Michael McGuckin of Odessa recently left his career teaching math inside a King High School classroom to devote himself to leading outdoor fitness classes. He teaches the bootcamp-style classes with his “high school sweetheart” from Sickles High School in Tampa, Amy Crumbley.
The two lead a new Camp Gladiator class in South Tampa Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the parking lot at Sports Authority, 4900 W. Kennedy Blvd.
“When you are at Camp Gladiator, we say you are all in,” McGuckin said. “They live, sweat and breathe Camp Gladiator. It’s not just a workout — it’s a fitness movement.”
McGuckin said once people sign up with the adult outdoor fitness company, they are free to attend classes at any of the 21 locations in the Tampa Bay area. He said their more than 400 students have unlimited access to classes in Riverview, Brandon, Carrollwood and the New Tampa/Temple Terrace area as well as other spots in Hillsborough County.
“We have a great following in South Tampa,” he said, adding the classes started there in early July. “It’s amazing. It’s truly a unique workout.”
McGuckin said Camp Gladiator is a national outdoor fitness company that offers people “60 minutes of amazing.”
He said the program brings back old elementary games such as tic-tac-toe, incorporating it into a workout. For example, participants may compete to complete a particular exercise in order to put an “X” or “O” down.
“We focus on team building and group camaraderie,” he said. “We keep them engaged and intrigued. No workout repeats itself. Not every day is a game day, but we like to make it fun.”
He said the camp has four weeks on and one week off every five weeks. Even people who used to dread exercise end up dreading the one recovery week, according to McGuckin.
“Everyone needs recovery but they don’t want that off week,” he said.
Crumbley and McGuckin are one of the few “trainer teams,” since most of the Camp Gladiator trainers work individually leading the fitness classes.
Crumbley said the couple has been together since high school. They graduated from Tampa’s Sickles High School in 2008.
“The hardest part for a lot of people is the motivation,” said Crumbley, a University of South Florida student working on her doctorate in physical therapy. “Once you experience it one time, you fall in love. We are all about team building. When people build relationships, it really holds them accountable.”
Crumbley said even though it was pouring rain recently, they ducked under an awning and continued to work out.
“It’s so awesome to see your campers blossom,” she said. “At first it’s a struggle, but once they become veteran campers, they look forward to it.”
In addition to the new South Tampa class, the couple also leads a 6 a.m. class at the parking lot of Fitlife Foods in Carrollwood, 14407 N. Dale Mabry Highway.
For more information on the camp, call (407) 310-6387 or visit campgladiator.com.