PLANT CITY Brenda Tindle admits she’s out of shape.
But she’s determined she won’t stay that way.
So she rolled out of bed early on a recent Saturday to join more than a dozen other women who spent an hour going through a rigorous exercise routine. The instructor, Emilie Plants, calls it a boot camp for women.
“I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to keep up. But I was able to do it and if I can, anyone can,” the 42-year-old Tindle said.
Plants, a personal trainer, leads her students through exercises with weights, along with pushups and other routines.
She emphasizes strength training because it’s a great way to lose weight.
“We work the whole body. My goal is to get them into the best shape of their lives,” she said.
On a recent Saturday, about 15 women of all ages met her at Mike Sansone Community Park for one of her boot camps. The students say they got a lot out of it.
“I like it because she is very energetic and she pushes you,” said Haley Ours, a 19-year-old former Plant City High School cheerleader. “But we always have a good time, too.”
Plants grew up in Plant City and twice was on the Florida Strawberry Festival’s queen’s court. The married mother of two competed in bodybuilding competitions but her own weight ballooned as she got out of shape.
She got back on an exercise regimen, lost 43 pounds, and vowed to never let herself go again.
The 34-year-old wanted to help others get into or stay in shape too.
Patricia Smith, a 56-year-old fitness buff who runs 4 miles a day, was among the participants in a recent boot camp. She said the workouts “make me feel better” and looks forward to the weekly sessions.
Tammy Simpson, 45, said she liked the boot camp so much that she’s signed up as a client of Plants’ personal training business. She also follows a diet Plants has developed for her.
Plants, a former Plant City Courier freelance writer who lives in Lakeland, said a proper diet is essential if women want to drop weight and keep it off. She develops meal plans for her students for $25.
“Diet is 75 percent of your results,” she said. “You can exercise all you want but you need to watch what you eat and eat healthy foods.”
Tindle recommends the boot camps for any woman, regardless of her age or body shape.
“The first time, I couldn’t even get off the couch when I got home because I was so tired. But it was a good tired and I couldn’t wait to come back.”
“She (Plants) is amazing. She is our inspiration and our mentor.”
Emilie Plants offers her boot camps for women from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays at Springhead Baptist Church, 3106 S. Wiggins Road, and from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturdays at Mike E. Sansone Community Park, 1702 N. Park Road.
She charges $20 per session or $60 for four sessions paid in advance.
For information, go to her Facebook page or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.