CORRECTION: This article originally incorrectly stated which Fido Fit Boise founder volunteers at the Idaho Humane Society.
Personal trainer Brian Whaley has been looking to create an exercise class that would be new and different from those offered at local fitness clubs.
He noticed that some people finishing workouts at a local gym would say: "Now I've got to go home and walk my dog."
The 41-year-old, who has had dogs his whole life, wondered if it would be possible to combine the two: Create a workout that both dog and owner benefit from.
Whaley's stepson, Derrek Brent, 23, has experience in dog handling and training. He was intrigued by the idea of a bootcamp-style class for dogs and their owners.
The pair have spent the past four months planning a class - and testing it out on family and friends. They've created a business called Fido Fit Boise, which they are promoting on Facebook and Twitter.
The classes they offer will be for all fitness levels. They will feature high-intensity interval training (30- to 60-second intervals). So participants will do push-ups for 60 seconds, take a break, walk the dog, then do squats for 60 seconds, etc.
Whaley spoke with Boise Parks & Recreation officials about their plan to hold exercise classes in one or more local parks. For now, they plan to hold the classes at Terry Day Park.
Some parks have off-leash hours - but dogs participating in Fido Fit classes will remain leashed.
"We didn't want the dogs running around," said Whaley, who has a chocolate Lab, Daisy, and a Rottweiler, Rex.
Participants bring blankets or towels for the dogs to lie on when they're not working out. Ground stakes are used to keep them near their owners.
"It worked flawlessly," Whaley said.
They plan to limit class size to 10 people and 10 dogs (couples with a single dog is fine). Brent, who has a yellow Lab named Apollo, will keep an eye on the dogs during workouts.
Lisa Ball, a 41-year-old Kuna mom of four, and her husband, Arlis, took their Rottweiler, Randee, to one of the test classes. She said the dogs mingled and mellowed out before the exercise session started.
"Every once in a while, you run with the dog. The dogs get all excited and jump around and are happy," Ball said. "The dogs love the running part."
"You wouldn't think it's an hour long because it goes by so quick," Ball said. At the end of the class, the dogs cool down in the pond at Terry Day.
Fido Fit Boise is a labor of love for Whaley, whose day job is an electrical designer for Engineering Consultants, and Brent, who does customer retention for Hewlett Packard.
Fido Fit stems from their personal interests. Whaley works as a part-time trainer at the Grove Fitness Club & Spa, and Brent volunteers at the Idaho Humane Society.
They've brought family members into the business in a variety of ways. Whaley's wife, Karen, is handling Fido Fit's books. Brent's fiancee, Kami Rust, is managing the website and social media.
The first class for the public will be on Saturday, May 24. They'll likely expand to weekday mornings at a later date, Whaley and Brent said, and they plan to organize monthly fun runs in the Foothills and along the Greenbelt.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413