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Who's teaching your bootcamp? | News

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Who's teaching your bootcamp?
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St. Petersburg, Florida - The latest exercise craze are bootcamps, military-inspired workouts that burn calories and build muscle.

They are quickly becoming popular around the Tampa Bay area. But how do you know the person instructing you through the intense workout knows how to keep you safe?

We take you inside a bootcamp class to find out what you should ask before pushing your body to the limit.

It's 55 minutes of sweat, intensity and pain. Fit Body Boot Camp is designed to tone your body, help you lose weight and get you in shape.

It's a workout Nicole Alstott never thought she'd live through, "about a thousand squats, about a thousand pushups, running miles, you name it, we do it. It's insane, it's something I've never done before."

After struggling with her weight, she's finally mentally ready to get fit.

"I've never exercised before in my life. And I had kids, I have three and my body completely changed and I have not been able to lose the weight since I've had children."

She's surrounded by others who are working toward the same goal, but some are further down the path, like Laura Shortway. She's been in the class for a year.

"Starting it was fantastic, I'm down 30 pounds. I've gained a lot of muscle, my body fat went from 32% to 19%."

They look to this man to push them.  Bryan Daskam doesn't claim to be the best, but says he can motivate people.

"You need somebody to lead. You gotta be an effective communicator, leader, motivator. Maximum effort, most of them don't know how to push themselves when they go to the gym."

As a body builder for 30 years and a personal trainer for 26, he doesn't just look the part. We asked him if he's qualified to be teaching the class.

"A couple of things. The basic things which are logical is a certification, a degree. I have a degree in exercise physiology. Multiple certifications, but more importantly, it's the life experience I've had for doing this for 30 years."

That's not always the case. There are dozens of "bootcamps" that have popped up across the country and right here in the Bay area.

"Amazing thing is there's no real governing body regulating the industry, the fitness industry. You're not required to have a certain certification or a degree. They're running a risk, the people who aren't qualified. They're absolutely running a risk of hurting or injuring somebody," says Daskam.

Which brings up a safety concern. It was a deciding factor for Laura. She says Bryan is constantly correcting her form.

"You don't want to do things and go through motions that somebody does not know that you're doing the incorrect form. The instructor we have makes sure everybody's doing the correct form and he comes by and tweaks it ever so slightly."

So how do you know you can trust the person motivating you to go harder and faster?

We asked Daskam what you should ask your instructor before starting a bootcamp class.

"Are you evaluating my progress? What kind of plan will you give me for nutrition? It should all be centered around am I gonna get results, are you going to give me the necessary tools other than just working me out?"

He says to do your own research. Look for a Facebook page, a website and even search the person's name online. Read up on the classes to find out what people are saying.

"I would ask to observe a class. I let people do that. Come see and look and observe for themselves and they're smart they can make the correct decision," says Daskam.

But even if the person teaching the course is certified and answers all those questions correctly, that doesn't mean that person is qualified.

"They're just working people out. To me, anybody can do that. It's not a skill. It's not an art. Getting results or moving that person to lose 30, 40, 50, 100 pounds, getting someone to make those lifestyle changes and move them through life, that's what a trainer really should do," says Daskam.

That's what Nicole is looking for. Someone to make her sweat, make her muscles hurt and push her to get to the end of each workout and to her ultimate goal.

"I know that, because of the way I feel, hopefully within a couple months, I'm going to start seeing some results I've never seen before."

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