Whole Body Boot Camp helps women get in shape

By Diana Giraldo, Reporter

Women are willing to try everything from weight-loss pills and skinny teas to low carb diets and waist trainers to lose weight, but many times these methods only provide a temporary fix that will not contribute to a person’s life-long wellness, said Debbie Coate, owner of Whole Body Boot Camp.

“Only one percent of all dieters, after a five year period of time, maintain their weight loss and they are not in any better physical condition,” Coate said. “The other 99 percent of all dieters fail.”

Women over 35, generally 40 to 65, are lost when it comes to weight loss methods because their only knowledge of how to lose weight or get healthy is through dieting, Coate said.

“They are out there starving, cranky and not feeling well overall — there is a better way and the research proves there is a better way but it’s just not the sexy way to do it,” Coate said. “It takes work.”

Coate runs the all-women workout facility with locations in Clovis, Fresno and Madera. She began her vision in 2008 when she transformed her home garage into a mini gym with one goal in mind — to help the 75 percent of women who are deconditioned and overweight.

She revolved her facility around the mantra, community plus coaching equals change. Whole Body Boot Camp’s workout program is designed like a personal training session but in a group environment.

“I have done personal training so long I would never go back and try one-on-one,” said Coate. “It’s so boring. I can only bring so much energy and you can only bring so much energy but a group of 40 of them, the energy is of the charts.”

The boot camp is operated with three foundations in mind: fitness, nutrition and personal development.

Before starting the program, each woman will choose a personal goal they want to reach and a home base time. The personal goal can be doing push ups and Debbie along with the trainers will create a pathway of how to reach that goal.

“We talk to them about the steps that it takes to get to that goal,” Coate said. “So if you want to do a pushup, you have to practice push ups two to three days a week for about six weeks and then you will be able to do clean, plank style pushups.”

The home base time will be the time of day each woman chooses to train with their team, which can be up to a group of 40 women. The fitness program runs in six-week increments of camp styles, so every six weeks the type of workout is changed.

Within each of the teams, the women also compete with the other teams in challenges. The next challenge they will do is the amazing race to 5,000. As a community, the boot camp is aiming to lose 5,000 pounds, said Coate. Once the challenge ends, the group who accumulated the most points will be awarded $5,000.

“Here you get that camaraderie of a team but we run it like a personal training session, so there is no, ‘I want to miss class today,’ because your teammates are looking for you too,” said Coate. “It’s a training session. We are going to check in with you if you make it a habit to miss.”

The sense of accountability from the trainers and her team is what Brianne Sposato credits her life-changing success to.

“I used to be a couch potato, deconditioned, overweight — I struggled with weight most of my adult life,” Sposato said. “I came and I was hooked the first day. It was the energy and you could automatically tell they were here to build each other up and I thought, ‘I need this.’”

Within the first six months Sposato lost 14 pounds, overall losing 72 pounds throughout the program. Now Sposato manages the Fresno facility.

The second foundation is personal development, which focuses on helping people instill healthy habits into their lifestyle, Sposato explained. These habits can range from better sleeping patterns and water intake to exercising regularly and is condensed to the “10 habits of fit people.”

“If they are not congruent with the person’s goals that’s where we come in and provide strategies and accountability to help them reach their goals,” Coate said. “So if you tell me you want to lose 15 pounds then you can’t miss a session.”

The trainers also hold classes like the brain busters: overcoming limiting beliefs, because Coate has noted perception is reality to the women. But those perceptions are not science based, like reducing their calories may give you a weight loss but it’s just short temporary result if they do not continue.

The last foundation is clean eating: creating a peaceful plate. This foundation also has classes the women can take to help them reach their goals where they can design what their plate should look like.

“We start with the thought of, ‘what is one habit we can change today that will have the best change?” Coate said. “We give them meal plans, educate them about the nutrients in food and how much of it they need.”
The one-on-one help was what Cindy Norman was looking for in other gyms but could never find.

“It’s not the same experience at other gyms — you just go work out and then you leave,” said Norman. “This is a family type of experience where you bond with other women. The trainers care about you. They really want you to succeed in your goal to lose weight, to be healthy, to get to where you want to be.”

In about six months since Norman has joined, she too has noticed a dramatic difference in herself.

“My health is better. I am now stronger. I feel better. I have gone down in size of clothes,” Norman said. “My mindset has changed from I can’t to I can. I have lost over 75 pounds, so it’s just amazing going from what I was to what I am.”

Whole Body Boot Camp isn’t about just losing weight. It’s about doing it the healthy way, having fun, creating relationships and changing your life for the long-term, said Coate.

“This is the healthy way of doing it,” Coate said. “Time will pass anyway and after all these women finish the program they are like, ‘now what do we do.’ They feel better they can do push ups, they are stronger, they lose weight and their habits are congruent with what they want. Now if they want to go play and run with their grandkids or their kids they will be able to easily.”