Health & Fitness.

Let Me Tell You About My Boot Camp

Purple Shoes

Many moons ago, my Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp instructor asked me to do a testimonial video since I signed up for the whole year. Technical issues ensued and I was glad as I HATE BEING ON VIDEO. It occurred to me, however, that I do like to blab my mouth on the interwebs. Since I’ve been reading a lot about people struggling to find a exercise program that is right for them, I thought I’d tell a little about why this class is exactly perfect for me. This is not me pimping out my specific boot camp because most of you don’t live here. This is me showing you why I love this boot camp so you can maybe look for similar things in yours. We have at least FOUR going on locally in our small-ish town. And that’s not counting Cross Fit which is a similar type of class. My point? If there are a lot of choices in my town? There are even more in yours. These are just the factors that make my boot camp perfect for ME. I hope it helps you find something perfect for YOU.


The Instructor

I’ve been to boot camps with other instructors before; and this is why I can not profess enough the importance of finding the right instructor. Boot camps are great! We’ll get into why I love them later. But the instructor has to be a good fit, too. I’ve had a yeller, which I hated. I’ve had an instructor that prides themselves on making people puke. HATED. I’ve even had a girl who was excitable and energetic but TOO AGGRESSIVE. HATE.

My instructor, Joe, is great. But I’ll tell you why he’s a good fit for me. Because I’m as insecure as they come. I think I was more nervous of my first nutrition/assessment meeting with Joe than I’ve been on any job interview. I WAS TERRIFIED. I feel very intimidated by physically fit people AND I have absolutely no self-esteem in that department. The assessment went fine and then I became even more terrified of the first class. Thank God for Sarah who thought of me and sent a wonderfully encouraging email to send me on my way. But here’s the thing that warmed me up immediately to Joe: He’s self-deprecating. He is perfectly fit and healthy and awesome, but he also knows how to make fun of himself. And if you want to put me at ease? That’s how you do it. He makes everyone feel comfortable in class, even if it requires mocking his own inability to count time.

It Doesn’t Matter If I Hate A Certain Exercise

Boot camp has such a variety of exercises that it doesn’t matter if you hate any of them. I’m not a fan of push-ups. I just am awkward doing them. Do we do push-ups? Yes. Often. Joe loves them. But do we do them enough to make me care that I hate them? Nope. Some days we don’t do any. I also hate jumping rope, but that only pops up periodically. Some days we do lots of cardio, some days we do lots of squats. Some days I feel like I’ve run 5 miles, some days I’m convinced I can’t use my arms any more. Some days my ass hurts, some days my abs hurt. There is too much variety for me to get sick of any one thing, which I do quite easily.

Speaking of variety…

It Is Never Boring

Even as Joe pulls from workouts from other sessions (I think this is my sixth session) they still don’t feel repetitive. He spices things up just enough that even a veteran like myself doesn’t know what to expect. The downside of exercise videos is that you get used to them. You know what to expect. Even six months in, Joe still catches me off guard with new exercises or techniques.

It Allows Me To Eat My Frog First Thing

Eating your frog is a thought on time management introduced by Brian Tracy. It builds principle that if you have something TOUGH you have to do every day (EXERCISE) then you should do it first thing. Then, the rest of the day is a breeze. To me? The 5:30am boot camp is just that. It’s me getting the exercise out of the way so I can go about the rest of the day saying, “I worked out already today.” Getting up this early also allows you to get in any health boosting supplements like a pre workout drink before the sun is up. This way, even if the rest of the day sucks, knowing that I ate my frog already ensures I’m always a ray of sunshine.

It’s As Hard Or As Easy As I Need/Want It To Be

Most days I walk into boot camp and I’m ready to push myself. Some days? I’m not feeling it. But I know that if I get up and go to class, I can make the workout what I need. Most days I do push myself, but if I can’t? The workouts are very easy to adjust. He does a lot of it by time and may say, “Do as many as you can.” This could be 10 for me but 50 for the girl next to me. I can make it what I need to and STILL get a good workout. I don’t think if he made it a “Number” or a “Distance” issue every time it would be that flexible. But since that’s peppered in throughout timed exercises, it feels like you have a choice of how to push yourself. Making age/size/fitness level not an issue. Although, I’ll be completely honest with you. Since September I have totally become that ANNOYING girl that wants to PUSH IT AS HARD AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE every moment. I blame Joe.

You Get Results

Let me say this: I AM A TOUGH CASE. I started in September but I had loads of bad habits to undo. Just signing up for boot camp wasn’t enough. Making real life changes isn’t easy. If it is? You are lucky. But you are not normal. It took months for me to really get a handle on my late-night stress eating. I gained 7lbs STILL through the holidays. (That should tell you how much I was eating, it takes a lot to GAIN when you’re working out so hard every day.) So, around February I finally got a handle on the late-night stress binging. Since then I’ve lost 15lbs and at least 12 inches and 6% body fat. I’ve probably lost more because I did gain that weight over the holidays that didn’t get factored into my original measurements. Considering how much I struggle with emotional eating? To see results like that? Really shows you how much this class can change your body.

Speaking of results…

I Can Now Do This Workout In Just Over 8 Minutes. EIGHT.

(Joe originally wrote about this personal challenge workout here. )

50 pushups
50 squats
50 shoulder presses
50 jumping jacks
10 mat laps
30 straight leg situps
30 burpees
50 flutter kicks
30 jump squats
50 side kicks

The first time I did this series it took me 14+ minutes. Now? I’m right around EIGHT. And I’m using 8lb weights in each arm for the shoulder presses, when I only used 5lb weights that first time. This makes me so proud I can not contain myself. EIGHT MINUTES. My only complaint is I have to break up the pushups. He lets us split up the workout and do it in whatever order we choose. Since my my push-up technique starts to wabble, I do 40 and then save 10 for right after the mat laps. (Mat Laps: Running Circles Around Your Yoga Mat.) The fact that Joe’s boot camp has helped me achieve such speed on this series of exercises is nothing short of a miracle.

The Other Women In The Class

This has been an unexpected perk…the women I’ve met. Not only do I feel we’ve become friends (especially those of us who signed up for the whole year) but I feel like we’re all invested in each other’s success. We ask each other what we’re doing on the weekends to keep up our routine, what about on the week off? We’re sharing recipes and exercises. I’ve got an ab routine I’m doing at night now that one of the girls in the class shared with me. And these women? ARE INSPIRING. There are several who have totally motivated me to push myself harder. Be faster. Be stronger. Are these women super-athletes running marathons? No. They’re just like me. Or maybe not. Maybe older. Younger. Bigger. Smaller. That’s the awesome part. These women may not LOOK like me, but we are all alike. We all very much want to be better versions of ourselves. And I find inspiration in many of them.

In Conclusion…

I just love my boot camp. It’s expensive but for us? It’s so worth it. Even my husband agrees because he’s never seen me this into exercise. With the year plan, we had to make sure it would work with our finances. It worked out to be about $8 a single session, which is a GREAT deal if you’ve ever shopped around for such classes, but is a lot to pay at one time which is how the year plan worked. I pray we can make it work it again next year because I really feel this boot camp is the perfect workout for me. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, just like I wouldn’t recommend my parenting style or book choices to everyone. We are all different. But this? SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME. And look…I love it now. So, the most important lesson I can give you from this? DO WHAT SCARES YOU. You never know…you may end up loving it.

5 thoughts on “Let Me Tell You About My Boot Camp”

  1. Fabulous! I’m so glad you wrote this. Hey by the way YOU are now the intimidating physically fit woman in the class. Dont forget it. It was fun surviving a tornado with you this morning. Hopefully when we’re both not in the “zone” of “lets do this freaking thing” we can sit down and have some coffee and get to know eachother. Just finished my motivation blog for the day

    now time to go back under the house and pull more insulation out. I’ll explain later.

    Have a great day!!!

  2. I recognized your purple shoes!!!!! So far I too have enjoyed Boot Camp! It is the ONLY way I will exercise! And I have loved meeting new people! You guys are an inspiration! And Joe is a hoot! Sorry I missed his birthday, but I hear you got out 10 minutes early! Wow! How generous he was! With the tornado sirens! See you soon!

  3. This is very similar to my feelings about spin class. It challenges me, but I can baby myself when I’m sick/cranky/lazy. It’s exciting. There are a lot of ways to make it harder as I progress. There’s a whole class of other people who are potential friends, and who would make it super embarrassing for me to cop out early. The instructors are motivating and funny and distracting in just the right way.

  4. This class sounds so great. I think I need a “Joe.” I really like my exercise DVDs, but I think it would be more motivating to do something with other people and have an instructor helping me in person. Congrats on the results. I wish I could do 50 pushups at all, let alone in 8 minutes combined with all that other stuff!

  5. I am impressed and slightly envious. Just reading about ALL the stuff you can now do in just over 8 minutes, made me have to go pee, for 8 minutes…EIGHT!

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