A woman standing on the rooftop of the Fayetteville Public Library looks out across the green, lush Boston Mountains and jumps … onto a fitness mat.
The immersive experience of nature was merged with fitness at an Urban Challenge hosted by Clubhaus Fitness Saturday morning in Fayetteville. The event is a part of the 2013 Artosphere Festival.
A total of 16 contenders began with a warm up at Clubhaus Fitness with Treece before performing a variety of weight lifting, cycling and running exercises from the top of the Dickson Street garage at the guidance of Joy Irvin; the Frisco Trail; the Fayetteville Public Library rooftop guided by Bryce Anderson; and Greenhouse Grille with Richard Surrette.
“Some (competitors) will be racing today, some will be racing against themselves and others will be doing it at their leisure,” said Amanda Treece, Ignite Health Coach at Clubhaus Fitness.
The urban challenge is the first race of its kind given by Clubhaus and is great for people who have a hard time staying indoors or are just looking for a change of pace.
“Last weekend we did an event in Walker Park on a smaller scale, but this is our first urban challenge,” said Richard Surrette, a personal trainer at Clubhaus Fitness. “Any chance I get to workout outside, I take it. I don’t blame that mindset at all.”
Paul Hatch, a member of Clubhaus Fitness, said his wife signed him up for the race and seemed pleasantly surprised at the moderate difficulty level of the challenge.
“This is such a nice change (from working out inside),” Hatch said. “We added like a half (of) a mile onto it.”
Because the challenge was the first of its kind at Clubhaus, employees were interested in the flow of events and how easy or difficult the course was to navigate. Hatch and his running partner didn’t quite see the connection to the final station in the challenge, so his experience is valuable feedback that will help form the next urban challenge experience.
“We’ll try to add some components to make it more challenging next time,” said Joy Irvin, a personal trainer at Clubhaus and former boxing professional.
Among the most challenging aspects of the experience was having stations that required working out the same region of the body as a previous station, competitors said, though it was not necessarily a criticism. Some of the people involved in the event prefer the chance to really hone in and push their limits with a certain area.
That’s the good thing about the “break between stations,” Irvin said. “You have a break in between (while you’re walking/running to the next station) to recover, then hit it again.”
Warm-ups included a quick set of 50 kicks to a concrete curb; a set of alternating movements to lift long, jump rope like tentacles, creating waves; and a few good stretches on a pilates machine.
From the top of the Dickson Street Garage, competitors began with stationary cycling, progressed to a set of burpees (jump up, down in position as if you were doing a push-up, bring legs forward and then back before repeating), and finished the segment with a running exercise similar to a basketball player’s three cone drill, where a person must run to a certain point, pivot and return to their starting point before running to the next, further point.
On the top of the Fayetteville Public Library, urban challengers used row machines and did “wall-ball” squats, in which you’re asked to throw a large, weighted ball, bounce it off the wall as you do a squat and catch it on your way back to a standing position, a “bunny” exercise that is a series of hops onto and off of fitness mats, and “mountain climbers”- an exercise that requires switching legs from a folded to elongated position constantly from a push-up stance, as if the floor is a (horizontal) climbing wall.
At Greenhouse Grille’s concrete landing, fitness enthusiasts completed 15 “slamball” movements by leveraging a weighted ball above their heads and dropping it; completed 15 kettleball thrusters by lifting a kettleball, which is a cast iron weight, 30 TRX rows by pulling on bands that were fixed to a parked Jeep and took a set of alternating steps onto fitness mats (45 seconds of the foot on the mat, 45 seconds of the foot off the mat).