Don’t expect a workout with Jeff Watters to be a walk in the park — expect just about everything else.
Watters, founder of Watters Performance Enhancement, runs “Boot Camps,” which are much like they sound, with Watters as the drill sergeant. Instead of a jog, he does what he calls an “adventure run,” which incorporates multiple sports into a single workout.
“Each day is a totally and completely different workout than they did the day before." Watters says. "I could be locked in a staircase with them and we wouldn’t do the same exercise twice. We never do anything really conventional. We never go out there and run two miles. We might go to a track and run a lap on the track, run some bleachers and do some pull ups and then run another lap.”
Many people who come to Watters want a quick fix in losing weight or becoming faster, but it's not that easy. “It’s not like a yoga class where it’s something that everyone is going to dig," he says. "Some people don’t like feeling that ass kicking they get from the first couple of times doing it.”
Watters thinks that the adventure-styled workouts are successful because they break up the monotony in working out. Instead of counting down the laps they have left, the amount of time left is undisclosed so the runner gives maximum effort the entire time.
Born and raised in Ferndale, Watters started his training in 1995, after working as a semi-pro football player and professional boxer. “I realized that getting hit in the head wasn’t for me, but I wanted to stay in athletics," he says. "I had a group that I was working with and I had a routine that I did to prepare for a fight. I expected it to last ten minutes and they would hate it, but they loved it. It was amazing what it did for their bodies. I wanted to get paid to do something I loved and it was right in front of me that entire time.”
He has recently started the Muddy Watters Bump and Run Trail Series, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit charity. The runners go through a course set up to be between three to five miles at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, complete with rivers, hills and poison ivy. Instead of just running the course, there are stations where participants have to run through a river, then stop and do an exercise, such as twenty-five pushups, or be docked points for not doing them.
“I don’t think there’s anything else similar to what we do," Watters says. "There are a lot of trail runs around the country, but we incorporate that Boot Camp aspect to it.”
After occasionally taking his Boot Campers to Detroit for workouts, Watters is planning to start a free Boot Camp session once a month in Hart Plaza in hopes of removing Detroit’s claim as “America’s Fattest City.” “I don’t care if you can do only two pushups," he says, "as long as you can do four next week.” | RDW
More info: jeffwatters.com
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