The words “boot camp” may be intimidating, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of people from signing up for classes all over Washington. Boot camps are a popular way to work out in a group setting, and they’re especially great for those of us who are tired of doing the same old treadmill and weight-lifting routine in the gym. Of course, there are more than 13 boot camps in the area, but the following come with top reviews from class-goers. If you know of another boot camp that’s not on this list, let us know in the comments!
Bodies by Sidney
1726 Kalorama Rd., NW
This boot camp run by Sidney Scruggs-Rodgers came recommended by a Well+Being reader: “6 AM never looked so healthy!” she told us of the 50-minute sessions in Adams Morgan. And you won’t have anyone yelling in your face to do 20 pushups, since Scruggs-Rodgers is all about music, motivation, and lots of high-fives. $200 per month; $25 for drop-in classes.
GTown Boot Camp
Georgetown Waterfront Park
Expect a different workout every day at GTown Boot Camp. One day might focus on pushups, the next might involve running stairs. Instructor Stephen J. Kidd was a former collegiate track-and-fielder and a power lifter, so you can expect a tough workout. Five classes for $68.
DC Adventure Boot Camp
Jefferson Middle School (801 Seventh St., SW)
When you need some solid girl time, head to this women’s-only session with DC Adventure Boot Camp. Now in its seventh year, it includes both indoor and outdoor programs, and music is a big component. The first class is free; $139 for one month of three classes a week.
Dupont Circle and Woodley Park
Expect to get your butt kicked by instructor Carmen Sturniolo, says one Yelp reviewer. He comes highly recommended by participants, thanks to his customized workouts that involve yoga, stretching, foam rolling, and body-weight exercises. $130 to $239 for a three-month package.
Various locations in DC and Maryland
Bertha Cross, the founder and instructor of Fitness Heights, is “no joke,” according to one boot camp participant. Runners will appreciate her instruction, since she’s a certified coach with Road Runners Club of America and has completed numerous marathons. $150 for ten classes.
Corey Belin, the trainer who gave us the cycling class without the bike, is the head of BCOR: Fitness for Everyone. Choose your fitness level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and head to Yards Park at either 5 or 6 PM Monday through Friday for a 60-minute session. Registration includes a T-shirt and unlimited classes for one month. $139 for one month.
SalFit Boot Camp
Meridian Hill Park
Salone Jones leads her boot camps Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at Meridian Hill Park. The certified personal trainer and Zumba instructor is known for her high energy—one client said he lost 25 pounds thanks to her workouts. $80 (regularly $102) for six drop-in sessions.
Various locations in Maryland and Virginia
We’ve heard raves about Chuck Dyson’s boot camp, which runs Monday through Friday and focuses on both cardio and resistance training. Each week the program concentrates on one area of the body for weight training, and Wednesday is solely a cardio day. Sound intimidating? Sign up for a free week to test it out.
The Boot Camp Girl
Various locations in Maryland, Virginia, and DC
Don’t let the name fool you: Boot Camp Girl is for men, women, and children of all fitness levels. Expect a mix of cardio, strength training, yoga, and Pilates. Instructor Stephanie Dignan offers a one-on-one consultation with her before to assess current eating and exercise habits and determine your fitness goals. Prices start at $97 per month.
Mommy Boot Camp
Various locations in Northern Virginia
For busy moms, Mommy Boot Camp may be your best bet. Recently named best trainer by I Am Modern magazine, Kathy Corbey offers an hour-long boot camp for moms and moms-to-be. Babies and toddlers are welcome. $65 for one-month unlimited classes.
Custom Fitness Concepts
Various locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia
The 25 coed boot camp classes of Custom Fitness Concepts offer a mix of military techniques, P90X, CrossFit, yoga, and Pilates. All sessions are outdoors, except for its indoor boot camp in Sterling. First class is free. $99 for one month of unlimited classes.
FO Fitness was founded by Lans A. Fofana (aka “Fo”), a former Marine, so don’t expect these sessions to be a walk in the park. Class-goers say they always leave Fofana’s boot camps feeling exhausted and sore, thanks to his high-tensity interval movements (think jumping rope, sprints, and kettlebells). $250 for one month of unlimited classes.
Body by Ginny
Arlington and McLean
Owner Ginny Wright won’t call her sessions “boot camp,” but you can count on the same workout style at her outdoor classes (expect to bundle up once winter rolls around). Class-goers, including breast cancer survivors and new runners, rave about Wright’s well-rounded program. First class is free. $125 for one month of unlimited classes.