Tirefit program builds practical strength

Flipping and throwing tires, and martial arts kicks and punches are part of a new MMA/tirefit exercise program started in Terrace BC.

Basil Morgan flips one of the big tires used in the tirefit/MMA exercise program run in The Clubhouse on the west end of Park Street in Terrace.

Running through tire courses, stacking, flipping and throwing tires, and pushing and pulling tires with ropes are some of the exercises involved in a new exercise program recently started in Terrace.

They also line up on large mats, arm themselves with boxing gloves, and drill through martial arts exercises, learning to punch and kick with power and precision.

Though somewhat unorthodox, the MMA/tirefit exercise program run by The Clubhouse in Terrace is all about getting in shape and learning self defence and has grown from 10 to 20 people since it started in December.

Fitness coach Tony Rutledge says that people sign up for the classes with different goals, some wanting to improve fitness, some to improve their physique, and others to learn self-defence.

“It’s not about my goals. It’s about their goals,” said Rutledge.

“If you come in for fitness… when you’re punching I won’t come over to you and go ‘oh, your shoulders should be over here, your arms like this.’… People are very specific about what they want… it is usually either fitness or self-defence,” he said.

The MMA/tirefit classes are twice a week and different every day, and Rutledge says he focuses differently with individuals to help them achieve their goals.

Utilizing old tires, the exercises do not specifically focus on one muscle like working out with gym equipment, rather they build practical, whole body strength, Rutledge said.

“You could have really strong biceps, but absolutely useless triceps,” he said, adding that it does not make sense with the normal body structure.

Rutledge says that the tire circuits involve movements that people will use in every day life, like bending to lift things, pushing a cart or a stroller, or pulling a sled behind them.

Denise Manion, who started exercising through Rutledge’s programs last August, and joined MMA/tirefit when it started, says she likes it because “it’s fun and it works.”

“I like how he teaches,” Manion said of Rutledge. “He’s usually quite interactive… [and] his humour really helps pull me through a tough, gruelling workout.”

She adds that he is constantly changing routines and rotating in new exercises.

“He keeps adding new things to it… it’s not just the same mundane workout,” she said.

Manon said that she despises traditional cardio exercise like jogging and has not done organized sports or martial arts previously, yet she enjoys the multi-purpose exercises and martial arts of this program.

The self-defence skills are a nice side effect for her, and she says it’s nice to know.