BURRILLVILLE – If Samantha Tobin told you she was going to “work out” three years ago, she would have been kidding.
A 30-year-old Burrillville resident who works full-time for CVS Corporate, Tobin says she had no real interest in fitness until she tried a spin class as a joke with a friend in 2015.
Now, she teaches dozens of locals in “boot camp” style classes up to twice a day, every day. On Saturday, she’ll lead 30 of her most faithful devotees in an intense 90-minute session outdoors in 90 degree weather.
And she says the transition from fitness newbie to guru happened seemingly overnight.
Tobin was hooked after that first spin class and says she soon found herself teaching spin. After hearing the demand for more of a boot camp-style workout, she started running her own sessions in local parks.
“It was a group thing, and I wasn’t charging anything,” she told NRI NOW this week.
In 2017, Tobin and more than a dozen followers moved into the Beckwith-Bruckshaw Lodge through collaboration with the Burrillville Parks and Recreation Department.
She says that from there, things. “literally blew up overnight.
“I don’t think anyone was expecting what happened.”
Tobin has since led classes of up to 58 people at a time in the space. She says her special events, like the longer two hour bootcamp she runs every few months, often attract between 120-130 participants.
“The two-hour boot camps bring out the most people,” she said.
Her secret, she says, is to keep things interesting.
With the motto “Train Insane or Remain the Same,” Tobin boasts that her sessions are “not your average boot camp.” Classes incorporate dumbbells, trampolines, weighted plates, kettlebells and sand bags, and boot campers may unexpectedly find themselves flipping tires or even climbing walls.
And she buys new equipment for her classes on a monthly basis.
“No class is ever the same. It’s spur of the moment,” said Tobin. “We try the craziest stuff,”
“If I’m getting bored, I know everyone else is.”
Exercises, she notes, are done in times intervals, and anyone can take part. Participants range in age from 15 to 67.
“You do what you can. I have all different fitness levels,” she said. “You modify stuff.”
She also credits her high-energy pupils with much of the class’s popularity
“It’s the group of people that we have in here,” Tobin said. “These people are coming here on a daily basis – sometimes twice a day.”
Members encourage one another, and Tobin herself tells students to embrace the addiction the workouts can provide.
“We have some pretty dedicated, motivated people,” she said.
On Saturday, June 30, her followers will gather for a 90-minute session, followed by a Family Day at Spring Lake Beach. Some 60 members of the Tobin boot camp family will attend the afternoon event.
Her weekday classes run before and after work – typically around 5 a.m. and 5 p.m.
For the self-proclaimed fitness addict and her ilk, that doesn’t leave a lot of free time, but it’s worth it.
“I never get a break.”