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Personal trainer Tolliver helps people exercise during coronavirus crisis

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, facilities that offer individuals an outlet for keeping fit have shuttered.

No more treadmills, bar bells or elliptical fitness cross-trainers are available for use, unless one has a home gym.

During these stressful times, more than ever, people need all the benefits physical fitness provides.

Julian Tolliver, who is employed at the Vicksburg Fire Department and serves as a Captain and a paramedic, knows the importance of exercise.

Tolliver is also a part-time certified personal trainer and, in an effort to continue working with his clientele, he has capitalized on one of the River City’s many assets, the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Tolliver takes advantage of the large median located in the center of the VNMP’s parking lot, where those training have adequate space to practice social distancing as well as go through their workout routines.

“There are a few public places you can go to walk or jog, but I just decided the Military Park would be the perfect place to meet up,” he said.

Exercises include pushups, air squats, lunges, squat jumps, jumping jacks or anything that keeps the heart rate up. The simple exercises use body weight and circuit training, which consists of moving around to varying exercises.

“So there will be one person doing something totally different from the other and then they will move in a clockwise position to the next exercise,” Tolliver said. “You would do each of these (exercises) for about 30 seconds, rest for 15 to 20 seconds and then go right on to the next exercise.”

The number of circuit training stations Tolliver sets up, he said, depends on how many people he has at each session.

While some might think this type of training isn’t as rigorous as being at a gym, Tolliver said they would be surprised at how getting the heart rate up and then slowing it back down can be physically demanding.

“I’ve have clients out there sweating,” he said.

Calorie burn is also taking place.

Workouts in the park with Tolliver also have music. He said he uses his iPad and a wireless speaker to pump up those who are training.

“Up tempo music can help get you on a beat,” he said.

Currently, Tolliver has about 20 regular clients. More than half of those are working out with him in the park.

He said he also reached out to former clients and is even picking up clients who show up at the park to walk.

“I was doing training with my clients and as people came to the park, they were just kind of looking over and asking questions and were interested in it (the training sessions),” he said. “And actually two that had come to the park to walk will be joining me this week.”

Tolliver knew becoming a personal trainer would be work, but admitted it was a fun job. For that reason he has continued to offer his services despite the obstacles COVID-19 has placed on gyms.

“I could have just said, ‘Hey guys, no training until this whole coronavirus thing is lifted, but I have clients that need to work out because they want it and it keeps a lot of my clients going and myself,” Tolliver said.

As the owner of Rejuvenating Fitness, Tolliver said for those interested in joining in, the first session is free and then costs $5 for each additional workout session.
Sessions will be limited to 10 people. For more information about the sessions in the park, call 601-218-7474.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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