Boot camp craze

By ASHLEY BERKERY and MIA BASS

Firm Body Bootcamp participants do push-ups on yoga mats in 30-second intervals. Photo by Mia Bass.

Boot camps are all over Homewood. Driving by Homewood Central Park before or after work, you can’t miss seeing them. We found out that they look intense because they are intense. We gave one a try ourselves.

Firm Body Bootcamp
Firm Body Bootcamp is just one of the fitness boot camps in Homewood Central Park. It blends cardio and strength training in sessions three days a week.

We experienced the intensity of a boot camp firsthand when we joined this summer. Firm Body provides accountability and gives you that extra push when you feel like you’re about to give up. “Give up” was not in our vocabulary that evening – we pushed through, savoring the quick 30 second breaks between stations in front of mist fans that help you beat the outdoor heat.

As beginners in the Firm Body Bootcamp, we were exhausted by the end of 45 minutes. Leaders of these boot camps keep everyone going with a mixture of upbeat music and encouraging words. We rotated between four different stations: one focused on weights, one on pushups, one that toned your arms with stretching bands and one that worked your arms and core by supporting yourself.

“Everybody wants to look good, but nobody wants to work hard,” instructor Romen McDonald said. At that point, we were happy to have made it through. McDonald is offering a free week of his Firm Body Bootcamp to any Homewood resident.

To see dates and times of classes and to sign up for your free week of “No Excuses, Just Results” Firm Body Bootcamp, go to www.firmbodybootcamps.com and click on free week. For more information, call 835-9770.

Studio Fitness
Studio Fitness offers a boot camp in its facility on Central Avenue. All classes last four weeks and normally include 10-12 people. Early registration is encouraged, but participants can also sign up on the day of. There are beginners in both classes, and instructors focus on individual ability levels. Both classes focus on core strengthening intensified with kettle bell exercises and punching on water bags.

They have a session led by Geno and Kevin that meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. It works as a total body workout that focuses on light weights, core work and agility. If you’re looking for high intensity, a boxing class is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. This class is led by Haley and Michael and features boxing drills, sprints and agility skills. To participate, you need to have a yoga mat, five to eight pound weights, full form boxing gloves, a hand towel and bottled water.

Studio Fitness is located at 2900 Central Avenue. For more information, visit www.studiofitnessllc.com or call 414-3644.

CrossFit Birmingham
CrossFit Birmingham also offers a Rigorous Bootcamp in Homewood Central Park, unless there is inclement weather. This boot camp is also broken down into monthly segments, but anyone is welcome to begin at any time with a prorated cost. The only thing you need to bring with you is a yoga mat and bottled water. The trainers work to accommodate every fitness level because most exercises comprise 30-second intervals, so you can work to your strengths.

CrossFit Birmingham works with the essentials as well to make sure everyone knows the proper technique when it comes to squats or pushups. Without those basics, you won’t see results and may risk injury.

They meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 a.m. as well as Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Richard at 396-4523 or richard@rigorousbootcamp.com. You can also visit their Facebook page for various videos on what to expect in a boot camp workout.

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