The Plant City area offers plenty of unique workout programs for those looking to mix things up.
For many who look at the start of a new year as a blank slate, getting fit is a top priority. But not everyone wants to stick to a one-size-fits-all approach.
Not everyone wants to splurge for a gym membership. In that case, finding fitness programs and classes with set schedules and something fun to offer is preferable. Fortunately for local folks like that, there’s much to do in and around the Plant City area.
People looking for something closer to a traditional workout experience in a social setting could check out Camp Gladiator, which offers classes five days a week in the mornings and evenings at several Plant City locations. Camp Gladiator, which has locations throughout Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina and Colorado, combines cardio and strength training in its four-week blocks. Campers work out for an hour each class and no two workouts are the same.
It may sound hardcore, but local instructor Stefani Cox said there’s nothing for anyone to fear.
“We are for all fitness levels,” Cox said. “You can work out with someone who’s never worked out a day in their life and you could work out next to someone who’s an all-star athlete.”
Cox, who helped launch Plant City’s camp in May 2018, said another thing setting Camp Gladiator apart is that it treats everyone like a big family and also has monthly social events for its campers to connect.
Classes are held at First Baptist Church of Plant City, GracePoint Church and Stingray Chevrolet at various times and dates. To view schedules and sign up, visit campgladiator.com. Cox said the Plant City location is offering four free weeks of camp starting Jan. 7.
One of the most unique workouts in town is at the Planteen Recreation Center on Dort Street, but all you’ll need is a hula hoop.
Cyrena Lang’s Dragon Hooper program offers Hoola-Fit hoop classes in Plant City, Brandon and Ruskin for men, women and children of all skill levels. Whether it’s your first time learning to hoop or dance or if you’re a seasoned veteran, Lang’s hour-long classes will make you sweat. She hosts classes for ages 13 and up at the Planteen rec center at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday and is also getting ready to host a beginners workshop for kids and adults from 2 to 3 p.m. this Saturday. Lang has a kids class in the works that’s set to begin in Plant City on Jan. 16 and runs from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. for eight weeks.
“This is actually fun,” student Latrenia Bryant said. “It’s not just treadmills. It’s different and it’s fun. Cyrena makes it fun.”
Lang is also yoga wheel certified and licensed, and occasionally hosts pop-up yoga wheel workshops. Those workshops, as well as Hoola-Fit classes and workshops, are always announced on the Dragon Hooper Facebook page. Visit the Facebook page for more information.
Yoga is a trendy fitness option right now and there’s no shortage of places in Plant City to get your stretch on. There are offerings at the Plant City Family YMCA, Koa Yoga Studio, the Yoga Barn and more for anyone looking for a traditional experience.
Animal lovers would want to clear some time on the weekends, though, for Grady Goat Yoga. Grady Goat Farm opens up to the public (with online ticket purchase) on Saturday and Sunday mornings for yoga classes with some of the cutest partners around: young goats. Not only can you pet and hold little goats, but they’ll also join you — maybe even jump on you — as you stretch out. There is no experience requirement to join the hour-long classes and participants are welcome to take pictures of and with the goats.
Visit gradygoat.org to purchase tickets and get directions to the farm.
If you just want to stick to the basics, the Plant City Running Club has you covered.
The Facebook-based club has around 200 members and meets at the Hole in One Donuts on Alexander Street every Saturday for a 7 a.m. run, and also organizes a 4:30 a.m. trot through Walden Lake on Wednesdays. The members are hoping to get a regular Tuesday event together sometime this month. Group member Jillian Wilder says members also use the group Facebook to find running buddies for events outside of Plant City, such as Disney marathons and competitions around the state.
“We’re kind of a ‘go with the flow’ group,” Wilder said.
The club also participates in local events like December’s Reindeer Run 5K and it hosted its first-ever Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving 2018. Visit facebook.com/plantcityrunningclub for more info.