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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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