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The Implications of Physical

Fitness on Employment and

Effectiveness in the Outdoor
Recreation Field:

A training guide for students

preparing for a career in recreation.

by Codi Marsh
OLRM Capstone 491, Fall 2008
Western State College of Colorado
Table of Contents

Introduction: how this project got its start.

Chapter 1:
Student Resources for Physical Condition Testing

Chapter 2:
Goal Setting- how to get where you want to be
without overdoing it

Chapter 3:
(Realistic) Nutrition and Meal Planning

Chapter 4:
Designing Fitness Plans for Peak Conditioning

Chapter 5:
Physical Fitness in the Field- & what professionals
have to say about it

Works Cited

o Beginner 8 week training plan
o Intermediate 8week training plan
o Advanced 8 week training plan
o Suggested Exercises

As graduation draws closer (May 2009 for me) I have begun to notice that
while I feel college has prepared me intellectually and I have a good base of
outdoor skills and experience to claim, I have gained more than a couple of bad
habits during my college career and let my physical fitness and performance fall
by the wayside (i.e. a few too many beer and fish taco nights). This realization
made me wonder, will employers in the recreation field consider my physical
condition when looking to hire? Is this an aspect of competitive employment that
is acknowledged or unacknowledged in our field? And how can I prepare myself
to be in peak condition to go out into the field?
With these burning questions at hand, I set out to find answers by picking
the brains of some accomplished professionals in the field and through
investigation of current statistics on how weight/fitness affects employment in all
fields. However, this just didn’t seem like enough, surely I could put this research
into practice by altering my own life and beginning to reach for better physical
condition before I embark into a career. My goal was to use myself as a “guinea
pig” and to find out what would really work, be doable and realistic, and make a
difference in the lifestyle of a student preparing for the “real world” (keeping in
mind that this means zero extra money for things like personal trainers,
nutritionists, etc.).
Although this continues to be a journey for me, and has included a good
deal of trial and error, I believe that through this project I have been able to
compile some very helpful and easy-to-use guidelines for anyone hoping to
achieve better conditioning. Later on in this guide I will discuss the details of a
training plan and why fitness is important for outdoor leadership long after
This project has been a great deal about making fitness a holistic part of
my daily wellbeing, mostly because out trips and the occasional expedition just
weren’t cutting the mustard for me. I hope that this guide will provide some
meaningful insight into making lifestyle changes as a college recreation student.
Chapter 1:
Student Resources for Physical Condition Testing
Though everyone steps into a training program from a different starting
point, whether you are a bomber rock climber or barely jogger it is a good idea to
assess your current level of cardio fitness and strength for a variety of reasons.
One, to be able to know what level and progression to begin working out at, and
two, because we often have a distorted idea of how physically fit we are and
condition testing is a good way to take an objective look at where you actually
stand as well as give you some concrete figures for how you are progressing
later on. In addition you will discover where your weaknesses lie and what
workouts to do to improve them.
Before we start out with how to do condition testing, I would like to fill you
in on the options available to you as a student. As a college student there are
some incredible resources and opportunities at your fingertips that probably will
not be available to you after leaving campus. Just think about it, where else can
you meet with such a diverse group of people every day and rub elbows with
some of the best and the brightest in every area of study. Also, colleges often
provide state of the art facilities for athletes with top-notch training and testing
capabilities. At Western State College (WSC) for example, we have the unique
High Altitude Performance or HAP Lab facility for testing everything from basic
fitness level, heart rate, body fat %, to the oxygen exchange rate in your lungs at
your level of fitness in high altitude.
As part of this project I have been using the HAP lab to gage my fitness
through out this 3-month initial period of training. During this process I have
found out that people within the physical fitness department (or Exercise and
Sport Science department at WSC) have been extremely eager to help me
design a training program and monitor my success because many students need
to be involved in learning the process of testing people, and in some cases need
to earn hours working in the lab in order to graduate. I highly recommend getting
in contact with the head of your Sport Sciences department or professors in the
department in order to see if there are any students in need of valuable training
or testing experience. Chances are someone will be more than willing to work
with you…for free! In other words, be willing to be a guinea pig for other students
and staff- you may be helping them out too.
(At the end of this chapter I will provide contact information for the ESS
department and HAP Lab manager contacts at WSC.)

Another option for condition testing if a facility like this is unavailable, or if

you just feel more comfortable doing it on your own, is self-fitness testing.
Consider doing a self-fitness test like “The Cooper Institute’s Aerobic Fitness
Test” which I will provide on the following page.
Take this fitness test before beginning your training program and then
every 4-5 weeks after the initial testing. Record how you did and how you felt on
the scorecard provided. When you retest in following weeks you should see
noticeable improvements in your scores and feel a boost in confidence and ability
as you keep pushing on!

First you’ll need to test your overall strength abilities- this is a breakdown
of how to test strength- record your results on the score card (pg.?)

1. Upper-Body Test. Do as many bent-knee (for women) or full plank

push-ups (for men) as you can do with good form- there is no time

2. Lower-Body Test. Do as many chair squats as you can with good

form- there is no time limit. Stand in front of a sturdy chair, feet hip-
width apart. Cross arms over chest. Keeping body weight over heels,
lower torso until the back of your thighs touch the chair seat. Take four
seconds to lower down and two seconds to stand up.

3. Abdominal Test. Do as many crunches as you can in one minute with

good form. Lay face up with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place
hands behind head with your fingers touching but not clasped. Curl
your head, neck, and then shoulders up until your shoulder blades are
not touching the floor then lower shoulders back down.
For the cardio segment of the test, time yourself as you run, jog, or walk
for one and a half miles on flat terrain –you can be outdoors or on a treadmill. Do
your best but don’t over exert yourself. Before you do the test and after you
finish, take a couple minutes to walk for warm up and cool down.


Upper Body Abdominals

______Number of push-ups ______Number of crunches

How I felt afterward_______ How I felt afterward_______

________________________ ________________________

Lower Body Cardio

______Number of chair squats ______Time

How I felt afterward_______ How I felt afterward_______

________________________ ________________________

What the numbers mean

Upper-Body Lower-Body Abdominal Walk/Run

Strength Strength Strength Time
(push-ups) (chair squats) (crunches) (cardio)

Excellent 33 or more 25 or more 48 or more Below 12:50

Good 22-32 20-24 37-47 12:51-14:23
Average 10-21 15-19 25-36 14:24-15:25
Fair 0-9 10-14 13-24 ““
Poor 0 0-9 0-13 Above 15:26

**For men- add 6 reps to each level (i.e. excellent in push-ups would be 39 and
up) and excellent 1.5 mile time for men is below 10:50 (good would be 10:51-
12:51 and so on through poor).
Another helpful indicator of where you stand against the national average of
other men or women of your height and weight is the Body Mass Index
calculation or BMI. BMI takes place of measuring your body fat directly, like they
could do in a lab, but according to the US center for Disease control, research
has shown that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat, such as
underwater weighing and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).1, 2 BMI can be
considered an alternative for direct measures of body fat, and best of all it is free!

There are many resources for free online BMI calculators that will do the math for
you and give you recommendations for your BMI category. The most official
calculator (as in one that isn’t on a diet page trying to sell you products) can be
found at the following web address on the US Center for Disease Control &

If you are interested in how the calculation works, or don’t have access to the
internet here is the formula and breakdown of the results.

BMI Formula:
weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703
Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared
and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5’5” (65")_Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 =

Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Up Obese

To contact the WSC ESS Department Head email:

o Scott Drum at

o HAP Lab Manager Tom Githens,
Chapter 2:
Goal Setting- how to get where you want to be…
without overdoing it.

Now that you know where you are starting, just how is it that you find out
how you get to where you want to be? The only and most powerful way to see a
big change and to get the results that you hope for is to have clear-cut,
motivating, and realistic goals. For me, one of the most inspirational resources
for goal setting- specifically for fitness- comes from Tom Venuto, a professional
weight lifter and coach in his e-book, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (BFFM).
Although I will refer to his methods for goal setting throughout this chapter, I
highly recommend reading his book for a greater and more in-depth look at goal
setting and much more.

“You see, there is a simple, but critical procedure you must complete before you
lift a weight, jog a mile, start a nutrition program or even set foot in the gym. If
you successfully complete this procedure, the nutrition and training will come
easy and a lean body will soon follow. If you ignore this step – like most people
do - you are destined to fail no matter what you do or how hard you try. This
crucial first step is goal setting. “
-Tom Venuto, BFFM

Positive thinking without action will never produce results, that is why highly
emotional and motivating goals must be set to kick-start every action you take
towards achieving peak condition. Goals must be put into writing and read often
so that the subconscious will be programmed toward those goals, and so that
negative self-talk will not stand up to the powerful goal imbedded in your mind
and body.

“Like the ship’s crew, your subconscious mind accepts every command your
conscious mind gives it – its sole purpose is to obey and carry out your orders,
even if you give stupid ones like “I’ll never see my abs.” – Tom Venuto, BFFM

As outlined in his book, Venuto guides us through an 11-step method to setting

meaningful and directing goals I will briefly express each step.

Step 1: Set Specific Goals.

It is far less helpful to set vague, unclear goals like “I want to lose weight” or “I
want to get in shape for the field” than setting concrete goals that are specific
right down to the digit. Some examples that Venuto presents are:
Exactly how many pounds do you want to lose? When do you want to complete
your goal? How much body fat do you want to lose? How much do you want to
weigh? What measurements would you like to have? What size clothes do you
want to wear?
Step 2: Set Measurable Goals.
Because you have now set very specific goals, you must have some means of
measuring out your successes and progress. There are a few different ways to
do this- you can measure by appearance and the way clothes fit- although this is
more subjective and can be a super slow process. The scale can also be helpful-
doing a weekly weigh in is an objective way to look at your progress; however,
muscle weighs more than fat so you may actually see an increase in weight in
the beginning. The most ideal way to chart success is to do body composition
testing in a lab- they can accurately see what body fat and muscle mass
percentages are.

Step 3: Set Big Goals.

In other words, don’t short-change yourself- reach for the sky!! Don’t buy in to
your self-talk or friends and family who tell you to be “realistic”. “Most people get
scared when setting goals and ask only for what they think they can get, not what
they really WANT. This is a mistake because puny, “realistic” goals are NOT
motivating. WANTS are motivating. “(Tom Venuto, BFFM) Set vivid and big goals
because the goal should keep you reaching.

Step 4: Set Realistic Deadlines.

As quoted in BFFM, The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the
largest and most respected health, medical and exercise organization in the
world, has established guidelines for healthy weight loss. In their position
statement on "Proper and improper weight loss programs," they recommend a
weight loss goal of one to two pounds per week. In terms of body fat, that
translates to about a half a percent per week. For the impatient, this may seem
like an excruciatingly slow process, but the safest and most intelligent approach
to fat loss is a gradual one.
Anything more than that will inevitably cause you to lose muscle mass instead of
fat. Tom Venuto urges us to realize that “there are no unrealistic goals, only
unrealistic deadlines.”

Step 5: Set long-term and short-term goals.

The best way to do this is to take the time to write out a list. The following are
long-term and short-term goals that should be highlighted. Keep these written
goals close at hand in a binder or journal:

1. Your ultimate long-term goal

2. 12 month goal
3. Three month goals
4. Weekly goals (Weekly body composition test and weigh-in)
5. Daily goals (habits to develop, things to do every day repeatedly)
6. The goal of beating your personal best.

For me, it has been especially important to look at my daily goals. I have found
out that in the college atmosphere there are a hundred small choices to make
everyday- and super enticing to forget about working out to go to an event, or
grab a doughnut or two that a roommate bought. Developing good habits has
been a huge challenge in my personal journey.
But as Tom says, “A sensible and realistic 90-day goal would be to lose up to 6%
body fat and 12 to 24 pounds. The three-month goal is important because long-
term goals don’t have any urgency. A one-year goal is so distant, you may find
that you tend to procrastinate more without the impending deadline.”

Step 6: Make an Emotional Connection for your goals.

In his Goal Achiever program, Bob Proctor says, “The moment you get
emotionally involved with your goal, it instantly and automatically begins to move
into physical form.”
After you’ve set your goals in terms of a specific weight, body fat, etc, then
continue to re-write another list of goals with as much emotional impact as
possible. In particular, answer these two questions: (1) What’s important to me
about reaching my goal? (2) Why is that important? (BFFM)

Steps 7-11: About reading and reaffirming your goals.

For the sake of keeping it brief (because college kids are all about getting to the
point) I have combined the last four steps and will go over their main purposes.

Visualization: It is important to visualize goals- dream about them, see them

happening, give your mind a visual of the body you want or the success you will
achieve and meditate or think about that goal visually and do it often!

Write Affirmations and read them daily!: Take the time to write personal
affirmations using the word “I” and in the presen tense. Ex: “I am so happy and
thankful now that I am _(better fit to be a top guide)_______” or “ I am in better
shape now than I was 30 minutes ago before I finished this workout”. Post them
in a place where you see it frequently and read them at least 2 times a day.

Read with Faith: It is one thing to set out strong goals, and another to believe in
them. Anything that you put faith in is possible- read your goals and affirmations
with faith that you can reach them and there is no reason to give up- negative
things will happen- put them behind you and keep believing in your goals.

Reward Yourself: The task of sticking to a training program is no small feat.

Each goal that you achieve should be rewarded in a way that is meaningful to
you- whether that means going out to eat, a road trip, spa day or a pint of Ben &
Jerry’s- whatever will keep you repeating the good behaviors you’ve achieved so
Other things to keep in mind are that you should keep a list of the goals that
you have achieved- however small they are. It is important to see how far
you’ve come. Also, goal making is a continual process- always write new goals
as time passes and your progress changes.
Use this page to begin writing your goals NOW…before
we go any further!!!

Chapter 3:
(Realistic) Nutrition and Meal Planning
The biggest mistake people make when meal planning for fitness is cutting
their calorie intake too low. It is far more effective to keep your calorie intake
consistent and burn off fat through exercise rather than starving yourself of food
energy (this is the main point of Tom Venuto’s book- hence the name, Burn the
fat feed the muscle). When you reduce your calories too much, the body starts
burning muscle instead of fat. When you have proper nutrition with a slight
calorie reduction, muscle can be built through exercise. Building muscle mass
makes your resting metabolism higher which will help you burn more fat and
calories even when you are sitting in front of the computer writing your senior
project (wink).
Nutrition is not an easy task for a college student…I have found this to be true. If
there is any bigger obstacle to tackle in a training program, I haven’t run into it
yet! I think there is a direct correlation to low income and high calorie food- the
good stuff takes more money and effort to get, the bad stuff just seems to jump
out in front of you and it’s always the right price! In this chapter I will try to
pinpoint some of the ways that we can realistically changed nutritional habits for
the better as a student.

To begin with, how many calories do I need? Much like the BMI calculation, there
are many online resources for finding out how many calories you need per day
based on your specific lifestyle and genetics. One good calculator can be found
at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of
Medicine website:

Based on this result, we can now work on creating some easy to follow
meal plans for a peak-condition lifestyle. The daily caloric intake that was quoted
means that this is what you need on a daily basis to keep your body working well
and to maintain you current weight. If you do not need to lose weight and have a
“normal” BMI then this is a good calorie number to stick to. However, if you are
trying to drop pounds to achieve a healthier BMI, then it is safe to reduce the
number of calories needed by 500 each day. Subtracting this many calories will
help to create a deficit in addition to exercise, but is not so much that you will
start burning muscle and slow your metabolism.

Throughout the semester I have been working to find very user-friendly meal
plans that would provide good nutrition. The following is a week-long meal plan
that is easy to use and includes cheap and easy-to- find foods.
You can choose any combination of 8 breakfasts, lunches, dinners and
snacks to always end up eating about 1,500 calories. Just be sure to have
one food from each of the categories every day.
8 Breakfasts:
These breakfasts average 367 calories, 8 grams of fat, 383 mg calcium and
9 g fiber.
(I found most of these meal suggestions old issues of Family Circle magazine-
they have worked very well for me)

1) Bran muffin and applesauce. One medium bran muffin that can be found
pre-made at the grocery store, and a 4-oz. Or 1/2 cup of pre packaged
applesauce. The bonus here is that you can easily take it with you in the
2) French Toast. Dip 2 slices of whole-wheat toast into 1/4 cup of
Eggbeaters (egg substitute). Put the saturated toast in a skillet sprayed
with Pam. Spread about 1 medium slice of butter on both pieces of toast,
and drizzle 2 teaspoons (just measure it with a regular kitchen spoon) of
maple syrup on toast. Add 1 cup of berries that you can buy frozen at the
3) Yogurt, fruit and trail mix. Just combine a 6 oz. container of plain low-fat
(or your favorite low-fat) yogurt with a sliced banana and 1/4 cup (or a
palm-full) of trail mix with nuts and raisins in it. Enjoy!

4) Bran flakes or flax cereal. Top 1cup of bran flake cereal, like Post Bran
Flakes, or flax cereal like Nature’s Path Flax Plus, with 1 cup of berries
(remember you can buy them frozen for cheaper) and a few unsalted
almonds, plus 1cup skim milk.

5) Waffles and fruit. Two whole grain toaster waffles (I like Kashi brand),
spread one slice of butter over the two, and 2teaspoon fulls of syrup, plus
one cup of strawberries (or whatever berries are in your freezer now!).
Drink a cup of skim milk on the side.

6) Whole grain bagel and cream cheese. Half of a large bagel (or whole
bagel if you need to raise the calories- that means you big guys), spread
with 1 tablespoon of regular cream cheese. Eat one cup of pre-prepared
fruit salad and drink 1cup skim milk.

7) Hot cereal with apricots and cashews. Make 1/2 cup of old fashioned
oatmeal (or 1cup for more calories) cook as directed and put 6 dried
apricot halves in the pot while cooking. Top with a few cashews, serve
with 1cup skim milk, and a small glass of grape fruit juice.

8) Eggs and toast. Two boiled or poached eggs with a slice of plain whole-
wheat toast, add a cup of fruit salad and 1cup skim milk.
8 Lunches:
These lunches average 397 calories, 12 g fat, 208 mg calcium, 10g fiber.

1) Veggie cheeseburger. Microwave a vegetable burger- such as

Gardenburger- when it’s about done top with a 1oz. slice of reduced fat
cheddar cheese (like Kraft singles slices). Put on a whole grain hamburger
bun and use 1 decent squirt of ketchup and mustard, 1lettuce leaf and 2 or
3 tomato slices. Serve with 1cup chopped up veggies- like red peppers-
and a little reduced calorie ranch dressing.

2) Roast beef sandwich. Put 2 teaspoons reduced-cal mayo and a

teaspoon of horseradish mustard on 2 slices of whole wheat bread. Fill
with 2 slices (or more for higher calories) lean roast beef, lettuce leaf and
sliced tomato. Add a 6 oz. can of V-8 juice or other healthy juice.
** you can also get an Arby’s Junior Roast Beef Sandwich with a side
salad and fat-free dressing.

3) Turkey sandwich with cranberry. 2 slices of whole wheat toast with 2

teaspoons reduced-cal mayo and 2 tablespoons canned cranberry sauce.
Fill with 2 slices of lean turkey or chicken breast and a lettuce leaf. Add
1cup of celery sticks and 1 small apple.

4) Spinach salad with almonds and cranberries. Toss 1 1/2 tablespoons

of low-cal dressing with 3cups spinach leaves, 1 hard boiled egg sliced, 2
tablespoons of these: unsalted almonds, dried cranberries and crumbled
blue cheese. Serve with 100 calories worth of whole grain crackers (like
Wasa Fiber Rye crackers)
5) Stuffed pocket and lentil soup. One microwavable pocket- 260 to 280
calories- like Lean pockets turkey & ham or Amy’s Soy Cheeze Veggie
Pizza. One cup lentil soup (throw in 2 cups of spinach while its cooking).

6) Turkey Bacon Wrap. In a 6 inch tortilla (whole wheat is best), layer 2

slices turkey breast, 2 or 3 slices of avocado, 1 bacon strip, a few slices of
tomato or some salsa, Roll and serve with 1/2 cup veggies of choice
dipped in a little reduced-cal ranch dressing.

7) Tupperware salad. With 1 tablespoon vinaigrette, combine 3 oz can of

water packed tuna, 1/3 cup canned chickpeas, 1/2 cup each of: cherry
tomatoes, diced preen pepper and canned corn. (All of this canned stuff is
actually pretty cheap!)

8) Soup with sour cream and onions and a cheese melt. One and a half
cups black bean soup with 2 cups spinach cooked in, serve with a big
spoonful of reduced fat sour cream and chopped scallion on top. For the
cheese melt: 1 slice whole wheat bread topped with a slice of reduced fat
cheddar toasted. Serve with 1/2 cup of baby carrots.
8 Dinners:
These dinners average 465 calories, 18 g fat, 203 mg calcium, 8 g fiber.

1) Corn bread and chili with Southwestern salad. One cup canned
vegetarian chili- like Amy’s organic chili, medium piece of corn bread.
Salad: 2 cups mixed greens, half an orange diced up, a few baby carrots
sliced, and 2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing with a squirt of lime juice-
you can add jalapenos and cilantro for flavor.

2) Golden baked fish with asparagus. Put a 5 or 6 oz. fillet of flounder in a

baking pan. In a small skillet or in microwave- combine 1 teaspoon butter,
1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon grated parmesan, 2 tablespoon bread
crumbs. Pat the bread crumb mixture on top of fish, cook in preheated 425
degree oven for about 15 mins or until golden. Let cool for 5 mins- serve
with a cup of brown rice and 8 spears of steamed asparagus & a squirt of
3) Pizza and Salad. Two slices medium pizza, plain or veggie topped (look
in the frozen pizza isle for a 380 calorie pizza like Lean Cuisine). Combine
3 cups mixed greens with 2 tablespoons reduced-cal dressing or 1
tablespoon regular dressing.

4) Fettuccini Alfredo. Lean Cuisine Chicken Fettuccini with Broccoli (410

calories)- microwave another 1/2 cup frozen broccoli and stir into the
5) Seafood Pasta with spinach. Simmer 10 medium peeled shrimp in 1/2
cup meatless spaghetti sauce. Combine with 1 1/4 cups cooked whole-
wheat pasta. Top with 2 teaspoons grated parmesan. Serve with 4 cups
spinach leaves sautéed in a teaspoon olive oil and a little chopped garlic.

6) Salmon burgers with chopped salad. Grill or microwave a salmon patty

according to directions (Omega foods brand is good and 100 cal each).
Season with lemon- put on a whole wheat bun with a little tartar sauce.
Salad: Combine chopped tomato and 1/2 cup diced cucumber- toss with
1teaspoon olive oil, and add seasoning like dill and lemon.

7) Asian beef salad. Put a 4oz. flank steak on a grill or broiler- cook about 6
min on each side. Cut steak diagonally into 2 inch pieces. Toss steak, 2
cups mixed greens, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, a chopped green onion and
a couple teaspoons of chopped cilantro, and a low-fat Asian dressing.

8) Chicken kabob, rice and Greek salad. Put 5 oz. boneless chicken
cubes on a skewer, alternating with chunks of onions and cherry
tomatoes. Broil or grill on each side for 5 or 6 mins. Season w a squirt of
lemon and garlic powder. Serve on 3/4 cups brown rice. Salad: 2-3 cups
mixed greens, chopped cucumber and scallion, 2 tablespoons feta
cheese- toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil, dash of vinegar, salt and pepper.
8 Healthy Snacks:
These average 115 calories and have from 300-400 mg of calcium.

1) Chocolate milk. Stir 1/2 tablespoon Hershey’s chocolate syrup into a cup
of skim milk.
2) Twelve-ounce latte with skim milk. (like a Mocha’s or Starbucks small or
3) Soy, rice, or other milk. Any flavor is ok but keep it to about 120 cal and
fortified with calcium if it isn’t dairy.
4) Cheese and dill pickle. 11/2 oz reduced fat cheddar, 1 pickle
5) Maple yogurt. 6 oz. low-fat plain yogurt with 1 teaspoon maple syrup- or
6) Celery and dip. Low-fat ranch dressing with a cup of celery sticks.
7) A handful or almonds. About 10 or 15.
8) Cheddar and apple. 1 1/2 slices of reduced-fat cheddar with 1/2 or whole

10 Treats: 140 to 160 calories each

1) 1 oz. chocolate, like 6 Hershey’s kisses –but dark chocolate is
2) Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches- awesome and only 90 cals.
3) Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies- only eat 2!
4) 1/2 cup of reduced fat ice-cream topped with a crumbled wafer
5) Chocolate-dipped berries- dip 5 frozen or fresh strawberries in 2
tablespoons chocolate sauce.
6) Good Humor Chocolate Éclair bar 3 oz.
7) 3 Musketeers Candy Bar, 1 bar.
8) Chips, like 14 Pringles or 13 Tostitos corn chips, or 11 Sunchips.
9) Pudding (rice, chocolate, etc.) 4oz. size.
10) Peppermint pattie- 1 pattie.
11) And just to through in a college favorite- 16 oz. light beer- choose your

This is a fairly straight-forward, all the work done for you, college student
meal plan- however, to make this plan even healthier here are some tips:

o Don’t skimp on any of the meals- eat all the food in the meals including
snacks and treats. Cutting calories just makes you even hungrier later on
and if you’re like me you’ll overeat.
o Vary the meals in the plan- this way you won’t get bored and you’ll get a
variety of vitamins and nutrients.
o Have the egg breakfast no more than 2x a week.
o Have fish2x a week- the American Heart Association recommends it to
help prevent heart disease.
o Have the pizza dinner and fettuccini Alfredo dinners no more than twice a
week- they have the most sodium and saturated fat.
o You can also substitute a favorite frozen meal for any of these lunches or
dinners- and it’s super convenient for a college student. Just make sure
that the lunch doesn’t go over 400 cals and the dinner meal doesn’t
exceed 450 cals. You’ll probably need to add a cup of frozen veggies to
the meals since they don’t go big on produce.
o Choose “good carbs” like whole grain bread, cereal, crackers, pasta and
brown rice.
o If you need to add calories to meet your daily caloric needs, just add
another snack into the meal plan and increase serving sizes of protein.
o Eating meals every three hours is a good way to keep your blood sugar
from dropping and keep your metabolism revved up.

By all means, you are an intelligent almost college graduate- so take these
nutritional starting points and run with them. Be creative, investigate what is in
your favorite foods and find out a way to make them healthier. Double your
portions of fiber rich vegetables and fruit and cut refined carbohydrates to a
minimum. The most important factor in nutrition is to be conscious of what you
are putting in to your body- choose quality foods that will help fuel your workouts
and outdoor pursuits rather than cutting calories which is a lose-lose situation for
you (no one likes to go hungry and your metabolism suffers).
Part of being conscious of where your nutritional needs are falling short
means keeping a basic journal or what you eat and when. For me it helped to
see on paper that I had been skipping breakfast, for almost 2 weeks, and that I’m
actually not getting enough calories and slowing my metabolism.

Check out the next page for a blank food and exercise journal format that
you can use for your training plan.

(This is the one I created for the project, but now am writing a daily training
blog instead- you can start a blog at a website like
Daily Food & Fitness Log

Food Date: Estimated Caloric Intake:





Things that got

in the way of my
Ideas to keep
this from
happening again
Exercise Lbs/Reps Lbs/Reps Lbs/Reps Exercise Lbs/Reps Lbs/Reps Lbs/Reps
/ / / / / /
/ / / / / /
/ / / / / /
/ / / / / /
/ / / / / /
/ / / / / /
/ / / / / /
/ / / / / /
Aerobic Date: Aerobic Date:
Exercise Exercise

Type: Type:
Minutes: Minutes:
Heart Rate: Heart Rate:
Calories Burned: Calories Burned:

Water intake: _______ oz. Other Beverages: _____________________

Additional Comments/Journal:
Chapter 4:
Designing Fitness Plans for Peak Conditioning

“ Don’t hit the tennis court, ski slopes, soccer field or basketball court
without preparing with a comprehensive program that includes strength,
flexibility, balance, and agility training. Taking up a sport is a great way to be
physically active, but you need to be fit enough to avoid injury.”
-Barbara Harris, fitness editor.

Taking up a sport may be a great way to stay active, but what about
making physical activity your profession. It is extremely important for your benefit
as a future outdoor leader to take the time to prepare your body now for what
could be a startling reality later on. How many stories have you heard from
guides who would go weeks at a time without a day off and still be expected to
perform at their best for the good of the group and be responsible for each
person’s safety.

The keystones of designing a holistic fitness plan for your needs and current
level are:

o Variety/Cross training- incorporate Cardio /Aerobics, Strength or

Resistance training, and flexibility training into your program. This will
ensure that you are conditioning your muscular and skeletal system as
well as your cardiovascular system. It also creates what trainers call
“muscle confusion” encouraging muscle development and keeping you
from hitting a “plateau” in your training. Switching it up also helps to
keep you from experiencing workout boredom.

o Challenge- There must be an element of challenge involved in your

workout. Based on your current level of fitness- take your mile time as
an example- shoot for realistic but challenging goals- like to run a 30
second faster mile in your first week of training, or just to run 15 mins
continuously etc. Just make sure you don’t overdo it- starting slower
and building up will help you keep with it and produce much better

o Consistency- you must keep a consistent routine because anything

more than a week off from working out will be a digression in your
fitness level- your muscle mass will start to decrease.

o Enroll in classes or find workout buddies-This is the best way to

ensure that you will be consistent. As a student you have the
opportunity to sign up for fitness courses and get credit for them-
double bonus! Look for courses through the Exercise & Sport Science
department, or through the Extended Studies department of your
college. This is also a good opportunity to see if any ESS students
need hours or internships and can work one on one with you
throughout the initial stages of your program.

o Incorporate outdoor activities- Continue to pursue the outdoor

activities that you love to do and might possibly want to make into a
career. At least once a week make it your goal to hike a summit, ski
some technical terrain, bike a new trail or anything that will challenge
you. You might ask- if I am outside doing all of these things multiple
times a week – do I really need to work out? The answer is yes. The
purpose behind doing extra training is to benefit and improve those
activities that you do in the field. If you are out on a regular basis, you
may want to focus your training on including flexibility and agility based
fitness- like yoga or Pilates. For someone like me, a student who only
does out trips and expeditions on occasion, it is definitely important to
supplement my outdoor pursuits with a whole training plan.

o Rest- In order to make progress in fitness training, rest is essential to

allow the body to recover and build muscle- it is in the recovery period
that your body can make changes and recuperate.

Suggestions for 8 Week Outdoor Leader fitness plans and Western

State College Resources:

After condition testing at home or in a lab- if you fall into the “below
average” or “Fair” bracket follow the Beginner plan. If you are in the
“Average” or “Good” bracket follow the Intermediate plan, and if you
are in the “Excellent” or “Above average” bracket follow the
Advanced plan.

See Appendix for 8 week- Beginner, Intermediate, &

Advanced Plans
Chapter 5:
Physical Fitness in the Field- & what professionals
have to say about it…
“As an outdoor guide, your health is
your greatest attribute- You can’t
work without it and if you do you are putting yourself
at greater risk for getting hurt and being without a job anyway,”
says Crested Butte Mountain Guides (CBMG) director, Jayson

Whether or not fitness plays a direct role in hiring (which I’ll go on to

discuss in this chapter) the bottom line is, if you’re injured you can’t work. Even
more than that, you want to have a long, successful, and enjoyable career- and
leave the job in good physical condition many years down the road.
Taking a look at research in the general arena of employment in the US, I
have discovered some interesting statistics published about weight and it’s
effects on employment.

In an article about weight-based discrimination, Maryanne Bodolay of the

NAAFA says, "In interview situations, employers bring their biases along with
them,” Bodolay continues, ”An overweight person participates in a phone
interview or sends in an impressive résumé. The prospective employer considers
the applicant highly qualified and wants to meet in person -- that's when the tone
starts to change…Once that face-to-face interview takes place, all of a sudden
the person is no longer qualified...we’ve seen it time and time again.”

Overweight workers aren't just discriminated against in the hiring process

as Mark Roehling, a Western Michigan University professor conducted a study,
"Weight-Based Discrimination in Employment: Psychological and Legal Aspects,"
which revealed that in many cases, “even when overweight candidates do get
hired, they are paid less than their leaner counterparts”

A 1990 university study found that the starting salaries of "normal"-weight people
with MBAs were $3,000 higher on average than their overweight counterparts.
Another study in 1998 found that white women who were mildly obese earned
5.9% less than "normal weight" employees in comparable jobs, while those who
were morbidly obese earned 24.1% less.
The evidence shows that weight-discrimination does exist in the general
workforce, so in a field where health is a keystone, how do recreation based
employers view and acknowledge fitness in applicants?

To answer this question I went straight to the source- successful

professionals who have hired in the field. “You just have to make sure that you
are in better shape than the client, “Jayson, director of CBMG, says only half-
jokingly. “The truth is, being a fit leader instills confidence in the client who may
be struggling with the risk factors of the activity in the first place,” he notes.
When asked about the hiring process and fitness, Jayson says, “ Hiring is
more about getting someone with extensive experience both in the commercial
field and in their personal pursuits, anything other than that would be a second
thought…If we think that a potential or new guide is not quite ready to be a lead
guide, we will ask him to shadow on some trips so that his technique and abilities
can be observed and improved. This would include someone who may have
skills but is not quite fit enough for a lead position.”
By Jayson’s response, we can deduce that if a student takes the extra
measures to ensure that he or she is in their personal-best condition by the time
they are ready to get a job, hiring will not only go more smoothly, but so will
advancing into top leadership positions. Good fitness will make you less of a
liability to commercial recreation organizations and may give you that edge
against the competition that you need to be hired in a growing field.
Heather Seigull, camp director of YMCA camp Chinganook in Albany,
New York, says that fitness may be more important in the elite private sector of
the field than in the public arena and in youth work. “For employers in this
organization (the YMCA), hiring is focused more on character and qualities like
good personal values, as well as personality, experience, and good references.”
Heather emphasizes that, “ While they (private guiding companies) may expect
the same, in private guiding companies clients are paying a bigger fee to most
likely be challenged more than they could be in the public sector, and go places
that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to go- so fitness in instructors is of the
utmost importance,” she continues, “at camps we also need program instructors
that are fit, however, enthusiasm, responsibility, and the ability to accomplish
tasks are the most important factors in working with youth…peak fitness is just
another positive for youth leaders to possess because they are role models in
every aspect.”
To summarize, achieving peak fitness levels will make you more eligible
for major leadership roles in recreation, will make you less of a liability to
employers, will increase your positive influence as a role model, and will make
you more effective in every field of work. Just as importantly, by implementing a
training program into your life you will find, as I have, that your ability to self-
discipline, have greater confidence, and to listen to your body will grow as well.
Begin now, and work for great things- as my senior recreation philosophy
professor Matthew Ebbott said, “Go forward positively, and without fear.”
“The greater danger for most of us
is not that our aim is too high and we
miss it, but that it is too low and we
reach it.”

- Michelangelo
Works Cited

Websites Used:
o US Center for Disease Control & Prevention:

o USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of

Medicine website:

o Western State College of Colorado, Exercise and Sport Science:

o Blogging Website:

o Teaching Tolerance Article:

o University of Hawaii, Academic Journal- Weight Discrimination:

Books Used:
o Harris, Barbara. Shape your life: a Better Body- and a Better Life. Hay
House Inc. Carlsbad, CA: 2003. pages 4-5, 19.

o Venuto, Tom. Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. Fitness Renaisance:
2003. E-book. pages 1-22.

Interviews Cited:
o Jayson Simons-Jones. Director, Crested Butte Mountain Guides.
Crested Butte, CO.

o Heather Seigull. Program Director, Camp Chingachgook. Albany, NY.

o Oliver Bodor. Athlete and Member of Hungarian Olympic Team.

Siofok, Hungary (resides in Gunnison, CO).

Beginner: 8 Week Training Plan

Week 1:
Monday- 10 min run + 10 min stretching
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 20-25 min swimming (alternate freestyle, back, & breast)
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 10 min run + 10 min stretching
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Rest or optional outdoor pursuit

Week 2:
Monday- 10 min run + 10 min stretching
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 20-30 min biking or spinning
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 25-30 min swimming (alternate freestyle, back, & breast)
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Pilates or Yoga session

Week 3:
Monday- 20 min Eliptical + Lifting or Core Strength
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 25-30 min swimming (alternate freestyle, back, & breast)
Thursday- Rest
Friday- Pilates or Yoga session at school, gym or
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- 15 min running + 10 min stretching

Week 4:
Monday- 20-30 min biking + core strength exercise
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 20-30 min elliptical
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 30 min swimming (alternate freestyle, back, breast stroke)
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Pilates or Yoga
Week 5:
Monday- 15-20 min running + 10 min stretching
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30-40 min swimming
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 10-15 running + core exercises
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Mile Time Trial! 10 min easy warm up walking or jogging

Week 6:
Monday- 30 min biking + lifting and core exercises
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30 min Eliptical + 10 min stretching
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 30-40 min swimming (alternate strokes and use flippers if
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Pilates or Yoga

Week 7:
Monday- 20-25 min running + 10 min stretching
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30-40 min swimming (alternate strokes, use flippers if
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 30-40 min biking + core exercises
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- 40-50 min biking

Week 8:
Monday- 25-30 min running + 10 min stretching
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30 min Eliptical + core strength
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 40 min swimming (alternating strokes, try without flippers)
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Mile Time Trail! 10 min warm up
Intermediate: 8 Week Training Plan
Week 1:
Monday- 15 min running + 10 min stretching
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30 min swimming (alternate freestyle, back, & breast)
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 30 min biking + core exercises
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- 40-50 min hiking new terrain

Week 2:
Monday- 30-40 min swimming
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30 min Eliptical on slight incline + 10 min stretch
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 15-20 min running
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Pilates or Yoga session

Week 3:
Monday- 15-20 min running + core strength
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday-30-40 min swimming (time this swim)
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 30-40 min biking + core strength
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- 40-50 min hiking- challenging incline (or other challenging

Week 4:
Monday- 30-40 min swimming (try to reduce time)
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30-40 min Eliptical + 10 min stretching
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 20-25 min running + core exercises
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Mile Time Trial! 10 min warm up
Week 5:
Monday- 25-30 min running + 10 min stretching
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30-40 min swimming (try for your personal best time)
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 30-40 min biking + core exercises
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Pilates or Yoga session

Week 6:
Monday- 40-50 min swimming
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30-40 min Eliptical + core exercises + 10 min stretch
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 25-30 min run at 75% effort
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- 50-60 minute hiking new terrain

Week 7:
Monday- 30-40 min running + core exercises + 10 min stretching
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 40-50 min swimming (alternate strokes, use flippers if
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 40-50 min biking + core exercises + 10 min stretching
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Pilates or Yoga session

Week 8:
Monday- 40-50 min swimming (try not to use flippers)
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30-40 min Eliptical + core strength + 10 stretch
Thursday- Rest
Friday- 30-40 min running + 10 min stretch
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Mile Time Trail! 10 min warm up
Advanced: 8 Week Training Plan
Week 1:
Monday- 20-30 min running + core exercises + 10 min stretching + 2
sets of 15 lunges
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 30-40 min swimming (alternate freestyle, back, & breast)
Thursday- 30 min running + core exercises + 10 min stretch + 2 sets
of 15 lunges
Friday- 30-40 min biking (challenging resistance)
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Pilates or Yoga session

Week 2:
Monday- 30-40 min swimming
Tuesday- 30-40 min running + core exercises + 10 min stretching
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- 40 min Eliptical on increased incline + Lifting exercises +
10 min of stretching
Friday- 30-40 min running + 10 min stretching + 2 sets of 20 lunges
Saturday- Pilates or Yoga session
Sunday- 50-60 min hiking steeper terrain (or other challenging

Week 3:
Monday- 30-40 min running at 80-85% effort + 8 “strides” (see
suggested exercises) + core exercises + 10 min stretching
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 40-50 min swimming
Thursday- 30-40 min running + core exercises + 10 min stretching + 2
sets of 20 lunges
Friday- 30-40 min biking
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Pilates or Yoga session (try a new class- like power yoga in
a heated room)

Week 4:
Monday- 30-40 min swimming at 80% effort
Tuesday- 20 min warm-up + 6 strides + 8 times running 200 meters
up hill with about 5% gradual incline- jog back down each time + 10
min moderate jog + 10 min stretch
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- 40 min Eliptical + core exercises + 10 min stretching
Friday- 30-40 min running + 10 stretching + 2 sets of 20 lunges
Saturday- Pilates or Yoga session
Sunday- Time Trial! Mile or 2 mile , 10 min warm up + 6 strides
Week 5:
Monday- 30-40 min easy running + 10 min stretching + 2 sets of 20
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 40-50 min swimming
Thursday- 40 min running at 80-85% effort + core exercise +10 min
Friday- 40-50 min biking + core exercises
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- 50-60 min hiking or skinning or snow shoeing up new

Week 6:
Monday- 40-50 min swimming
Tuesday- 40-50 min running + core exercises + 8-10 strides + 10 min
stretching + 2 sets of 20 lunges
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- 40-50 min Eliptical + Lifting + 10 min stretching
Friday- 30-40 min running + 8-10 strides + 10 min stretching + 2 sets
of 20 lunges
Saturday- Pilates or Yoga session
Sunday- 50-60 minute hiking new terrain (or mountain biking etc.)

Week 7:
Monday- 40 min swimming
Tuesday- 20 min warm-up running + 10 x 200 meters uphill on 5%
gradual increase hill at 85-90% effort, jog down + 10 min jogging
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- 40-50 min biking + core exercises + 10 min stretching
Friday- 40-50 min swimming at 85-90% effort
Saturday- 35-40 min running + core exercises + 10 min stretching + 2
sets of 20 lunges
Sunday- Pilates or Yoga session

Week 8:
Monday- 40 min Eliptical + core strength + 10 stretch
Tuesday- 40-50 min swimming (try for personal best time)
Wednesday- 30-40 min running + 8-10 strides + core exercises + 10
min stretching + 2 sets of 20 lunges
Thursday- 30-40 min biking with high resistance+ 10 min stretching
Friday- Rest
Saturday- 30 min easy running + 6 strides
Sunday- Time Trail! Mile or 2 Mile, 10 min warm up + 6 strides
Suggested Exercises (and contacts through WSC)
o Strides- strides are basically sprints at 75% effort, for 80 to 100
meters with good form.
o Core exercise- this is also known as strength training or
resistance training to increase muscle tone. The full body
routine should take 40-55 minutes. Try to start with 2 sets of 15
reps and increase the weight by 2.5-5 lbs if resistance
becomes too easy. Increase sets of reps to 3 when able.
Making sure you have warmed up for at least 5 mins do the
following full body routine:

Chest- straight bar bench press or Dumb bell press. Can be

done on a flat or inclined bench.

Back- lat pull-down or Seated row

Shoulders- seated overhead press, front raise with dumb bell,

lateral raise with dumb bell.
Bicep- bar curls or dumbbell curls

Deltoids- Upright Row

Triceps- triceps kickback with dumb bell, standing triceps


Core resistance moves-

crunches, double straight leg raise & lower, planks


Leg press Lunges Ball squats

o Swimming- The best way to improve your swimming

technique and abilities is to enroll in a college adult
swimming class. Usually they are available for beginners,
intermediate, and advanced levels.

At WSC you can sign up for swimming courses and clubs

through the ESS dept. or contact Pool Director and swimming
instructor Tami Maciejko at:

To view a current pool schedule go to:

o Pliates or Yoga- If your college doesn’t offer courses (be

sure to check “extended studies” courses also- both
pilates and yoga are offered at WSC) most towns have one
or more studio where you can enroll in classes for a
cheaper student fee (also check out your local YMCA).

You can take classes for a low student fee at:

Western Pilates studio

211 N Iowa
Gunnison, CO 81230
(970) 596-1714
The Yoga Room:
211 N Iowa Street
Gunnison, CO 81230-2219
(970) 641-0338

** A special thanks to Oliver Bodor, who helped custom design the cardio
portion of the training plans (including mine), and to Emily Hamill, who
worked to design strength aspects of the training plan. You both worked
with me personally all the way through- All of my gratitude!!!