Best Of 2012

Best Free Group Exercise Class: North Shore Park workouts on Saturday mornings

They’re referred to in different terms, from “boot camps” to “metabolic circuit training classes” to “cross fit workouts.” Whatever the moniker, group workouts using a variety of drills and exercises focused on strengthening the core and creating an overall anatomical symmetry are all the rage now. Centers dedicated to these type of classes can easily be found throughout the Tampa Bay area. One location that has developed into a workout row of sorts is North Shore Park in downtown St. Petersburg. Over the past two years, one group workout after another has sprouted up along the idyllic setting in St. Pete. And the best part is they’re all free. Damon Reio, owner and founder of the Physiques by Damon Reio Training Center, is the unofficial creator of these Saturday morning workouts. His “boot camp” class lasts about 45 minutes and is geared toward all levels of fitness. About 100 yards from Reio’s class, Daniel Graveel and Aaron Hallam recently started metabolic circuit training that should actually be called the amazing warrior workout inspired by the movie 300, considering it involves everything from flipping huge truck tires to slamming medicine balls into the ground to carrying jugs of water. North Shore Park even features a Stroller Strides class geared toward moms.