Yup, you read that right. Camp Gladiator’s calendar is a little different.
This outdoor fitness program is built on relationships and community. It offers high-energy, challenging workouts to help everyone reach their fitness goals.
Camp Gladiator’s primary North Shore trainer Danna Ferris invites you to give it a try. “Age, gender, size, race.” She ticks them off on her fingers. “None of that should stop you from taking your fitness into your own hands.”
Ferris started as an independent contractor with Camp Gladiator in January 2016. Along with the support she gets from the Camp Gladiator organization, she takes classes to keep up her CPR and personal trainer certifications.
And Ferris is always thinking up a new way to make camp fun.
“Each week we focus on a different aspect,” Ferris says. “Strength, agility, endurance, balance, and so much more.”
The hour will fly by
Another feature is teamwork. Camp Gladiator is a great way to meet new people. You might be randomly assigned a partner for one challenge. At the next workout, you could end up on a team of five. Or ten!
Ferris designs individual and team challenges to make up that hour of camp. And afterward? Visit Camp Gladiator Lago Vista on Facebook, where Ferris posts group photos after each workout.
Ferris encourages her campers to make other healthy lifestyle changes. A separate Facebook group is just for those interested in clean recipes and portion-control tips.
The larger Camp Gladiator organization runs add-ons like CGFit, which includes body-composition and fitness tests, access to a registered dietician, and tracking via the CG app.
Not a reality show, but —
Camp Gladiator’s not affiliated with the show American Gladiators, where amateur athletes challenge action stars and stunt professionals in contests of strength and endurance.
But, Ferris says, the names are similar for a reason — CEO Ally Davidson started the business in Dallas in 2008 with the winnings from her season of American Gladiators. She auditioned for the show the morning of her wedding!
Four weeks of fitness
Every month of camp starts with endurance week. The focus is on increasing muscular and cardiovascular endurance while incorporating a full-body workout.
Strength and agility take center stage in week two, and high-intensity intervals star in week three.
No matter what the emphasis is on, trainers watch each camper’s form and controlled range of motion, ready to offer corrections or modifications if needed.
Week four is peak week. It focuses on incorporating what you’ve learned over the past three weeks. You assess your fitness and personal limitations. It’s also when you measure your progress.
One week of fun
BOLD week — that fifth week in the Camp Gladiator calendar — is for rest and recovery after building up to the peak workouts of week four. It’s named for the campers who sign up long term.
The idea is to try something new — maybe a different trainer, a new type of workout, or a fresh environment. Ferris suggests “restorative yoga, outdoor running, or a camp location outside your usual.”
She usually organizes at least one special workout session during BOLD week. Yoga taught by Amanda Yetley on stand-up paddleboards is a popular one.
Be a happy camper
“It’s for all fitness levels,” Ferris says. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve never worked out a day in your life, if you’re a marathon runner, if you’re a triathlete.”
She emphasizes that the workouts can be modified for every need, even working around injuries.
If you live around Lake Travis, there’s a camp near you. Most likely, one or more are at a convenient time. We counted more than 20 in the Lake Travis area including places like Lake Hills Church, Bee Cave Central Park, Steiner Ranch Towne Center, Westlake Dermatology Lakeway, and more.
Or, she says, “just stop by camp!”