Boot Camp

The Brian Grant Foundation’s Boot Camp was developed as a high-intensity exercise program for people in the early stages of Parkinson’s. The aim is to get people with Parkinson’s exercising at their highest intensity, at the earliest stage of diagnosis, using movements that can help counteract the loss of specific motor functions.

The boot camp is based on research from OHSU’s Balance Disorders Laboratory, supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Kinetics Foundation. The theoretical framework for the boot camp can incorporate many types of exercises that target specific mobility limitations that occur in Parkinson’s. The program focuses on full, functional body movements in an interval training style using a variety of activities.


For facilities that wish to adopt the boot camp, BGF requires:

• Classes are held at a minimum two times per week
• Each class is 60-75 minutes in length
• Each class has one lead instructor certified by BGF
• Class is conducted in a studio with equipment for an interval style workout
• Potential students are screened prior to attending a class to ensure they are appropriate for the high intensity format of the boot camp
• Students participate in regular evaluations of the boot camp


Eligibility requirements include the following:

• Hold a current NCCA-accredited fitness certification (ACE, NASM, ACSM etc.)
• Exercise science-based (or related field) two or four year degree
• Minimum of two years working with older adults or people with chronic disease
• Experience in group fitness
• Current CPR/AED/basic first aid certification


Laurie King, PhD, discusses Parkinson’s specific constraints that exercise may help to address.


Sue Scott, MS, has exceptional knowledge and experience related to balance and mobility for older adults and adults with chronic conditions, including Parkinson’s disease. In 2003, Sue created ABLE BODIES®, a comprehensive, multi-modal balance training program that has achieved wide acclaim for its effectiveness, creativity and fun. It was published by Human Kinetics in 2008 and today is used in many universities and classes.

Her work today continues with many community collaborations. In 2007 she began working with OHSU’s Fay Horak, PhD, helping develop a sensori-motor agility program for Parkinson’s disease. In 2010, Sue continued her work developing exercise programs for older adults with Misha Pavel, Director of Smart Health at the NSF, and other researchers from OHSU and Berkeley developing an interactive exercise component for ORATECH’s (Oregon Center for Aging and Technology) Cognitive Health Coaching Project.

Since 2014 she has served on the Medical Advisory Board for the Brian Grant Foundation. Currently she serves as “Head Coach” for the adapted OHSU’s Boot Camp for Parkinson’s program now being implemented to serve community centers across the United States. Sue has presented workshops and studies for the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), International Association for Health and Services for Aging (IAHSA), American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM), American Public Health Association (APHA) and IDEA Health and Fitness. She has a masters and a bachelor degree in Exercise Science, and is ACSM certified as a Health and Fitness Specialist.