Ram Recharge: Helping Students Kick Start the New Year

Ram Recharge

The holidays are over. The presents have been unwrapped. The decorations have been taken down. And now it is time to settle back into the daily grind of going to work or class. However, this time of year doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Colorado State University (CSU) created the Ram Recharge in order to help students, faculty and staff start of new semester off on the right foot.

The Ram Recharge is a 9-week fitness program, held over the spring semester designed to motivate, inspire and help participants reach their fitness goals. According to Michelle Hall, the fitness coordinator at CSU, the program, which is open to students, faculty and staff, begins with a motivational kick-off and initial fitness assessment fair.

“Participants are split up into either the Green Group for workouts on Mondays and Wednesdays, or the Gold Group for workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Hall. “Each group is broken down into smaller teams and assigned a certified personal trainer. Four personal trainers are in charge of running the weekly workouts, while motivating participants and answering any questions they may have. Two to three Health and Exercise intern/practicum students assist with the administrative side of the program including tracking attendance, planning events, etc.”

In order to keep participants on track with their goals, the program includes cooking classes, wellness presentations and a workout log book. At the end of the six weeks, all participants receive a final fitness assessment. “A final awards ceremony and dinner close the program, where participants are recognized for their hard work and receive prizes in various categories,” explained Hall. “Awards are donated from the Fort Collins community, which has been extremely generous and supportive of Ram Recharge.”

After running similar programs while working at other universities, Hall wanted to bring the program to CSU in order to provide the campus community with access to the tools and support they need to develop life-long healthy habits. “The goal of the Ram Recharge is to provide participants with all of the resources they need to reach their short-term goals during the program and create a healthier lifestyle they will continue after the program is over,” she added. “The program does not encourage or promote any ‘quick fixes’ or unhealthy behaviors. We try to educate participants on research based approaches to making long-term healthy lifestyle changes. Although participants are all different sizes and fitness levels, this program provides structure, education and accountability to help everyone reach their fitness goals.”

However, running a program of this caliber is no easy task. To help, Hall outlined the various preparations the CSU staff go through in order to plan and prepare for the program.

1.Identify the demand at your university.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who is your target population?
  • What does the population want?
  • What resources do you have? (budget, logistics, staff, partnerships)
  • How many participants can you accommodate and how many will be interested?

2.Determine the logistics and budget.

Logistics

  • Where can workouts, educational sessions, fitness assessments, etc. be held? (i.e. studios, gym, classrooms, meetings rooms)
  • When are these spaces available?

Budget

  • Calculate price of registration to cover costs. Do you need to generate revenue?
  • Tips on how to cut costs: Collaborate with academic and student affairs departments for unpaid student interns. Ask your community for prize/food donations and/or sponsorships.

3.Create a program outline

  • Assessments
  • Teams
  • Fitness Assessments
  • Workouts
  • Workout Log Book
  • Educational Sessions
  • Awards
  • Staff Management
  • Marketing
Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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