Bootcamp comes to women on the 'inside'
WHEN the winner of last year's The Biggest Loser TV show agreed to host a fitness bootcamp at Brisbane's Women's Correctional Centre, inmates were fired up for her workout challenge.
But enthusiastic smiles quickly turned into sweaty, exhausted grimaces as 35-year-old Margie Cummins dished out her intensive exercise session.
Before training began Ms Cummins was questioned about what inmates could expect from her bootcamp
Her answer was simple - pain.
"I'll be mixing up a bit of resistance training and cardio," the television contestant, now turned fitness guru, said.
"After we're finished here, the girls should be feeling the effects a few days later."
No stranger to physical suffering herself, Ms Cummings lost 73.1kg during her gruelling stint on The Biggest Loser.
She has put her experience to new use in her latest venture, Margie Cummins Boot Camps, based in Holland Park.
Her visit to the Wacol prison facility was a special occasion to help prisoners celebrate Healthy Lifestyle Week.
She was approached by the centre's activities officer, Marie Russell, who used to play football with Margie.
"She (Ms Russell) said some of the girls at the centre had followed me on the show," Ms Cummins said. "I had some spare time, so I thought, why not?
"It was a great opportunity to meet the women, train them and show them that change is possible."
Among the 13 inmates who took part in the challenge was 31-year-old Shannon.
An inmate of 18 months, Shannon said she knew the workout would be difficult but had been still looking forward to the challenge all the same.
"I was so pleased when I got selected to take part," she said.
"It was a great opportunity to test my fitness and work towards a healthy mind and body.
"I watched her on the Biggest Loser and it was such an inspiration to see how far she has come."
Fellow participant, Eloise, who is working towards her Certificate III in Fitness while in prison, said she had been also looking forward to learning from Margie.
Correctional centre general manager Kate Holman said special events like the bootcamp were held on occasion to help inmates celebrate particular events, like Healthy Lifestyle Week.
She said there were also many other initiatives at the centre to help inmates become productive citizens for when they leave.