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.
In Robby Blanchard's biography photo on his website, he prepares to lift a heavily stacked barbell. The determination is clear on his face—the same determination that carried him through a bachelors of science in exercise, an MBA in Business Management, three CrossFit-training certifications in varying styles, not including the fact he's a USA Weightlifting-Certified Sports Performance Coach. Today he shares his determination and all his fitness knowledge with at his training camp, CrossFit Reach.
During workouts, Robby and two other resident coaches push students through an array of exercises that change every session to boost the body's ability to perform in the 10 domains of fitness, which include power, speed, flexibility, and agility. To do so, students might perform exercises requiring them to run, jump, weightlift, and eventually perform all of those elements at once, immediately qualifying them for a life in the circus.
Though dance is a great form of exercise, it's equally a great form of self-expression. That's the idea behind Shine On Performing Arts, a dance studio that focuses on not just the discipline of dance, but also artistry and fun. Children combine an appreciation for fitness with fancy footwork in such dance styles as hip-hop, ballet, and jazz, helping them potentially work up to a spot on the studio's competitive dance team. Adults immerse themselves in creative workouts such as the dance-heavy Zumba, barre fitness, and ballet bootcamp, which teaches students to lace a pointe shoe blindfolded.
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.