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Boot Camp LA offers intense workout in group setting

December 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Drive by almost any park in Southern California, and you are sure to see boot camps running from early morning to sundown.

We asked campers why this might be the best way to go for good health.

"Well I go to the gym by myself and I would do basically the same routine," said Kim Blythe, who has been going to Boot Camp LA three days a week for four years.

Blythe was depressed and frustrated at 190 pounds.

"After a while when you have so much weight to lose - I had a significant amount - you can't do it by yourself," said Blythe.

She started Boot Camp, and was pleasantly surprised.

"It's like you get a personal trainer to tell you what to do for your workout, and then you get to goof off with your friends for an hour at the same time," said Blythe.

"When I first started, I was about 40 percent body fat and over 200 pounds," said Tamarah Logan, who has been going to Boot Camp for more than two years.

Logan initially quit after jogging about 20 yards.

"I'm an athlete now. It feels good," said Logan.

The initial weigh-in brought her to tears, but that motivated her to move.

"For the first two weeks, I was sore and couldn't sit down, couldn't move," said Logan.

Her "just do it" attitude helped her reach her goal after 12 years of trying everything. She lost 20 pounds in the first few months.

"What got me here was a picture of myself. I noticed that I wasn't the person I thought I was," said Julio Ramos, who has lost 50 pounds after two years in Boot Camp.

Ramos loves the sense of accomplishment and the support group.

"We all push each other and it's an everyday basis, so we all kind of have a little family," said Ramos.

It's a family that's running and gunning to get stronger.

The name Boot Camp is intimidating, but basically, it's outdoor gym class meets football practice meets military.

Jay Kerwin "the major" at Boot Camp LA, and his wife, Marcella "the lieutenant," have had the camp for more than 11 years.

Kerwin was in special operations for four years, so he knows the drills, but his program is for regular Joe's and Jane's.

"We always let people come and try it for free, because you never know what you're getting into and it's an investment," said Kerwin. "You're paying to be out there, and you want to make sure it's something you can do and something you're going to have fun with."

Many of the clients are going strong for eight years, working on cardio coordination and pumping some iron.

No, you won't bulk up. But instead you're going to get a dense muscle that's going to help you get lean and fit faster.

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