Boot Camp

Boot Camp

I’m always advocating that people try different things to help them along the road to fitness.  Cross training is a great way to maximize benefits from time spent exercising and it does wonders to stave off boredom (which is a real killer for those who make fitness a lifestyle).  I’m definitely most happy and comfortable in the weight room but I do like to try new things now and then.  Over the years, I’ve done aerobics classes, kickboxing, zumba (where I learned that I should never dance in public) and once upon a time I decided to try a boot camp.  This turned out to be an ill-advised decision!

As the class was gathering I noticed that it was full of young men in their 20’s and one bouncy woman, also in her twenties.   The instructor walked in, gave us some crazy instructions (like do 200 push ups, then 10 bear crawls across the basketball court, then 200 shoulder presses with the barbells at the front of the room…then come back for more instructions).  He turned on some acid rock blasted at an incredibly high decibel level and shouted “GO!”

Everybody dropped and started doing their push ups.  The guys on the right and left of me were banging them out like machines.  I got to 25 and needed a rest.  I started to get up to shake out my arms and the instructor yelled “Stay down! You can’t get up until you’re done!”  Oh geez.  I rested there on my belly for a minute and then kept on going…and then stopped when I was fatigued for more rest.  Meanwhile the instructor kept pacing up and down the line making people start over if they cheated on a rep.

At some point, while I was still finishing up my push ups, and everyone else was on the second or third part of the rotation, the instructor yelled “Get it together!  Your cardio conditioning is pathetic.  How are you going to run up a hill with all your gear, then recover and fight?”  That’s when I knew for sure I was in the wrong class.  Running up a hill with gear…to engage in combat was simply not on my list of things to do.  At that time I was a 40-year-old mother of two.  I was planning to push things like shopping carts and strollers…to pull things like red wagons and thinking about carrying a one year old around in my arms.

At the end of the class when I was rather pathetically finishing up the last of the exercises in the rotation (and everyone else, including the bouncy woman was relaxing because they’d finished long ago)  Mr. Instructor walked over to me and asked “Do you want to be buffed or tough?”  I looked at him and in all seriousness told him he could keep tough.  I wanted to be buffed!  I never set foot in that boot camp hell again.

I learned several things that day.  I had quite a lot of time to think while I was face down on the floor trying to recover from physical exhaustion.  I learned that  I prefer buffed to tough.  I learned that boot camp isn’t for me.  I learned that the wood on the basketball floor had some pretty patterns in it.  I learned that the instructor had on ugly shoes and I learned that I’m not quite ready to run up a hill with gear to fight!



12 responses

  1. Love it!!!!
    How true
    Go lift

    1. That’s my answer to boot camp! Go lift! Ever so much better…and a lot less painful!!

  2. This is the problem with the fitness industry…everyone is either a “trainer” or a fitness “expert”. In reality, everything is the same, it is just how it is presented and in what order it is presented. We lift weights, either free or machines and we do cardio. It is our country in a nutshell. Nobody wants to learn anything, they just want to show up and have someone fix them. Why do we see “magic diet pills” everytime we open a magazine or turn on the TV? Why do we have a fast food joint on every single corner? Why is our grocery stores filled with meals we just have to throw in the microwave? What people fail to understand is that we are all different and what program joe the trainer sets up as his base program will not work for anyone…heck, it may not even work for anyone! Oops sorry…I was ranting and you are amazing!

    P.S. I do not like boot camps either…

    1. Well I happen to agree wholeheartedly with your rant. It’s true! Sometimes classes are good (like the kickboxing one I used to take) because it breaks up the monotony of having to workout on your own but I will tell you in all the years I’ve been hanging out at the gym, I’ve rarely seen a trainer make any kind of difference in a client’s physique. I’m not saying that there aren’t some wonderful trainers out there but just showing up and paying somebody for an hour a couple times a week isn’t going to do the trick. People also have a hard time weaning themselves off the trainers. When they stop having a “formal” session, they stop coming to the gym so they never really learn how to exercise themselves…

  3. This is the reason why so many people are turned off to personal training and group fitness classes. Horror stories like this do not help the industry. It stinks your experience had to be this negative. Hopefully gyms around the country will learn a thing or two that torturing customers isn’t the best way to retain them!

    1. I do think an effort should be made to make a class fun…at least a little bit. That was just awful and luckily I’ve never had another class that terrible again (or before).

  4. Wow. I’m afraid of those kind of bootcamps. Too serious!

    1. I agree! It wasn’t any fun. I was miserable the whole time. Even the music was bad. Lol I learned I was much happier just doing my own thing in the weight room. I did try kickboxing at the same gym and it was loads of fun. I think the teacher really makes a big difference but I’m done with bootcamps forever!

  5. Sounds like real boot camp. The drill Sgt told us once he was gonna make us to push-ups until HE got tired.

    1. Hi! It was terrible…no fun at all. To think, some of those people paid for that class. I got in free since it was my first time (it was also my last).

  6. Funny story sounds like me trying Crossfit. I found out in short order that my Crossfit window of opportunity had passed me by. Too much on my old knee’s.

    1. Yes, It really wasn’t a lot of fun. Mostly just suffering…and the music was some kind of acid rock turned up to maximum volume. It was awful. I don’t think Crossfit is for me either. I like to have strict control over my heart rate and I have to baby one of my shoulders. That passed me by too!

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