Jay Kerwin knows a thing or two about making it through a tough regimen. A certified skydiver, scuba diver, pilot, and EMT, he was also one of only seven to graduate from the Air Force’s Pararescue Special Operations Indoctrination program––a course that begins with about 500 candidates. Now known as “the Major,” he helps build confidence and stronger bodies at Boot Camp LA, instilling his students with the same kind of motivation and work ethic that led him to win several national bodybuilding competitions and open pickle jars with ease.
Atop the plush grass and unforgiving concrete surrounding the La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Page Museum park, new and experienced recruits tone muscles as sneakered feet beat the ground during military-style drills that include running, strength workouts, and circuit training. Classes are lead by Jay and his wife Marcella, an athlete since age 10 and fondly referred to as “the Lieutenant.” Together, they work with men and women of all ages and fitness levels, developing workouts and offering nutrition advice. Recruits can train before the sun rises with classes ending before 10 a.m., or shake off sweat and workplace stress as the sun sets during an evening class. Aside from helping students lose weight, the Major and Lieutenant help them start or end each day with positive reinforcement, staying away from the yelling, belittling, and mama insulting often associated with traditional military-style boot camps.
For most, the season finale of American Idol is little more than a bump in excitement on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday evening. However, for Marco Reed, the end of the singing competition is only the beginning of his job?it?s the renowned trainer?s cue to ready the winning singer for tour with his expert workout and nutrition routines, some of which have been featured in Self, Fitness, and omg! from Yahoo!.
At his studio, Get Beyond Fit, Marco helps both his celebrity and noncelebrity clients reach their fitness and weight-loss goals with one-on-one and group training sessions. He motivates exercisers through circuit-style cardio and resistance exercises, dance, and kickboxing, and guides them to better eating with his book The 3+1 Diet, which not only outlines eight weeks of healthy eating, but also smells like cardiovascular strength. Basing his regime on ?four pillars of health??movement, thought, connection, and stillness?Marco stresses the importance of regular meditation and a healthy support system.
Backyard Bootcamp's team of highly trained instructors leads clients on fat-burning journeys through nature, slimming down physiques with fitness and dietary regimens that have been featured in The Black Book of Hollywood Diet Secrets by Kym Douglas and Cindy Pearlman. Each alfresco program combines scenic valley views with varied drills that challenge muscles in a new way each day. Patrons might jog down forest trails, surmount verdant hills, or hurdle squirrels in their pursuit of streamlined figures, and calisthenics and weight-lifting tone bodies from the torsos outward. The nutritional component of Backyard Bootcamp's routines holds attendees accountable with a food journal and provides a slew of tips for wholesome meal planning.
In addition to their boot camps and yoga meet-ups, trainers also helm backpacking retreats and report on local races, continuously cultivating a respect for wellness and the great outdoors.
Founder Linda Taix has one mission: to help clients achieve the ultimate positive change in body, health, and spirit––without half- hearted crunches. Employing a team of certified personal trainers and former military personnel, Linda's civilian-style fitness boot camp was featured on Good Morning America. Linda modeled her six-week boot-camp sessions after a real military boot camp, with an enlistment phase to gauge fitness levels and one- hour classes that blend military exercise drills, resistance training, and plyometrics with cardio activities such as obstacle courses and double-dutch jump-rope contests against local youths.
Cutting out traditional boot-camp yelling and huffing, the team fosters a supportive and motivating environment for students of all skill levels. Furthermore, Extreme employs nutritionist and fourth-degree black belt Jake Nelson to guide clients with diet advice and personal consultations on how best to break a board with a honey-glazed ham.
Crystal Greene began her martial journey at the tender age of 4, studying the art of Seido karate developed by Tadashi Nakamura in 1976. After earning a third-degree black belt, she moved on to other forms of combat such as muay thai. Trips to tournaments in Australia, Japan, and New York helped hone her competitive edge before she settled down to earn her certification to teach kickboxing. Now, Crystal uses her skills and five instructors at Foxy and Fierce Women's Kickboxing to kick women's workouts into high gear while simultaneously grounding them with a practical self-defense education.
Though classes make use of the kicks and punches that comprise each of Crystal's martial arts, they also incorporate elements of Pilates, yoga, and strength conditioning to tone the overall body. Crystal's studio emulates a traditional Japanese dojo, with pristine hardwood floors and a space carefully appointed to enhance concentration with village elders who stand in the corners and whisper "Concentrate."
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.