(WBIR-Knoxville) While working out is not considered a Thanksgiving tradition for most families, some gyms in Knoxville were packed in the morning hours for a holiday workout.
USA Today reported the average American consumes 1,610 calories in a Thanksgiving meal, based on standard serving sizes. It would take the average person three hours and 13 minutes to run off those calories.
That's why Michael Holtz, CEO of Adaptive Fitness Warehouse on Western Avenue, said he wanted to open his doors on Thanksgiving.
"When we decided we were going to do this, we didn't really have any idea what to expect. But we're thrilled with the turnout that we've got," said Holtz.
From rope slams to slam ball to stair runs, Holtz said the average person could burn 1,000 calories doing the circuit.
He said other studies show Americans can consume 4,500 on Thanksgiving if they truly indulge.
"Our goal is to get people healthy, whatever their fitness level, so that's why we're here today," said Holtz.
Adults, teenagers, and even kids got out of bed early for a bootcamp-style two-hour workout starting at 8 a.m. Thursday.
"It's amazing to see everyone get in here and go at it. It's very encouraging," said Jarrod Stapleton, who came with his family. "Might as well try to work out a little bit of that before we get started."
"Personally I think we're here so we can eat as much turkey as we want. Because we need to burn as much calories as we can because that's more stuff we get to eat at Thanksgiving," said Stapleton's stepson, Trey Church, who is 10-years-old.
Church and his brother, Cooper, tried all of the workouts.
"So that we wouldn't get fatter eating cake," said Cooper Church, when 10News asked why he was at the gym instead of still in bed Thursday morning.
Church said he was anxious to get home and eat turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. According to USA Today, the main dishes add up to 560 calories alone. Side dishes, drinks, and desserts add an extra 1,050 calories.
Bullman's Kickboxing and Krav Maga in Bearden was also packed Thursday for a 9 a.m. class.
"I'm really impressed with the amount of people that wanted to get out of bed and start their Thanksgiving with a workout and sort of mitigate damages that are ahead," said Alyson Ferine, who has worked there for a year.
Members punched and kicked bags, and incorporated high-cardio drills for a one-hour workout.
Ferine said the trend to work out on holidays is growing.
"I think you're seeing more and more a trend of people that are more health conscious, that do want to work out before a big holiday meal that, they are in the gym early, or they're running a road race, or they're getting their own personal run in, and that's exciting for the fitness community," said Ferine.
Holtz said about one-third of his members were in his bootcamp Thursday morning. He opened the gym in October after battling and beating cancer.
"We have a lot to be grateful for on this Thanksgiving. The fact that we're here, able to have this gym. As a cancer survivor I'm grateful to be standing here given I just finished treatment earlier this year. So we wanted to do something that would give back to our community," said Holtz.
Participants also donated 10 food items or $10 for Second Harvest Food Bank.
Holtz said he expected gyms to be busy on Black Friday, since people will have post-Thanksgiving guilt.