GMM Does a Little Bootcamp Research
GMM staff member Katherine tracks her first boot camp experiences and invites you to join along.
Possibly the least delightful part of the Fall time change is the moment you step out of work at 5 p.m.-on-the-dot and the sun has already fled the sky without permission. And it’s cold. (And if it’s anything like the first half of December, it’s probably also raining.)
For those of us, like myself, who enjoy running to keep in shape, the early-onset darkness and coldness brings on a whole host of other challenges. Like those suddenly invisible roots and uneven sidewalks. Plus, there’s the obvious danger of drivers and cyclists not being able to see you whenever you try to cross a road.
I could go on.
Needless to say, I have a list of excuses for not working out in the wintertime (like the fact that running on the treadmill gets really boring after mile 2.5 – OK, OK, I’ll stop).
The problem is that a) humans NEED at least 30 mins of good exercise each day for their physical and mental health, and b) I’m getting married in April, so I really need to keep my act together through the winter!
All of this to say that I thought up a brilliant solution for myself this winter: Join a boot camp.
I ran the idea by my fiancé (because there’s obviously no way I’m going by myself to a boot camp for the first time!), and he was immediately on board.
Here are a few disclaimers:
1. We have both been working out on and off over the last few months, and we both eat decently healthy, too (Gray actually does a better job at cooking for himself than I do. I just rely on Good Measure Meals, to be honest), so we were not completely starting from square one in the fitness level.
a. Actually, I started my boot camp adventure with bronchitis, so that took me down a few fitness levels.
2. HOWEVER, neither of us have joined a boot camp or group exercise class before (I prefer zoning out on solo runs with my music playlist), so we are perfect candidates to write about our first-timer experiences in advance of the holiday gym rush. Hopefully our experiences will help out any of you who may also be interested!
I looked through all of GMM’s partner pick-up locations (got to keep it in the family!), and The Sweat Box was the most convenient location for Gray and myself. Turns out we were just in time to jump on board with the next round of their Fit in 3 Program!
Here’s a run-down of the program:
3 weeks of 30-60 minute group work-outs, six days per week (Mon-Sat.)
Participants keep a food journal to ensure nobody’s blowing their workouts on a poor diet.
Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
We’re a week and a half in already, so here’s a recap.
Katherine’s recap list:
1-6) Soreness. Every single muscle in my body (plus ones I never knew existed) have been sore. Simple tasks like shampooing my hair – nay, closing the front door behind me on my way out – have taken on a whole new dimension of physical challenge.
7) Camaraderie. Before each workout, we go around the circle and give group motivators. At first this felt awkward to me, but it’s actually a great way to get to know that lady struggling through push-ups next to you in the middle of the class. (Usually my motivators include “At least it’s not arms day!”, recycled with “legs” or “abs” on subsequent days depending on what the actual workout is that day.)
Classes are at either 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. each day, but on Saturdays, everyone gathers for one 8 a.m. class. At the end of each class, an instructor gives us a motivational quote to wrap up the week and set our minds straight going into the day of rest and new week. We also nominate our fellow classmates for the weekly “Sweaty Awards,” given to 3 people who have worked the hardest that week. Fun to recognize those who are really putting in good effort.
8) Accessibility. When I thought of a boot camp, I expected to start off as the weak link in the chain and hoped to be able to crawl my way up to a mid-level competency at best. What I’ve learned is that literally anyone of any fitness level is welcome AND can excel at this style program. Really, you’re only competing against yourself! You start off at whatever level you CAN do, and then you strive to improve one extra rep at a time whenever you can during each following workout. Side note: I already can tell I’m improving since last week.
At the SweatBox, there are true fitness beginners, and there are some crazy athletes. But the VAST majority of us are either true-blue beginners, or your “average Joe” exercisers. This was a nice surprise to me. Makes the classes feel more like a family.
Gray’s recap list:
1) It’s a highly encouraging environment with people from an array of fitness backgrounds.
2) Already seeing results after fighting through that initial week of epic body soreness.
3) Learning exercises you can apply in a variety of settings – you don’t need equipment for everything.
4) You get to flip tires!
5) It’s fun to do as a couple!
Want to find out how the last week-and-a-half go? Tune in to the Good Measure Meals blog in the coming weeks to find Katherine’s final recap of her boot camp experience.
And, if this sounds appealing to you, go to the Sweat Box website and find out more about them. Sweat Box’s next 5-week bootcamp session, Fit in Five, will begin on Monday, January 6! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register.
The Sweat Box | 731 E College Ave, Decatur, GA 30030 | 770.845.6806