Local fitness experts offer free weekend boot camp workouts and encourage participants to come as they are and return better than they were
They call it Right Track Fitness, and the name is fitting. Right Track is the brainchild of Apopka resident Richie Cortes and his cadre of personal trainers and other fitness enthusiasts. It’s a free weekend fitness program that is open to anyone in the community who wants to improve their health, and they do mean anyone. Richie says participants are welcome regardless of fitness level, weight, or wellness goals.
A fitness expert, Richie was frustrated with the incomplete offerings at commercial gyms. He envisioned a workout program that was more uniquely tailored to each client’s personal fitness style, and Richie was motivated to offer this type of training as a free service to the community. Richie’s workouts are fun, too, combining strength training, resistance training, CrossFit, Ninja Training, calisthenics, plyometrics, and football- and basketball-style training programs.
“Gyms are mostly either dumbbell and weight intensive, or they are filled with body weight equipment, but rarely both,” says Richie. “Couple that with emerging styles of fitness, like Ninja and Obstacle Course Racing training, and there is definitely a void in what the current offerings of gyms are providing. We want to create an environment that breaks free of those limitations – one that can really put the choice and power back into the client’s’ hands.”
In order to offer a well-rounded program, Richie developed Right Track Fitness with fellow like-minded individuals who had expertise in various alternative fitness routines and styles. Richie’s wife Michelle, a personal trainer, has vast boot-camp workout experience with both men and women of all fitness levels. One of Richie’s good friends, Clyde Hampton, Jr., focuses on yoga and flexibility tied in with strength and boot camp-style training. Then there’s Rodney Washington. Rodney recently shed more than 80 pounds by specializing in heavy strength training and boxing combined with other plyometric exercises. Together, the four – who live in Apopka, Maitland, and Sanford – brought Right Track Fitness to life.
Almost every weekend since May, the group has been offering free outdoor boot camp fitness sessions in Apopka and growing its membership mostly through word of mouth. A typical session involves a warmup, a series of timed routines, and a finisher to cool down. From beginners to experienced athletes, the program targets extreme upper and lower body exercise, with participants creating and accomplishing new goals every workout.
The group has grown from eight to 20 members who regularly show up for a Saturday or Sunday session. The phrase “Come Back Better” is often used by all four trainers when referring to the makeshift gym and its mission.
“The bottom line is that we want each participant to come back better than they were the last session,” says Richie. “Better can mean increasing and beating those goals, but it can also mean the improvement that folks feel mentally and socially, as well. Our mentality is open to all styles and cultures of fitness, and we like to push what’s most effective for the individual client rather than the current trend in fitness. We find what fits first, then we go about finding the right style to match each participant.”
Eventually, the group hopes to open a full-blown facility that reflects everything Right Track Fitness represents today. The goal is to revolutionize how fitness is both presented and taught, to make it a lifestyle and not a burden.
For more information about upcoming free Right Track Fitness sessions, find the group on Facebook at Right Track Fitness or on Instagram @RightTrackFitness3.
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