Boot camps provide a more intensive workout than summer camps, whose most strenuous exercises include telling synchronized ghost stories or making a macramé barbell and then lifting it. Get something tangible out of camp with today's Groupon: for $20, you get 10 outdoor boot-camp sessions at Seek Fitness in Astoria (a $150 value). The boot camp meets at 6 a.m. on weekdays in Astoria Park.
Led by Seek Fitness' seasoned instructors, outdoor boot camp challenges early birds of all fitness levels with total-body workouts smack in the middle of Astoria Park’s leafy sprawl. Each one-hour session tests both muscles and snooze-button-resistance levels, with exercisers toning physiques with intensive strength training and feats of aerobic derring-do. A small group gathering, each boot camp binds exercisers with workout camaraderie, with campers bonding through outdoor workouts free from the stuffy treadmills and haunted locker rooms associated with indoor gyms.
When Ray went to college, he followed in his father's footsteps and studied for a career that would have kept him at a desk all day. But Ray has always been active, and he realized he needed to find a career that would allow him to interact with people. Initially, he trained in physical therapy—but when he discovered athletic training, he knew he'd found his true calling. For more than 13 years, he's dedicated himself to helping people achieve their fitness goals. Now, as the fitness-programming director at Seek Fitness, Ray is passionate about helping members get results with an effective training system. But even as he and his trainers encourage clients to push themselves, they still aim to make classes fun and a little crazy.
Seek Fitness focuses on three types of classes. During Zumba, trainers pump up Latin music, '80s and '90s throwbacks, and current dance hits, then throw themselves into easy-to-follow choreography that gets everyone sweating together as they party away calories. The trainers change up boot-camp routines for each class; on any given day, students might be swinging kettlebells or using TRX suspension bands. Energy-packed Fusion classes are designed to keep students moving for a full 50 minutes, whether they're taking jabs at focus mitts, pummeling punching bags and piñatas, or going through kickboxing combinations. At the end of class, trainers want everyone to be tired and sweaty but liberated from stress and proud of their workout.