Austin Fitness Magazine launches physical competition to find the 10 fittest Austinites

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On any given day in Austin, joggers circle Town Lake and countless students zip through Gregory Gym to complete daily workouts. Soon we will find out which one of them are the fittest of the fit.

This year, Austin Fit Magazine is upgrading their “10 Fittest” contest and launching a competition to find the 10 fittest people in the city through a variety of tests that measure strength, endurance and overall physical fitness. The two-day event will take place on June 9 and 10 at Camp Mabry.

Austin Fit magazine editor-in-chief Melanie Moore said the annual August issue is centered around the city’s 10 fittest people each year, but in the past, candidates were selected by popular vote rather than designated fitness tests.

“Austin is the fittest city in the country, and we hope the test demonstrates this empirically,” she said. “This year, the [competitors] will prove their fitness, as will Austin.”

Aspiring fitness prodigies will compete in 10 events including a 40-yard dash, pull-ups, burpees and a 1-mile run, which Moore said help test the concept of functional training.

“Functional training is all the muscles working together to accomplish something,” she said. “And that’s what these tests are designed around. Somebody may not be able to do one pull-up, and that’s okay. They could do really well in something else.”

The test is also designed to attract fitness lovers of all ages, especially those beyond the typical 20-something competitors, Moore said.

“We’re trying to be inclusive about the whole thing,” she said. “We wanted to encourage people of all ages and lifestyles to live a more healthy and fit lifestyle.”

Each age group will have a maximum of 100 competitors with 50 males and 50 females, Moore said, and the tests are scored based on a standard so competitors will be able to compare results from year-to-year.

The competition will also showcase celebrated local athletes as well as hold a team competition, she said. Winners will be featured in the August edition of the magazine and will receive awards.

In a fit city, UT parallels the region’s emphasis on exercise and general health consciousness, said Fitness Institute of Texas director Phil Stanforth.

“I feel like the University does a great job,” he said. “I think in general, people have a pretty good idea of what their fitness level is, and students have so many options to exercise.”

UT RecSports Fitness and Wellness coordinator Betsy Baker said the University’s emphasis on fitness reflects a larger trend throughout the city.

“I think the nature of Austin itself really contributes to the amount of participation in our classes and fitness in general,” she said. “There are so many opportunities to get active, whether it’s hiking through the mountains or running around Town Lake.”

For Moore, the August issue’s focus on the competition offered a chance for her to try out the fitness tests herself, she said.

“When we got out there, it was like a grown-up field day,” she said. “It’s fun to try it. It’s not an endurance thing, like a marathon or a triathlon. I prefer to play, and this is like play.”

Moore also said she hopes Austinites will be inspired by the fitness tests to continue to train and improve overall health long after the winners have been crowned.

“It’s about living a healthy life every day, not just training for a long run and then sitting on the couch each day after that,” she said. “We hope it will be a very fun event for people to come out to.”

Updated 4/22/12 at 11:07 p.m.: awards are not 'financial'

Printed on Friday, April 20, 2012 as: Magazine launches competition to find fittest Austinite