Today, we are thrilled to have Brenda Holian back with us for another guest post. You may remember her post a few weeks back where she explained all the benefits of pre- and post- natal exercise. Well, if you were feeling inspired by her words of wisdom, I’ve got great news! Today Brenda is going to give us an inside look at her NEW Baby Boot Camp class. Read on to find out more about this wonderful opportunity to get fit with your little one, plus a special deal just for OAAM readers!
Hello again CT moms! And thanks to Shawna and Mandy for letting me tell you a little bit about myself and Baby Boot Camp.
My name is Brenda Holian, and I am the owner and instructor of Baby Boot Camp here in Connecticut. The idea of bringing Baby Boot Camp to this area began when I was 5 months pregnant and living in New York. My husband and I knew that we would be moving to West Hartford shortly after our son was born, so I began searching the area for post-natal fitness classes that I could participate in with my son.
I stumbled upon Baby Boot Camp, a national stroller-based fitness program. To my surprise, however, there were no classes available in Connecticut, so starting a franchise seemed like a tailor-made opportunity. The decision fulfilled my desire for a fitness class that would involve my son while also providing me with a career opportunity that enabled me to both stay home with my son and help other moms get in shape. The more I researched the company and other franchises across the country, the more I saw just how much Connecticut moms could benefit from Baby Boot Camp. I got very excited about the idea of bringing this fabulous program here, and it was all I could talk about with my friends and family until we finally moved in March. By the end of April, I had the ball rolling and there was no looking back.
We’re a few weeks into class (I had my Grand Opening August 20th), and it has proven to be a more rewarding experience than I could have imagined. I love helping new moms balance the art of caring for their children while also taking the time to get back into shape. I have seen firsthand that classes have helped new moms get out with their young children and meet other like-minded moms.
Classes are held at the beautiful Shoppes at Farmington Valley and are open to moms of all fitness levels, from pregnant moms-to-be to moms with toddlers. If your child is young enough to ride in a stroller, this class is for you!
We do strength training using resistance tubes, flat bands and the benches located within the Shoppes, which allow for modifications to fit the fitness level of each individual mom.
As we move about the Shoppes we incorporate bouts of cardio exercises to help improve overall endurance and fitness levels.
We make several stops among the stores, utilizing the infrastructure and plaza furniture within the facility to add variety to our workouts.
Our final stop is behind the playground where we do abdominal work to help tone the muscles that are stretched during pregnancy.
When class is over, my son loves to head over to the playground and run around with the other children in the group.
It’s not just moms who benefit from Baby Boot Camp. The kids do too. During class, instead of counting out sets, we often sing to the kids. We’ll sing anything from our “ABCs” to “Old McDonald,” helping the kids learn their alphabet and animal sounds. We’ve even counted in different languages! Many of the kids enjoy listening to the “oldies” music that plays from the speakers while we’re working out in front of Dish n’ Dat. Another added benefit of class is children get a chance see their mothers taking the time to work out and get healthy. Seeing their moms make healthy lifestyle choices, children are more likely to mimic these choices and grow up knowing the importance of exercise in their daily life.
I love going to class every day knowing I am providing a mothers’ group, playgroup and fitness class to women when they need it the most. I am sure my son and I will both find lasting friendships in this class, and I invite you to come out and see for yourself all the great things Baby Boot Camp has to offer. Your first class is always FREE with no obligation or commitment. See you soon!
The Baby Boot Camp Scoop: Brenda answers our most burning questions like what equipment do we need to bring? How many push-ups can we expect? Is my child too old for this? How soon can I start working on my post-baby body? And yes, we even asked her that question: where’s the restroom?
OAAM: When I hear “Boot Camp” it immediately makes me think of endless sets of push-ups and running miles in the rain. I’m pretty sure that’s not Baby Boot Camp’s style 🙂 Can you give us an idea of the intensity level of a Baby Boot Camp workout? Do you already have to be somewhat in shape to participate in this class or can moms who are completely new to fitness enjoy it too?
BH: While I do love push ups, I make sure to offer modifications so moms at different fitness levels are adequately challenged. With the use of resistance tubes, flat bands and the plaza furniture provided by the Shoppes (i.e. benches) we are able to adjust resistance and modify an exercise so each mom is exercising at an intensity level that is right for them. While I do urge moms to push themselves, there is no boot camp style yelling or whistle blowing. I don’t want to scare the babies! Baby Boot Camp classes can be tailored to meet any fitness level, you do not have to have any prior fitness experience to attend class.
OAAM: I know you mentioned that any child who can ride in a stroller is welcome at Baby Boot Camp, but can you give us a general idea of the age range of children who accompany their moms to your classes?
BH: Right now the kids in class are all under 16 months, but in classes across the country there are kids as old as 4 years coming to class. Typically you would see children in the pre-preschool years.
OAAM: Do you need a heavy duty jogging stroller to participate in the class or will any stroller work?
BH: Nope, you do not need to have a jogging stroller, any stroller other than an umbrella stroller with work just fine. Umbrella strollers are not sturdy enough and do not promote proper posture.
OAAM: Do you need to bring any special fitness gear or equipment with you to class?
BH: All you need to bring is your stroller, a mat or towel and water. I will provide the equipment for your first class. Part of your registration fee covers the cost of your equipment, so once that is paid you will receive an equipment kit that you will keep and bring with you to class.
OAAM: What happens in the event of inclement weather?
BH: Classes will be held indoors at Canton Indoor Golf.
OAAM: Okay, here’s our OAAM signature question: What’s the restroom situation? Are there public facilities available at The Shoppes at Farmington Valley? Do you know if there is a changing area for baby? No one ever wants to ask about the bathrooms, but everyone always wants to know!
BH: There are several public bathrooms located in a few stores. The one at Barnes and Noble is open at 9:00 am and has a changing table.
OAAM: How do you sign up for classes? Do you have to do it beforehand online or can you pay at the time of the class? How do you take advantage of the FREE first class? Do you just show up or do you need to call ahead to check on availability, etc.?
BH: You can sign up for your first class free by either emailing me or going to my website. There is a button on the site to click labeled “first class free” that will ask you for your name, email address and how you heard about us. After your first class you can either sign up at the end of class or when you come back for your second class. If you are not able to access the website to request your first class, please feel free to just stop by, I will never turn anyone away!
OAAM: For women who just had their baby, how long should they wait before participating in your class?
BH: You must be at least 6 weeks postpartum (8 weeks for a c-section) and have a verbal “OK” from your doctor that it is ok to begin working out again in order to come to class.
OAAM: How about pregnant women? In your opinion, how far along can they be and still be comfortable participating?
BH: Women can exercise through all nine months of pregnancy as long as there are not contraindications to exercise. A pregnant woman must have a doctor sign a waiver before coming to class, but as long as they are cleared, I would be happy to work with women at any stage of their pregnancy.
OAAM: What do you think sets Baby Boot Camp apart from other mom and baby fitness classes out there?
BH: With Baby Boot Camp you are getting more than just a fitness class, you are getting a community. At Baby Boot Camp each class is a mothers’ group, playgroup and fitness class all rolled into one. After class we bring the kids over to the playground for them to run around and the moms get to hang out. Along with Baby Boot Camp, I am working to set up StrollerFriends, which is a free play group that will meet twice a month. Also, we will be having a Mom’s Night Out once a month. Both additional activities will be open to anyone who wants to come, you do not need to attend Baby Boot Camp classes to come to a play group or moms night out!
OAAM: Do you have any special deals or promotions going on that you’d like to tell our readers about?
BH: I am offering Out and About Mom readers 15% off both the enrollment fee (usually $59) AND either their first month or their first class package at the Canton location (classes meeting at The Shoppes at Farmington Valley). Just mention the Out and About Mom blog when you sign up. Please also visit my website to see the details of a NEW West Hartford location that will be opening soon!
Baby Boot Camp–Avon, Farmington, West Hartford
Owner: Brenda Holian
You can also visit her Baby Boot Camp Facebook page for all the latest info.
For more information, you can email Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 703-200-6551.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at The Shoppes at Farmington Valley. Classes meet in front of Kiddly Winks (next to Old Navy), and there is plenty of parking in front of the store.
Get directions here (to The Shoppes at Farmington Valley):
(In the case of inclement weather, the class will meet at Canton Indoor Golf, which is off Route 44 just past The Shoppes at Farmington Valley).
Classes are 60 minutes in length and involve strength training, cardio exercises and core work, while incorporating Pilates and yoga.
See website for pricing details. Your first class is always FREE with no obligation or commitment.
Thanks again to Brenda for being our guest poster today! Do you have additional questions about Baby Boot Camp? Ask Brenda by leaving a question in the comments section below!
Talk about perfect timing! Next week Mandy’s got the scoop on the playground Brenda mentions in today’s post. Whether you’re signing up for Baby Boot Camp or planning a shopping excursion with the little ones in tow, you won’t want to miss it!
Plus, apple season is early this year! Check back next week for one of our top picking picks. And yes, there will be fritters 🙂
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