By Tim Sullivan
Oakhurst resident and father of three (soon to be four) Josh Guerrieri is the founder and lead trainer of FitWit fitness camp. He and his wife Erin have developed a program that reaps charity dollars out of every pushup, squat and lunge.
What are the origins of FitWit? First give me the Fit, then the Wit.
We started in 2006 working with kids in after-school programs providing a cool way to do group exercise (fit) as well as small-group tutoring (wit). When we started working with adults, we exploded. Now FitWit is a fitness camp training for grown-ups and The FitWit Foundation is a non-profit organization to help kids lead healthy and successful lives.
How many campers are currently enrolled? How many teens have benefited from the FitTeen program?
About 250 people in two different locations – Grant Park and Decatur. Every time someone signs up for a FitWit camp, they’ve also just provided a full week of FitWit for a student in our Foundation-run program, FitTeens. We call it Get Fit, Give Fit.
Aside from the charitable component, what makes FitWit different than other boot camps?
Three big differences. First, we track workout performances so you compete against yourself to beat your previous best. Secondly, we use a variety of equipment from kettlebells to heavy ropes which makes us much different than the standard “run around the park and stop here to do some push-ups” boot camp. Third, we are very intentional about building community.
Describe your typical camper. Ever feel like Walter Matthau coaching the Bad News Bears?
Our campers come from a variety of athletic backgrounds from zilch to fairly competitive middle-ager trying to reclaim former glory.
Worse injury: box jump failure or kettle bell failure?
I have to say kettle bell failure is worse. Fortunately, we haven’t seen what happens when a 30-pound kettle bell gets the better end of a camper’s head.
You have an amazing retention rate of campers and exemplary staff consistency. Tell me the truth – is this a cult?
Yikes, cult is a strong word. I prefer “fiercely loyal supporters committed to a supremely awesome program.” Okay, it’s a cult.
When you tell stories that start with “back in my day…” what sports are you generally referring to?
For me, it’s basketball and track. I was a decathlete champion in college, and played a year of college hoops before retiring. Sniff – that one still stings.
Don’t sweat it. I personally just consider it saving my eligibility. How tall are you? I’ve often thought that if there was boot camp that could promise an increase in height it would have an angle.
I’m 6’3” now, but back in 2006 I was only 4’10”.
When does FitWit go nationwide?
Hoping to open up a few more metro-Atlanta locations this year, as well as a nationwide affiliate package for trainers interested in running their own FitWits. For more info go to FitWit.com.
Tim Sullivan heads up the Cabbagetown Running Club and is a Buckhead business owner. Look for his column every month and visit his blog at www.timmydaddy.com.