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Early risers enjoy boot camp

Thad Caron leads his students through several sets of crunches at Northwest Martial Arts. Below: A students in Thad's Bootcamp class struggles through a third set of reverse crunches.

While most Rosemount residents are snuggled in their beds, there is a group of dedicated individuals lunging, squatting and crunching their way to better health.

Up exercising at 5 a.m., the group is part of Thad's Bootcamp class at Northwest Martial Arts in Rosemount.

Led by Thad Caron, a kind but firm personal trainer, the class aims to make people stronger and fitter. While there is some whining here and there, the students seem to respond well to Caron's urging. Caron, a former hockey player, has offered the boot camp class for more than two years at Northwest.

The class meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5 a.m. and despite the early hour is pretty popular. Greg Lee, who has attended the boot camp for more than a year, said the class is a good way to start the day.

"It sets the pace for my whole day," said Lee.

Dedicated to helping people live a more healthful lifestyle, Caron said he provides a good but fun workout.

"I'm pretty creative. I like to mix it up and make it fun. By keeping it fun (clients) want to come back," said Caron.

A personal trainer by trade, Caron said the class is a good way to get personalized training at a group price. Regardless of fitness level, everyone in his class gets a good workout.

"I try to work with people to make sure their needs are met. If someone has an injury I will modify an exercise for them or if they need to be pushed harder I will do that," said Caron.

During the classes Caron has his students work out with kettle bells, medicine balls, bosu balls, dumbbells, and resistance bands. Additionally students do good old fashioned squats, push ups, lunges and crunches.

In the two years he's been offering the class, Caron said he's never done the same workout twice.

His willingness to tailor the class is one reason Lee enjoys it. Lee said Caron is very knowledgeable.

"He's always willing to help people. He's always got tweaks for people and he's always pushing us up," said Lee.

As a trainer, Caron said he's determined to push people to reach their personal goals. But he does it in a friendly manner-- no drill seargent barking. Caron said over the years he's developed friendships with many of his clients.

"It's an opportunity for people to make friendships while getting their butts kicked," said Caron.

To advertise the class, this past year, Caron added the class to the School District 196 Community Education listing. So far, it has helped him recruit additional students. Caron said 16 people have signed up for the class and 10 to 12 attend regularly.

Caron said he enrolls students anytime so there's no need to wait to sign up.

"Anybody will get a good workout and have some fun," said Caron.

Caron has been a certified personal trainer for more than five years. He has a degree in sports and exercise science and is certified through the American Council on Exercise and the National Exercise Trainers Association.

Northwest Martial Arts is located at 14537 Dodd Blvd.

For more information on Thad Caron or his Thad's Bootcamp class visit or Community Education at or call 651-423-7920.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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