Not-so-basic training

Posted on 15 Feb 2007 at 6:56pm
By Steven Lindsay

Eric Peay puts his chiropractic patients on a new road to wellness



Eric Peay combines his chiropractic background with a demanding exercise program for the intensive Booty Camp. (Photo by Debra Gloria)

Who wouldn’t like to wake up with a handsome young doctor every morning?

Before you answer too quickly, consider these additional requirements. You have to get up at 4:30 a.m., commit to intense daily workouts for three consecutive weeks (including a stiff financial penalty for missing a class) and be prepared for various forms of physical torture, including push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, running, bear crawling and pull-ups.

Still intrigued? Then Booty Camp may be just what the drill sergeant ordered.

Inspired by a patient who needed motivation to lose weight, Eric Peay came up with the idea to create a workout program that would be motivational, effective and most importantly, safe for a variety of patients with varying degrees of pain and health problems.

When Peay began CoreHealth Chiropractic, his goal was to create an environment where he could spend plenty of time with every patient and develop treatment plans so that they don’t have to see him as frequently.

“If a patient has good core strength, they’re not going to need as many visits,” Peay says. “I want them to get to the point where they can come in once every few months rather than several times per week.”

The main goal of Booty Camp is to increase core strength through health, nutrition and fitness. His simple philosophy for everyone: get chiropractic adjustments, eat right, exercise and drink plenty of water.

“Then you may just start viewing life in a different way. It sounds ridiculously easy, but people can’t see how important it is unless I get down and do it with them,” Peay says. “It’s also essential that they learn how to do exercises correctly to protect their spines and strengthen their cores.”

Originally named Body Boot Camp, it was affectionately renamed Booty Camp by the participants because of the emphasis on keeping the butt tight during every exercise.

The class meets at Turtle Creek Athletic Club promptly at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday for three weeks in a row. Participants must join TCAC to use the facilities, but because of the partnership with Peay they are able to get a discounted monthly rate and initiation fee and month-to-month terms.

For the first tour of booty duty this past January, eight brave souls enlisted in the program. They ranged in age from 27 to 58, and each person had different goals and different physical hurdles to overcome, all of which Peay had intimate knowledge of.

Debra Gloria, 45, was referred to Peay for knee pain after training intensely for a year.

“I didn’t realize the importance of chiropractic health, but once I added chiropractic treatments to my training regimen I saw and felt a tremendous difference,” Gloria says.

During the three-week session, Gloria lost both weight and inches. “My energy went up during the second week. I wanted to make better food choices to work out better every day. My confidence level now is so high,” she says.

Eric Pratt, 43, is what some might call a workout fanatic. He first saw Peay for severe shoulder and back pain, which were both eliminated through chiropractic treatment.

Booty Camp helped Pratt increase his endurance, as well as understand what he was doing wrong when he worked out on his own.

“Even someone like me who works out all the time, I have weakness and when you have someone to watch what you are doing, they can correct your errors,” Pratt says. “What a person may think they are doing as far as lifting and what they are really doing can be two different things.”

For Mary O’Keefe, 58, there was a bit of hesitation that she might not be able to keep up.

“I now can actually do crunches without feeling like I am going to toss my cookies and I can also do pushups now. I definitely feel the benefit and see the difference in my clothes already,” O’Keefe says.

In order to get the full experience for this story, I joined Booty Camp and observed dramatic changes in both my fellow campers and myself. Over the course of the three weeks, I lost more than 12 pounds and have completely changed my eating habits.

The group dynamic is a huge reason the program succeeds. Like regular military boot camp, everyone’s actions affect others. If one person shows up late, he may end up doing push-ups in front of the class. Or he might get to sit while the rest of the class runs laps as punishment for his behavior.

Even though Peay rules the class with an iron fist (and a rather loud whistle), it is never an intimidating or humiliating experience.

“I was always amazed at the dedication we all had as a group to succeed,” Gloria says.

“There has been a visible change in the participants from Day One, visually and more importantly mentally,” says Billy Young, managing partner at TCAC. “I see it every morning when they arrive and when they leave. The camaraderie among the participants and Peay is obvious. I also like how he mixes up the program where it’s not the same thing day in and day out. From my observation, each day brings something new which obviously keeps it fresh and challenging… and I especially like when he blows his whistle!”
Eric Peay, CoreHealth Chiropractic, 214-219-3300.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 16, 2007.

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