Melanie Leeder

Fitness in the front yard at Langford home

Melanie Leeder’s driveway is covered in chalk-drawn arrows and plastic cones, a maze of wooden stakes and yellow police tape.

Melanie Leeder’s driveway is covered in chalk-drawn arrows and plastic cones. On her front lawn stands a maze of wooden stakes and yellow police tape.

Walk down the driveway and you’ll discover what used to be a two-car garage – now converted into a mini-gym, equipped with a treadmill, weights and workout bench.

Leeder, a personal trainer originally from Youbou, B.C., moved to Victoria from Vancouver last July.

She quickly renovated her Colwood home to include a 400 square-foot gym with a shower and kids play area.

“One of my main goals is to make fitness affordable for everyone,” Leeder says. “It shouldn’t just be for the elite.”

Leeder began her business, Follow the Leeder, as a personal training service last September. But she soon realized the concept didn’t fit the needs of the community.

In January, Leeder developed the idea of incorporating a CrossFit-style bootcamp course for her clients.

The workouts use a mixture of weights, gymnastics, running, rowing and more.

“It just takes away the typical mundane (feeling) of a gym class,” says Leeder. “It gets people out of their comfort zone.”

Her goal is to get her clients to try different workouts they thought they wouldn’t have enjoyed, she says.

“It builds their confidence and seeps into different aspects of their life. It’s not about the workout. It’s about the experience.”

One workout, a seven part obstacle course, looks like a game kids might dream up, only this one is done under the demanding eye of a bootcamp instructor.

On a recent Tuesday evening, a group of seven clients weaved through the course, crawling under a web of police tape, lunging while holding a tube above their heads and trying to keep a Ziploc bag filled with water on their back as they crawl across the driveway.

“(The trend in exercise is about) thinking outside of the box on how you view working out,” Leeder says.

People of all shapes and sizes, and fitness levels can do these workouts, Leeder said.

“Anyone can do it because it can be modified to any level.”

For more information about Mel’s Mudder Madness Bootcamps, see

Just Posted

Major expansion coming to Royal Bay Secondary

Province will build space for 600 more students on same site

At the age of 95, local bowler shows no signs of slowing down

Olive Olmsted has bowled for more than 55 years

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

Royal Bay junior boys bring back lacrosse banner

The Ravens sent three teams to the provincial championships

Langford fundraiser for kidney disease is a success

Maureen Hobbs thinks B.C. Transplant says it best: “Live life. Pass it on.”

Celebrating our transit drivers on their day

March 18 is International Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

B.C. VIEWS: Speculation tax, cabin tax or asset tax?

Targeting empty homes seems confused and ineffective

Inspections, training needed to prevent repeat of Fernie ammonia leak across B.C.

Ammonia is inherently dangerous and should be not used in skating and curling rinks, says one expert

LETTER: Lowered voting age would engage youth in political process

Saanich high school student supports giving a vote to 16-year-olds

RCMP move to arrest pipeline protesters at entrance to Trans Mountain work site

28 demonstrators began blocking the entrance to Kinder Morgan’s work site at about 10 a.m. Saturday

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Most Read