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Class Action: The People’s Bootcamp

People's Bootcamp
(Photo: Lisa Elaine Held for Well+Good)


Lots of workouts now use High Intensity Interval Training, but the pay-what-you-can People’s Bootcamp in New York City does it in a way that makes you seriously hit your limits in every single class, and that’s accessible and affordable.

The class, founded by television exec-trainer Adam Rosante is held in an old-school dance rehearsal space, Ripley Grier, near Columbus Circle (and on the lawn at Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk during summer months). His straight-up props support the no-messing around vibe—expect a ’90s boombox, an elementary-school style water fountain, and a packed room of sweaty, exhausted New Yorkers.

Rosante starts the class by demonstrating the body-weight moves you’ll use during intervals, so that once you’re moving, you’ll know what to do. After a tough warm-up that includes loosen-up moves like twisting lunges and jumping jacks, you launch into the core of the class, divided into two “heats.”

Heat one is four exercises you do for 30 seconds each, for three rounds. (Warning: He adds a bonus move in the second round, and another in the third, so that by the last round, it’s six moves.)

Heat two switches to new exercises, same format. During every 30-second interval, you’re working as hard as you possibly can executing explosive moves like squat jumps and scissor switches. Expect to get off the ground, a lot. Class finishes with a sprint-in-place to the finish line, followed by a yogic cool-down. (And, for some, a dry heave or two.)

Despite its level of intensity (I’ve never seen someone actually complete the reps expected without taking a break), Rosante makes the experience fun with his loud, effusive encouragement and inspiration. “You’re so much stronger than you think you are!” “Don’t just do it for a hot ass, even though you’ll get one, do it for something bigger!” he yells, as he runs around the room, correcting form, and doing the moves with you, drenched in sweat.

You can feel how hard he’s working for you and how invested he is in your success—and it makes you want to keep moving.

Who’s it for: Boot camp lovers, weight-loss seekers, women who want a class they can drag their boyfriend/husband to (there are actually guys there!)

Pay what you can for drop-in classes, $96 per 4-week challenge, 939 Eighth Ave., between 55th and 56th St.,