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Coliseum opens

FD total-body workout facility features tires, monkey bars and obstacles

February 28, 2013
By JOE SUTTER, , Messenger News

The REC Coliseum, "an adult playground," according to REC Executive Director Dave Pearson, will hold an open house today.

Located in the former Fareway building, 612 Second Ave. S., the new workout space incorporates tires, punching bags and monkey bars to create a different kind of total-body workout.

Visitors this evening will get a tour of the facility and explanation of what it offers. Trainers will give demonstrations of the different types of workouts, and Iowa Central Community College culinary students will serve healthy food.

Article Photos

-Messenger photos by Joe Sutter
Assistant Director Matt Hanson demonstrates how to use the battling ropes, one of the many unusual total-body workout devices at the REC Coliseum. Form is very important, he said. The heavy ropes help improve grip strength. Behind him, the former Fareway customer service desk now holds the sound system.

The Coliseum is set up so that participants do different workouts at various "blocks" throughout the facility.

"So at each block there will be a different technique, a different workout going on at that particular block, whether it's tires, the box jumps, the heavy bags, the pull-up bars, the TRX bands, battling ropes," said Pearson.

One side of the building is specifically aimed at beginner-level workouts, Pearson said.

Fact Box

Open house today

WHAT: REC Coliseum open house

WHEN: 5 to 7 p.m. today

WHERE: Former Fareway building, 612 Second Ave. S.

The Coliseum houses monkey bars, obstacles and punching bags to facilitate unusual total body workouts. It is owned by the Fort Dodge Community Recreation Center, an independent non-profit organization. It will be open for premium REC members. Premium membership costs between $4 and $9 more than basic membership and includes access to the Coliseum, the downtown REC, the REC's Iowa Central Community College location and Snap Fitness. For more information visit

"From beginners to advanced, we're set up to do everybody," said Assistant Director Matt Hanson.

"If you can walk around your house, you'll be able to do the beginner things," Pearson added.

Pearson said the site can host about 50 to 65 people at a given workout session. Each session will have three certified trainers to help people get individual attention. Workouts will be offered at multiple times each day, giving participants flexibility, and every day will have a different workout.

"It's designed in an eight-week setting, so as we progress through them, they're going to get progressively more challenging," said Hanson. "At the beginning maybe there are only three rotations (of blocks) per workout, but by the end there might be five or six rotations through workout."

Iowa Central welding students created the monkey bars, Pearson said, and the carpentry class created the boxes and the ramp obstacle used for the track.

The REC has also partnered with Trinity Healthy Living, he said.

"Trinity is going to be working with people on the nutrition end as well. They'll be educating people how to eat healthier."

A children's play area is located behind what was once the Fareway meat counter. Pearson said free child care will be provided for members at the evening sessions.

The REC is also reaching out to older students.

"There will be fitness classes after school on Monday and Wednesday for ninth through 12th grade," said Hanson. "On Tuesday and Thursday there will be classes for fifth through eighth grade, from 3:45 to 4:30."

This can help with teen obesity, and build confidence, said Pearson.

"Nobody has to be an athlete to be active," he said.

The converted grocery store offers around 15,000 square feet of space, Pearson said, added on to the REC's 65,000 square feet at its main location downtown.

The ultimate vision, he said, is to build a new state-of-the-art facility at the Coliseum location in the next five years.



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