Personal Fitness was a class requirement in high school. For a grade, the coach made everyone bench press. I flashed him my weenie arms to show they were useless at lifting, so he removed the weights from the bar and I laid down on the bench as he promised to spot. Together, we removed the bar from its stand, lifted it above my chest and then it happened...Coach let go, sending the bar crashing down on top of me. I was powerless to lift it up and lay squirming underneath until he came to my rescue. All 25 pounds of it. And yes, this was in front of the entire class.
A few years later, my friend Lucia challenged me to a foot race across the warehouse where we worked. It may have been 30 yards. I pulled a hamstring and limped for the next 3 days.
Last year, I tried to share the common interest of running with a friend. I couldn't even huff and puff it a mile. I was not an obese person. I didn't look out of shape and the scale had always been kind to me. So why was it that I had the strength and stamina of a vegetable?!
Determined to change it up, I did some research and discovered Chris DeRoo's Get Fit Bootcamp: a four week, Monday through Thursday high intensity exercise program designed to shock the body into getting fit. I signed up, paid my dues, and prepared to have my ass kicked. If an ass-kicking was my goal, I definitely got my money's worth!
Boot Camp training is a group fitness program that combines cardiovascular and interval training and many other exercises using weights and/or body weight to lose body fat, increase stamina and strength, and help people get into a routine of regular exercise. Each day is an efficient, hardcore full-body workout and no day is like the next. It's been ten months since I began and I'm still not used to it! One day we may be doing traditional weight lifting, the next we're swinging sledge hammers and flipping truck tires, the next we're running around a baseball diamond doing different body weight exercises at each base until we drop...and then there's likely something else still waiting for us!
I've done body sculpting classes and personal training in the past. The work was tough, but it was never engaging enough to keep me going back. Landing in bootcamp gave me the motivation to strive to get better and stronger. I've made friends who cheer me on when I'm doing great and pull me back in when I'm falling off track. To top it off, I have a trainer who I know genuinely wants to see me do well and expects nothing but my best (and let's me know when I'm not giving it).
I've come to accept the constant sore feeling of muscles I didn't know I had. Some days I might sit down on the gym floor after a workout and know I'll be there at least 15 minutes before being able to get back up. In exchange, I've also discovered that I can run way more than one mile without pulling a hamstring or losing my breath, and lift 40lbs without worrying if my spotter gets distracted. The disappearing act that my cellulite's been doing isn't so bad either!
If you're looking for a new take on fitness that won't bore you and will give you the results you want, search for boot camps in your area and get ready to break a sweat! Your body will thank you.