Gruelling push ups, hundreds of sit ups and 6am starts are all part of a police programme aimed at helping teenagers in one of the poorest areas in the Wellington region.
The Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit Support (CACTUS) programme is being rolled out in the Wellington region for the first time, after proving successful in other parts of the country.
Led by the Cannons Creek Neighbourhood policing team, it brings together a group of volunteers to mentor 25 Porirua College students for one hour, three days a week, for eight weeks.
One of the volunteers involved, university student Thamara Muthumala, said the programme was all about empowering the teenagers at the decile-one school.
"It's good for them to know that they can go far in life.
"Sometimes they get caught up in this thing where they feel like they have to do what everyone else is doing, that they can't go to university or they can't go far in life because of their socio-economic area, but I think if you put your mind to it you can do whatever you want," she said.
The average median income in Cannons Creek is $10,000 less than the national average and its unemployment rate is more than three times the national rate.
Sergeant Matiu Grant said while many students may have had a tough upbringing in Cannons Creek, he hoped the course would help them realise they weren't restricted by their circumstances and had a bright future ahead of them.
"The kids are respectful but you can tell that there are kids that have come from a harder background than my children for instance. So they have probably witnessed some things that kids shouldn't witness, it's not an easy place to grow up in," he said.
"But [this course] is all about trying to instil the discipline required in their day to day lives, and hopefully if we do our job right as mentors and leaders through this course, we will identify leaders within this group and then they can take what they learn into their lives.
"Then we've got 25 young adults that can pass on some of the values that they've picked up [during the programme] to their fellow students and that then filters out in the community."
Mr Grant, who has been a police officer for 19 years, said he was looking forward to seeing the change in the students over the course of the programme.
"In eight weeks, I'd like to see 25 kids that feel more confident in themselves, that have a better outlook on life than maybe some of them do now, I'd like to see 25 kids that have an idea of where they want to go moving forward, who are happy and stable."
The course is already doing that for 14-year-old Lance Barns, who hoped it would help him achieve his dream of getting into the army.
"It will be good for my fitness, because apparently you have to do so much training to even get into the army. I feel like serving the country is better than doing nothing."
The CACTUS programme is also supported by Porirua College staff and members of the Cannons Creek Boxing Academy.