Paul John Hemann | Staff Writer

Ramon Varela | Photographer


The Pumping Ducks, Century’s fitness club, has really taken shape since its birth – only six months ago.

The club consists of three days of intense physical training per week, tons of encouragement, respect, and high-fives. It is open to anyone who is up to getting in shape or simply looking to add more exercise to their routine.

The atmosphere within the club is very inviting and all-inclusive, and you feel welcomed from the moment you step in. The club “regulars” are true gentlemen and are extremely patient with you as you learn new techniques, form, and routine. Having said that; however, this club IS NOT for the half-hearted.

If it is not for you, there is no pressure. You will not be ridiculed or shamed in any way, and you will most likely be encouraged to come back. However, if you show up to work out, that is exactly what you will get. These guys do not mess around when it comes to fitness. They are, after all, a fitness club.

Jordan Zunker, one of the club’s founders, grew up in a small town. By the time he was 19 years old, he found his way to Phuket, Thailand to study Martial Arts. Zunker then moved to Duluth, MN and continued his training in kickboxing and Muay Thai, a form of Martial Arts he learned in Thailand.

“I knew about three people in the whole town,” Zunker remembers, “my Mui Thai coach inspired me and said ‘you should go to school’, so I did” he declares, as a matter-of-fact.

Jordan received an Associate’s degree at Lake Superior College when he decided to come to Century to take some engineering classes. “That’s when I met Joe in Dec. 2015” Zunker beams.

Joe Held is a student that worked at the connection with Zunker in 2015. The following summer, Held, Zunker, and Hoang Nguyen, a student worker in the Fitness Center, came up with the idea to start a club. They went before the Student Senate and gained approval.

About this time, the Fitness Center hired a brand-new lab assistant named Tory Vanschoyk. Tory jumped on-board, and the four were off-and-running with a new, official, Century club named “The Pumping Ducks.”

Over the next few months, they built a routine and welcoming environment and the people began to come. Presently, the core group has grown to nearly ten men and women.

The Pumping Ducks are gearing up for the Tough Mudder Half, an intense race/obstacle course taking place July 15th in the Twin Cities. The PDs are trying to get as many people involved as they can and are advertising half-priced entry fees.

The Tough Mudder Half has limited space so, if interested, take a trip to the Fitness Center and speak with Vanschoyk to gain more information or take advantage of the half-priced entry fee.

Vanschoyk is also excited about a strong-man competition coming in April. So, keep your eye out for posters around campus in the next few weeks.

Due to conflicting schedules and facility space, the PDs are only focusing on lifting weights at present but intend to unleash the full power of boot camp and kickboxing when the weather warms.

Be sure to keep up on the latest updates and announcements at the PDs Facebook page: FB.ME/PUMPINGDUCKS

Contact the PDs directly at:


Restrictions barred, the Pumping Ducks will meet:

Mondays 2:00pm – 4:00pm – Weightlifting

Wednesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm – Kickboxing (outside if weather permits)

Fridays 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Boot Camp (outside if weather permits)

(weightlifting only until weather warms)