Parks are Ott spots for exercise

Fit Camp designed to build muscle strength and endurance, burn away fat

Courtesy<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Andrea Ott (right) has six Fit Campers up against the wall as they exercise in Centennial Park Thursday morning. The campers are, from left to right: Chris Durkin, Deana Nelson, Leah Ott, Sue McDonnel, Kim Gross and Pattie Paine.

Courtesy<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Andrea Ott (right) has six Fit Campers up against the wall as they exercise in Centennial Park Thursday morning. The campers are, from left to right: Chris Durkin, Deana Nelson, Leah Ott, Sue McDonnel, Kim Gross and Pattie Paine.

KINGMAN - If you're not hurting by the time Andrea Ott's through with you, then she's not doing her job. And you're not getting your money's worth.

Ott just wrapped up the first week of Fit Camp, her new hands-on fitness program designed to help Kingman residents build muscular endurance and burn fat quickly. The daughter of local developer Joe Ott, Andrea has spent the last several years managing gyms and serving as a personal fitness trainer.

With a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a master's in Human Movement and Corrective Exercise already in the works, Ott hopes to combine her considerable knowledge of human physiology with her love of fitness for the benefit of any and all Kingmanites looking for a thorough workout.

"I've never worked with anyone who didn't need a little corrective exercise," Ott said. "I think it's a great opportunity for people to get fit outdoors."

Ott has designed Fit Camp as a series of month-long regimens, consisting of three hour-long workout sessions a week for four weeks at a time. She currently has about 16 participants broken up into two groups. Both groups meet Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at two local parks, the morning group at 6 a.m. and the evening group at 7 p.m.

"The main goal of this Fit Camp is building muscular strength and endurance and burning fat," Ott said. "We're working every muscle group, we're working muscles people don't work in daily life."

Ott said her current enrollment varies considerably, from athletes as young as 15 years old, to seniors who haven't exercised in years, to anything in between. Acknowledging this, she tweaks the workouts to each individual, asking everyone to give only what they can, then maybe a little more.

Good workout

"Basics looks different for each person there," Ott said. "They're doing whatever they can personally handle. I'd say every single person leaves that camp feeling they got a good workout."

Ott said one of her objectives during the exercises is to keep everyone moving at all times. While some exercise regimens suggest never to work the same muscle two days in a row, Ott emphasizes substituting the more intense anaerobic exercises with less intense aerobic movements.

"We're staying in motion, but we're not working the same muscle group in the anaerobic sense, to get rid of the burning," she said. "We don't do the same things, ever. We work the same muscle groups, but we work them in different ways."

Ott likened Fit Camp's exercise regimen to a cross between sport conditioning drills, boot camp, PE class, recess and functional daily life movement. Just coming out of her first week, Ott has put particular emphasis on the latter - many of the early exercises are designed to emulate typical daily movements, what Ott calls "building functional strength," to prepare Fit Campers for the more intense sessions to come.

"The first week's gonna be tough, the second week's gonna be easier," she said. "The more fit you get, the further you can push yourself."

Fast results

While she did caution that anyone who signs up for Fit Camp shouldn't expect to be fit by the end of the second week, Ott said she does emphasize fast results. She said one of the first benefits that comes with regular exercise is the sense of control and balance one develops as their muscles begin establishing new neuromuscular connections with the brain.

"You're training your muscles to fire in the correct sequence, to fire at the correct force," Ott said. "For people who are just starting out, you'll notice differences almost immediately."

Following that, she said, the exercise becomes less of a pain and more of a fun challenge.

Even as they move into their second week, several of the Fit Campers have already formed social bonds and friendly competitions, which Ott encourages.

"This group is going to get pretty tight with each other," she said. "Anytime you're out at six a.m. with 10 other people ..."

While Ott herself is certainly no slouch, she said having a perfect body was never her motivation for seeking physical fitness, but rather the sense of wellbeing that comes with being healthy.

"If it's fun, you stick with it, and you go back to it for that," she said.

"Accomplishing something you didn't think you could do is amazing for your psyche."

While the second week of the current four-week regimen begins Monday, Ott said she will accept new members for August through Wednesday.

Registration for September is still wide open, as well. Registration fees run $145 a month, or $125 when two people sign up together.

For more information, or to register, call (928) 681-7978 or visit www.andreaott.com.