Fitness boot camps have been growing in popularity over the last decade, succeeding aerobics and spinning classes as the trendy workout du jour. Most of them are run like classes in traditional gyms, but the year-old Lansing Fit Body Boot Camp—which moved into an expanded 3,200-square-foot location in Frandor two weeks ago—is a stand-alone business dedicated solely to the regimen. So, why the sudden boot camp craze?
“We force good habits on you,” says owner/operator Emeka Umeh. “Studies show that people stick to their routines more when they’re working out with other people. That’s all we do here—group training.”
Umeh’s location is the local site for the international Fit Body Boot Camp franchise, which has over 100 locations throughout the U.S. and boasts franchises as far away as Thailand. He also has plans to open a new location in Haslett soon. Training consists of a wide variety of activities, such as flipping monster truck tires, throwing weighted balls, jumping rope, doing push-ups, or going one round against a punching bag.
“This is high-intensity training designed for weight loss, strength and endurance,” says Umeh. “The idea is to keep your muscles guessing.”
Umeh came to Lansing nine years ago from Nigeria with a degree in mortuary science. Apparently more interested in working with live bodies, he enrolled at LCC where he took weight training and nutrition classes. He became a certified physical trainer, but he found working individually with people at gyms to be unsatisfying.
“A one-on-one personal trainer can be expensive, and not everybody can afford that,” he says. “I just decided that fitness is my passion, so I made the decision to open my own place. It allows me to work with many more people than I could before.”
Memberships start at $99 a month for an annual contract, but curiosity seekers can sample Umeh’s drill sergeant routine for a free two-week trial. All memberships come with a meal plan, a health assessment, and unlimited access to as many of the 42 weekly boot camps as your body can handle. And Umeh says his students have a distinct advantage over having a traditional gym membership.
“I’m not afraid to call you at home if you haven’t been showing up,” he says. “We provide very powerful motivation and [instill] a real sense of accountability. It allows you to see results in a short amount of time.”
Lansing Fit Body Boot Camp
300 N. Clippert St.,
in Frandor, across from Sears