By Southwester Staff

Jenny Harper on the steps of Nats Park; Courtesy of Jenny Harper

Southwest resident Jenny Harper is about to launch her 2020 outdoor boot camps in Navy Yard. From March through December, Harper holds three-week sessions that meet three days a week from 6:15 a.m.-7:15 a.m. The classes focus on both cardio and strength to provide a full-body comprehensive workout, and are designed to be accessible to all ability levels.

Harper began teaching a variety of fitness classes 15 years ago as a way to stay fit and earn extra income while she was just starting out in DC. Eventually, she left the studio setting in exchange for her own business on the steps of Nationals Park. It’s now a way for her to build a sense of community and make an impact. 

“Life is busy and stressful. Creating a space where people can come and start their day by doing something that benefits their physical health and mental well-being is incredibly important to me. There is nothing more rewarding to me than hearing from someone that I have helped them in some way,” says Harper.

Southwest resident Jesse Gunther agrees. “I have always hated fitness classes, but after having two kids and being unable to lose weight I decided to try something new. It’s really not an exaggeration to say that Boot Camp with Jenny changed my life!”

Harper describes her clientele as a mix of longtimers and newcomers. She says that laughter and camaraderie are what carry people through the hour of stairs, squats, and push-ups. 

“I understand how intimidating group fitness classes can feel. I have worked hard to make my boot camp a place where everyone feels genuinely welcome and also feels appropriately challenged.”

The views on the riverfront are also a signature part of her boot camp. The sunrises are a motivating factor to leave the comfort of a climate-controlled gym and get outside. “There has been a tremendous amount of work put in to improving the health of the Anacostia River, and I Iove that my boot camp connects people with this beautiful part of our city,” states Harper. 
The first session begins on Monday, March 9. Harper also regularly announces free classes through her Facebook page ( Information and registration are available through her website at

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