CAMP Childcare

We love our little CAMPers, and we wouldn't be the studio we are today without them. But if you don't have kids, you've likely never step foot in our Childcare room before. You might even wonder where the children magically disappear to once their parents arrive in class. Thanks to one of our creators, Jen Azzarelli, Childcare at CAMP was designed to give parents the same accessibility to group fitness as everyone else.


Before opening CAMP, Jen found herself rarely going to the gym. She always loved boutique fitness classes, but she could never attend them due to the high expenses associated with hiring a sitter. During the creation of CAMP, Jen insisted on including Childcare as an aspect of the business- she wanted to give parents the ability to "get their lives back" as well as the opportunity to take a Cycle, Yoga, or Circuit class together, if desired. 

One of our regular CAMPers, Tara Baik, has three children, and she agrees that Childcare has changed the game for her. "My fitness schedule is dictated by Childcare, as my youngest is at home with me. If I don't have reliable care, I can't work out," says Tara.  


But what makes our Childcare so special? Jen believes that a lot of it has to do with our staff: "We are very selective when we hire. We only hire people that are CPR certified and that have experience. We also expect them to be completely engaged with the children, so you will almost always find them playing on the floor, coloring a picture with a child, or rocking a baby. The truth is, every single one of them loves children and you can feel it. I would (and do) trust any of them with my own children. They're all awesome!"

Tara has noticed that the caregivers always greet her children by name when they arrive, which has made the experience really special for her family. She also appreciates the child-to-caregiver ratio: "It never seems overly chaotic or overwhelming, and the space is always clean and well-maintained. There is a consistently nurturing, fun environment in the Childcare room, which is one of the reasons why I love bringing my kids there." 


But do the kids love it? Jaxson, one of our little CAMPers, is hooked. He particularly enjoys the wide variety of activities he can choose from when he comes to CAMP. He can color, play with action figures, read, or watch a movie. He can even bring his favorite stuffed animals without having to worry about them getting stolen or misplaced! Note the monkey hanging around his neck :) 


If your kids are the only thing holding you back from taking a Cycle, Yoga, or Circuit class, come to CAMP and give Childcare a try. "It's flexible, reliable, safe, fun, and much less expensive than getting a sitter," says Jen. Just make sure to always book your spot in advance- Childcare is getting busier by the day, and we want to maintain that child-to-caregiver ratio that makes us so unique! 

CAMPer of the Month: Omar!

Omar is always at CAMP. During March Madness, we were beyond impressed to see him crank out three classes a day. And now, even though it's over, he's still coming to more classes than we thought possible. But how does he do it? And what inspired him to get into fitness in the first place? Read our interview with Omar below, because he's likely the most dedicated CAMPer of the Month we've had yet! 


1) Where are you originally from?
Puerto Rico. 

2) What inspired you to get into fitness?
Not a lot of people know that in November 2012 I had a stroke. After the recovery time, I started to gain weight, so I decided to start doing a series of events to get in shape. 

3) Do you remember your first class at CAMP? 
I was doing Turn Tampa Teal: A Week of Wellness to donate to cervical cancer awareness while at the same time trying different studios. That's when I met Paul and Jamie at Hip Hop Yoga.  

4) What do you love most about CAMP? 
Yoga, Cycle and Circuit all in one location, events, as well as awesome instructors and staff. 

5) You're known for taking tons of classes in one day. How do you do it??? 
Mind over body.  


6) What's your favorite class at CAMP? 

7) What's your favorite way to decompress/relax? 
Nap, rest, and chill. 

8) Proudest CAMP accomplishment? 
March Madness Challenge Finisher.

9) What gets you out of bed in the morning? 
Focus in, and tell myself to just get it done before my next event.  

10) How do you refuel after class? 
Eating organic food and protein shakes. 

DYLAN on Posture & How to Improve Yours!

This week, DYLAN from Circuit is guest blogging and teaching us how to improve our posture! Read on for some information about why posture is so important, as well as some tips and tricks for keeping our posture on the safe side. 


Here you are, sitting at your computer/sitting on your phone reading my first blog post. Without knowing it you are deconstructing one of the most important traits of healthy well-being: your posture. Outside of all the “CMONS” and lack of water breaks, you probably wonder why I am constantly using the same coaching cues for the entire 50 minutes.  It is because I am working to fix this simple, yet complex anatomical mess.

My goal isn’t to fix your posture through one post, or one training session.  I simply want to educate YOU on how you can start taking your fitness and well-being in YOUR own hands. This is a simple, free method of “training” that will singlehandedly make you feel and move better.  If you’re going to eat clean, train hard and have near death experiences inside CAMP, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to feel better?

Before we go any further with this post I have a few questions I would like you to ask yourself.

1.     How often are you in the seated position each day?

2.     When seated for an extended period of time does your lumbar and/or thoracic spine feel “tight and achy”?

3.     Are your hamstrings “tight”?

4.     Do you have neck pain and/or frequent headaches?

5.     Do you have shoulder pain?

Each question pertains to your poor posture.  Notice I did not relate any of these questions to your training session. My concern with your posture doesn’t necessarily pertain to your time training. It pertains to the other 160 hours of the week, when you are not training. Unless, of course, there is an underlying medical condition which I will not get into.

What is this poor posture I am talking about?  Envision a Hunchback of Notre Dame, or a cavemen sitting at a fire.  Their back is rounded, shoulders are rolled forward, and head is flexed forward as well. Likely, it is similar to how you are currently sitting.  The only difference is your technology is a little more up to date than their sticks and stones. 


In this position, a few key things are happening, all located at the most complex joint in the body: the hip joint.  In the body you can have “long and weak” muscles as well “short and weak” muscles. Poor posture results in

·      Short/tight Hip Flexors (particularly the Psoas)

·      Long and weak Glutes

These two bullet points cause the hip joint to “anteriorly tilt” or“tilt forward.” When your pelvis tilts forward for an extended period of time you are unable to contract your glutes.  When you are unable to contract your glutes, erector spinae (low back) and your hamstrings will overwork.  These two muscles are overactive to do the work the glutes should be doing, therefore causing you to have pain!

Tight Psoas --> Weak Glutes --> Overactive Hamstring & Erector Spinae --> Pain

From a Circuit standpoint, there are multiple things we do as instructors to address this issue.  We perform different activation patterns, as well as mobility exercises that target the issues I have stated in this post. The first photograph in this post shows an inverted row with SRT Bands- you're probably pretty familiar with this if you come to Circuit. Pinch your shoulder blades back and down when pulling yourself through the movement. Upon release of the movement, protract your shoulder blades as much as possible. Don't forget to squeeze your glutes! 

Below you can find two other exercises that focus on glute activation.  Glute activation will help stabilize the lumbar spine, relieving stress from the lower back and hamstring. AKA it will change the game for your posture. 


This being said, I am not the end all be all to getting this issue under control.  There are multiple forms of rehabilitation that will begin rewiring your movement patterns, mostly coming from you! 

Below are 3 things to incorporate day to day, to improve your posture: 

  1. If seated at your office space for greater than 30 minutes do the following:
    -Sit all the way to the front of your chair. 
    -Place your arms down by your side, palms facing out. 
    -Pull your shoulder blades back and down. 
    -Feet hip width apart, toes out
    -Take 3 breaths, taking 10 seconds on the inhale, 10 seconds on the exhale.
  2. When in doubt, stick your chest out.  Go ahead, try it now!
  3. As strength training is super helpful, it happens to only be about one third of our solution.  We must stretch and maintain mobility of the antagonist muscles (pecs, shoulder internal rotators, hip flexors. If you are in the office perform this one stretch for the pecs.
    -Find a doorway, stand inside of it
    -Make a 90 degree angle, with your hands now on the door frame.  Lean into the stretch and push against the frame, hold for 10 seconds.
    -Lean into the stretch more.  Perform 3 sets of 10 second holds!

Stay tuned for more posts about how you can develop ways to move better, stay training and see results not only aesthetically but results in your every day activities!

CAMP's Charity of the Month: Autism Speaks

Throughout the month of March, we've dedicated our charitable efforts towards an organization that is near and dear to our hearts: Autism Speaks. Autism has touched many of our staffers' friends and family members, and we know that it has affected the lives of many of our CAMPers, as well. That's why we wanted to make this month, and our events, about raising money and awareness for Autism Speaks. 


Autism Speaks "enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow." Not only do they seek to raise awareness about autism, but they also work to help those affected by it, both in the present and through research for the future. It's a tremendous cause, and now is a great time to get involved, as April is World Autism Month. The Tampa Bay chapter of Autism Speaks is hosting an Autism Speaks Walk on April 22nd- click here to find out more information. 

CAMP hosted two events in March to raise money for Autism Speaks: Hip Hop Yoga at 81Bay Brewery and a Pedal with Purpose ride. We host Hip Hop Yoga at 81Bay frequently, and each time, it benefits a different charity. We open this event up to the community and make it donation-based, in the hopes that we can share yoga and our charity with a larger audience. This month, we raised just over $600 for Autism Speaks. We're so thankful to all of the new and existing CAMPers who came and supported us by flowing for a cause. 


Lauren B. also hosted a Pedal with Purpose ride at CAMP to support Autism Speaks. Charitable efforts are very important to her: "When you ride for something bigger than yourself, it becomes about more than calories- it becomes about who you want to be as a person. You build the strength up in this room that transfers to how you show up for people in the real world." She led an empowering ride that helped everyone in the room discover a newfound sense of inner strength. She can't wait to continue leading more rides, such as this one, that help support important causes. 


We wanted to share the letter we read at Hip Hop Yoga, written by a friend who has directly experienced the effects of autism. We hope it touches you as much as it touched us. 

"Autism. A word with so many different meanings. Autism. A very personal word. Autism. An empowering word. Autism. A word that enhanced our view of the world.

Our son was officially diagnosed with Autism around his fifth birthday, however he had been receiving various therapies since he was 18 months old. You see, we knew that in order for us to parent our son well, we had to learn how to parent him. The early interventions made a huge difference in how he saw his world, but I think the real “therapy” was my husband and I learning how to understand his world. It made us more in tuned to our environment. It made us listen with our whole hearts. It made us better parents to all of our children.

In our home, Autism means listening with the purpose of understanding; it means seeking harmony in our minds and hearts; it means loving unconditionally.


Inside CAMP Cycle

CAMP Cycle is different, and here's why you should give it a try. Maybe you hate the monotony of your average spin class, which always leaves you bored and tired after the first 10 minutes. Or maybe you're just a dude who's been in a few too many female-only Cycle classes, and you'd much rather go to Circuit, because it's a better workout... right? 

CAMP Cycle is more than just 45 minutes on a stationary bike. It's a fast-paced full-body workout that's just as fun as it is difficult. We use hand weights and push-ups on the handle bars to target your upper body, as well as tapbacks and isolations to target your lower body. You'll even work your abs as you twist and crunch it out to the beat. Speaking of the beat, we do emphasize riding to the rhythm of the room, but we also don't expect you to be perfect. So if the beat is a little too fast, feel free to just do you. Your ride is your time, not anyone else's. 


But is it actually that intense of a workout? Cycle is often marketed as a cardio dance party, and in some ways, that's true- you can always expect to hear some sick beats while in class. However, if you're looking for a serious cardio workout, this is the class for you. One of our regular CAMPers wore a heart rate monitor during his last Cycle-Yoga blend, and he burned more calories in those 60 minutes than he did in Circuit. No offense to Circuit, because we love all of our offerings. But Cycle is a kick-ass workout! 

We also understand that Cycle can be polarizing. It's typically seen as a female-only workout, but we don't see any reason why it needs to be gender-biased. If you're a dude, and you're really not into the idea of doing tapbacks, skip them. Nothing is mandatory, and our instructors won't make you feel bad for doing your own thing. 


We often get asked about our themed rides, from TRL to the Rock vs. Hip Hop ride Danielle taught this past week. Basically, we want Cycle to be as fun as it can possibly be. We think adding themes to our rides encourages a more exciting, upbeat atmosphere, and it gives our instructors the chance to get creative with their music. So try to go into themed rides with an open mind, because they're always a blast! 

Overall, CAMP Cycle is always a good time. All of our instructors bring different energies, so make sure to try all of them before picking a favorite. Just know that you can't go wrong- your instructor will be your coach, your DJ, and your inspiration, and we promise you'll leave feeling way better than you did before.