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The People’s Bootcamp: A new pay-what-you-can workout

The People's Bootcamp

This summer, a new boot camp set up shop in Central Park and in Montauk, hosting high-intensity classes that cost…whatever you want.

The People’s Bootcamp is the brainchild (and brawn child?) of Adam Rosante, a TV network executive and private trainer who surveyed the New York fitness scene and decided that “not everyone can afford to pay $50 for a boot camp class or afford a private session.”

What you do for a living shouldn’t affect your workout or ability to get in shape, he thought. “It’s not just rhetoric. I really believe that fitness is for everyone,” says Rosante.

He’s like the city’s very own fitness Che—except he’s a Hamptons native, wears white pants, and has really nice hair.

Adam Rosante
Adam Rosante: “In this class, your job doesn’t matter. Nobody’s looking at the label on your gear. Everybody is just staring at the ground trying to get through.”

All drop-in classes are “pay what you can,” meaning you can work out for free or leave a stack of twenties, and a four-week workout challenge also kicks off this week, which costs just $160 ($10 per class).

Rosante has hired a group of trainers, but he teaches many of the classes himself, which are based on a sequence of high-intensity intervals. He’s crazy about correct form, and at times, you may feel like collapsing. But his warm, encouraging self won’t let you.

Evidence: “Grab at it! You got it! Oh my god, you guys are going to be so hot!”

His optimism almost makes you feel like you are part of a revolution, even if the only thing being overthrown is the reign of your love handles.

And what do people pay when faced with an open-ended cost structure? Rosante says that while there’s a range, they tend to shell out more than you’d think, and he’s been able to turn a profit from the get-go.

“If you give people the opportunity to be awesome,” says Rosante, “they will be.” —Lisa Elaine Held

For more information or to sign up for the 4-week challenge, visit