The SRU Health and Fitness Club has been in existence in its current form for over a year, exploring different aspects of physical and mental well-being.
Meetings usually feature guest speakers and motivational videos.
The club focused on bodybuilding and fitness for 20 years, until membership dropped in early 2021. Dylan Loeffler, an exercise science specialist, and Brian Mortimer, the director of recreation from campus, rebuilt the club from the ground up. Since then, they have grown from zero to 120 members.
Loeffler, the current president, is a junior in the pre-physiotherapy program. He joined the club as a freshman to learn more about fitness.
“We found that people were turned off from the club because of the negative connotation that can sometimes be associated with bodybuilding,” Loeffler said. “We have a strong influence on nutrition, exercise, sleep [and] hydration, but we also talk a lot about mindset and mental health.
Many of their meetings involve a guest speaker who has expertise in health and fitness. Otherwise, Loeffler describes meetings as “everywhere”. They can play sports one week, then celebrate the Bulk-Festival, where the members get together and eat junk food, the next week.
“Sometimes you need a little break from the constant monotony of healthy eating,” Loeffler said. “[The club is about] being active, eating and spending time together.
“A kind of break and release from the stress of school and everyday life.”
For many years, a bodybuilding show called “Mr. and Mrs. SRU” has been held on campus, hosted by the former Bodybuilding and Fitness Club. This year, the Fitness and Wellness Club is offering a fitness showcase .
Seventeen SRU students shared their fitness journeys through video interviews. On April 28, they will host a movie night to watch the interviews and learn from each other’s experiences.
Since joining, Loeffler has seen improvements in himself and the other members. He is grateful to have had the opportunity to take on a leadership role at a young age.
“To see people’s lives changed from this club is the greatest blessing,” Loeffler said. “It’s the best feeling, that’s what we all do it for.”