Owner Gracie Parras works full time for the Tulare Police Department and part time for the College of Sequoia's police academy, training cadets for their rigorous physical fitness test. She started Five-O Fitness after offering cadets extra help outside of class. "Two cadets turned into six cadets. I couldn't train them at the gym, so it was like... It kind of went from there," said Parras.
Five-O Fitness now offers boot camp classes four days a week at Visalia's Blain Park. The sessions are three dollars each and her son, Jovan, helps lead the drills. Parras said the workouts are very similar to what cadets experience in the police academy, with one exception. "I'm a totally different person in the police academy. Totally different person," said Parras.
Cadet Maria Valencia agreed. "Right here, she doesn't yell as much as she does in the academy. That's the only luxury," said Valencia. All of that tough love has paid off for Valencia. She started training with Parras before joining the police academy and has since lost 30 pounds.
Others attend the boot camps as an alternative to the gym. "I just wouldn't get up and go to that. Motivation just went out the door so I figured I'd better start doing it," said Mary Chavez.
Children under the age of 12 can participate for free and teens pay just one dollar. The business has taken off so quickly, Parras is now in the process of hiring more trainers to offer more classes in other locations.