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Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

Camp Gladiator


Fitness program offers a fun, challenging option

New Year’s resolutions are much easier to keep when they involve friendship, sunshine and a lot of encouragement. (CG) is a unique place to get fit in 2021. With outdoor workouts meeting all over Shreveport-Bossier multiple times of day, there’s no excuse not to get moving, meet your goals – and make new friends.

Camp Gladiator is a four-week fitness program led by certified personal trainers. The best part is every workout is different, so you never got bored! Each session consists of a one-hour full-body workout, with different targets for the week of the cycle, such as endurance, strength and agility, and high-intensity interval training.

Myra Naylor Mcfarlain is one local CG trainer who loves her job. “I love seeing someone achieve a goal or do something they didn’t think was possible,” Mcfarlain said.

Mcfarlain has been a certified group fitness instructor and a certified personal trainer for 27 years. “After college, I immediately realized I didn’t want to be at a desk all day. I talked to my good friend who owned a personal training studio and asked what I needed to become a trainer. I’m a people person and used to be a gymnast, so it seemed a natural fit. The rest is history,” Mcfarlain said.

There are many different options out there for fitness, but for Mcfarlain, CG rises above the rest. “I think CG is such a great option because it’s not only fun and challenging, but we have something for all fitness levels,” Mcfarlain said. “With over 1,000 certified personal trainers and over 4,000 locations, it really removes the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse from the equation.”

CG offers a convenient, user-friendly app for campers who can “check-in” at each workout. Each check-in accumulates points that can be used to pay for the sessions or signature CG gear, like workout clothes and mats.

Jessica Hawkins has been a member of CG since May 2018. She recently celebrated a huge milestone. “I’m really proud – and surprised – to have hit 300 check-ins,” Hawkins said. “I’ve never stuck with a workout regimen before. For me, this represents 300 hours of saying yes to myself and prioritizing my health, when previously I would have let just about anything else take precedent.”

Hawkins was first motivated to join because of a photo. “When my youngest turned 2, I saw a picture of myself where I was clearly uncomfortable in my own skin. I started Camp Gladiator a month later,” Hawkins said.

Now, she’s a role model for her daughters to promote a healthy body image and become strong and fit. “While I initially joined to lose weight, I didn’t anticipate how much I would enjoy feeling stronger and how much more energy I would have for playing with my children,” Hawkins said.

CG offers both in-person and virtual workouts. Because all CG workouts are outside, it’s easy to spread out exercise mats and maintain social distancing.

For Hawkins, saying yes to Camp Gladiator meant coming out of her comfort zone. “I hate to be bad at something, and that stopped me from pursuing fitness goals for a long time,” Hawkins confessed. “I was scared to work out with other people for fear of comparison, but it’s the other people that have encouraged and pushed me forward.”

As a trainer, Mcfarlain agrees. “I love seeing the campers encourage each other and form that camaraderie,” Mcfarlain said. She also enjoys being face-to-face with her campers, keeping them accountable and helping them stay motivated.

One way that Mcfarlain helps encourage her class is by offering personalized modifications. For those who have bad knees or are recovering from various injuries, there’s always a “success option” to try instead. The important thing is just to keep moving.

Robyn Stewart is another camper who joined in September 2019. “I had just moved into a new house, and there was a CG location meeting nearby,” Stewart said. “I had some friends that loved working out together, and basically, I joined because I had FOMO (fear of missing out)!” Stewart laughed. “It turns out I really enjoy it.”

Stewart’s personal goal in 2021 is to up her dumbbell weights and encourage other people to give CG a try. “The CG community is so encouraging,” Stewart said. “These people will literally cheer you on – even chant your name. So don’t put it off – show up and give it whatever you’ve got. Then keep doing it. You’ll get better, and you’ll make some friends while you’re at it.”

This new year, Mcfarlain hopes to continue to coach and educate her campers – who range in ages from younger teens to elderly adults – and help them achieve their personal health and wellness goals. “I want my clients to become the best version of themselves,” Mcfarlain said.

For a limited time, January workouts with CG are completely free! For pricing options and more information, visit www. campgladiator.com. To contact Myra Mcfarlain directly, call or text 318-469-4427.


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