After the birth of her first child in 2001, Baby Boot Camp’s founder and certified trainer and spin and Pilates instructor Kristen Horler wanted a postnatal fitness program that didn't require her to leave her baby at the door. Her solution was to start a suit of programs just for new and expecting parents where mothers could bond with their infants while soaking up the support and camaraderie of their peers. During Strollfit sessions, certified trainers and Radio Flyers equipped with outboard motors lead ladies through innovative routines that incorporate baby-filled strollers into yoga, cardio, and strength training. For long-term fitness, coaches encourage aspiring runners to break through the tape during the 5K training program, and Kristen's own Nutrition Solutions teaches the benefits of healthy-eating habits during a four-week program designed by registered dieticians.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Coach Mike Ford is no sissy. Since he was 12 years old, the dedicated athlete has been taking on extreme feats of strength and endurance that many people would never even dream of attempting—undertaking off-road triathlons, sweating through 35-hour nonstop workouts, and running 10-K races with a 50-pound log tied to his back. But when he attended his first CrossFit class, he was surprised and humbled to find that he was left exhausted by the short, intense, and challenging workout. Intrigued by this innovative program and determined to improve, Mike immediately started his own CrossFit gym in his garage.
Today, Beaverton CrossFit has expanded into a bustling CrossFit gym, where Mike, his wife Christine, and their staff of certified trainers conduct classes throughout the week. Drawing from an arsenal of dumbbells and pull-up bars, coaches lead CrossFit's signature high-intensity workouts within their well-equipped, no-frills facility. They vary routines each day to prevent muscles from becoming bored and passing notes to the bones, and motivate students throughout the routines with constant encouragement. The Beaverton CrossFit team participated in the 2012 and 2013 North West Regionals CrossFit games, where students and coaches alike placed among the top athletes, with Mike Ford taking 13th in the Masters Division in 2012 and in 2013, and coach Brian Miller taking 1st in the Northwest Regional CrossFit Games in 2013.
Sneakers pound the grass during shriek-filled games of tag. But this isn’t recess, it’s Portland Fit Camp, and the jubilant players aren’t children but women sculpting muscles during the intense, outdoor adult version of the classic game. With a max of 24 campers, the sessions have an intimate feel, and their participants are fueled by their collective energy and the motivational training of a certified instructor. For five days a week for four-week sessions, the groups meet in the park for muscle-shocking routines that change daily to avoid plateaus. Core-based, functional exercises such as agility ladder drills, air squats, and hill sprints are all taught to students, who break the traditional workout routine with games of tag or games of capture the flag taped to the squirrel’s back.