Operation Boot Camp has created an eco-fitness program called Operation Greenspace. The program brings attention to parks and encourages residents to use their local parks and available green space for fitness activities. Operation Greenspace raises funds to preserve local green space, natural habitats and to encourage residents to use this space respectfully. Each Operation Boot Camp location contributes to local preservation activities. In Atlanta, Operation Greenspace works alongside local organizations such as the Piedmont Park Conservancy and Park Pride. Through this program, Operation Boot Camp members are encouraged to support local parks and to develop an eco-friendly lifestyle. Operation BootCamp is a sponsor of Piedmont Park’s Green Market. During the Green Market, Operation Boot Camp demonstrates eco-fitness through free Saturday workouts to encourage Atlanta residents to improve their fitness and health. Operation Greenspace also sponsors green clean-up crews, membership drives, and health fairs.
The OBC program is designed for varying fitness levels, not just fitness enthusiasts and athletes but also average individuals who want to improve their health, confidence and physical strength and conditioning. The nutrition and exercise regimen are specifically designed to achieve these goals. Participants are accountable for attendance and are expected to engage fully in the activities and food plan. If a recruit is late to the workout he or she might expect to do a few extra laps or some additional push-ups. If OBC members fall away from their training or nutritional plan they are encouraged to take responsibility and to renew their commitment to success. Along the way, OBC members benefit from the fresh air workouts, make new friends and challenge themselves to reach new heights. The program includes nutritional guidelines provided in the program and book by Bill Phillips entitled Body for Life, and recommends that members eat five to six small meals per day. Boot camp workouts are no more than an hour in length and are designed to burn the maximum number of calories. Cross-training exercise and games are utilized to achieve results and encourage members to have some fun along the way. Outdoor workouts are varied to ensure that members are engaged and to provide variety and challenge. OBC members use a guidebook throughout the thirty-day program to track goals, meal plans and exercise. In addition, the OBC staff sends out daily email with nutrition and exercise tips and helpful information to keep the members on track. Park workouts are scheduled in the morning, rain-or-shine. Most outdoor activities vary in length from forty-five to sixty minutes and involve activities like targeted stretches, squats, jumping jacks, lunges, military-style tire runs and sprints. For example, a park workout may consist of running and circuit training beginning on a soccer field with sprints, then push-ups and sit-ups, hill sprints with squats at the top and bottom and rapid toe taps on a parking lot curb. Morning sessions end early so that members can make it to work and other obligations. During the thirty-day program, OBC members meet often – four days in the first and third week and five days in the second and fourth week. Makeup sessions are offered on Saturdays. The workout regimen and nutritional plan are the heart of the program and these concepts are always updated and improved to reflect the latest research and information and maximize member results. Ultimately, member success is dependent on accountability and dedication to goals.
The Operation Boot Camp concept was conceived in an Atlanta martial arts studio called Atlanta Kick when owners had a conversation with a former military man who wanted to get back into great physical shape or, as he called it, ‘boot camp shape’. Since its inception in 2000 the Operation Boot Camp concept of promoting good health and fitness though outdoor exercise has grown into a successful business and franchise. All instructors are OBC former clients, bringing with them the knowledge and appreciation of the challenge faced by new members and the results and goals they can achieve when they rise to that challenge. New instructors are selected based on their performance during their time as OBC members with special attention to the attitude and motivational skills they demonstrate. Five to six instructors often staff the outdoor workouts, working together to ensure that every member gets the personal attention they need.
As Operation Boot Camp evolved, it began using a franchising business model. The franchise model is meant to support growth and to more quickly integrate and share the OBC health and fitness concepts with the community. Operators run a protected territory, and receive training, operations manuals, and administrative support from corporate. Training is not based on time but rather on competency and readiness. The franchise business model offers the new business owner protection under the laws established by state and federal governments.
“Body for Life” by Bill Phillips (HarperCollins, 2003) ISBN 978-0060723651