An out-of-gym experience


Joe Martin, a professional trainer, noticed something glaring in 2009 – women who were considering joining the gym would come in, look around at the equipment and fit-looking people, were uncomfortable and left. That’s why he started Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp that year.

“I could tell they were just uncomfortable in that environment,” said Martin, who wrote the Amazon best seller “Wellness Code” and “21 Day Tight and Tone Transformation. “I wanted to create a place where women of all shapes, sizes, and abilities could come together and form their own community. Since it is just for women there is no worrying about fixing their hair or putting on make up, no confusing equipment, and no guys slamming weights around or hitting on them. A place they could go and actually enjoy exercise.”

The Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp is the ultimate out-of-gym experience – held outdoors at Weatherly Elementary and Weatherly Baptist in Huntsville and Horizon Elementary School in Madison. Martin incorporates sports, games, kettlebells, battle ropes, medicine balls, bands, TRX and weights.

“We do our classes outdoors because people do not get outside enough as it is,” Martin said. “So, when they begin exercising outside they see tremendous benefits. The biggest change I see in people is the decrease in their stress levels and a huge improvement in their mood.  Humans were meant to be outside and our bodies were created to move. When you combine those two things, it is a powerful combination.

“Something that sets us apart in our classes, is that we can truly accommodate people of all fitness levels. This is not an only the strong survive type of class. For every exercise there is a way to make it harder and a way to make it easier, that way each exercise we offer will have three  levels to choose from to fit each person. That also allows us to work around joint issues and injuries to still keep people active.”

The main thing for Martin and his camps? Make it fun .. but at the same time hold the people in the class accountable.

“That way we can get people the results they deserve, without yelling and screaming, and also get them to where they actually look forward to their workouts,” Martin said.

If you are starting a new exercise program, here are a few guidelines


Which should I do: cardio or strength training? The answer is you need both. They both have very important roles in helping you maximize your results. Cardio is excellent for stress relief, keeping your heart and lungs healthy and disease prevention. Strength training is the fountain of youth. Many of the things we associate with getting older are caused by our loss of lean muscle mass. Gaining weight, not being able to do the things we used to be able to do, low energy levels, and other things that become much more pronounced as we age because we don’t do strength training. You can use your body weight, bands, weights, machines, kettlebells, or anything that weighs more than air to strength train.


Before you start overcomplicating things and decide if you need to go Paleo or gluten free or Mediterranean Diet, do two things: stop eating fast food and processed foods and eat more vegetables. You will see tremendous benefits by doing those two things.


This is an important aspect of fitness that often gets overlooked. Do you stretch before exercise? After exercise? During the day? Just stretch for 10 minutes and do it on a consistent basis. Also, add in some foam rolling to help improve your tissue quality.


With proper recovery strategies,  you can get much better results and prevent injuries. Try doing three things to maximize your recovery. First, get in good nutrition following a workout. A protein shake, chicken breast and rice,  or something that has a good combination of protein and carbs. Second, get plenty of sleep. I tell my clients that when you are asleep is when the magic happens.  Get at least 7-8 hours to maximize the magic. Third, make sure you are not working the same muscle groups on back to back day. If you do the bench press on Monday, don’t turn around and do it again on Tuesday. Give your muscle the food, rest, and time to improve.


The most important muscle that you need to keep in your shape is your brain. Exercise is an extremely mental activity even though on the surface it is physical. Times will get tough, workouts will be tough, weather gets cold/hot/rainy (all in one week some times), you will get busy, you will be sore, you will not want to go on. Breaking through those excuses will separate you from the person who will give up. It all starts with the proper mindset. You have to decide if you are committed to your goals or you are just interested. need a goal that means the world to you and that you will do anything to reach.