Ice House

5 Boot Camps That'll Kick Your Butt Into Shape

Want to work on your fitness? Double down at these camps.

By Gwendolyn Knapp August 17, 2018 Published in the September 2018 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Image: Shutterstock

With the school year starting, things are about to get crazy-busy for many of us. And in related news, now is when a lot of us begin to lose fitness focus. We say, double down instead, and join one of these Houston-area boot camps:


  • In Your Bag: Mat, water, towel, medium dumbbells or resistance band
  • Workout: An hour of hills, running, and other cardio, plus strength training
  • Classmates: Mainly women; families and dogs are welcome on Saturdays; new moms have class with babies on Wednesdays.
  • Instructors: Ultra-marathoner Cari Shoemate; Houston Rockets Power Dancer/MS150 rider Ebony Halsell
  • Schedule: 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 9:30 a.m. Wednesday; 8 a.m. Saturday, near the Sabine Bridge on Buffalo Bayou
  • Price: First workout free; $20 per class; $100 per month (10 classes); $90 monthly unlimited with contract

Camp Gladiator

  • In Your Bag: Mat, towel, water, CG app to track weight loss and class locations
  • Workout: An hour of ever-changing agility, strength and interval training
  • Classmates: 18-to-75-year-olds who like convenience—there are 3,500 locations nationwide.
  • Instructors: Certified CrossFit alums, or kickboxers like area director Amber Autry, who teaches at Stude Park
  • Schedule: Pre-dawn to evening, Monday-Saturday, 7-plus area locations
  • Price: First class, free; $189 for 4 weeks of unlimited classes (non-members); look for awesome promo deals


  • In Your Bag: You don't need no stinking bag.
  • Workout: An hour of mud, screaming, and teamwork before dawn; calisthenics at dusk. Either way, lots of push-ups.
  • Classmates: Early morning diehards; after-work newbies.
  • Instructors: Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jack Walston, who founded this Houston boot camp in 1997, among others
  • Schedule: 5:30 a.m. Monday-Friday, 6:15 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, at Memorial Park
  • Price: $69 to $99 per month for unlimited classes ; up to $299 for special workshops

Mean Green

  • In Your Bag: Mat, towel, 3-to-10-lb. weights, bands, water
  • Workout: Take an hour-long Beast- or Maniac-level class indoors, or do the outdoor HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Workout—an hour of resistance, cardio, and ab work. 
  • Classmates: Athletes who want special attention—coaches tailor workouts to each student's needs
  • Instructors: Semi-pro B-baller Chris Green, and other former collegiate athletes
  • Schedule: Morning and evening, Monday-Friday, 6-plus locations
  • Price: $12-17 per class; $130-250 per month, depending on number of classes

Fit Body Boot Camp

  • In Your Bag: Nothing. Fit Body supplies it all. 
  • Workout: 30 minutes of resistance and cardio intervals focused on melting fat with the help of ropes, plyometrics, and squats. It's inside, so there's air-conditioning. (You're welcome). 
  • Classmates: 125 members looking to shed a collective 100,000 pounds
  • Instructors: David Greenberg and his coaching team, who came up through the program and also assist with meal planning.
  • Schedule: Morning, evening, and afternoon, Monday-Saturday, in Washington Heights
  • Price: First three classes free; $30 down and $30/month for a 6-week challenge
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