnson or Luskin at 483-1149. The two organizers want 20 participants for the next session from July 25 to Sept. 1. Participants need bring only themselves and a water bottle.
Participant Jessica Keys said she also wanted to develop muscle tone, and the program provides a good workout.
"For anybody who isn't an avid exerciser, this is great," she said. "This is something that's fun. It's different every day."