Five teams of five stepped up to the plate Saturday morning to attempt Heritage Park Fitness’s 1,000 Rep Challenge.
The competition started with 100 pull-ups inside the gym. Once completed, teams sprinted out the front door, ran up Wampum Drive to complete 200 shoulder presses. After knocking out the shoulder presses, teams continued along Farm-to-Market 2410 and ran one lap around Carl Levin Park before tackling 300 bar push-ups. With only one more feat left, challengers took their final lap around the park, ran back down FM 2410 to face their final obstacle — 400 deadlifts.
“This, right here, will determine the winner because the run has taken its toll and their muscles are tired,” said Mike Sheppard, gym owner, about the final station. “This is the break-off point.”
Before the challenge got underway, Kristen Dunlap, wellness coordinator for the gym, reminded participants if tasks proved too difficult to complete as stated in the rules, time penalties would be issued if participants needed to use a rubber band to complete push ups, opted to switch from push ups to chin ups or needed to drop weight during deadlifts.
Teams powered through the pull-ups, but started to lose their momentum once they fell victim to the 5-kilometer run and muscle fatigue started to sink in.
Unwilling to back down, Team Naughty Body pushed through the pain and took no penalties, ringing the bell back inside the gym at 57 minutes and 56 seconds, two minutes before Team InHuman.
The all-male team dominated the challenge, but lost its lead at the deadlift station, allowing the co-ed team to edge them out at the very end.
“The fitness angels blessed us to come together,” said Tatiana Dudley, a member of Team Naughty Body. “Our strategy was to pace ourselves and give it all we got. We really complemented each other well.”
For fellow teammate Jeremy Zitzka, winning was just a bonus. “I like competitions because I am a fitness freak,” he said. “My mentality was just to finish and use this as a test because I’ve been going to rehab for my shoulder and back.”