CEO and Founder of Camp Gladiator Ali Davidson was about to get married when she heard about tryouts for American Gladiator at a local Gold’s Gym. Davidson ran down to the gym and did over 40 pull ups in her wedding veil. She and her husband Jeff were cast in American Gladiator, and Davidson ultimately went on to win.
Davidson started Camp Gladiator just over nine years ago in Austin, TX, where the company is currently headquartered. The company has many locations all around Texas as well as locations in Denver, Tampa, and Orlando. Charlotte is one of Camp Gladiator’s newest markets, growing to 75 camp locations and over 25 trainers since it’s opening in January .
Camp Gladiator runs 4-week long cycles of group training. Last week was endurance week, the first week in the month-long cycle. “When I say endurance, a lot of people think that’s just run, run, run run,” says Mint Hill Trainer Daniel Beaupre. “But no, you have to make sure that your muscles are getting endurance trained, too.” Thursday’s workout at Veteran’s Park involved a fair amount of running, but also weighted exercises like front shoulder raises and skull crushers and body weight exercises like squat jumps, push ups and side planks. “It’s never the same,” says Beaupre, who was heading home after Thursday’s camps to plan Friday’s workout.
Week two of the 4-week cycle focuses on strength and agility; week three is high intensity interval training. Week four is “peak week.” “Basically, what we’ve done is we’ve built you up from week one, week two, week three, so you can maintain and perform really well for peak week,” says Beaupre.
Mint Hill is one of Camp Gladiator’s newest Charlotte locations. Beaupre runs camps Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:00 am at Queen’s Grant Community School, and Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5:00 pm and 6:15 pm at Veteran’s Park.
One of the things that sets Camp Gladiator apart from other group training programs is that all the camps meet outdoors. Most of the camp locations have options to at least partially shelter campers from inclement weather (like the picnic shelter at Veteran’s Park), but being outdoors is part of the fun. “If they’re doing it in Denver in the wintertime, we can do it in Charlotte!” says Beaupre.
Camp Gladiator has 75 locations in the Charlotte area, and they hope to expand even more. “We’re all about convenience for our campers,” says Beaupre. “I want another trainer two miles down the road doing a Tuesday and a Thursday morning so it complements everything we do.”
Camp Gladiator’s mission is simple: “We want to impact as many lives as we can through physical fitness,” says Beaupre. To draw in more campers, they frequently offer promotions that allow newcomers to try out Camp Gladiator. This cycle’s promotion is called “Happy Camper,” which allowed trainers and current members to give a friend a code entitling them to 4 weeks (or one cycle) of free camp. Camp Gladiator’s goal was to welcome 16,000 Happy Campers this cycle; nationwide they are on track for about 20,000. Beaupre has seen about twenty new faces this week at his camps alone.
“What we’re doing with these promotions is we’re trying to get people involved and see what Camp Gladiator is all about,” says Beaupre. “Then the next question is, let’s go BOLD, let’s make that commitment for a year, six months, to continue that fitness journey.”
BOLD members commit to six or twelve months of Camp Gladiator. In addition to enjoying the best rates ($69.00 per month for twelve months or $89.00 per month for 6 months), BOLD members also have access to unlimited camps at any Camp Gladiator location nationwide.
There are a lot of different options for working out in Mint Hill. One of the things that sets Camp Gladiator apart from other gyms and workout programs is the camaraderie that group training inspires. “You can come here you know you’re going to have a great workout with a bunch of friends,” says Beaupre, “and that’s what sets us apart from going to the gym.”
Camp Gladiator’s spirit of camaraderie also inspires accountability, which keeps people coming back and ultimately produces results. “I need that in my life!” says Sonja, who was attending her second camp and liked it so much she brought her friend Kerry with her on day number two. “It was awesome,” said Kerry, who didn’t hesitate when asked if she’d come back. “Very motivating, encouraging.”
“I think it’s an awesome opportunity to be with friends and community and to get to know people I never would have gotten to know,” says Kim, who’s been coming to Camp Gladiator for six weeks. “I enjoy the diversity of the group and how everybody is so encouraging and motivating. It’s just an awesome thing.”
The diverse people who come to Camp Gladiator are also part of what makes it unique. “We train all fitness levels, all shapes and sizes, all ages,” says Beaupre, who has campers as young as 19 and as old as 64. “It’s all different activity levels,” adds Sonja, “so you don’t feel like an outsider because you’re not a superhero on the first day.”
“Where else would you see stuff like that?” asks Beaupre. “People are cheering each other on. It’s a family. When you first start training with people, you have no idea who they are, but three weeks, four weeks, down the road they’re you’re best friends, so now you’re accountable to them as well as your trainer.”
If you want to try camp Gladiator, get in touch with Mint Hill’s trainer Daniel Beaupre at 704 957 6390. “Do it,” says Sonja. “Don’t hesitate. Do it, and come back!” “If you want to come try Camp Gladiator out, please come to my location!” urges Beaupre. “I’ll give you a free pass. If you really like it, come back again. Bring a friend. We want to impact as many lives as we can.”
“We have a promotion coming up next month,” adds Beaupre. “I can’t tell you what it is, but it is huge. I’ll just leave it at that. We can’t say anything about it until the day it comes out, but when it comes out people are going to be like, ‘Oh my goodness, we need to get on top of that.”