The Barrie Kettle Club has organized a special workout class with an unusual payment for entry: a donation of food.
The club calls the donation-only class the "Be The Change Workout."
The donation, which will be given to the Barrie Food Bank, gets you a 30-45 minute kettle bell workout.
Strength coach and co-owner of the Barrie Kettle Bell Club Chris Presta said they decided to offer the class because as an organization they wanted to give back to the community.
“We really feel that to inspire people to change, we need to start being the change as well,” said Presta, who noted that the club has a close-knit community of members. "We wanted to make sure we’re representing ourselves as being socially conscious and community-minded."
In addition to giving back to the community, Presta said the class was also a way to attract new people to kettle bell training, which can appear intimidating from the outside looking in.
“We have people from young to old doing our training. Kettle bell training is definitely challenging, which can be a good thing for somebody who’s looking for a new challenge. Even for a beginner it’s a great way to start doing some more functional type training and really build on movement patterns.”
Presta, who is also training to be a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, said the "Be The Change" course has run for over a year and has great participation.
“Since a month or two into it, we’ve had just a solid core group of regulars who come," said Presta. "But peppered in once in a while, we get new people checking it out or new people coming in to our club to experience it.”
Shawn Charlebois, also a strength coach and co-owner of the Barrie Kettle Bell Club, agreed that the free class has been a definite success.
“We have donated five or six full bins [of food] already, and that’s not including the food donation rally we did on top of that. That is over 300 pounds of food that we raised. We’re giving everything we can back to the Barrie Food Bank and also supporting this authentic movement and art form [of Kettle Bell Training] that we love so much. We’re taking our passion and we’re doing a really good thing at the same time.”
Charlebois said the club caters its workouts to both newcomers and people with more experience.
“For a newcomer, we would make the workout 100 per cent appropriate because, we don’t want to scare people, nor are we interested in injuring anybody," he said. "But if it’s for a group of regulars, we hammer them and they love it.”
Danielle Talaska is one of the participants in the class and has been going every week for the last eight months.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s really interactive because everything we do is like free weights and body, so you’re not tied down to a machine. You’re really moving around using everything, using all the tools and your whole body,” said Talaska. "And Chris and Shawn are so much fun."
She also likes the idea of donating food that will benefit community members in need.
“It’s fun to see those bins fill up over a couple weeks. I like to donate baby food," she said. "I have researched and found that the food bank can be low on that, so I definitely like to bring in a lot of baby food."
Find more information on the Barrie Kettle Bell Club, here.