Corrimal athlete Scott Garlepp has his sights set on a world title as he returns to the unique spectacle of sport aerobics competition.
Garlepp will compete in the NSW State titles on June 23 at the Griffith Duncan Theatre in Newcastle. This event marks the first step on his journey to the FISAF (Federation of international Sport Aerobics and Fitness) World Championships being held in Leiden in The Netherlands, in October.
The 27-year-old athlete has spent a decade away from the sport, and is determined to shatter stereotypes associated with aerobics.
“People underestimate the pure athleticism required for the sport. We perform to music at 155 beats per minute at close to max heart rate. It’s exhausting but we still have to be artistically and technically perfect,” Garlepp said.
The sport requires a mixture of aerobic fitness, gymnastic skill, and artistic interpretation. The training includes a balance of these elements to perfect the two minute 10 second routines that include jumps, kicks, one armed pushups, and gymnastics skills.
“I train for two to three hours, five days a week on average. I do sprint work, cardio fitness, strength training, and run my routine. I also travel up to Newcastle every few weeks to work with my coach,” Garlepp said.
Sport aerobics came to prominence in the ’90s, as the fitness craze hit lounge rooms across the world. Garlepp’s coach, seven-time World Champion Allira Bull said the sport remains popular in Australia.
“Although it is not as big as it was in the ’90s, the level of competition has not dropped. Australia has one of the highest levels of national competition, and our athletes are always competitive on the world stage,” he said.
Garlepp got involved in the sport in high school.
“I got too old to be competitive in artistic gymnastics, but my school had an aerobics program and my skills transferred into this sport. I wanted to compete again because i knew I had more to give and I want a world title,” he said.