McDevitt wins Transformation Challenge
The older Jeff McDevitt gets the more he realizes how important it is to keep himself in good physical condition.
"I have three kids that I am trying to keep up with so I need to be fit," said McDevitt, who was named winner, recently, of the Camrose Fitness Centre's inaugural fitness challenge.
McDevitt lost between 25 and 30 pounds over the eight weeks the challenge ran and packed on some additional muscle mass. He also learned that he could ward off hunger pangs that typically occur later in the day by eating good, high protein breakfasts.
"I think my eating habits are what have changed the most," he said.
"I am eating breakfasts now and my food portions are a lot better than they were."
The Transformation Challenge had 13 participants who paid a registration fee of $20 a piece to see who, in the eyes of judges, could most improve their overall strength and fitness. As the winner, McDevitt was able to pocket half of the $260 in registration fees and donate the remaining amount to the Camrose Open Door Association.
"We didn't have as many registrations as we were hoping for but it was our first year of doing it," said Camrose Fitness Centre supervisor Deanna Roper.
"We will know how to market it better next year."
Transformation Challenge participants were judged on the basis of photos they submitted of themselves at the start of the challenge on May 2 and its conclusion June 27.
"It was a little bit intimidating for a lot of them to submit pictures of themselves and be accountable not just to themselves but to others as well," said Fitness Centre coordinator Jalene Johnsen.
The challenge was held in conjunction with a twice a week class which provided instruction on how to increase body mass through a combination of body weight exercises and resistance training.
"The challenge and the classes were ways that we could stress that transforming your body is not just about cardiovascular exercise," said Roper. "A lot of people think that in order to lose weight you have to increase your cardiovascular, which is important, because your heart is a muscle. But to actually maintain your weight you need to do weight and resistance training, because when you do increase your body mass you also increase your metabolic rate and are able to burn more calories throughout the day."
McDevitt started the competition doing a lot of weight training but switched to more cardiovascular workouts in the second half in preparation for his participation in the Ride to Conquer Cancer event.
"I feel I did pretty well over the eight-week stretch but I think I still have a long way to go," he said.
Camrose Fitness Centre provided encouragement throughout the Transformation Challenge by posting "workouts of the week" and recipes on Facebook.
"We tried as much as possible to help them along the way," said Johnsen.
Camrose Open Door executive director Randal Nickel, who accepted a cheque from McDevitt, said the Transformation Challenge fits well with The Open Door's mission.
"What we are doing is helping people transform their lives," said Nickel.