March 18, 2010

YMCA weight lifting helps at many levels

DEBORAH SAYER

— By

News Assistant

A ''Rock, Iron, Steel Weight Lifting Competition'' held at the Biddeford YMCA recently was intended to spark some healthy competition between members of the Northern York County Family YMCA in Biddeford and the Sanford-Springvale YMCA.

The contest also helped weight lifters press through some personal physical plateaus and challenge their endurance levels.

But it proved to be such a draw that YMCA officials plan to offer it annually.

''Our fitness director Jenn Wilson wanted to challenge their fitness level,'' said Michael Froning, marketing director for the YMCAs. ''A weight training regimen really engages your whole body to get stronger. And its a good social opportunity.''

During the contest, competitors vied for top lifting honors in categories including squats, bench presses, dead lifts, push ups and pull ups. Each was required to weigh in and lift a percentage of their individual body weight. They earned points based on the number of repetitions successfully completed in each event with those scoring the most points declared winners in successive categories.

Taking top honors for overall best female and male, respectively, were Biddeford YMCA member Stephanie D'Amico, a mother of two, and Sanford YMCA member Bruce Emmons.

''Stephanie is very fit,'' said Froning. ''She did 156 squats, besting both men and women, and setting a personal best record.''

In addition to raising the bar on physical fitness, lifters paid a participation fee to raise funds benefitting YMCA programs for the community.

The programming is paid for by annual campaigns, that, this year alone, raised more than $90,0000 to directly benefit the community.

Froning said the mission of the YMCAs is to make the community stronger through improving people.

''Our resources are centered on helping individuals become stronger, body, soul and spirit,'' he said.

News Assistant Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 282-8228 or at:

dsayer@pressherald.com

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