Coach Sha’s Bootcamp combines fitness and fellowship

Coach Sha’s Bootcamp combines fitness and fellowship
Coach Sha's Bootcamp (Source: Allison Childers)


Coach Sha's Bootcamp

A boot camp based in Brusly won the popular vote in a WAFB online poll for your favorite workout program in the Baton Rouge area.

Voters left comments and praise for Coach Sha’s Bootcamp, calling Coach Sha “the best coach ever!” Others wrote she’s “absolutely amazing” and her boot camp is “off the chain.”

Coach Sha’s Bootcamp, led by Shaetta Williams, meets six times per week for cardio circuit classes, usually in the Brusly High School gym, where Williams once played and later coached basketball.

“We come in and we work hard, but at the end of the day, we’re family. We encourage each other. We challenge each other. We inspire each other," said Williams, known affectionately by her fitness family as Coach Sha.

She says her family members inspired her to start the fitness program after returning home and seeing the need in her hometown.

“I have a twin sister and she was the one that inspired me to do something to get involved,” said Coach Sha. “I started doing some things with the high school kids and then three adults came and then more adults came and then one day we had over 100 people in the gym working out and it kind of caught on.”

She also credits her mom as a positive influence.

“My mother was a teacher. I just saw her inspire so many of her students. She would speak so many words into their lives, so I think I grew up in that environment of motivating young people and now I get the opportunity to motivate not only the young, but the not so young, of all ages, races, and sizes.”

Coach Sha, who played basketball at Duke University, is now putting her collegiate skills to use as the LSU Lady Tiger’s director of basketball operations.

“When I’m not working out, I’m still working out," she said.

Coach Sha's inspiration

For Coach Sha and the people in her boot camp, there’s a common goal.

“We always say we want to add years to your life, but most importantly, we want to add life to your years.”


  • Interval training
  • Strength training (weight room)
  • Cardio

“In a boot camp class, we do some of the basic lifts. We do a lot of squats. The reason I kind of promote that is just as we get older the legs need to remain strong to prevent any type of fall. We do squats, we work the upper body with rows, lots of push ups, lots of running, jump rope," said Coach Sha.

“We try to incorporate a lot of things, medicine balls, sandbags. Some things with equipment, some not, keeping people moving. We do what we call ‘functional training,’ something that will prepare them for the things that they may need in their life, like picking up their groceries. Bend your knees, not your back, and pick that grocery up.”

Coach Sha's Bootcamp

Coach Sha’s classes include interval training, strength training, and lots of cardio to get your heart rate up, but it’s the “beat it” workout that really makes noise with the class.

“It’s just some sticks. We beat them and we have a great time,” said Coach Sha.

“We want to teach people how they can beat depression, beat oppression, and they can beat obesity.”

Boot camp members attest to the results.

“I’ve lost 40 pounds with my journey. I started at about 170 and I got down to 126. I’m now in the process of building muscle,” said Dawn Butler, who has been attending Coach Sha’s Bootcamp for more than five years now. Coach Sha was also her teacher and high school basketball coach at Brusly.

“She puts me in a position where I have no choice but to go hard and work hard," said Butler.

Brittany Albarez says she’s also been attending boot camp for about five years.

“I’m 34. I’m probably in better shape than when I was 25. I’ve lost weight and am more tone and lean, but I think emotionally and spiritually, I’m just in a better place than I was then," said Albarez.

Coach Sha trains with a motto: peace, love, and fitness. She ends every session hand in hand, with prayer.

"It’s praying for those in our circle that may have lost loved ones, those who are just going through life,” said Coach Sha.

“Gathering hands is just being there for each other," said Butler.


“I think it kind of incorporates everything that we do. We’re growing mentally, spiritually, and physically,” said Coach Sha.

Peace, love and fitness

Albarez believes some people come to boot camp for the emotional support when times get tough.

“It’s such a diverse group of people and everybody comes here for a different reason. Some people come here just to build those bonds." said Albarez. “You know everybody has stress in life. You come here and Coach Sha really knows how to help you put that behind you and for that hour focus on yourself, which a lot of women, we need that.”

“It’s not just somewhere where people get fit physically.”

“It’s really a place of love. And that’s what I love about boot camp,” Albarez added.

Coach Sha’s Bootcamp meets Monday through Thursday and Saturday, with morning and evening classes held at Brusly High School or at Plaquemine’s Carl F. Grant Civic Center. Each week, the schedule is posted online.


  • “Move It” Monday
  • “Tone Up” Tuesday 
  • “Wellness” Wednesday 
  • “Thriving” Thursday
  • “Sweat Session” Saturday

Class workouts can be modified for any age and any athletic level. Coach Sha’s Bootcamp is open to the public. Morning classes are $8 while evening classes are $5.

If you’re looking for your place in the fitness community, make sure you join WAFB’s Get Fit Red Stick Facebook group to connect with fitness experts and enthusiasts near you.

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