Remember the days when challenges meant something fun – not something to overcome? The older we get, the more overwhelming our challenges can seem. But the Cougar Fit Summer 2022 Challenge changes all that – at least when it comes to our fitness and health!

The Cougar Fit Summer 2022 Challenge offers College of Charleston faculty and staff who are feeling a little overwhelmed with their fitness goals a great way to not just get started, but continue their fitness journey and see their progress along the way.

“It’s hard to get into a fitness routine, whether it’s been a few months or a few weeks since you last worked out,” says Sara Coleman ’17, Fitness Coordinator for Campus Recreation Services. “But, even if you feel weak and tired, you will find that strength and fitness again. You just need to know where to start. »

Sara Coleman, Fitness Coordinator for Campus Recreation Services

And, to help faculty and staff find their personal starting point, Coleman has created a series of assessment tests that can be taken at work or at home to measure their fitness level and set practical fitness goals. fitness for summer.

“Knowing the specifics can help you set realistic fitness goals, monitor your progress, and maintain motivation,” says Coleman, Certified Fitness Specialist (Trident Tech), Certified Exercise Specialist (NASM), Certified Strength and Conditioning (NSCA), Certified Personal Trainer (ACE) and Group Fitness Instructor (ACSM) with a Masters in Health, Exercise and Sport Science. “Once you know your starting point, you can plan where you want to go.”

The challenge – which faculty and staff can take on individually, in pairs, or as a department/group – is tailored to participants’ fitness level and work situation: whether employees are working from home or traveling to the campus.

“For those who choose to do the one here at work, you would do all of the assessments here with me as proctor,” Coleman says. “At-home attendees will receive a detailed email, with weekly check-ins from you.”

One-hour assessments include a one-minute curl-up test, a sit-up test, and the choice of a 1.5-mile jog or a one-mile walk. Vital signs such as blood pressure and resting/exercise/recovery heart rate, as well as information such as weight, height, VO2 max and BMI, will also be recorded.

Additionally, challenge participants will set individual weekly accountability goals, and all results will be submitted to Coleman to hold participants accountable.

“The results can then be used to set fitness goals over the summer, track your progress, and hold you accountable,” says Coleman. “Any positive adjustment for your health is a good goal. By having a goal, we have something to achieve and, in turn, this helps us feel more optimistic because having clear goals makes us feel less stressed and lessens self-imposed feelings of failure. Having a clear direction allows us to feel like we have control over our lives and creates a positive mindset that is crucial to achieving our goals.

Sara Coleman teaches HIIT

Sara Coleman 2017 gives a Cougar Fit class.

The first round of assessments runs through June 3, 2022, with reassessments conducted between Cougar Fit Summer Session 1 (June 6-29) and Summer Session 2 (July 6-August 3). ), then again at the end of the Cougar Fit 2 summer session.

RELATED: Learn more about Cougar Fit, the free group fitness class designed just for faculty and staff.

Cougar Fit is a free circuit training/HIIT class designed just for faculty and staff to provide a fitness challenge for all fitness levels and focuses on strength training and cardiovascular exercises for maximum weight loss and metabolic stimulation, along with correct form and technique. for injury prevention.

Starting Monday, June 6, 2022, 45-minute classes will take place at 5:15 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays in the George Street Gym classroom.

Cougar Fit Summer Session 1 (June 6-29) will focus on core strength and flexibility and, of course, cardio.

“We want to rebuild what we may have lost during the semester,” says Coleman, noting that the course will include regressive and advanced exercises. “This session will be for all levels and will definitely be sweat sessions to bring back our individual strength.”

RELATED: Learn more about Coleman’s workouts and how she earned the nickname, Angel of Death.

After a break (June 30-July 5), Cougar Fit Summer Session 2 (July 6-August 3) will focus on functional fitness, incorporating more resistance equipment.

“We’ll incorporate more resistance equipment and learn how we can use our new strength and apply it to our daily lives,” says Coleman, adding that both sessions will focus on the fundamentals of fitness: balance, endurance, strength and flexibility.

“If your foundation is not good, you cannot improve. That’s why we’re going to go back to the basics – so we can then move on to the fun stuff,” she says, noting that by the end of the summer, attendees will feel accomplished and motivated – something that deserves credit. to be famous. “As I always say, exercise should be a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment.”

And that’s how you make a challenge fun again!


Participation in the challenge is not mandatory to attend Cougar Fit classes. To stay up to date on faculty/staff group fitness offerings – and to access additional workouts, fitness tips and facts – email the Assistant Director of Fitness Bucky Buchanan ’08 at [email protected] to access the Faculty and Staff Fitness Teams page.

To participate in the Cougar Fit Summer 2022 Challenge, email Sara Coleman at [email protected] for the schedule and details for your first assessment.

Remember to bring your Cougar card to all classes and assessments.