Barry Westerkamp, co-owner at Pella's Anytime Fitness (ATF), has a passion for changing lives. His passion is so strong he, along with his business partners Dave and Lori Melhus, has developed a 'challenge' for those in Pella.
"It's called Ultimate Fitness Challenge (UFC) Pella," he said. "It is an eight-week body transformation challenge."
Westerkamp knew what people wanted and decided to develop something new to fit those needs.
"A lot of people aren't looking to do something long-term initially," he said. "They are looking for something more short-term, with a start and a finish."
That's what this challenge provides Westerkamp explains. The group, which began on January 20, will be challenged for eight weeks.
"We will go hard for eight weeks," Westerkamp said. "This is similar to other concepts but it's our programing. We need five days a week, which includes three days of resistance training and two days of cardio conditioning. We will do kick boxing and other athletic based drills. It's a good combination and will also include a nutrition component within the challenge. People will see the most change with that (component)."
Westerkamp stresses that this is not a quick fix diet and will not include any sort of supplements.
"We want to teach them good habits to eat and a proper way to work out," he said. "A lot of people think cardio is the way to go with treadmills and elliptical machines. That's not where they should start, if they want to lose fat. We want to get people in the right frame of mind for a body transformation and doing the right kind of workout programs."
UFC Pella offers a group setting and allows for camaraderie during the workouts.
"Since we started last week, I am most excited to see the improvement just from day one to now (Friday)," Westerkamp said. "A total of 21 people are participating in the challenge, which is being held at two different times, 5 a.m. (13 people) and 6 p.m. (8 people)."
The challenge is held in the 'Body Barn' located across the alley behind Anytime Fitness on the west side of the Pella square.
"It's a 1,700 square foot facility," Westerkamp said. "The challenge is open to all fitness levels and we are able to make modifications to the challenge to fit each person. The challenge is designed for a beginner that wants to do something, but just isn't sure what to do. Non-members are allowed in the challenge and are encouraged to give it a try. It's not overly intense. It will be a hard workout out, but not over the top. We do things in the safe manner."
Pella ATF has certified coaches monitoring the sessions and making sure each person is doing the correct techniques.
"We also use the MYZONE™ Heart Rate Monitor," Westerkamp said. "It's used to track the effort of each person and is shown on a large television mounted on the wall that everyone can see. It's a very sophisticated system."
Westerkamp, who has been at Pella ATF since 2007 and in the fitness industry since 2004, became co-owner of Pella ATF in November 2011.
"I got into the business as a personal trainer to begin with," he said. "My mission is to help as many lives as possible in the area. This venture allows me to do more of that kind of thing. I want people to have health and fitness goals. I am passionate about it and I have a great staff that embodies that mission and was to accomplish the same goals I do."
Wetserkamp hopes to host the challenge once a quarter, although details are still being discussed for future challenges.
"We encourage anyone who wants to transform themselves to participate," he said. "It's a great way to get involved and make that commitment. A lot of people have goals, they just don't know the path they should take. They know they want to workout, but don't know what to do otherwise."
Westerkamp also sees the challenge as a way to offer guidance for workouts and proper nutrition.
"It's a perfect scenario" he said. "There is so much information out there. But people don't need information, they need guidance. I always hear, 'What do I need to do?' Our vision is to offer multiple options for people."