Aug 08

Meet The Trainer-Conrad

Greetings, I’m Conrad Bostron, a Personal Trainer (past two years)and Fitness Instructor (past three years) at your local YMCA.  Professionally, I am the CEO of Central Lakes Cooperative, an agricultural input supply company headquartered in Atwater, Minnesota.  More importantly, I am the husband of a wonderful wife, Donna and the very proud father of two grown children, Allen and Bethany.

In high school and college I was a serious and mildly successful distance runner and quite frankly, the victim of poor coaching and bad training.  So, after taking a 20 year sabbatical from serious exercise, I returned to fitness with the opening of our YMCA.  Some minor health issues, a son preparing for the Marine Corps and an inherent love of competitive running, matched with a new YMCA facility in town, paved the way to a new fitness-based lifestyle transformation for me.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching Boot Camp and doing Personal Training.  It is my passion to see individuals meet and exceed their fitness goals over time.  I strive to customize each Client’s workouts and weekly fitness plans to meet the specific goals that we have jointly established for both short and long term benchmarks and accomplishments.  I believe that my Clients are literally walking testimonies to the success that we have achieved for them by working together.

In Fitness Training, I follow the principle of “Dutus Exemplo” – lead by example.  Dutus Exemplo is the official motto of the Marine Corps’ Officers Candidate School.  The Marines believe that the best way to train future leaders is by example.

For me this means that I train hard, race hard, eat sensibly and rest appropriately.  I feel that I have a responsibility to my Clients to emulate all the principles of fitness that I impart to them.  I myself have experienced some great training and teaching from other Instructors and Trainers that I have met along this exercise journey and I know the value of working with people who ‘walk the walk’.

“In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine, uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity.”

Titus 2:7

Jul 18

10 Basic Strength Training Exercises

Starting a Strength Training Program?   10 Basic Exercises to get you started.

Starting a strength training program for the first time can seem overwhelming to some.  Since there are limitless exercises to choose from it can be hard to come up with a routine that will not have you working out for 2 hours.  When starting a strength training routine, I recommend one keep it simple with basic exercises that will tax the most muscles for a full body workout.


Squat:  Squats work the entire lower body (legs, glutes) as well as the core being used heavily for stabilization.  Barbell squats or machine squats are good options.



Pushups:  Pushups work the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.  Pushups can be made more or less difficult depending on the height at which they are done.  Doing them with your body at an incline will be easier than flat, decline, or knee pushups.




Pullups:  Pullups work the entire upper back.  Pullups can be done in a rack or on a pullup machine to be made easier than regular upright pullups.


Shoulder Press:  Standing or seated shoulder presses work all three muscles of the shoulder.  The core is also worked stabilizing.



Deadlifts:  Deadlifts work the upper back, lower back, core, quadriceps, and hamstrings.  Deadlifts can be done with a barbell or dumbbell.

Dumbbell Chest Press:  Doing chest presses on a flat or incline bench with dumbbells work the chest, shoulders, and triceps.  Using a dumbbell works each side independently helping balance any weaknesses.

Dumbbell Row:  Dumbbell rows work the upper back primarily.  The core is used again for stabilization.

Hamstring Curl:  Lying or seated leg curls work the hamstring muscles.


Dumbbell Curl:  Dumbbell curls work the biceps of the arm working each arm individually.


Cable Pushdowns:  Cable pushdowns work the triceps of the arm.  Pushdowns can be done using a straight bar, V-shaped bar, or rope on the cable.



Doing 2-3 sets of 8-12 repititions of each or some of the movements above once a week would be a good routine for introducing strength training into one’s physical activity.


Article written by Greg Loerzel, Personal Trainer.

Jul 11

Summer Markets

I don’t know about you, but good nutrition is something I think about a lot. This is the start of the season where we have the freedom to eat much healthier. Fresh food is readily available; it’s super healthy and tastes great! Good nutrition is important to all of us whether you are trying to lose weight, keep off weight that you have lost, trying to gain weight, or trying to raise a health conscious family.

This is my favorite season for eating healthy, there are so many in season options it makes eating healthy and easy.

Eating foods that are in season is healthier because that is when the fruit/vegetable is the most nutrient dense so you’re getting the most bang for your buck, so to speak. It can be difficult to eat in season when it feels like winter lasts 6 months out of the year, but it is still possible if you know what to look for. Eating in season is not only delicious but it’s also less expensive. Let me explain; in the winter when you are buying apples that come from another country you are paying for the fuel costs to ship it all the way up here. If the apple is grown here in the US in the winter it is grown in a green house and that still means increased costs due to energy consumption for the green house.

In the spring we start planting and this spring started later than usual (although in Minnesota there never is a usual season). Now, finally, some of those plants are ready for harvest! This is the season for fresh food and Farmer’s Markets! Farmer’s Markets are great for getting fresh food whether you’re someone who doesn’t have a garden of their own or maybe you have a garden (big or small) and want more choices, Farmer’s Markets are fantastic! Visiting a Farmer’s Market also helps support our local community and economy.

If you have never been to a Farmer’s Market you should go to one, all the sights and smells are really worth it! Willmar has two different Farmer’s Markets; Becker Market Thursdays from 2:00pm-5:00pm and the Willmar Farmer’s Market Saturdays from 6:30am-noon. Both are a great place to get seasonal, healthy, delicious food.

I’ll see you at the Market!

Jul 03

Summer Safety

First off I want to wish everyone a wonderful Fourth of July! My name is Tom Wittenberg and I am the Aquatics Director here at the Kandiyohi county YMCA. By now we can all agree summer is finally here, and with it comes outdoor activities, grilling, all of the wonderful things we can only enjoy for a few months out of the year. Along with the fun comes the sun and the heat, and the best way to beat the heat is by swimming in one of the many lakes or pools around, but there are a few things we should remember to help keep us safe this time of year, whether it’s safety in the water or safety from the sun.

The sun is something that keeps us warm and helps the earth grow, but if you aren’t careful the sun can be very dangerous. One way (and probably the best way) to protect yourself from the sun is to use sunscreen, now there are many types of sunscreen out there but the most important thing to look for in sunscreen is the SPF number this number tells you how effective it is at blocking out UVB rays. The 3 most common SPF ratings you will see will be 15, 30 and 50. When it comes to blocking the sun the lower the number the less sit blocks so an SPF of 15 will block about 93% of the UVB rays allowing you to work on that tan you want. Whereas 30 and 50 block 97% and 98% but we must remember to apply sunscreen generously as not applying enough will act as though you did not apply any at all. And always remember to re-apply sunscreen after every 2 hours or every time you exit the water. Along with applying sunscreen make sure to find shade, whether it is a beach umbrella or a tree and remember to always wear a hat and sunglasses outside.

The water is a fun place to be but, there are some safety concerns to keep an eye out for. One such concern is the weather, while most people know not to swim in the rain but rain isn’t the only weather risk we need to be aware of. If it’s windy out there is a chance of getting hypothermia, a condition where the body is unable to regulate its heat properly. This happens because when you leave the water the winds blows and cools down the body and while it is hot outside all you are feeling is the wind so make sure to wrap yourself with a towel as soon as you can. Fog  is another weather related risk to be aware of as you can understand it is hard to see the water  and you can easily lose track of children and anyone else you may be with.
Next would be lifeguards, are their lifeguards at the place you are swimming?  If your answer to this question is no then it is your job to make sure you make it a safe visit for your family make sure to follow all posted guidelines, never let your child swim alone or out of your site just because other people are also swimming there does not mean someone will help your child if something happens, you have to be the vigilante one. If there is a lifeguard, take a look at the lifeguard. Are they alert and ready? Do they have a rescue tube where it can be easily reached? Are they watching the water? If your answer to any of these questions is no make sure to voice your concern to them or to a manager since the lifeguard is not adequately supervising their area of responsibility. Some final things to remember would be to follow any and all posted guidelines and to make sure to swim with a buddy as accidents can strike at anytime and having someone with you to react and help is always a great thing.

Have a great rest of your summer and enjoy the Fourth!

Jun 27

Age of Champions

Tuesday, June 25th 2013 was a day all about inspiration and overcoming the odds. Here at the Y, we had a screening of Age of Champions,the award-winning PBS documentary that follows five competitors who sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics. We saw a 100-year-old tennis champion, an 86-year-old pole vaulter, and rough-and-tumble basketball grandmothers as they all triumphed over the limitations of age. It was truly an inspiring movie.

2 Gold Medalists from the Minnesota Senior Games are from the Willmar area and they were here to talk with us, one a Women’s 70+ Swimmer and the other a 60+ Pickle Ball player. Both are members here at the Y. They both talked about their sport and what got them there, truly inspirational!

Guests who viewed the movie found it to be inspiring, motivating, and encouraging. After the movie some chose to stick around and try out some exercise classes. We offered a mini session of Gentle Stretch (to help with flexibility and movement), Zumba Gold (to get the blood pumping), and Silver Sneakers Classic. All three classes were done with the option of assistance with a chair for balance.

The National Senior Games will be held July 25-August 4 in Cleveland Ohio. For more information on the Senior Games go to: If you or someone you know is interested in training for the Senior Olympics we have many personal trainers here at the Y that are ready to help and all of our staff are ready to encourage you on your journey!

Jun 20

Willmar Fests

It’s that time of year again…

Willmar Fests are back!

It’s an exciting week of family fun and activities galore. Willmar Fests celebrate the imagination, talents, interests and creativity of the residents of the Willmar Area and combines the International Fest, the Aqua Fest, and the Kaffee Fests into one big festival! It promotes Willmar area attractions, pride in the community and the quality of life through family participation featuring events for citizens of all ages.

Tonight is the Jaycee’s Block Party Kickoff at 5th St. and Becker Ave. Activities start at 4:15pm. Come see the Y’s float and some of the Y staff in the Kiddie Parade which starts at 6:00pm downtown, you can take in a show (The Barn Theater will be putting on The Sound of Music at 7:30pm) and the evening finishes off with Willmar’s Got Talent at 8:00pm.

And that’s just the start of the weekend’s activities. Friday don’t forget about the community BBQ at Bill Taunton Stadium, starts at 5:45pm, followed by our very own Willmar Stingers taking on the Mankato Moondogs at 7:05pm. Or if baseball isn’t your thing, The Barn Theater is doing a production of The Sound of Music at 7:30pm

Saturday things get started early. The Fire Department Pancake Feed at the Willmar Fire Station starts at 7:00am and goes until 2:00pm for you late risers. The Rice Memorial Hospital Foot Lake Four Run/Walk starts at 8:00am downtown, come cheer on the runners. This year the YMCA’s Heart and Sole Running club will have close to 40 people running in the event, they’ll all be in their orange Heart and Sole t-shirts. The Heart and Sole Running club is a group of children age 9-14 and some of their parents that meet once a week to make new friends and train for the Foot Lake Four. The group has been training for the last 8 weeks ) so give them an extra loud shout of encouragement at the race! The Grande Day Parade starts at 10:30am downtown. The Y will be in the parade with treats so miss us! The culmination of the weekend is at Robbins Island with music, a ski show and fireworks at 10:00pm.

Remember to stay safe this weekend, wear lots of sunscreen and bug spray, drink plenty of water, and watch out for others. Have a fun and exciting weekend at Willmar Fests and we’ll see you at the parades!

Jun 06

Glacial Lakes Running


 The Glacial Lakes Championship Running Series (GLCRS) as started by Dan and Janine Hubbard in 2003 with the first of four faces.  Foot Lake Four, Green Lake Road Race, Kerkhoven 5k and Raymound 5k were the first races added to the series.  The series was launched with the idea of area runners not only competing in individual races, but competing in a series of races thought out the year.  The Series supported the races through additional marketing options and providing equipment.
PresentThe Glacial Lakes Championship Running Series (GLCRS) will now be operated as a non-profit organization with the following mission.

The mission of the GLCRS is to promote among all people health and wellne
As you can see by the list of races the series has become quite popular and continues to grow today.  Currently the series promotes twelve area races with a waiting list of six races.  The end of running season culminates in awards and recognition to the, self-achievement and physical education with an emphasis on youth by conducting a series of running races and related events.

The GLCRS fulfilled its mission statement by promoting the twelve races during the 2012 calendar year.  We also brought back the Heat N Sole Youth Running Club.  The youth running club introduces kids nine through four-teen to the sport of running.  The classes focus on fundamentals of running, training and completing one of the races in the series.


The future looks bright for GLCRS with the continued growth in the number of area runners participating.  We plan to bring more great additions to the running community and involve more individuals in the sport of running.

GLSCRS has formed area volunteer committees.

a)      Marketing Race Standards/Operations

b)      Marketing/Public Relations

c)      Fundraising

d)     Education/Special events

The committees will allow the series to grow through the assistance of a larger volunteer base and enhance its ability to reach a greater spectrum of potential and current runners.

GLCRS will act as an umbrella organization offering joint marketing, common race standards, scoring, race organization assistance and training for race directors.

GLCRS will promote running as part of a healthy lifestyle.  GLCRS will promote running to grade school youth through introduction to running and training programs in cooperation with area schools, YMCA, Community Ed and other similar organizations.

GLCRS will promote running, health and wellness through special events, guest speakers, trainers and medical community forums.

May 30

Why the Y for Preschool?

Why the Y for your child’s preschool development?



At the YMCA Child Care Center we provide the framework and building blocks to elevate your child’s growth as he or she prepares for the first day of Kindergarten.  We offer variety in our classrooms from the earliest of learners at six weeks of age until the child is enrolled in Kindergarten. Our teachers are trained in many classroom techniques to provide cutting edge curriculum while maintaining a positive and caring experience for the whole family.

How does this sound? Is this what you are after?

Making the decision to utilize child care can be difficult and can weigh on a parent’s mind. There are a variety of options in almost every community and they range in capacity and curriculum from home to center based. There are many quality facilities to choose from in the Willmar Community.

Child Care Programs can provide a child with interactive, structured settings where they have the opportunity to share, follow directions and play alongside their peers. We provide much needed pre-literacy and pre-math skills while keeping the unstructured free-play that is essential to child development. Child Care Programs can create a safe and positive environment for all children and recognize the importance of social and emotional development. Each family and child will have an individual experience and our focus is on building a foundation for lifelong learning.

At the Y Child Care Center we strive to create the feeling of family. I always tell families that “We want you in our facility because it is the best place for your family and the best fit for them personally”.

At the YMCA we place our focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

Youth and Family Director – Troy Pederson

May 23

Achieve a Healthy Community

Are you familiar with the Willmar Achieve Initiative?  The Willmar Community ACHIEVE team is a group of dedicated volunteers interested in making a Healthier Willmar.  This group of individuals from across our community has been working for the past several years on ways to make a meaningful and healthy impact on Willmar and the surrounding areas.  So what is it all about?

Willmar Community ACHIEVE Team Vision

To create a community where people move naturally, eat wisely, live with purpose, and connect with others by advocating for policies that promote healthy behavior.

Willmar Community ACHIEVE Team Goals
1. Maintain the promotion of local policy and environmental changes designed to increase the healthy behaviors of children and their families by engaging local resources and leadership.

Healthy families lead to a healthier community, lower health care costs and a brighter future for all of us. Whether you are already an active and health-minded family, or if you are just starting to make some changes, this page offers information about nutrition, physical activity, and other ways to keep you and your family healthy! Local activities and resources can be found here. Learn how to make the healthy choice, the easy choice.

2. Establish a new community/business network to share ideas and resources designed to promote healthy employees and community members with a baseline involvement of over a dozen local businesses.

A healthy workplace environment is vital to a productive and happy workforce. Workplace wellness programs help make a healthy work environment to support employee health and encourage positive lifestyle behaviors such as increased physical activity, improved healthy eating, reduced tobacco exposure, and reduced stress. More companies than ever are implementing health and wellness strategies to reduce injuries, health care costs and long-term disability. Additional benefits include reduced absenteeism, higher productivity, reduced use of health care benefits and increased morale and loyalty. Learn how employers can take advantage of wellness policies to provide services to develop healthier worksites.

3. Reduce the incidence of chronic disease 10% via education with special emphasis on economic and cultural barriers.





Join us as we work to make Willmar a healthier community!  Find us on Facebook (Healthy Willmar Achieve Program) and check out our website at
The Willmar ACHIEVE Team is aligned with the national ACHIEVE Healthy Communities initiative. More information is available at

May 16

Commitment to Community Capital Campaign

The Kandiyohi Area Family YMCA has, throughout its short history, been a leader. During the past twelve years, the YMCA has achieved recognition and earned a reputation as one of the leading human social service agencies in our area. Programs and services of the Y have continued to grow and meet the needs and demands of our changing community.

The new century and the new decade have brought new and different challenges to our YMCA. Today, the YMCA finds itself serving the population with programs and services that meet critical social concerns. It provides for the individuals and families of all income and social levels. It is culturally diverse in its members and offers opportunities to the entire community. Programs have grown from basketball games and swimming lessons to child care, youth sports, teen programs, parent-child classes and health enhancement programs. Add to these programs the continued growth in membership, the challenges the YMCA is faced with today are significant.

In order to address these challenges while maintaining a high level of program excellence, the YMCA leadership has worked closely during the past few years to formulate a plan for the future. A long range plan was developed and a feasibility study was conducted to determine if the current needs of the YMCA could be met.

These needs were identified and evaluated, priorities were established and goals were set. To accomplish these goals and our objectives, the Board of Directors approved a major capital campaign to meet our needs through an expansion that includes the following:

New Multipurpose Gymnasium with Track
Expansion of the Wellness Center and Additional Equipment
A New Large Wellness Studio
Specialized Room for Special Needs Classes and Ready to be Fit Exercisers
Two New Racquetball Courts

The campaign will be a success for two very good reasons. First is the caliber of leadership. Jim Reith, Chair, represents the past, present and future leadership needed to head the campaign. He, as the chair of the past capital campaign recognizes that the future strength of the YMCA largely depends on the success of the campaign and has committed his time and talent to seeing the current project to completion.

Futhermore, the campaign represents a sound investment to those who have supported the YMCA in the past. These supporters include various corporations, financial institutions, foundations, businesses and individuals. They realize the objective is not merely to raise funds but to provide the vehicle needed to assist our community in the future.

We, at the YMCA, continue to meet the challenges of today. The success of this campaign will ensure our readiness to meet the challenges of the future. It is an opportunity for friends of the YMCA to participate in meeting our goals. We invite you to join this endeavor and make a Commitment to Community.

Theresa Wittenberg, Executive Director

For more information or to donate-

contact us,

call 320 222 9622


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