We’re three days into spring and that means warmer weather and fewer clothes.
For women hoping to look their best, and more importantly, feel their best, while donning shorts and short sleeves this summer, Whole Body Boot Camp in Clovis may be just the ticket.
WBBC opened in Clovis eight years ago (formerly called The Ultimate Boot Camp) and has helped hundreds of women change their lifestyles. There’s more to this boot camp than burpees and squats — clean eating is emphasized, along with getting into the best shape of your life, no matter your age.
Owner Debbie Coate, 54, has been a longtime fitness fanatic and estimates that she’s trained thousands of women over the past three decades.
“I started doing training and teaching my first aerobics class 35 years ago and doing one-on-one training 27 years ago,” she said. “I was doing one-on-one training and hated it. I liked the mission and the concept of training women — I’ve never been into training guys — and George Brown gave me my first space where I could do group personal training.
Coate fell in love with that coaching style.
“(The women) liked each other and they kept the energy up in a group setting, because I keep the personal training style, I can teach them to become better athletes,” she said.
Coate’s passion is helping women who may not be getting the most out of their workouts.
“They’re deconditioned, they’re overweight, they’re going to the gym but it’s not working …” she explained.
Coate took a break from training in 2002 when she gave birth to her daughter, but returned in 2008 and decided to try boot-camp style classes.
“It allows me to be a little bit rough and they don’t get all sideways about it and we get great results,” she said.
Training choices include TRX suspension, kettlebell, kickboxing, yoga, muscle activation technique, boot camp style, sandbags, tabata (high intensity interval training) workouts and more.
Coate changed the name of her business, The Ultimate Boot Camp, to Whole Body Boot Camp in 2014 because it was more in line with her approach to training.
“I like to think of it as a mission and a movement,” she said. “ All of these women would be lost in the gym. They may be doing their 30 minutes of elliptical in the gym and feeling accomplished, but they’re just not achieving. I help them move better, and they become better athletes.”
About a dozen instructors with different specialties teach at the Fresno and Clovis locations. Coate is a competitive runner who studies neuromuscular training and is a proponent of raw food. She recently hosted a Meal Prep 101 class for newcomers.
“We try to really break it down to their macronutrients, like what should the plate look like? Then we get into the microbiome of the gut, what lives in there and what shouldn’t be in there. That’s an intense, three-day course,” she explained.
An accountability chart, using stickers, shows how often each woman comes to class. Boot camps run in six-week increments, which Coate has found to be the most effective.
“We lay it on pretty heavy,” she said. “This is not like going to GB3 and getting a class. In fitness there’s something called adaptation and periodization. You’ve got to periodize your workouts. You can’t go the same speed and distance the whole time and be an efficient athlete.
“Adaptation says your body will adapt to those new changes. If we take a break and come back, it’s new and different. They take a one-week break and we recommend that they swim, run, do yoga, go to spin class, go to Zumba. We’re not saying don’t move, we’re saying don’t do boot camp for a week.”
WBBC offers run clubs out of its Fresno and Clovis locations. Local runner Michele Van Ornum and Coate have trained the groups for the California Classic Half Marathon, which will be held April 3 in Fresno.
“We’ll have about 60 runners out there, and about half of them have never done a half (marathon),” Coate said.
Coate has also expanded the programs that are offered through boot camp. WBBC recently introduced the Cardio Crush VO2 max training using rowing machines. VO2 max is a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use.
“If we can improve VO2 max by 10 to 20 percent, it’s a huge benefit for running, plyometrics, everything,” Coate explained enthusiastically.
She has further plans for expansion.
Because people usually only travel up to five miles from where they live or work to get their fitness sessions done, Coate would like to open at least a couple more locations in the Fresno and Clovis area.
Whole Body Boot Camp
1436 Menlo Ave., Suite A, Clovis
5262 N Blackstone Ave., Suite B, Fresno
311 S. Pine St. #104, Madera
10878 Hwy 41, Madera