Fitness & Sports
Not Your Average Gladiator! Meet Matt Martinez
Meet Matt Martinez, Camp Gladiator trainer, husband, father, and soon-to-be University of Houston graduate who you may have spotted leading teams and working out throughout The Woodlands. The Hello Woodlands team had the opportunity to visit one of Matt’s camps plus learn more about his passion for helping people reach their health goals and make long term commitments towards goals that they may have thought not possible.
So what is this “Camp Gladiator“? Sounds intense.
Matt explained, “Camp Gladiator is an outdoor group fitness company that is based out of Dallas,TX. Our mission is to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible. We are for all fitness levels and pride ourselves on being so, everyone deserves the right to get into the best shape of their lives, and we want to make sure we give that opportunity.”
“Camp Gladiator started back in 2008 with our Co-Founder Ally Davidson leading a group of 20 people in a parking lot and a stack of cones, 8 years later and we now have 100’s of locations in over eight states with over 10,000 campers that are a part of the CG Family. We have locations locally all over The Woodlands and Houston area with camp times ranging from 4:45am (I know, crazy!) to 7pm in the evening.”
Matt is originally from Houston and moved to The Woodlands area at the age of 11. But, why does he enjoy living and working in The Woodlands?
“I love living in The Woodlands because it’s like living in an oasis in the midst of all the hustle and noise from Houston. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Houston and it will always be my true home, however The Woodlands is a getaway and place that just has a certain peace about it, it’s almost as if it puts a spell on you the moment you drive in. When you’re able to walk out your door and take a jog or go kayaking, visit a coffee shop and have work not feel like work because you’re surrounded by the trees and nature of it all. It’s almost surreal.”
“I really enjoy working with Camp Gladiator especially here in The Woodlands because it’s basically a perfect fit. I mean, going out to camp and being able to workout at places such as Market Street, or the United Methodist Church, Rob Fleming Park, Faith Bible Church, places and areas that are well known and almost landmarks in this city is pretty cool to think about, also being surrounded by the beauty of this amazing community is something that I believe everyone should take part in. We are so blessed to have an area that is built and geared towards encouraging people to go outside and enjoy a beautiful day in and around your community, whether that be through going to the park, going for a run, playing volleyball, or of course enjoying a great camp session with CG, is truly amazing!”
How did you get started teaching groups with Camp Gladiator?
“It was honestly my wife that came across the idea of me joining Camp Gladiator. I was working on my Personal Training certification through NASM and I’m currently studying to get my degree in Kinesiology from The University of Houston (Go Coogs!) and was searching for a place that I could work at to gain some experience in the fitness industry. Camp Gladiator was honestly not on my radar at the time simply because they had slipped my mind, however I had heard about the company through seeing them at different locations around The Woodlands and being intrigued by the workouts they were doing. I just never put two and two together! (That’s where my wife comes in!) I looked for someone to contact online and sent an email in, the very next day I got a response from one of the trainers with CG, Kyle Graham, we talked on the phone for quite a bit about what it would look like to intern for them, he invited me out to his Market Street location for me to get a firsthand look at what CG was all about. 60 minutes later I was hooked! I went through the internship and now, here I am!”
There are many gyms, bootcamps, and fitness grounds in and around The Woodlands. But, what makes yours unique?
“I think they’re a few things that make Camp Gladiator a unique fitness experience. One is that every trainer and location is unique and we all bring our own flavor of fitness to our camps. My camp locations are going to be different than camps that are happening at Rob Fleming or down in Spring and Tomball, and we actually love that. Reason why is because it gives us trainers the freedom to bring our own personal touches to our camps, while still adhering the four week CG cycle that is run nationwide. Another unique bonus is that when someone joins the CG Family, they are allowed to attend any location in the U.S and go as many times as they want. So if you’re vacationing in Florida and want to get a CG session in, boom, no problem, just find the location nearest you and you’re good to go! Another thing is that we as trainers are all on the same team. We are constantly working together to help each other with events, growing our camps, helping promote CG in other cities and states, there is no I in the CG Family. Trainers in Charlotte are helping trainers in Orlando. We are visiting other cities to help recruit future trainers and spread the word about Camp Gladiator. Another special aspect of CG is the benefits that our campers receive when they join. I can’t think of another fitness company that offers as much as we do for our BOLD members. Points for checking in and referring friends, free T-shirts, BOLD only workouts, spouse discounts, unlimited sessions and locations, local business discounts, CG GAMES, accountability, discounts for CG FIT, BOLD only events and contests, just to name a few! We want our campers to feel connected, involved and a part of a great community and I think we do a pretty good job at that!”
What can you offer residents that visit your camp?
“Well of course an amazing workout! We offer our campers many different opportunities for them to succeed and achieve their fitness goals. First off, their very own personal trainer. All of our trainers are certified and go through an intense internship through Camp Gladiator in order to be absolutely sure that the person leading camp has a great focus on the high quality that CG expects from all of its trainers. Accountability, and not only from the trainers but also from others campers that you’ll meet. These people not only become your friends but also understand that we all have the same goals and that we can’t do this alone, it takes a family, plus you get to meet people that live near and in your area, you’d be surprised how many people come to camp and see someone they know! We also offer the chance to make working out fun and enjoyable! Let’s be honest, exercising sometimes is just difficult and boring, but we don’t think it has to be, which is why meeting fellow campers and inviting your own friends and family out to camp is a big deal for us. Another added benefit is help on the nutrition aspect of fitness with our new resource called CG FIT. CG FIT allows our campers access to our registered dietician, our online nutrition community, and weekly webinars that focus on a different nutrition related topic each week. Other things that are highlights is the community that we provide, getting to know your fellow Woodland residents, obviously the positive mental and physical results that come from exercise.”
How has The Woodlands helped your business?
“The Woodlands has helped us in amazing ways. First off like I said before, the surrounding area and environment that The Woodlands provides is just incredible for Camp Gladiator, being able to catch that sunrise out at Rob Fleming Park after a great workout or enjoying the sunset at Buckalew Elementary or Cranebrook Park is pretty neat. We also have a great relationship with the Township here and they allow us to have camps at local parks throughout The Woodlands. We also partner with local schools and churches which allow us to have camps at their locations. Another great opportunity that The Woodlands has helped us with is the fact a lot of people here are very health conscience and are looking for more opportunities to stay in shape.”
We are very passionate about giving back to our community. How do you contribute and give back?
“There are several ways that Camp Gladiator gives back to not only The Woodlands, but in every city that we are in. A few examples are things such as lunch and learns that we host at companies in the surrounding areas which allow us to speak on several topics such as staying fit in the office, daily nutrition, things that we can be doing daily to stay in shape and several other topics. We love working together with local businesses in the area to help promote each other such as Luke’s Locker, Lululemon, and HEB. We also attend health fairs at local companies or schools to again promote a healthy lifestyle. We help host and setup field days at local schools for the kids there to help promote healthy and active lifestyles for them. If there’s a 5k or a fitness event that’s going on, we want to be there to help promote it and invite all of our campers to it. Many of our trainers have passions for certain things that they want to raise awareness for so we love working alongside charity runs or events that support a great cause.”
“One of the things that our company as a whole does and provides for every city that we’re in is a youth camp called CG VICTORY. CG VICTORY is a camp where hundreds of kids from all around the area gather together for a week long faith based youth adventure camp. Kids participate in events such as rock climbing, dodgeball, tug-o-war, obstacle courses and a lot more, all while getting the opportunity to hear about Christ and the Gospel. This is actually one of the big reasons I decided to join CG. Our Co-Founders; Jeff and Ally Davidson consider their faith to be a huge part of their lives and want to reflect that through not only what CG VICTORY does, but what we do as a company. My faith is the main component in my life and I love that I get to work for a company that share that same passion.”
Where do you see yourself personally and your business in the near future?
“Personally I see myself hopefully guiding more and more people towards their fitness goals. My passion for helping people reach their health goals isn’t going away anytime soon and I just look forward to meeting new people and helping them make long term commitments towards goals that they may have thought not possible. I dream of Camp Gladiator being the staple and the norm here in The Woodlands. We still have a lot of growing to do and definitely more lives to positively impact. I look forward to being with Camp Gladiator for as long as possible simply because I love what we do. I believe I can speak for the rest of our CG team here when I say that we truly do want The Woodlands community to be the best place that it can be, and we want to do our part in making sure that happens.”
What are your Top 5 favorite Things to do, places, etc. in The Woodlands that you would recommend?
“Well eating would certainly be number one! I mean simply picking 5 is too difficult so I’m going to have some honorable mentions on here: Food wise, Grub Burger, I think everyone needs to go at least once if they’ve never been. Torchy’s Tacos but you have to order from the secret menu. My wife and I love us some Lupe Tortilla. But honestly my favorite place to eat is Lama Mediterranean Café; I love their food especially their Gyro. Until The Woodlands gets a Niko Niko’s in here, that’s always going to be first choice.”
“My wife and I love Kayaking out on Lake Woodlands when we get the chance. This is the runner in me but getting a good run in is a favorite of mine, particularly going from the Waterway, to Northshore Park, then running around Lake Woodlands and ending back at the Waterway, that’s my favorite run. Concert season at Northshore Park is a favorite as well. And then going to a local park and getting a great game of volleyball in with friends is always a great time.”
Any final words or thoughts for our Hello Woodlands readers and The Woodlands community?
“We look forward to and hope that we can continue to impact lives here in The Woodlands and nearby areas. I don’t just see The Woodlands as a place where I work, this is where I live and I’m so thankful that Camp Gladiator gives me the opportunity to give back to our amazing community. There are not too many careers in which you actually look forward to waking up at 3am haha, but I do because it means that I get to go out and be a part of someone’s journey to a better life, and I believe I can say the same for all the other trainers here as well. We do this because we have a desire and a passion within us in which we can’t help but want those around us to strive towards bettering themselves. We want people to be a part of the CG Family not because it benefits us, but because we are absolutely sure it will benefit them.”
A special thank you to Matt Martinez for allowing us to visit his camp and learn more about Camp Gladiator!
….and guess what? Matt is kind enough to give Hello Woodlands readers 2 weeks of Camp Gladiator FREE! Sign up here: bit.ly/NORTHHOUSTON
Camp Gladiator Giveaway
Enter to WIN a month FREE from Camp Gladiator! Simply enter your name, email address, and location below and click “Enter” by Friday, November 4, 2016. Five winners will be selected, contacted by email and receive a month free from Camp Gladiator. YES! If you win, you are allowed to attend any Camp Gladiator location in the United States and go as many times as you want. Good luck!
CONTEST ENDED – Thank you to all who entered and participated in the Hello Woodlands giveaway!
Be sure to visit the Hello Woodlands Facebook Page for photos of our Camp Gladiator experience with Matt Martinez!