Two down, eighteen to go!
I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into when I signed up for the Summer Boot Camp at AG Fitness, but with the first week complete I’m (already) glad I did.
The sessions – run on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings – are HIIT based (oh yeah, I’ve got all the lingo now!) aka High Intensity Interval Training , which is exactly what it sounds like. A new form of hell on earth!!
OK, it’s not actually that bad; there is a range of exercises which you rotate through, we did a set of 6 repetitions of each; 15 secs exercise, then 15 secs rest on last Wednesday night. I’ve already got some favourites (ones that I find easy) and some really-not-favourite-AT-ALL (ones that are mostly pain, and suffering, and ouchy making). They are all designed to exercise different muscle sets, and ranges of motion, some of which I didn’t even realise existed, I’m learning so much!
It is hard work but it is rewarding. Admittedly after the very first session I was a bit wobbly, and close to throwing up, but I’m putting that down to a crap sleep the night before, and possibly not eating enough so I ran out of energy towards the end, and I was probably pushing myself too hard during the exercises as well (the last three I did were half-efforts at best). After the second session (at 9am on a Saturday morning, which is just cruel) – which was fewer exercises but 30 seconds long – I didn’t feel as bad.
And I’m sure I’ll get use to my muscles aching ALL the damn time, right?
There are 12 of us doing boot camp, so every session we split into groups of four and work through the exercises. From pushups and planks, to russian twists and battle ropes, with added kettlebell fun and even a set on the heavy punch bag (picture your favourite politician and go!), it’s varied, and as you are only doing each exercise for 15 secs at a time it’s… manageable.
Part of bootcamp inlcudes an (optional) one hour nutrition session, which was very useful as it was aimed at making sure we were eating the right kind of food to give us the energy to do the exercises. I finally understand what all that macros stuff is about – bootcamp, exercising your body AND your mind, who knew!
It’s been fun so far, and a lot of credit goes to our trainers Juan and Andy, both of whom keep things relaxed and friendly, and very far removed from what I imagined a boot camp to be. Add in some good music being belted out, plus the support everyone in the group is giving each other, and I’m already considering signing up for the next session. One step at a time though!
And I guess that’s what has surprised me the most, how much I’m enjoying it. I’ve been a member of numerous gyms in the past and never stuck with them, I’ve tried a one-on-one personal trainer but that just felt awkward, but working out in a group, in a great environment, really helps. The last time I actually enjoyed exercising was when I joined jogScotland (alas my wonky knee permits much running these days) and I know the camaraderie of exercising with others is a big part of how this works (for me at least). Ohhh and a small added bonus is the Facebook group where we can share our common moans that seem to kick in a couple of days after each session; ‘sneezing really hurts’ and ‘I didn’t even know I had muscles there!’ being the most common, so far.
Despite the torture… sorry, “carefully crafted exercises”, I’m really enjoying it, even though it has highlighted just how unfit I’ve gotten the past few years. I’d say if you are in the Glasgow area, and have been wary of doing something like this, I heartily recommend giving it a try.
Ohh and there were (optional) “before” photos taken as well, I’ll share that and the “after” photo in about 18 weeks time!
* I was in no way asked, paid, prompted, or cajoled to write this. To be honest, I’m hoping if the trainers read it they might go easy on me in the future!! (haha, no chance!)