So, my girlfriend joined this boot camp challenge last February. Actually she’s the third person I know who’s done this challenge and been super successful with it. The classes are challenging, very challenging. I’ve been curious about the classes for a while now, but they have always sounded too daunting for me to want to try.
I’m actually not a great exercise class person. I think that’s why I took to running so well. Out on the road, it’s me against me. Even in a race, I’m not truly competing with anyone but the time clock. I’ve always been too prone to compare myself to others in classes, and I get discouraged. I joined the Y a few years ago and did some classes, but never really enjoyed them.
So when my friend Sue started truly loving these classes, I thought, maybe. In three months, the classes combined with sensible food choices, she’s lost 25 pounds. She looks fantastic and just finished the Couch 2 5K program. Truth be told, she passed me the last time we were out running. It was the kick in the pants I needed.
I signed up for boot camp the next day, and the first one was this morning.
Yes, I know I ran a 10K yesterday. Normally today would be a rest day. But my friend encouraged me to come try it out today, and so I did.
The classes I signed up for are held outside, with minimal equipment. You bring your own yoga mat and weights. In the winter she runs classes at a studio (also, when it’s raining) but when the weather is good, she takes it outside.
I knew the class would be hard right off the bat when I got winded during the warm ups. We went from warm ups to an exercise I’d never done before: worm walking. You walk out to a pushup, do the pushup, and then walk your legs in as close as you can get them to your hands. Then you walk out your hands again from there, do the push up, walk the legs in again…you get the idea. Yeah, we did that up a hill.
After that we shuffled and did jumping jacks with resistance bands around our ankles. I got brave and put on the “harder” blue band. Why? I didn’t want to look like a chicken. It was hard, but not as hard as the worm walking.
After that, we were instructed to jog down a steep hill and then sprint back up it. Yikes. After the third time I was thinking I might vomit. Fortunately, as I was starting down for my fourth round, time was up and we went back for the “easy part”: ab work.
Ab work consisted of using a bench to do a sort of backwards pushup, sideways planking (I am still not sure I did that right), sit ups of various styles and contortions, regular planking (on a bench, no less) and then back extensions.
After that, it was time for cooldown stretching and class was over.
Overall, I liked the class. It’s challenging, no question. But the women were nice and friendly, and the trainer has a great rapport with everyone. It seems very personal. I think that probably is the key to its success: you’re not an anonymous person in the back. Everyone knows your name and pushes you onward.
I am looking forward to seeing how these classes, which are a great mixture of cardio and strength, help my running times. Plus, also, it would be awfully nice to get the scale moving back downward again. We’ll see!