Looking at her today, you'd never guess that Christina Lucy struggled during gym class in school. She didn't consider herself an athlete, and often watched as coaches cajoled her classmates when they really needed encouragement and support. That rough introduction to the world of physical fitness could have left a bitter taste in her mouth, but instead, Christina let it fuel her desire to improve herself and help other women do the same.
Christina created Code Pink Boot Camp as a place where women could go to find the encouragement, empathy, and, most importantly, the tools they needed to meet their personal fitness goals. The one-hour boot camps combine strength- and functional-training with cardio drills, obstacle courses, and flexibility exercises like yoga, and each exercise can be completely tailored to each woman's individual goals, whether they want to drop 10 pounds or simply fit back into the slim-cut hot dog suit they wore to prom. And, of course, fun and safety are always given top priority in every boot camp, meaning instructors will never push participants beyond their limitations or turn the workout into a competition.
In parks throughout the United States and Vancouver, Access Boot Camp's certified personal trainers continually perplex muscles with a new 60-minute routine each class. The drills blend resistance exercises with cardio routines such as running, calisthenics, and sparring against defibrillators, striving to shed fat and toughen physiques. Clients might wrestle against resistance bands, hoist small dumbbells, or partner up for bodyweight moves. In addition to holding personal-trainer certifications, every boot camp instructor has undergone Access's specialized, and because classes are capped at 20 students per trainer, attendees get plenty of face time and individualized tips. Friendly faux drill sergeants lead the alfresco workouts rain or shine, and only cancel classes during plagues of spandex-devouring locusts.
Having three sons himself, fitness guru Curtis Hoekstra understands how finding time to exercise can sometimes be difficult when juggling busy work and family schedules. That’s one of the reasons why he designed Rock Star Boot Camp’s workouts to be fast—each only 40 minutes along. But his interval-based “9xFit” training system isn’t for slouches, packing a mix of strength training, plyometrics, core conditioning, and other types of exercise into one dynamic session. Over the course of the workout, boot camp attendees will warm up with some calisthenics before launching into exercises tailored to their individual needs. Cardio training also factors in, eschewing treadmills and other machines in favor of metabolism-boosting bodyweight circuits. The co-ed fitness classes are held in an indoor/outdoor warehouse.
The trainers at Ultimate Body Boot Camp forage through the workout wilderness to curate a fitness omnibus. They pull from multiple exercise styles—including Pilates, plyometrics, kickboxing, yoga, and core work—to build workouts that combine the benefits of cardio and resistance training. This earned the program a top spot on Arizona Foothills magazine's Best of Our Valley list for 2012.
To keep clients' muscles from hitting the wall, getting bored, or taking off in the dead of night to pursue a career as an anatomy textbook model, coaches change the routine each class and give campers personalized tips to fuel individual journeys. Body-composition tests and nutritional plans augment the sessions, inspiring long-lasting habits for healthy physiques.
More than just a simple warehouse filled with weightlifters and the cardio obsessed, this 24 Hour Fitness combines many features found at smaller, more boutique outfits – but for a fraction of the cost. High-energy exercise classes revolve around popular options like yoga, Zumba and spin, while an on-site hot tub helps relax sore muscles after a particularly brutal workout. For parents with young children, a Kids Club sits just off the main exercise floor of this tall, open space, a perfect place for little ones to hang out while their parents put in some cardio time. An attached supplement sales kiosk takes care of any remaining post-workout needs, though the tall, sunny, warehouse-like space is always ready to welcome the hardcore back for another session.
Balanced Body Bootcamp founder Kristen Poczulp, a certified personal trainer, leads a team of fitness buffs at two locations. Eschewing the issues that frustrated her at conventional gyms, Kristen and her trainers rely on group motivation and accountability to motivate women to keep their commitments to exercise and end unhealthy relationships with the snooze button. The one-hour boot-camp workouts blend intervals, circuits, and strength training that can be tailored to fit ladies of all ages and fitness levels. Alternatively, 60-minute Long and Lean classes focus on getting heart rates up.