The summer heat didn’t stop a dedicated group of Plant City residents from taking their first step toward better health Saturday morning as they joined in the official kickoff of Saturday Morning M.A.T.E.S.
The free program was created by Tony Smith and Reginald Gray to tackle refreshing the mind, body and soul of the community. It’s a two hour workout that uses low-intensity drills to slowly work every aspect of the body. And it’s set to a beat you won’t find anywhere else in town.
Legendary funk and soul jams blasted through the speakers encouraging attendees to run, hula hoop and squat to the beat. As James Brown told them to “get up offa that thing,” one group used resistance bands to prime their leg muscles while another practiced balanced squats in pairs. Though everyone was working up a sweat, there was much encouragement and laughter on the Marshall Middle School track.
The fitness coaches offered inspiration through every workout and constantly passed around cold wet cloths and bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated and at the peak of their performance.
Working out can be intimidating for those who aren’t prepared to operate the complicated gym machinery or who are hesitant to join high intensity groups full of experienced athletes. M.A.T.E.S. offers a different kind of journey toward a better you. They use motivation and unique activities like hula-hooping, small hand weights and even dancing to get people active and help increase their stamina on the field.
It’s more than just a workout, as having the encouragement of a team is the core of the program. Whether you’ve been working out your whole life or simply want to take that first step off the couch, the program has something for you. M.A.T.E.S. is open to anyone 12 years old and up. You can check out the group on social media or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information or to contact Smith and Gray, text or call 813-763-6156 or 813-763-0031 respectively.