By Shannon Magsam
“Five more seconds, ladies!” Matt Swartz called out to a dozen women, his voice part cheerleader, part drill sergeant.
“Five seconds never sounded so good,” said one of the boot campers in a breathless voice, eliciting laughter from the other ladies who were doing stomach crunches along with her.
One of those ladies was me. Believe it when I say I could still feel those “crunchies” a few days later. I felt muscles I forgot I had or never knew I owned.
And it felt good.
Matt and his wife, Katie, own a new regional fitness business, Northwest Arkansas Adventure Boot Camp for Women. They recently moved to NWA from Austin, Texas, to start the new business. And I must point out that they are newlyweds, only married for about two months. Awwww.
But back to the business: Matt was an Arkansas Razorback football player and has been a collegiate football and soccer coach, high school soccer coach and personal trainer for the past eight years. Katie has been involved in athletics for many years, has coached high school volleyball and played on the US Junior PGA tour.
The new boot camp programs run an hour a day for four weeks, Monday through Thursday, and are designed to help you jump-start or meet your fitness goals. Pre- and post-evaluations will help monitor your progress.
Although it’s called “boot camp,” Matt reminds you to only exercise at a level that feels right for you. The camp mixes all fitness levels and it’s no biggie if you can only do 10 jumping jacks to someone else’s 20.
The Boot Camp first started in the late 1990s in Orange County, California (a little aside: the women from the T.V. show The Real Housewives of Orange County do this workout) and has spread to other parts of the country. The Swartzes are enthusiastic about their business and it’s infectious.
There’s nothing boring about the boot camp workouts, I can tell you from experience. And Matt and Katie have all kinds of surprises in store to keep the workouts fun and effective.
The night I went over to meet the group at the track between Vandergriff Elementary and McNair Middle School, there was a fine mist raining down on the boot campers’ faces. Which was nice because it washed away my, um, completely feminine perspiration. It was so pleasant to be outside in nature while jogging, doing (girl) push-ups and the aforementioned crunches. It’s definitely a full-body workout.
Matt and Katie can also help you with meal plans so that while you’re in boot camp, you’re not sabotaging yourself by eating poorly. But Katie says they start with your favorite foods and tailor the meal plan to your specific tastes (well, maybe minus the doughnuts).
The cost of the four-week program is going to run you about $15 an hour, which is much less than what you’d pay a typical personal trainer. Matt and Katie are always checking body posture to make sure you’re doing the exercises properly and not hurting yourself.
And here’s something sa-weet: the Swartzes are offering a $20 gift certificate to Motherlode readers for their Sept. 22 camps in Fayetteville or Bentonville! When you register (HERE’S THE LINK) just type “Motherlode” in the reference box. If you write a check and give it to them when you start class, they’ll knock $20 off the month-long fee. If you put it on a credit card, Matt or Katie will hand you your $20 bucks back when you go to your first class. For more information, call Katie at 479-789-4882.
Here are the upcoming Sept. 22 class times:
Spring Hill Elementary (Central & 2nd)
5:30 to 6:30 a.m.
7 to 8 p.m.
McNair Middle School (Mission and Crossover)
5:30 to 6:30 a.m.
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
7:30 to 8:30 pm.
Let the adventure begin!