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Health Matters

Teen Weight Trainer: Getting Youth in the Gym

March 1st, 2016

By Eden Boutilier

Attending a fitness centre for the first time can be an overwhelming experience to many. We often find ourselves asking questions like: How do I complete this exercise properly? What does this machine do? What should I do next?

The Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre (SSWC) at Keyano College understands the frustrations that entering a new and strange environment can have on members, especially teenagers. Starting off on the right foot at a fitness facility can increase teen confidence and decrease the risk of injury. To address these concerns the Be Fit for Life Centre (BBFL), located in the SSWC, runs a specialized program called Teen Weight Trainer.

This program introduces teens, ages 13-15, to the foundations of weight training including machines, free weights and weight room etiquette. Graduates gain confidence in an organized fitness centre setting and an understanding of proper weight training.

“The Teen Weight Trainer course explores not only how to keep a well-balanced fitness routine but also guidelines that can be used for all types of training,” explains Julie Hurd, and Personal Trainer at the SSWC, Keyano College. “Ensuring that teens are using safe and effective lifting techniques not only keeps them from getting injured but also helps them see results with their training.”

Julie explains that creating a variety of options for teens and youth within the community is important to help keep them active for life. She says that typically when fitness activities are introduced at a young age youth are more active throughout their lifetime. Not only is a gym based fitness routine helpful for young athletes, but also for those that want to increase fitness and health benefits without a competitive setting.

“Taking this course increases confidence by giving teens the fundamentals and tools necessary for success. Making sure that they are comfortable with equipment and knowing where to go for help when needed is essential for them to be successful with their training,” says Julie.

The course covers the different areas of fitness, why they are important, and how to balance these areas. The program is a prerequisite for unsupervised youth to use the Long Boat Landing Fitness Centre.

Julie continues: “As we go through the Course information we answer any questions to help students have a full understanding of the material. Once they complete the course there is a short quiz to ensure that they remember vital points for safe and efficient gym practices.”

The course runs the first Friday of every month from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., unless it falls over a major holiday. The Teen Weight Trainer course is $20 for members and $30 for non-members. More information can be found online at or by contacting SSWC Guest Services at 780-791-7792.

Eden Boutilier is a young McMurray professional with a passion for writing. As the communications coordinator for Keyano College, she can often be found sharing newsworthy and uplifting articles about higher education events, Huskies Athletics, and the Keyano Theatre and Art Centre.  Originally from the east-coast, Eden hold a Bachelors of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and enjoys sharing her skills and knowledge with her new home, Fort McMurray.

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