Lowell residents mourning the loss of the city’s Fit Body Boot Camp have a new option for interval training. Chris Blair, who previously worked at the location, has launched Chris Blair Fitness and is offering 30-minute training sessions in the King Building at Recreation Park, which is also known as the Kent County Youth Fairgrounds. In addition, Blair is available for private training, in-house training and Zoom classes for those who are interested.
“If you’re not comfortable going into the gym right now, let me bring the fitness to you,” Blair says.
For Blair, getting fit has been a personal journey. One that has reaped benefits for both his physical and mental health. He hopes that by making his fitness classes accessible and affordable, others will see the same results.
From Band Teacher to Fitness Instructor
Blair didn’t set out to become a fitness instructor. Instead, he had his sights set on being a band teacher. But during his fourth year in a music education program, he found himself feeling anxious and depressed. “It was not a good place to be,” he recalls. It was only by happenstance that he discovered a key to turning around his mood.
Near the end of the semester, he pulled on a sweater, only to discover it didn’t fit anymore. That prompted him to go for a run. “That was single-handedly the best decision of my life,” he says with a smile. It wasn’t easy to start, but each day, he pushed himself to run a little farther. Five months later, he took part in a half marathon.
After graduation, he headed to California to teach music but discovered it wasn’t what he had expected. Then, a stint in the Marine Corps Field Band fell through. Throughout these disappointments, running and fitness remained a constant in his life.
“Fitness was my rock,” he says. “It was my getaway.”
It occurred to him that maybe fitness could become his career, and Blair enrolled in classes to become a certified trainer. His first job was with Fit Body Boot Camp in Middleville before he moved to the Lowell location. The COVID-19 pandemic threw another curveball in Blair’s life as Fit Body Boot Camp closed in Lowell.
While Blair could have moved to another of the business’s locations, he hated to leave the people in Lowell behind. “It was so heartbreaking because I’ve been training them from nine months,” he says. What’s more, there are limited options in the city for the type of interval training offered by Fit Body Boot Camp.
Rather than leave the community, Blair decided to branch out on his own and launched Chris Blair Fitness.
Exercise for Every Fitness Level
While Blair offers private training and other services, his 30-minute interval class is his most popular option. The exercises during these sessions can be easily modified to accommodate people of every fitness level, and no special equipment is needed.
“My goal is to give [clients] 30 minutes of the day where they don’t have to worry about anything.” Blair says. He wants physical activity to be enjoyable and adds with a laugh: “Expect really bad dad jokes.”
Although people can work out at home, Blair urges caution to those who are new to fitness activities. “You can find exercises online, but there is so much of it that is dangerous,” he says. “I don’t want someone to get two months into their journey and hurt themselves.”
For that reason, Blair encourages people to at least begin with a trainer. That way, they can learn proper form before transitioning to safely working out at home.
Blair currently offers 30-minute drop-in sessions three days a week at the King Building at the fairgrounds. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, classes begin at 8:15am. On Saturdays, there is a Zoom class that starts at 8am. All classes are $10, which can be paid via cash, card or Venmo. There is no commitment and no need to register in advance. The only things to bring, other than payment, are a towel or yoga mat, mask and water bottle.
For more information, visit the Chris Blair Fitness Facebook page.
Editor’s note: This article was updated at 9:11am on October 15 to clarify the day and format of the weekend class.