We do things with more passion and vigor here in San Francisco, and exercise is no exception to that. Hayes Valley’s Basic Training believes that exercise is more than an obligation or a to-do task. They think it should be beneficial to not only your physical being but also your spiritual self. We interviewed Basic Training founder Jennifer Pattee and delved into why her company is more than exercise, what people are saying about it, and the best way to get yourself to wake up early to work out.

What's your mission statement for Basic Training?

We help people, companies, and communities become healthier, happier, and more connected.

How do you go about achieving that?

Through outdoor experiences that promote movement, adventure, and play. We use the city as our gym to help people break out of their daily routines and find more fun and adventure in the places where they live and work. We also help people achieve targeted health and fitness goals.

How much does it cost to join?

Our price list is here. First class is free. It costs $20 to drop in monthly, and 6-week membership programs are available. We also offer corporate classes ($25/person for private corporate classes).

Why did you start Basic Training?

I started basic training to fill a void in the fitness world. You can read more about it here.

What are the things your members have been saying about Basic Training? 

I think the biggest takeaway from our program is people surprise themselves by how quickly they transform from a person who hates to exercise or is unable to make it a habit into someone who "just doesn't feel right" if they don't do something active every single day.

People also love seeing San Francisco in the way we see San Francisco – as a big playground with tons of nooks and crannies to play on, in, and around. SF has more green space than just about any major city in America. We get all up in all of it, including the privately-owned public spaces of the Financial District.

Why is Basic Training better than a gym membership?

When was the last time you laughed with the person next to you on the elliptical machine?

What are the toughest/hardest challenges for Basic Training?

As a business, it's getting the word out about our classes and how we are different from other programs. On the surface, all bootcamp programs look the same. Philosophically we are completely different than anything else out there.

For our clients, the hardest challenge is making space in their days to take care of themselves in the form of showing up to class. It's really hard to put yourself first.

How do you recommend motivating people getting out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to work out?

There are also a lot of tricks to help get out of bed in the morning

  • Sleep in your workout clothes
  • Leave your shoes by your bed
  • Have coffee ready to go
  • Make plans to meet a friend at 6 a.m.
  • Be part of a class like ours
  • Focus on the end product and how good you will feel afterwards

There is no better bonding experience than doing pushups with your friends and neighbors at 6 a.m., and you will sleep like a baby at the end of the day. It's also a great alternative to Tinder.

Check out Basic Training at our Hayes Valley Microhood on Thursday, Aug. 14 from 6-8 p.m.