Valparaiso resident Ross Bunchek is proving that he can pull his weight as Healthy Living Director at the Portage Township YMCA, 3100 Willowcreek Road.
Hired in June, Bunchek, 24, is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and a Certified Technical Coach through the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
In 2012, he earned his master’s in exercise science from Wayne State College in Nebraska, and served as a personal trainer, wellness specialist, and group exercise instructor for the Fallbrook YMCA in Lincoln, Neb.
“During that time I also served as a volunteer assistant track and field coach for the University of Nebraska and was a graduate assistant to Wayne State’s Health, Human Performance, and Sport Department,” he said.
Bunchek currently manages and coordinates Portage YMCA group exercise, personal training and youth fitness training programs in addition to overseeing the aquatic and sports programs.
“I really do enjoy just about everything here. It’s exciting to be a part of the new direction here at the Y. To actually have a hand in determining that direction is absolutely thrilling,” he said.
“I’m also unofficially in charge of bringing a daily dose of awesome to the Y, which I do proudly every single day,” Bunchek joked.
Bunchek is most excited about new programs coming to the facility, including Boot Camp classes, cycling classes and battling ropes.
“I’m excited to take what the Y currently does and add to it, making it into one of the best facilities in all of Northwest Indiana,” he said.
“Whether it’s seeing a member make a new commitment to their health or working with a current member, it’s hard to ignore the absolute joy people display when they feel accomplished regarding their health.”
Bunchek also will be working this year with the Valparaiso University track and field team as a strength coach and assistant throws coach.
An avid sports fan, he enjoys lifting weights and competing in the Scottish Highland Games with fiancée Victoria Zimmerman.