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Needham Families Invited to Join Fitness Contest

Adults and kids will work out together for free at Vo2max Fitness, with the goal of being named the "Fittest Family"—by competing against a family from Wellesley.

, a new personal training center in Needham, is looking for families in Needham and Wellesley to compete in a six-month competition to be named “Fittest Family.”

Two families will go head to head in the coming months, working out at different times as a family with the free assistance of trainers at Vo2max Fitness and getting nutrition advice as well, with the ultimate goal of raising their fitness levels.

From now through June 25, families in Needham and Wellesley can go online to vo2maxfitness.org and sign up for a chance to compete in the Fittest Family event. Ideally, Vo2max Fitness is looking for families with two adults and two to four children over the age of 14 (although children as young as 12 may be eligible). The staff will select one family from each town by the end of June.

“We’d really like to try to find a family that is maybe struggling, and fitness would be a way for them to come back together as a family,” said Matt Dupee, who owns Vo2max Fitness with his wife, Jessica. “It’s so rare that families have family dinner every night. The Fittest Family competition is a way to bring the family unit back together by focusing on nutrition and focusing around something like learning how to box—which is something that a 12-year-old can do and a 50-year-old can do—and they can do it all together, and they can have a really good time and get some competition going.”

The program is free to the two participating families, and their progress will be reported on Needham and Wellesley Patches, as well as on the Vo2max Fitness website.

So what exactly does a personal training session at Vo2max Fitness look like?

Here, individuals learn how to  “train like a boxer”—stepping into a real boxing ring and using the body as a machine rather than high-tech gym equipment.

“We’re not talking about hitting people. We’re talking about being able to put on boxing gloves and learn how to throw a punch, to bob and weave, to jump rope and get in the ring and do pushups,” Dupee said. “It’s an alternative method of training that utilizes your body weight.”

Boxers are some of the fittest athletes, Dupee said, and Vo2max Fitness draws on their training routines to help individuals of all ages improve their fitness levels.

“It really gets you in super shape, and it focuses you,” Dupee said. “Learning the combination punches makes you more in tune to what you’re doing and what you’re doing to your body.”

Dupee said he is looking for families in which “everybody could stand to get in better shape.”

“We don’t want a super fit family that works out all the time,” he noted.

To apply, go online to vo2maxfitness.org/Fittest_Family.html between now and June 25 and fill out an application, including the names and ages of everyone, contact information and a brief summary of why you think your family would be good for the Fittest Family program.

Winners will be announced on June 29, and workouts will begin July 5.

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