Porter’s House of Pain Men’s and Women’s Ultimate Fitness Challenge slated for Saturday

“It’s really a testament to a person’s grit, drive and determination.”

That’s how Rob Porter, creator of the inaugural Porter’s House of Pain Men’s and Women’s Ultimate Fitness Challenge, describes the upcoming event, which is slated to take place Saturday 2 at the field behind the St. Stephen High School from 6 to 9 p.m.

The fitness challenge, which was once a strongman event in previous years, will have a men’s and women’s division.

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There will be 10 stations, which competitors will run through from start to finish. Porter likened it to the T.V. show “American Ninja Warrior.”

The event is also acting as a fundraiser for the We’ve Got Your Back Foundation – a non-profit organization that provides food to school-age children for weekends in Charlotte County.

The fitness challenge is free to attend and free for competitors; concessions will be available as well as a 50/50 draw with all proceeds to go to We’ve Got Your Back Foundation.

Following Porter’s boxing class at Infinity Fitness Tuesday evening, he gave competitors words of advice and encouragement, as they gave the salmon ladder – one of the 10 stations – a practice run.

Kate Scott/Courier
Spencer Cleaves makes his way to the top of the salmon ladder – a station in the Porter’s House of Pain Men’s and Women’s Fitness Challenge – during a practice run Tuesday evening. The upcoming event is slated to take place at the St. Stephen High School from 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 12.

Competitors are required to jump from peg to peg on an upright structure using a bar. Though there are four pegs, participants are required to successfully jump two sets of pegs.

“It will be tough, but it’s not as intimidating as it looks; it’s definitely doable,” Porter said.

Though the event has changed from the strongman to a fitness challenge, elements from the strongman will remain, such as the tire flip, sled drag as well as others.

Other stations in the event will include five hurdles, stagger step tires, peg board, farmers walk, clean and press, eight foot obstacle wall, and the fireman’s carry will conclude the race.

The penalty for skipping an event is to have five minutes added to the competitor’s time. The challenger who completes the race the fastest in each division, respectively, will be named the champion.

“The stations run one right into the other; it doesn’t disqualify you if you miss one, you can still place,” he stressed.

“I’d like to see people not be intimidated about missing a particular event or particular component, you can still do well.

“It’s a combination of strength, muscle endurance; and cardiovascular endurance is going to also be a big thing.”

Though there’s an appeal to the salmon ladder, Porter admitted his favourite station is the clean and press.

“I’d like to see how people do with this,” Porter said, gesturing toward the salmon ladder, “but my favourite station is also the clean and press; it’s always my favourite exercise. It’s a simple one, but that’s one that surprises people.”

Porter said 10 men and seven women have confirmed their spot, but noted he is still accepting those interested in participating.

“We have a number of competitors signed up and it should be a real battle this year. We have athletes, football players, wrestlers, body builders, strength athletes, boxers and martial artists, distance runners, you name it.

“This course is very challenging but certainly within the capability of most individuals who engage in a balanced fitness programme. You do not have to be an athlete but you do need to have drive.”

Those interested in participating can call or text Porter at 466-8963. A trophy for the top three male and top three female, as well as best overall will be awarded.

“It’s hard to do, but it’s certainly doable, and it’s a great feeling at the end of it. It’s a great feeling knowing that you did accomplish it and people really love to get behind the competitors.”

Kate Scott/Courier
Chris Justason tries his hand at the salmon ladder.
Kate Scott/Courier
Megan Boudreau prepares to lift herself up from the second peg of the salmon ladder.