When Karen Morgan married her wife, Brittney, this summer, the full-time volleyball director at St. John's School surveyed the LGBTQ scene and found it sorely lacking when it came to fitness.
“We have this one neighborhood, [Montrose], and it’s based solely around bars and restaurants and all of that,” she said. “You have these young LGBTQ people only going to bars–what happens when you get a family? What happens when you can’t drink anymore?”
Both fitness fanatics, the Morgans decided to take matters into their own hands, and with BK Bootcamp, they’re hoping the old adage holds true: If you build it, they will come.
“Let’s get that health piece in there, that’s what we really want to bring,” Morgan said. “I think that’s what’s gonna bring people together.”
Though still in its infancy–the couple held the first bootcamp just last month–the weekly series is deeply rooted in the community it serves, and the Morgans hope its central location in downtown’s Eleanor Tinsley Park is a draw, too.
They’re also betting you have 15 minutes.
That quarter-hour block is the foundation of BK Bootcamp, which subscribes to the “tri-15” theory, alternating between cardio and strength training with three sets of two 15-minute intervals. If your head is spinning, that means an hour and a half of exercise with breaks between each half-hour block.
While 90 minutes might sound like a whole lot to commit to on a Sunday afternoon, the Morgans are deliberate about breaking it down into those chunks of 15.
“With just 15 minutes of work, your body will continue to burn for the rest of the day,” BK Bootcamp’s online description reads. Trainers maintain the same “focus, drive and determination” you employ when you’re running, say, 15 minutes late for work, is “all you need to bring with you.”
Bootcamp participants (soldiers?) are split into groups, with Karen leading strength training exercises and Brittney responsible for cardio. The couple also makes an effort to assign groups according to skill level, and no one should be intimidated about joining: “We do take a lot of breaks,” Morgan said.
BK Bootcamp is far from the only fitness offering of its kind, but it is unique in that all participants work with more than one coach each session. It’s also unique to the LGBTQ community, but Morgan is quick to emphasize the weekly workouts are open to anyone of any orientation.
Beyond carving out a space for fitness in the gayborhood, the couple also hopes bootcamp regulars will walk away each Sunday with a new repertoire of exercises they can do on their own, anytime, for the rest of the week.
“We provide pretty much everything else that [you] need,” Morgan said. “Water, everything—just show up and have a good time.”