Don't show up to Common Fitness expecting to see rows of treadmills under fluorescent lights—the company considers that far too boring. Instead, exercisers work out outdoors on the Waltham Common, hauling tires, lifting kettlebells, and forming the poses of Vinyasa Flow yoga under the guidance of certified trainers. The idea is to create a less monotonous workout and also to set a friendly, social tone that in turn makes classes more fun.
Cofounders Jill Tomich and Peter Lavelle had both been active in the fitness world before they opened Ultimate Bootcamp in 2004. Jill threw her energies into boxing, ballet, yoga, and blogging for a wedding diet-and-fitness website, and Peter, a native Irishman, was a triathlete. In all his pursuits, Peter adhered to the motto "We're not here for a long time?we're here for a good time."
This credo infuses all of the boot-camp programs. Campers from all across the fitness spectrum find accommodation as the workouts meet them close to home. Trainers never push too far, but always challenge. An energetic mix of outdoor-resistance and interval training layers patrons in svelte muscle, builds strength, and burns calories to promote weight loss more effectively than a rice cake's PR agent. Far from the stereotypical idea of a boot camp, encouragement and support roll in from instructors who foster cooperation and camaraderie between fellow boot campers.
Off the Wall Personal Training and Fitness, which has its own private facility within a dance school, offers a range of creative classes and programs, including heart-pumping boot camps and ab workouts to more attentive personal training. During personal-training programs, the staff helps clients formulate a game plan for healthy eating, balanced exercise, and regular body-fat and weight check-ins to keep participants motivated.
Warrior Nation's intense boot-camp workouts challenge participants to get fit, shed weight, and finally learn how to properly apply warpaint. The dynamic workouts are held in parks and include everything from interval training to plyometrics. The focus on functional exercise?plus the outdoor location?hammers home the fact that you don't need a gym to get in great shape.
Get Tone with Rindone is named for Joe Rindone, a personal trainer, certified Russian Kettlebell Challenge instructor, and golf enthusiast. Like his own fitness-related interests, his boot camps are diverse. The hour-long regimens tone the entire body with activities such as push-ups, sit-ups, and kettlebell routines. Meanwhile, he tailors his personal-training sessions to his clients' fitness goals, incorporating activities from functional strength training to boxing drills.
During afternoons at Together in Motion, children, accompanied by their parents, safely crawl through tunnels, practice somersaults, or explore a Parthenon made completely out of padded building blocks atop a cushioned floor. Evenings, however, turn the tables, allowing grownups to take over the space to fling dodgeballs at opponents or rehearse martial arts strikes in time for their kids' Bring Your Ninja to School Day. Weekend nights find thumping dance soundtracks traveling through the rooms, as black-light parties for teens and tweens celebrate birthdays and raise funds for nonprofits.
Though they admit disparate age groups, these classes and events provide a venue for guests to connect through movement. Together in Motion's facility rents its rooms to independent organizations—Social Boston Sports and Arlington Martial Arts among them—that encourage exercise and camaraderie. From the Latin-inspired beats of adult-centric Zumba classes to the musical motor-skill activities of Movin' Groovin' Tots, all of the programs foster both communal support and a healthy sense of self-confidence.