Lakenheath program keeps youths from letting up on fitness in summer
August 6, 2008
RAF LAKENHEATH — Instead of sleeping in and taking it easy during the summer, Anthony Goosby is hitting the gym at least three mornings a week.
"Getting up is the hardest, but I wanted to stay in shape over summer," said Anthony, 15, one of about 30 teens sweating it out as part of the youth summer fitness program at RAF Lakenheath.
Through a combination of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training, the teens are getting fit and learning how to navigate the gym, which can be intimidating for most adults, much less kids.
Doug Rean, who will be a freshman next year at Lakenheath High, said he signed up for the grueling fitness program to prepare for the upcoming football season.
"I didn’t want to get out there and throw up or anything. I want to be ready," said the 14-year-old, who said he now feels comfortable in the weight room, which is typically the most daunting part of the gym for newcomers.
The conditioning — including running, calisthenics, stretching, weightlifting and a bit of martial arts — has Doug feeling stronger already.
"My dad said I’m getting better at throwing the football," he said. "And pushing him around, too."
Instructors have been emphasizing proper form and technique along with safety tips. Still, the boot camp-like regime has pushed the teens.
"It’s been very intense," said Darren Hart, an instructor and personal trainer at the RAF Lakenheath gym. "During the summer, kids tend to take their foot off the gas pedal. But not here with us."
And that is exactly why Paul Federinko, 14, signed up.
"They push you so it’s much easier to work out and test your limits than by yourself," he said.
The program wraps up this week just in time to give the teens a few weeks off before the start of school, although most said they’d continue hitting the gym the rest of the summer.