If you’re like me and your annual New Year’s resolution has something to do with exercise, but you never quite seem to stick with it this may be the answer!
Adventure Boot Camp offers early morning, high-intensity exercise class
By Desiree Johnson
Killeen Daily Herald
At 5:15 in the morning, even the sun isn't up, but behind the Killeen Community Center, spotlighted under a pavillion in near total darkness, a group of Central Texas residents are not only awake, they're sweating.
The group is a part of the Killeen Adventure Boot Camp, a program that was designed to get people in shape and feeling fit.
"We wanted to give people other options besides the gym," said owner and instructor Jimmy Stewart. "We do all the thinking for them, all they have to do is show up. It's like having a personal trainer."
The program began last April in Waco and did so well, they partnered with the city of Killeen to bring it here. A six-week course, the program focuses on high-intensity training with a total body workout.
In the cool temperatures of the early morning, students arrive with their small set of dumbbells, a mat and water, ready to get to work.
Each day they do a series of running, abdominal workouts and more – basically a workout from head to toe.
"A lot of people get intimidated by gyms, the people in them, or walking in and not having a clue what to do," said Stewart, who also has been working as a fireman for more than 20 years. "Here, you just want to survive the workout. You're not so worried about what's around you, and at 5 a.m. no one cares what you look like, everyone's focused on the workout."
Student Ramona Nitti, a Harker Heights resident and mother of three, gets up 45 minutes before the 5:15 a.m. start time to participate in the program that has helped her keep up with her kids.
"I do it for myself and I definitely see a difference. I'm more energetic, I see the difference in my clothes; everything about it keeps you going," Nitti said. "I took this class because someone would hold my feet to the fire and it does. It's 20 push-ups if you're late, if you use curse words, if you don't show up ... it's a great team effort and it's great motivation."
Stewart says the accountability aspect of the program is one of the most important parts.
"We have roll call every morning and if you're not here, we give you a call to check up on you and make sure everything is OK. Accountability is a big part because it can be hard to be self-motivated to do something like this," Stewart said. "Another big part is making people feel good about themselves and having more confidence. Once you have the discipline to get out here this early in the morning, you feel empowered. This program can really change lives, personalities even."
Killeen morning class instructor April Munson can see the difference in her students both physically and motivationally.
"We have one woman who was in a car accident so half her body is metal and this is the first workout she's done since the accident six months ago," Munson said. "It's inspiring to see what they're willing to go through motivationally and it's awesome to see people come in who haven't been working out at all. They get here just wanting to try something new and now they're so excited some even get here before me."
Whether the goal is to lose weight, kick start a new fitness program, keep up with the kids or catch up to a military spouse in better shape, the program seems to be working and is sure to gain popularity with time.
"I feel more alive through my day. I like the way I feel when I get done, even though I'm really sweaty, but that's what a shower is for," Nitti said laughing. "You can't get what you get here for the money with a personal trainer."
Just can't get up at 5 a.m.? Don't worry, the boot camp also has an evening class at 6 p.m.
For more information on the Killeen Adventure Boot Camp, go to www.killeenbootcamp.com or call (254) 716-3200.