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Winter fitness boot camp shakes things up

Boot Camp participants bear crawl up a hill during one of their early morning workouts. This year’s Winter Boot Camp begins Jan. 17 and runs through Feb. 28. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Boot Camp participants bear crawl up a hill during one of their early morning workouts. This year’s Winter Boot Camp begins Jan. 17 and runs through Feb. 28. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Published: January 16, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 16, 2014) -- With the new year still young, many people have new goals and are making life changes, and one Fort Rucker program is looking to help meet those goals and shake things up on a fitness level.

Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Center’s 2014 Winter Boot Camp begins Jan. 17 to provide people an unconventional way to increase their level of fitness and maintain a healthy lifestyle, according to Lynn Avila, fitness programs coordinator.

“We need to inform people on how to make life changes,” said Avila. “It’s not just about working out and we want to be able to give people information to make life-long changes.”

The six-week program will run through Feb. 28 and will be offered in two timeframes – 6:30-7:30 a.m. and 8:30-9:30 a.m. Participants will meet five days a week to incorporate five different elements of fitness for each day, said the fitness coordinator.

Cost of registration is $100 and includes weekly consultations to keep track of progress, a T-shirt, as well as access to all group fitness classes for the duration of the program.

Each day will consist of a different element: endurance day, which could involve running or any exercise for an extended period of time; field day, which will involve functional training; game day, which will involve some sort of competitive sports activity; intensity classes, which will incorporate plyometrics-type exercises; and information sessions, which is new for this session, and will include workout journals and nutritional counseling.

“I’m hoping that the informational portion will compliment the fitness regiment,” said Avila. “We can’t always be there and it’s not just about the workout while you’re there. It’s about what you can do for yourself at home and after boot camp to continue your process.”

Boot camp also utilizes facilities unique to the installation, such as the NCO Academy obstacle course, and the many trails found on Fort Rucker, including Parcours Trail, the Beaver Lake trails and the trails found at the Fort Rucker Riding Stables, depending on where the workouts will take place that week, she added.

“Each week we will have a different place where we will do our activities, such as Beach Week or Equestrian Week,” said Avila. “Most of the activities will be performed on location during those weeks and we will use whatever is available at the sites to perform the exercises.”

The program doesn’t use traditional weights and fitness machines in order to get results, but utilizes objects found at the locations to perform certain activities, such as sand bags or bales of hay, which Avila said provides a nontraditional way to work out and a total-body workout.

“Because you’re using outdoor equipment and whatever is in the area to work out, most of the objects we use are uneven (in weight distribution), so you have to use different muscles and muscle movements to move them,” she said. “It’s not your typical workout, but people are still getting a full-body workout that’s pretty intense.”

The workouts can also be modified to fit each person’s individual fitness needs, added the fitness coordinator.

Because of the intensity of some of the workouts throughout the program, Avila suggests that people who are interested have some sort of fitness background before signing up, but if they are highly motivated, then the program might be right up their alley.

“Boot camp is a commitment and people should know that before jumping into it,” she said. “You’re going to get out of it what you put in, so if you come in just for a one-hour session and leave, you’re going to get the minimum results out of the program.

“If you come in with the attitude of, ‘I’m going to take the six weeks to change my lifestyle, learn new things and push myself,’ you will get the most out of it,” she added.

One of the large benefits of the program is the access to fitness classes that are offered at the fitness centers, and Avila suggests that people take full advantage of the perk and use it to boost their results in the program.

“Participants should complement the workout with at least one of those fitness classes during the day, and that will give them the best results,” she said. “If we do a strength exercise in the morning, compliment that with a yoga class in the evening. People need to use that six weeks as a life changer, and I truly believe that it can be.”

For more information or to sign up, call 255-3794.

This article was originally published at

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