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Boot Camp:Getting in shape with Big Daddy

By Sarah L. Smith
Coastal Observer

Pawleys Island Police Chief Guy Osborne gets people addicted – to exercise.

For the next four weeks he’ll meet about 20 people at 5 a.m. in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot in Litchfield to burn calories, build muscle and shed fat.

“The hardest thing about running the race is showing up,” he told the bleary-eyed group on Tuesday. “Get up, drink some coffee and then come look in my face and tell me you can’t do it.”

Everyone brings a mat, water bottle, exercise ball and hand weights. To the sound of Osborne’s rhythmic chant, “hup, hut, three, four,” they warm up with jumping jacks and squats. A 3-mile run is next.

“They don’t like us here in Litchfield,” Osborne joked with the group. “When you’re out there running, and you see a car coming, get off the road.”

About 20 minutes later, the bedraggled boot campers come back to their mats drenched in sweat.

“We all said we’re not going to do” boot camp, Melissa Grooms said, “but we always do.”

Boot camp alumni like Grooms know the program is challenging, but the camaraderie they build with other members keeps them coming back.

The results they get play a role, too.

“He’s good,” said Kitsy Barnes of Pawleys Island. “He gets the weight off of you.”

Beverly Grate of Pawleys Island is back for her third session.

“I’m trying to stay in shape,” she said.

She lost 10 pounds last session, and learned she could run a mile every day.

Osborne paces around the group as they do pushups, overhead and chest presses, lunges and more squats. He stops occasionally to correct someone’s position and then moves on.

“Breathe, you got to breathe,” he shouts. “Show me the love, baby. You got to exercise. Get it all, baby.”

A certified nutritionist and exercise specialist, Osborne gives boot campers a starch-free diet to follow for two weeks, and tells them to avoid salt. He said his plan will help get at least two pounds of weight off each week.

“Stay away from the Waffle House. Stay away from fast food. It’s killing people in this country,” he said.

If people follow his regimen, Osborne said they can drop 20 to 25 pounds.

“It’s all in motivation,” he said. “If they don’t feel it themselves they’re wasting their time.”

The cost for four weeks is $140. If a person has already participated in one boot camp, the cost is $120. If they’ve been to four or more, it’s $100.

Osborne tests new recruits’ physical fitness before they begin the program and pairs them with people on similar fitness levels during workouts.

Colleen Bowers of Pawleys Island wants to lose her baby weight. After working out for an hour and a half, she said the boot camp is worth it.

“It was motivating,” she said.


A six-year Army veteran, Osborne started his boot camp in 1997 after training with Horry County’s public safety department. They’d just opened a gym, and he was going to be a trainer. But, it was too boring, so he started his own boot camps.

“It’s all a mental thing,” Osborne said. “You’ve got to change it up.”

He teaches classes in Myrtle Beach on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and in Pawleys Island on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

This fall, his campers will have the opportunity to hike 26 miles on a North Carolina section of the Appalachian Trail, cycle on the Palmetto Trail south of McClellanville and take an end-of-course challenge involving running and biking.

For more information go to chiefbigdaddysbootcamp.com.

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