TEMPE, Ariz. – “It helps you be as tough as a gorilla,” said Marcel Johnson, the founder of Gorillafied Fitness.
The boot camp-style workout happens on weekends at different parks around the Valley.
“It was kind of a random idea,” said Johnson on how he came up with the workout, “I used to be an athlete and was looking for unconventional ways to train. I saw a kid one time flipping a tire just playing around with a tire and that sparked [an idea], ‘What if I get some tractor tires, some regular things and just started working out.’”
At Indian Bend Park in Tempe, he held an hour-long class where participants swung ropes, caught footballs, hopped over obstacles, jump roped and flipped full-body tires.
“I really like to come with my husband,” said Molly Martin, who has been working with Johnson for years, “we do the workout together as well as my friends and my son comes in the stroller.”
Something that stuck out when I took the class was at the beginning Marcel stated: “This is going to be incredibly hard.” Immediately I felt exhausted. He then said that working out is mental and classes are only hard if you create mental blocks. From the planks to exploding jumping jacks, the class was really fun and challenging. It also wasn’t too hot for a summer Saturday morning.
Weekend boot camps are $15 and, on some days, Johnson has charity classes where all the proceeds go to help the Crisis Arizona, a center for underprivileged children.
He also hosts hour-long personal training sessions during the week that start at $35.
For more information, visit the Gorillafied Fitness website.