Nick Peterson didn't find love on The Bachelorette, but it may boost his career as a personal trainer.
Peterson spent five weeks as a contestant on the ABC reality show this year, vying for the affection of bachelorette Ashley Hebert. When he didn't get a rose, he returned home to Tampa and started bootcamps for brides-to-be.
The outdoor camps run six days a week at Marjorie Park on Davis Islands. Peterson uses the natural terrain, sidewalks and park benches to run cardio and strengthening drills.
"Burn those quads! Come on ladies! Get ready for that wedding dress.''
Peterson, 27, started the classes last month and has been working the bridal scene to build business, although the camps are open to men and women, single or married.
Not all of his clients are brides-to-be, but Peterson does his best to work in The Bachelorette angle whenever he can. It sets him apart and adds some celebrity cache to otherwise unglamorous workouts.
"They really get a kick out of it and like to talk about it,'' he said of his reality show fame. "They always want the inside scoop.''
Tampa Bachelor alum Lacey Garbelman came to a recent class with roses for the ladies. Garbelman, 28, appeared on last season of The Bachelor with Brad Womack but went home during the first rose ceremony. Minutes into Peterson's workout, she was sweating through her pink tank top with "Bachelorette'' written in sequins.
"Is this what it takes to get married?'' she joked in between lunges. "I hope I find a man who loves me just the way I am.''
Garbelman has kept in touch with Peterson and other members of the Bachelor/Bachelorette family and talks to Shawntel Newton, a.k.a. funeral director girl from The Bachelor, almost every day.
Newton happened to call during the ab workout, prompting Peterson to pick up Garbelman's pink iPhone and relay a message.
"Hi Shantel, it's Nick. Can she call you back? She's in the middle of a bootcamp class,'' he said, with a laugh, rolling his eyes.
For anyone who watches the show, it was pretty cool dose of reality.
Lindsey Basford, 25, joined the bootcamps to get in shape for her wedding next month in Riverview. She had been using a personal training for a while but it got expensive.
She likes the variety and intensity of Peterson's workouts — none is ever the same — and exercising in a group, rather than alone in a gym.
It doesn't hurt that Peterson isn't hard to look at.
Peterson was most remembered on the Bachelorette for taking off his shirt in front of the other guys and taking a dip in the Jacuzzi with Hebert. Everyone was jealous, especially J.P. Rosenbaum, who got the final rose. Another contestant, William Holman, said Peterson had the best body of anyone in the house and called him "Adonis.''
Peterson grew up in Odessa and played baseball at the University of Tampa, making him the second Spartans pitcher to appear on the show. (Roberto Martinez was the first and is engaged to former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky.)
Peterson was drafted out of college in 2006 by the New York Yankees and played two years in the minors, followed by two years with independent teams. He graduated from UT in 2010 and founded Peety's Personal Training. When he's not training, he enjoys line dancing at the Round Up.
Peterson, who lives in South Tampa, went on The Bachelorette open-minded about finding a wife but wasn't heartbroken when he got the boot. He met a lot of great people and got to travel overseas for the first time when the show went to Thailand.
Back home, he hopes his TV fame propels his passion for helping others get fit. On Oct. 15, he's leading the Spartan Challenge 5K at his alma mater. On Nov. 3, he and some of his clients are walking in Walk for Wishes in Dunedin to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
His team's name? Peety's Rose Buds.