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Sir, Yes, Sir! A fitness company that's run military style

By Pamela Rohland

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There's a little bit of Marine in all of us. At leastthat's what Raphael Verela has bet his business on: The31-year-old former Marine and personal trainer runs his fitnesscompany, Optimum Boot Camp, in authentic military style.

Grueling 90-minute workouts start promptly at 6 a.m. on thebeaches of Venice and Malibu, California, where the pampered, theflabby and the just plain masochistic are whipped into tip-topshape by puffing their way through a sweeping variety of exercises.Feeling unmotivated? Verela, dressed in fatigues and armed with awhistle, will give you a jump-start by screaming, in his mostconvincing drill sergeant style, to drop to the ground and give him15.

A spin-off of his personal training business, the 18-month-oldboot camp appeals to clients looking for a change from the usualStairmaster routine. The boot camp sessions are varied every week,and clients work out in the fresh air, with plenty of room to move.Plus, it works. Who's in better shape than a Marine?

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