Have you bought into the boot camp craze? Well, I did quite literally.
A while back, I bought a Amazon deal for 25 Fitness Classes at Chalk Fitness in Placentia, Calif. I should preface this info with the fact that my wife joined a boot camp last fall and has gotten herself it to damn-good shape. So, when I bought another “Groupon” type deal for her gym (MBodyStrength), I was rebuked, “Go find your own gym!” Well, I did, and I am glad I did. Chalk Fitness has turned out to be a great fit for me.
Chalk Fitness is a class-based gym that focuses on personal training in a group environment with scale-able workouts to meet your fitness level and goals. Classes are 55 minutes (12:15 express workouts are 30 minutes), so you will be in and out in less than an hour, and your workout will include warm-ups, a cool down (stretching and foam roll), and a main workout. The workouts vary daily, and usually include combination of Kettlebells, resistance bands, and incorporate “compound movements” designed to get you stronger and more fit.
What’s that mean? Chalk Fitness gives you the close supervision you’d get from a $50/hr personal trainer and the energy, competition, and encouragement that comes from training in a group. They mix the workouts up daily to confuse both your muscles, and I’m convinced, us, the workoutees. For me, it’s tough to keep a regimen at a regular gym like 24 hour fitness consistently. Friends back out, and if you go yourself, it’s tough to train yourself and find the piece of equipment you need. Tougher yet, it is near impossible to “push” yourself on a daily basis.
That’s where Chalk Fitness and other cross-fit gyms come in. Personally, it helps me be accountable for my fitness. I think “I have to make the 12:15 or the 3:30 today,” making me almost calendar my workouts, and they chart your progress (and those of your classmates) on the 50-foot chalk wall that lines the gym. You want some motivation?; try reading in bright-white gypsum that a 60-year-old lady beat your workout time (it’s happened).
Dave Pollitt, the Head Coach, talked about the name Chalk Fitness. He said that they wanted name that was simple, and related the concept of the gym. Dave, a trainer of elite professional athletes, noted that when athletes train with the heavier kettle bells, they chalk-up to keep the massive orbs from flying out of their hands. The concept really snowballed from there. The chalk boards on the walls track the daily and long-term progress of the members of the gym. Yesterday, I pushed myself to the brink to try to complete one more round of the workout because the guy next to me had done seven intervals and I had only done six.
When use the word “members,” I don’t use the term lightly. When you join, you feel like a you are part of a group. I’ve belonged to 24-hour fitness for 10 years. There, like at most gyms, there’s no encouragement, no accountability, no tracking of your progress; You are on your own. I can’t even seem to get someone to spot me even though there’re 70 other “members” around.
I have never felt a since of community or belonging at gym amongst the meat heads and the super-fit, but at Chalk, I do and you will.
Chalk Fitness has a half-price offer for June.
It’s $49.50 for new members to join (and will be pro-rated since the month has already started). Also, you can get a bottle of water for during the workout and a Gatorade for post work out for a buck. New members (and those who referred them) will get the water and Gatorade FREE with every single workout in June.
Chalk offers more classes than any other fitness gym around (Chalk schedule of classes), and their normal membership of $99/month for unlimited classes is the best deal around for a crossfit-style gym or personal trainer. There are no start-up fees or contracts either, except the one you’ll make with yourself when you join.
I do have a few tips. If you are like me and have the cardio conditioning of English Bull Dog, coupled a competitive nature, I would suggest you invest in a heart-rate monitor. I’ll have a propensity to reach my “Red Zone” (90 percent to 100 percent of maximum heart rate) for brief periods. The wrist-watch style heart rate monitor helps me manage the workout without having to have the paramedics on speed dial.
So, get on board, and get your name on the board at Chalk Fitness!