For as long as he can remember, teamwork has attracted Zach Shagi to football. Lately, teamwork has been what drives his passion for boot camp fitness.
“I loved playing sports, because I love the competitive nature and the team environment,” said Shagi, 32, who opened Fit Body Boot Camp in Oakdale in late May. “And it’s why I love what we’re doing here. We help more people by taking the group approach.”
An Oakdale native and former Connetquot High School quarterback, Shagi has returned home to be an assistant varsity football coach at Connetquot and to open Fit Body, located at 601 Montauk Highway. He and his newlywed wife Natasha, who helps him run the business, recently settled in West Sayville.
“My hours here at Fit Body make it possible to still do my passion of coaching football,” said Shagi, who has coached football at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Western Connecticut University and Stony Brook University. “I wanted a little something more — where I could still coach, and still have the team environment that I love so much, while also being able to do something a little more meaningful, a little more powerful.”
Shagi’s is one of a dozen Fit Body Boot Camp franchises on Long Island. There are more than 500 worldwide, with most located in the United States.
Fit Body Boot Camp’s 30-minute, high-intensity workouts — Connetquot varsity track and field coach Shelby White is one of the studio’s certified personal trainers — deliver a good burn in a short amount of time. The specialized “afterburn” workouts combine high intensity interval training with active rest training, pushing participants to burn much higher amounts of fat and calories than traditional workouts, Shagi said.
“This fits into everybody’s schedule,” said Shagi, who opened the Oakdale location on May 20, one day after his first wedding anniversary. “A lot of people’s main objection to working out is, ‘One hour is just too much. I can’t exercise because I don’t have an hour.’ But we get a lot of feedback from people signing up who are saying ‘I can make this work with my crazy schedule because it’s just 30 minutes.”
Classes are scheduled with the working customer in mind — morning weekday sessions are as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 7 p.m. Membership includes access to Fit Body Boot Camp’s meal plans, which come in vegetarian, paleo, vegan and standard varieties.
Members are also held accountable for regularly attending workouts. Shagi said if a member goes a week without attending a workout, a staffer will call and motivate the member to get back in to the studio. He added that the gym caters to a wide variety of fitness levels.
“We have people who are advanced — who have been exercising for many years,” he said. “And we have people who haven’t exercised their entire life, or haven’t done it since high school gym class, when they made them do it.”
Fit Body Boot Camp offers three free workouts, along with special introductory three-week, four-week and six-week membership rates. Visit their website for more information.