Fifty men fighting fat

By Poppy Solomon

Fifty men hungry to lose weight have been training under TAFE students – and the results are heavy.

Mooloolaba TAFE fitness teacher Paul Barr said he and the Sunshine Coast Council set up the program as a challenge to encourage men to live healthily.

Mr Barr said the group began over a month ago with testing for their measurements, strength and endurance.

With two weeks to go, he said one participant has already lost 8.5cm around his waist.

“At the end of the challenge, we will test them all again, and we have prizes for the winner,” he said.

The free challenge is part of Mooloolaba TAFE’s focus on Men’s Health Week, which draws attention to the seven in 10 Queensland men at risk of becoming overweight or obese.

Mr Barr’s sports development students run the challenge, offering group and individual advice and training.

Student Moa Prankell said the focus was on customised training methods.

“It’s free from the Sunshine Coast Council, so it can help anyone – you don’t need money to pay for a personal trainer,” she said.

Fellow student Patrik Drury said he trained five men once or twice a week.

“We see people from many different jobs … people who are working at a desk all day and they don’t know what good posture looks like,” he said.

“They don’t know how to train or take care of the body.”

He said the training helps people with issues such as lower back pain.

“They have more energy at the end of the day to do other things, like be with their grandchildren or own kids,” he said.

“By helping them it’s absolutely beneficial to their daily life.”

Mr Drury said many of the participants were signed up to the challenge by their wives.

“Maybe it’s because most men are stubborn,” he said.

“We always give them homework to do, like go out and do a powerwalk.

“It’s always better to do a powerwalk than sit still for a whole day, so we give them basic exercises to do on their own.”

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