For all of us who are falling behind in our New Year’s resolution to get fit, Mike Jett, co-owner of PURE Fitness Training, has encouraging news.
“A lot of people want to get in shape before summer because they know they’ll start wearing less clothing,” he said. “Within six weeks of any type of change, you can start seeing results. That would get you into late May. Change your eating habits and maybe adopt a different physical regimen, and you’ll be on the right path. It’s definitely not too late.”
Mike’s own interest in physical fitness began about ten years ago, when he moved next to Seneca Park.
Although naturally thin, he struggled at first to fit in with the runners in the park.
However, he soon started enjoying intense exercise and learning about the science behind its effect on the body.
Now 35, he teaches health and sport science classes at the University of Louisville, in addition to running PURE Fitness Training with co-owner Wendy Wormal.
“Wendy and I worked together at another gym for five years. We always had a similar idea of what we wanted to create, and trained in similar fashion,” he said. “One day, we decided to strike out on our own, and opened PURE Fitness Training in January 2010.”
At first, their facility on the second floor of the Mellwood Arts Center, a former meat-packing plant, comprised about 1,800 square feet, but they’ve recently added another 2,400.
What had been an abandoned hallway has become a 50-yard stretch of indoor sprinting distance, perfect for safe and comfortable winter use.
“We’re growing slowly but steadily, but we think it’s better that way,” Mike said. “Slow growth has allowed us to expand at a good rate and fill that new space.”
One room is primarily for one-on-one personal training, while the other, which is more wide-open, is ideal for boot camp.
That workout begins with a 15-minute dynamic warm-up for loosening and activating the muscles.
Participants then spend about 30 minutes working their way around the room, taking advantage of dumbbells, medicine balls, kettle bells and other equipment that keeps them on their feet, and occasionally on their backs.
“They aren’t sitting at machines,” Mike explained. “They’re using equipment that adds resistance in addition to their body weight, but not at a machine doing a fixed range of motion. They’re always using their ‘abs’ to stabilize themselves, so it’s a better whole-body workout.”
Boot camp lasts about an hour and may include outdoor time in the courtyard below, if the weather is good.
During the session’s final five minutes, everyone stretches in order to cool down.
“Boot camp can be a little intimidating, so its members usually have worked out before, either with a trainer or at another boot camp.
“Beginners usually don’t start out at boot camp—we don’t encourage that, because they need more one-on-one attention,” he said. “We’d rather they do a few personal training sessions first, so we can teach them some basics before they join the group. Boot camp has supervision, but it isn’t one-on-one.”
The term “boot camp” conjures up the image of a bellowing drill sergeant, but Mike, Wendy and their staff don’t berate or humiliate anyone.
As they keep the music playing and crack jokes with class members, they often feel like deejays hosting parties.
“We encourage people,” he said. “Boot camp is, to us, more like group personal training.”
“Unlike many other boot camps, we offer varied exercises that provide a balanced full-body workout,” he explained. “If any class member has a muscle group that’s giving pain, we’ll give personal attention to correct that. Our space lets us keep things a notch above other basic boot camps, because we can stay inside or go outside for a change of scenery. That helps keep it fresh, and everybody stays engaged.”
As the public becomes more familiar with boot camps, many instructors are looking for the next big thing.
However, Mike believes that group training will remain popular; it’s less expensive than individual training, and working out with others keeps participants energetic and working harder than they might if they were alone.
“But there are other ways to re-brand it,” he said. “In New York, they’re doing boot camp in a hot room,” he said. “I doubt we’d do that, because you need to cool your body in order to work intensely, and a hot room could prohibit that. Gyms will just have to figure out a new twist to add, and that’s going to be an exciting challenge.”
PURE Fitness Training, Mellwood Arts Center is at 1860 Mellwood Avenue, and is open at various times throughout the week and by appointment. For more information, visit www.pure-ft.com or phone 502.593.3562.