PreGame Fit is a fitness and food program that is designed specifically for millennials and college students that works with busy schedules and college habits rather than against them. The program was designed by Dempsey Marks, a personal trainer and yoga instructor, and Olivia Weinstein, a professional dietician and health consultant.
Sam: What was your inspiration to begin this program specifically aimed towards college students?
Dempsey: We were looking for an audience that there wasn't a product for. There's really nothing out there in terms of health programs for college students, so we thought our expertise regarding fitness and dieting would fit that niche nicely, since Olivia is still in college and I live with a very hectic schedule similar to what many people in college deal with. It's been a challenge, because I think college students are experiencing one of the most difficult times of their lives and it can feel impossible to fit healthy living into their schedules.
Sam: Right, and the Freshman 15 tends to pretty much all come from drinking without exercise.
Dempsey: Exactly, the dining halls are a big contributor in weight gain as well. People take the dining hall's all you can eat food as an invitation to eat as much as they can.
Sam: I know from experience that many of my friends in college wanted to work out to counter some of that weight gain, but it can be very daunting for people who have never worked out before to go to the gym.
Dempsey: I was a personal trainer in college, so I worked with students all four years. I was really tuned in to the problems that students were facing regarding getting exercise and why they came to me as a trainer. The number one question that people had for me was how to actually work out despite not being able to sustain paying for a trainer. That was what gave me ideas for the fitness aspect of the PreGame Fit program. I needed to create something affordable that could serve as a guide for students that might be intimidated going into a gym. We are showing people that you don't need a lot of money or even a gym to stay in shape. There are plenty of ways to stay fit in a dorm room.
Sam: Can you give me a quick rundown of what kind of exercises you are suggesting for students to be able to do right in their dorm room?
Dempsey: With the exercises of the program, I combined strength and cardiovascular training into high intensity circuit training. Since students have such limited free time, I want them to get as much bang for their buck as they can in a short workout. Everything can be done with a set of dumbbells. The workouts are broken down into exactly 28 minutes. They are seven minute circuits of three exercises each. So you get strength training with the weights, and a cardio workout because you are doing the exercises as quickly as you can. Each circuit works different body parts, so no muscle will experience high levels of fatigue despite the intensity of the workout.
Sam: How does the food health aspect of PreGame Fit work in combination with Dempsey's fitness program?
Olivia: All of the food health recipes and tips, much like the workouts, have been designed with the resources of a college student in mind. Most of the nutrition suggestions don't require anything more than a microwave. Everything can be prepared using only dorm room resources. Our goal is to provide healthy, easy to make nutrition options with reasonable portions. We want college students to feel like they can take healthy eating into their own hands even without knowledge or cooking equipment. We also take into consideration the very small size of refrigerators that most college students have access to, so we suggest many sustainable ingredients that don't necessarily need to be refrigerated.
Sam: How are you addressing the issue of steep prices of healthy options for college students in comparison to the cheap cost of less healthy alternatives?
Olivia: We wrote the diet with the idea that most students will be relying on their cafeterias rather than cooking for most of their meals. We give specific examples of how to order a healthy meal in a college cafeteria, so students on tight budgets don't need to concern themselves with paying for pricey ingredients. We also talk about buying things in bulk in order to save on food items that may be on the more expensive side. With this program, we want to alleviate the fear that eating right is too expensive, because there are always affordable solutions.
Sam: And how do you recommend college students balancing their health with typical college life?
Dempsey: Everything in the program emphasizes balance. When we were brainstorming, we realized that its virtually impossible for a college student to always follow every tenant of healthy living. You can't tell a college student not to drink alcohol, or not to stay up too late or sleep in too late every once in a while. The idea behind our program is not to cut the college experience out of college, but instead to minimize the damaging effects of alcohol, fast food, etc. We want to make the point that its okay to drink, and its okay to have an unhealthy meal at times, but that everything needs to be taken in moderation.
You can find out more about PreGame Fit at: https://pregamefit.com/