Boot camps can help get you back in shape

Summer daylight may be burning, but it’s not too late to get into better shape before bathing suit season is over.

With the boot camp craze still huffing and puffing in full swing, we’re taking a look at two on opposite sides of town, each offering its own take on fitness.


Locations: Outdoors at Decatur High School in downtown Decatur and Grant Park in Atlanta.

About: FitWit breaks away from the rest of the fat-shredding pack. While providing a challenging, varied workout program for men and women, it also sets its sights on bolstering community. It works in tandem with The FitWit Foundation, a separate non-profit organization that promotes a healthy lifestyle for kids. FitWit donates 5 percent of the net profits from each of its adult fitness camps to The FitWit Foundation. This helps provide free fitness and tutoring programs to low-income young folks in the metro area.

Length of program: Six weeks with a total of 24 sessions. Each hour-long workout typically takes place Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The FitWit staff also provide homework, a do-it-at-home routine for your day off.

Types of exercises: Each workout begins with a warm-up and stretch, and wraps with a stretch. The workouts vary. The certified personal trainers mix them up to keep campers interested and to provide well-rounded fitness. Exercises include running, push ups, sit ups and squats to those utilizing kettlebells, medicine balls and jump ropes. Creative games often come into play, including drawing playing cards to see what type of exercise and how many reps you have to do.

Fitness level: Yeah, you’ll likely be drenched in sweat, but the program is accessible to all fitness levels. The trainers ooze encouragement. And if you have a health issue or injury, a trainer is quick to provide an exercise modification.

Nutrition and body assessment: An optional nutritional guide is available, and assessments including weight and measurements are offered at the beginning of camp to help track results.

Cost: $219-$359 per session. Repeat campers receive discounts. Or you can join the FitWit Club by paying $50 down and $115 per month.

Equipment needed: Yoga mats, towels, running shoes and water bottles are optional, but recommended.

Next session: July 26-Sept. 3. Grant Park times: 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Decatur High School times: 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 6:15 p.m.

Info: FitWit, 1270 Caroline St., Suite D120 -- 403, Atlanta. 888-534-8948,

BodyBack! Fitness Boot Camp for Women

Location: Indoors and outdoors at Due West United Methodist Church in Marietta.

About: Certified personal trainer Jason Goggans oversees each session. The former Cobb County police offer sold his Alpharetta-based personal training studio in 2008 and founded Body Back! in West Cobb. Goggans says dedicated campers can expect to decrease their body fat by as much as 3 to 8 percent, lose at least 5 to 12 pounds, firm up and lose inches. Although it’s billed as a boot camp for women, each session offers one coed class.

Length of program: Four weeks. Campers can choose to work out three, four or five one-hour sessions per week.  A beginner's class is offered, too.

Types of exercises: Workouts include a warm up and cool down. Expect short-distance running, resistance training, Pilates, obstacle courses and more. The camp focuses on different muscle groups each day, addressing the entire body each week. Campers might be doing lower body and cardio exercises one day, and core and upper body the next. Goggans presents the exercises with what he calls “progressive programming” -- campers start at their own comfortable pace and increase under the trainer’s supervision.

Fitness level: All levels are invited. A pre-camp assessment gives the trainers an idea of where each camper should start.

Nutrition and body assessment: Nutritional guidance is given and measurements are taken so campers can shoot for body-changing goals.

Cost: $169-$329 depending on amount of workouts per week.

Equipment needed: An exercise mat, a small set of 5- to 8-pound hand weights, a water bottle and running shoes.

Next session: July 26-Aug. 20. 5:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. (coed).

Info: BodyBack! Fitness Boot Camp for Women, 3956 Due West Road, Marietta. 404-452-5208,