Shriners Hospitals for Children, Chicago, recently held its first-ever Wheelchair Bodybuilding Camp, a forum created to help teens with disabilities learn about physical fitness techniques, strength training, and nutrition.
To mark the event, the Redford, Mich-based fitness company Burn Machine contributed $1,500 worth of wheelchair-friendly exercise equipment to enhance the experiences of the participants. Included in the equipment was the Burn Machine Speed Bag, a handheld, cardio and strength training machine that emulates the movements of a boxer.
Burn Machine fitness director Dan Prevost says of the event, “We knew the equipment had tremendous potential in the field of physical therapy and fitness for people with disabilities. But watching the guys in the bodybuilding camp really took the possibilities to a whole new level.”
The special guest of the event was Wheelchair Bodybuilding founder and promoter Nick Scott, CFT, SPA. Scott, himself a spinal cord injury survivor who underwent physical rehabilitation and treatment from Shriners Hospitals, represented Burn Machine in an effort to bring attention to the special needs of a demographic often overlooked by the fitness industry—wheelchair users. Scott was available for the week to personally work with the camp’s teenaged participants, teaching them fitness and strength-building techniques, nutritional tips, and a variety of bodybuilding routines.
Scott’s advice to the Shriners’ youths?
“If you can just get in shape, the benefits are amazing,” he says. It builds your confidence, and you really feel like there’s a part of you that’s been gained back mentally.”