Burning calories under the sun


Randy Morris’ students doing high jumps and sprints during Beach Boot Camp.

The beach, for most people, means a place to lay, relax and enjoy – not for people like Randy Morris, the founder and president of the Extreme Fitness Club.

Morris, who moved to Hawaii 24 years ago after many visits to the island, decided to make paradise his gym. Seventeen years ago he started the Beach Boot Camp at Queen’s Beach in Waikiki.

“I started doing it to personally get myself in shape because I started to learn how to play beach volleyball,” Morris said. “Then, one of my friends decided to join me, and it just became a thing that everybody started to follow, and that is kind of how it ended up happening.”

Morris has been teaching the boot camp- for free- since then in order to give back to the community.

The beach workout, every Tuesday and Friday from 5-6p.m., is designed for all ages and although is done as a big group, it’s all about each individual’s personal goal and reaching his/her own limits. Fundamentals of the workout are based on “core exercises,” including sprints, push-ups and sit-ups that develop body shaping, conditioning, body strength and the burning calories. The fact that the workout is on the sand makes each movement more challenging, giving the students the opportunity to push themselves; it also decreases the chances of getting an injury.

The fact that the workout is outdoors with a beautiful view and fresh air may attract many students, especially those with a hard time working out indoors or running on a treadmill instead.

The Beach Boot Camp started with four people, and in the beginning of October, there were over 30.

“Since I started my company called Extreme Fitness Club, I did a lot of private training and got a lot of certifications so I could advance the skills,” Morris said. “I see more and more advanced athletes coming out for training.”

Matt Chamberlin has been living in Hawaii for six years and attending the Beach Boot Camp for three years.

Chamberlin heard about the workout through a friend and kept coming ever since to push himself and to get into shape.

A class that took place beginning of October, started with short runs in a circle to warm up the bodies. The sand already felt heavy as the water touched everyone’s feet. The rest of the warm up continued with back and forth jump jacks, high knees run and stretching of the legs. Every student looked focused and ready for Morris’ command. The continuous run started, with breaks in between for different brutal styles of sit-ups. As the body starts asking for a break, the workout gets even more intense. Cruel sprints from one side to another accompanied by high jumps takes over the class, as students’ abs and legs already felt like “jelly.” Everyone is so focused on their own mental and physical endurance that time goes by quickly facing the workout challenges. After the sprints, the students are able to stretch their muscles and breath deeply after succeeding an intense workout.

Finishing working out with the view of Waikiki’s sunset is the proof that it was all worth the sweat.

Waikiki sunset after Beach Boot Camp. Photo Courtesy of Suse Sampaio Simoes.

“The first time is hard because it’s a little more brutal,” Chamberlin said. “But after that, you get in shape really fast.”

No equipment is necessary in order to attend the class, but on Tuesdays is encouraged to bring medicine balls.

“I think it’s amazing,” Chamberlin said. “Randy just comes out and does it for free, which I think that’s the best part. This is his passion; he loves doing it so he is just sharing his knowledge. You can tell he is stoked to see everyone else getting stoked.”