South Bay Fit Camp: Serious fitness training with a “recess” state of mind

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emily-duval-fitnessEverythingLongBeach recently spoke with Emily Duval Ledger, founder, lead instructor of South Bay Fit Camp, via email. They talked about inspirations, challenges and what’s it’s like having a fitness business.

How long have you been in business?:

Since April 2008

How would you describe South Bay Fit Camp?

We teach outdoor fitness classes for all levels with a unique “adult recess” approach, proving that the old adage of “no pain, no gain” is simply not true! We play games and activities that help our participants gain strength and endurance and lose fat and inches, while relieving stress and building camaraderie. Many adults have forgotten how to play, and spend their days stressed and indoors, so we’re here to help them look — and more importantly feel — their very best.

Why did you start South Bay Fit Camp?

I have been a personal trainer in the area since 2005, and recognized the need for group exercise classes that challenged people at their own level without leaving anyone behind. Too often group classes cater to the most advanced or let good form slide, and that is when participants get bored, disenchanted and/or injured. I wanted to create a class that I would want to take myself, and one that I knew my clients would truly enjoy.

What makes South Bay Fit Camp stand out?

Unlike the increasingly popular fitness “boot camps” in the area, we really emphasize the fun, using humor and a sense of play in what we do. We believe that if you feel good, you can’t help but look good, and our goal is to make everyone feel much better by the time they leave each class. So far, we’re on a roll…

What is the biggest success South Bay Fit Camp has had?

We have many participants that have been with us since the very beginning and still love the classes as much as they did the first day, and they are leaner, stronger versions of their old selves! It is the daily successes that make this rewarding for all of us, though I know for the participants, it’s their individual pounds lost that keep them coming back for more.

What is your favorite part of running your business?

I just love the look of surprise and delight when they accomplish something they never thought possible, and fortunately that is a regular occurrence. And the daily laughs we share in the park make me absolutely love my job.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Spreading the word about our classes is the hardest for me — since I am a sole business owner with only so many hours in the day, doing enough marketing is a real challenge.

What unique talents do you bring to South Bay Fit Camp?

I am an independently certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and specialize in weight loss, nutritional counseling, injury rehab and prenatal/postpartum fitness. I am not a natural-born athlete, and struggled in my youth with physical activity. So I know what it is like to try new activities that feel foreign, and how it feels to exceed my own expectations. My love (and nerdy obsession) for our amazing bodies and my passion for helping others are the core principles upon which this business was built, and why I think it continues to grow.

How is South Bay Fit Camp involved with the community?

I used to have a long commute out of Long Beach to my old job, so now I love that my career anchors me in my own community! I often speak to local groups like youth athletic leagues, business professionals, etc., on nutrition, sports performance, work/life balance and practical, simple ways to stay healthy. I contribute raffle items to local organizations for their fundraisers, and attend as many community events as I can. We live in a great city, and I love feeling like I am a part of something truly special.

Do you have any future plans for South Bay Fit Camp?

I want to grow the classes I teach here in Long Beach, and prove to more people that fitness can truly be fun. So many people think they have to suffer to get what they want, and I am on a mission to change their minds!

What is the best advice that you received and who did it come from?

There are many wise people in my life, but the comments of my good friend Myriam Joseph come to mind. She constantly reminds me that if I am true to my authentic self and live a life based in love, I will achieve the sense of community and goals I strive for. She also reminds me that the prize is often in the journey, and not the destination. She’s never been wrong so far. 🙂

One Last Thing: We are holding free classes on January 9 & 11, 2010, so anyone in the community can kick-start the new year with healthy momentum and some great new friends!

  • South Bay Fit Camp Details:
  • Address: 108 Redondo Ave #6, Long Beach 90803
  • Phone Number: (562) 243-2221
  • Website:

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