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Battle of the boot camps



A few years ago, boot camps were where you sent that unruly kid with a bad attitude. But these days, boot camps are where people go to drop pounds. In Charlotte, there are dozens of boot camps offering to tone, sculpt and shape your frame. But who has the best workout that will give you results? Here's a sampling of a few camps around the city.

Healing Strength, Personal Training and Women's Boot Camps:

Owner Kennett Washington: From day one when the clients come in, there is a focus on nutrition. My consultants are different than the average trainer that I've been exposed to in Charlotte. Our boot camps are for women only and it's a start-at-your-own-pace type of thing. If you can only do two repetitions of an exercise, then you do two -- even if the person beside you is doing 10. I just keep the ladies moving. I try to make it fun. The words "no" and "can't" aren't allowed. Our boot camps are designed to lose fat in a fast and healthy way.

What sets your boot camp apart from others in Charlotte?

Washington: I don't believe in one sort of training. I make it unique for them, and I make it challenging for them. At the same time, I make them challenge themselves. Also, the women create a sisterhood here.

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Tone Your Temple

Owner Rhonda Walker: My boot camp is a variety of things. We are indoor and outdoor at our fit camp. With the outdoor runs and drills, you have a variety of things. We did an outside run, which was .8 miles, and we then did some integral training in the grass, football runs and hopovers. We do a variety of things where we use our own body weight and then on Wednesdays, we'll do all weights and that will be inside. We work out to music when we are indoors and it takes their mind off how hard they are working. So, it's similar to a fitness class that you would go into at a local gym.

What sets your boot camp apart from others in Charlotte?

Walker: It is a smaller setting. I give them the feel of personal training, but it's a group setting. That's why I keep it small, no more than 10 individuals. That's the reason mine is a little different because it's not 40 people ... how can you watch their posture and make sure they're doing the right thing? I can really focus on that group of 10 as opposed to 30 or 40.

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Pride Conditioning

Owner Doug Seamens: What I do is functional training. A typical boot camp does a lot of body weight training, a lot of running and calisthenics -- and frankly it's boring. I work with a lot of weights, and we do some body weight stuff, too. We do a lot of ballistic movements, so it's like an explosive movement. We do a lot of integral training, which is better for you and gets results in a shorter amount of time. I'm different with how I work things. I max the sessions out at 12 people because I want to give them personal attention.

What sets your boot camp apart from others in Charlotte?

Seamens: I'm not a chain. I created the program completely, and it is based on a lot of research and how I work and the best way to do things. I don't get my workouts from a handbook, and I don't pay somebody else for my advertising. I am my own person, and I take huge pride in the successes of the people who go through my program. The other thing is with the program itself, a lot of the other programs are pretty cookie-cutter, and they have a certain number of exercises and a certain number of routines that they do. My program is not like that. You'd be hard pressed to go through the same workout twice in a 90-day period.

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Uptown Adventure Boot Camp for Women

Owner Benji Lewis: We offer an hour of fitness early in the morning that includes anything from pilates to calisthenics. It's a combination of everything. We go Monday through Friday. We're outside in a park. My morning sessions are in a Charlotte park, and my evening sessions are in a Huntersville park. I usually [cap the attendees] at 20. In my current session, I have 17.

What sets your boot camp apart from others in Charlotte?

Lewis: We have a great network of boot camp trainers. It is a group of trained, skilled professional personal trainers that love the idea of boot camp in the morning. It's an all-women's boot camp so it's a lot less intimidating for women who want to get up, get their workout on and go home. We typically keep it at one hour, because these are busy women.

We have a way of keeping it interesting for the ladies on a daily basis.

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operation boot camp

Owner Christen Lewis: We provide a four-week indoor/outdoor fitness boot camp. It is open to people 18 and up of all fitness levels. We do cardio, strength and integral training during the four weeks. We also do nutrition coaching. We really make an effort to find out everyone's goals while they are in the program, and we work with them to make sure they're getting the attention they need and meeting their goals.

What sets your boot camp apart from others in Charlotte?

Lewis: Operation Boot Camp is not just a licensed program; it's one that's regulated by Operation Boot Camp of North America. The workouts have been tested so they're standardized to meet levels of safety and effectiveness. The program is really safe, comprehensive and fun. We are going to challenge you, but we're not going to yell at you and make you feel bad about yourself. I don't know that other camps in town do that, but we're not going to get in your face and yell and scream at you; really, it's not that motivating.

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