A REVIEW FROM “JOG ON FATTY” BLOG ABOUT OUR LADIES BOOTCAMP WEEKEND
Have you ever looked at these advertised’Bootcamps’ and thought… ‘I’m too fat and unfit for that’? There’s NO WAY could I possibly do that… Could I? Have you ever wondered what it would feel like and secretly wanted to try it? Has your size or weight put you off? Do you have those niggly thoughts in your head telling you that you can’t?
Well I’m happy to say YOU CAN!
So as some of you already know I’m relatively new to fitness. After 38 years of hardly doing anything, I now run/jog a couple of times a week, and do Clubbercise* once in a while, I try and do at least 30 mins to an hours worth of exercise between three and five times per week, including Yoga with Adrienne**, and other fitness videos*** at home in the comfort of my own PJs, farting and grunting to my hearts content without the fear of judgement and being able to only do what I feel I can cope with.
Side Notes –
- *Clubbercise = Me at a local secondary school, dancing in the dark with glow sticks and a bunch of other people who seem to have more coordination than me, and sweating my arse off to some 90’s dance tunes WITHOUT THE USE OF ALCOHOL!!! Weird!
- ** Yoga = Me in my room on a rubber mat, shoving my arse in the air, and then trying to do a flamingo impression on one leg unsuccessfully, resulting in me lying flat on my face wondering what that pose is called and shouting at Adriene to help me up (Adriene is the Yoga woman on youtube by the way)
- *** Fitness Videos= Me mainly playing ‘Just Dance’ on the Wii and basically having my own disco in my bedroom, not sticking to any actual moves but just doing my own thing to some cheesy tunes like Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ whilst singing along as loud as I like, karaoke style!
Although in the last year my fitness levels have increased slightly, I’m still almost 18 stone with a large belly that gets in the way of some of those more technical Yoga moves, so exercise doesn’t come easy (although its a hell of a lot easier than it used to be) but for some reason I have always wondered what REAL exercise looks like. I’ve never joined a gym, I’ve never done circuits or any kind of strength training and I know that as my weight decreases I need to be toning up and trying to build some of these muscles and the more muscles I build the better it is for my fitness and ultimately my weight loss goals.
So a few weeks ago when Steve from Motivate Bootcamp got in touch with me and asked if I would be interested in joining him for a WHOLE FUCKIN WEEKEND of Bootcamp I obviously said YES!!! I love a challenge! Then as soon as I’d said yes I was immediately filled with regret and fear and pants full of poop…. My thoughts were full of ‘what ifs?’ What if I’m the fattest one there? What if everyones fitter than me? What if I split my pants during some extreme exercise? What if i fart during Yoga? What if they shout at me like those military style nightmares you see?? WHAT IF I DIE???????
So then I spent a couple of weeks stressing about it and realised that this is exactly why I needed to do it. What if none of those things happened and I actually enjoyed it and got something from it? What if there are loads of you out there just like me, not taking part in things like this because of the same reasons? (You can read about the build up here and also here!)
So I went……. I fuckin did it and guess what….? I loved it!
Yes it was daunting, and hard and sweaty and achey but soooo worth it!
Motivate Bootcamp is for ladies only (Sorry guys but I’m sure there’s plenty of options for you out there somewhere and if someone wants to comment with their favourites under this blog then please feel free to) I attended the National Forest weekend which runs from Saturday morning through until Sunday lunchtime and we stayed over in the National Forest YHA (which, by the way, has renewed my interest in YHA…. they have bars in these places nowadays…. you can have a cheeky drink or two in the evening!) I shared a room with two lovely fellow bootcampers and they made me feel so welcome and it was a real pleasure to share that experience with them which was pretty daunting as most people had attended in pairs or groups and I was the only one attending alone.
We started off on the Saturday morning by introducing ourselves, setting some goals and meeting our host for the weekend… STEVE!!!
Steve was lovely, not once did he shout like those nightmare images you have of what you think a Bootcamp is. The whole weekend he was supportive and encouraging, always giving different options for every exercise depending on your ability or fitness level (or level of complete knackeredness especially on the Sunday morning) He never once asked too much of anyone but would give out a cheeky glance every now and then as though to say ‘Go on… Just one more burpee! You can do this!’
Once we had finished the introductions we headed straight into a fitness test involving my first ever BURPEES!!! Yes people… I DID BURPEES!! (Ok so they were an easy version of Burpees but I don’t care…. I’m taking it!) The test itself was great as it introduced me to lots of new exercises that I have never really done before including Mountain climbers and oblique twists and I even attempted a PLANK! (More emphasis on the word ATTEMPTED than the word PLANK) The test showed up my weak points (upper body strength and PLANKS!) and gave me a great idea of what areas I need to work on.
After the fitness test we partnered up and headed straight into a Boxfit class. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the whole weekend but I think THIS was my favourite part as it was something I had been thinking of trying for a while but never really got around to it for one reason or another. Although it might look cloudy in my pics it was actually a lovely mild weekend with only a little bit of rain so some of the classes we had were outside and honestly… we were glad of it… we were working up a sweat and the cold air was more than welcome! Boxing was awesome! There are muscles hiding under my fat that I never knew existed that I honestly think started to wake up due to Boxing. Next week I am heading out to buy myself a set of glove and pads and teach hubby how to hold the pads appropriately while I punch the shit out of them! (Also good for a healthy marriage right?)
After the boxing there was circuit training where I learnt lots of new moves and I didn’t ALWAYS head straight for the easy option, there were Burpees and Planks and sit ups and Squats and some stuff I could do and some stuff I couldn’t. There was a massive 10kg black rubber ball that you lift high in the air and slam to the ground and I felt like a superhero! I would like to point out that throughout all of this we were all laughing and planking along to loud funky music with gritted teeth and massive grins on our faces. All 16 women smiling encouragingly at each other and by this point we had started to cheer each other on to hold each plank a little longer, jump a little higher, and there were shouts of KEEP GOING….. ONLY TEN MORE SECONDS LEFT….. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!! All of a sudden I realised, that initial fear I had of people judging each other went completely out of the window. There was no judging, everyone was in the same boat. Everyone was looking to each other to help each other out and hold each other up and it didn’t matter if you were doing the easy version of the exercise, or even if you were doing the hard ass version, we were all in it together!
The rest of the Saturday morning involved a walk/jog/run, depending on how you felt by this point, and there was no pressure to jog or run, in fact I think I only ran about three steps before walking the rest due to spending the morning doing a ridiculous amount of squats and not knowing if my thighs would be able to actually hold me in any type of movement let alone running! They held me well enough to walk through the trail in the National Forest (which was beautiful by the way) and by the time we returned to camp it was lunchtime where we were happy of a sit down, a cuppa and a welcome bowl of pasta and salad.
After lunch we had a workshop talking about the barriers to keeping fit. What kinds of things get in the way of our routines, what excuses we all come up with on a daily or weekly basis and some simple ways of overcoming them.
Then the sitting down part was over….
Now this is the point where I started to doubt my ability. I did wonder if I could actually make it through the rest of the weekend. Technically I was one third of the way through but my body was starting to shout. Keep in mind the most I usually do in one session is around an hour and by this point we had been working every muscle group for the whole morning and next on the list was fuckin ZUMBA!!! ZUMBA????? Oh holy crap. I spent the next hour wiggling around like an Octopus on speed and it was hilarious! I was slightly concerned that I didn’t have any coordination but then it turned out that hardly anyone did and nobody could give a shit if any of us were doing the moves correctly. We were moving and working and sweating and enjoying ourselves and the music was loud and it was fun and boy did we get a sweat on!
THEN CAME THE SANDBELLS!
I found a new enemy in these horrible little things called Sandbells…. at first I thought they were cute, harmless little squishy bags of sand, like a small pillow (Which by this time I was starting to welcome the thought of) I soon realised that they are evil little shits and not at all comfy pillows like they seemed to advertise! Steve had us throwing them at each other, raising them above our heads, swinging them between our squatting legs and crying our tears into them…. (ok maybe not that last one but almost) these bad boys made me realise that my left arm may as well belong to a tiny 3 year old child and I’m surprised I can even hold a toothbrush in that arm as I suddenly realised how useless it is. After the sandbells came a quick break and snack time but I now know that you lose weight at these Bootcamps because by this point you can’t actually lift any kind of snack to your mouth due to the muscles in your arms no longer working…. hence the obvious weight loss that comes from these kinds of weekends!
After the break came the ABS class where we all welcomed a lie down on the mats…. until we realised there were sit ups involved. After a half hour of working on our abs we got to the last part of the day, stretching. Oh how I love stretching. Steve gave us plenty of stretches to do and targeted problem areas and took plenty of time to actually work through some of those aches and pains from the day, before we finished up and headed off to cry in some very welcome showers!
In the evening, food was available in the YHA at a reasonable price (I had a lovely Chicken Tikka salad) and there is always the option to bring your own food as there are self catering kitchens available for use. Massages were also available for an extra cost but I chose to have my shower, have some food, chat to a few of my fellow campers for a while and then head off to bed before 9pm. I can honestly say I was knackered! There was a part of me wondering what time it would be seen to be acceptable to slope off to my room but when I realised that almost everyone was thinking the same it didn’t take me long before I was settled in my Wonder Woman PJs and feeling like a kid in a slumber party at a scouts camp! Both of my roommates were of the same mindset so we were all laughing and giggling in bed by 9pm and wondering how in the hell we were going to rescue the one of us that was sleeping in the top bunk if the alarm should sound in the middle of the night but then we realised it was ok because none us could even get out of the bottom bunks anyway so we would all perish in our sleep! Oh how we laughed!
I crawled (and I actually mean crawled) out of bed at 6.45am and believe me when I thought that I was done! There was no way that my body was going to let me continue and do anything today let alone a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Session at 7.30 in the morning….. before breakfast?????? But do you know what? I did it… I got my fat ass up and down those stairs and with all the other achey bones and muscles and cries of ‘Oh what have we done‘ we all powered together and did it. I was so proud of myself for even attempting it. Now I’ll be honest and tell you that I couldn’t do everything that morning. I actually dipped out of some of these exercises mainly because my arms literally would not hold my weight anymore, but I felt like I tried every single exercise and I honestly gave it my ALL and do you know what… it was ok to dip out of a few, I didn’t feel bad or like I shouldn’t, I felt comfortable in the knowledge that I was in control of my body and ability and I never once felt forced into doing anything I felt I couldn’t. Because of this I tried harder than I think I would have if someone had been shouting at me to continue, I pushed further but not too far, I felt comfortable and I did so much more than I EVER thought I could or would do.
After the HIIT session we had breakfast and a 2 hour brisk walk/hike around 5 or 6 miles around the National Forest which was a lovely end to our exercise (albeit lacking in a tea and scone break halfway through, some of us decided) we covered a few miles and explored some of the countryside and got time to chat to each other along the way. We returned to the camp, did some stretches and then finished off the weekend with a nutritional workshop.
SURVIVAL AND AFTERMATH
Sunday afternoon I got home, had a long hot bath, put my PJS on and watched movies until I fell into a deep deep sleep whilst wishing to GOD I had booked the Monday off work. And when Monday morning came around I almost cried in my early morning coffee but I survived and actually I think being at work helped me to stretch out all my muscles and get over it a bit quicker than if I had stayed in bed and stiffened up! (Ooer missus!)
All in all I loved every minute. All those fears and worries I had before going were soon dismissed and I felt at ease throughout the whole weekend. I met some lovely people and came away with a whole toolkit full of stuff to use going forward in my fitness journey.
Steve was awesome and so welcoming and nothing like you would expect a fitness trainer on a Bootcamp to be. In fact this weekend has redefined the word ‘Bootcamp‘ for me. I wouldn’t hesitate to go on another one of Steve’s camps (Portugal sounds good next time though) and I’m glad that he stays in touch with everyone on his camps and continues to send out fitness info and follow up emails with nutritional information and a breakdown of what you got up to over the weekend. Each camp is different, in a comfortable setting with a different combination of classes/workouts and he is constantly changing and improving what they do over at Motivate Bootcamp including adding new locations (The latest one in Leicestershire looks LUSH!)
My advice is to go with a mate or two or even three (the crazier the better) have at least some level of fitness but you really do NOT need to be uber fit to do this, just make sure you know your limits and maybe make sure you can hold your own in a couple of easy classes once a week or something before you go. To keep costs down you could go self catering as the kitchens were awesome…. oh…. and one last piece of advice…….
………. TAKE THE MONDAY OFF WORK!!!
Thanks to Steve and all the lovely Bootcamp Ladies!
You were awesome!
Don’t forget you are welcome to come and join me on my journey on my social media pages like Facebook and Instagram and I also have a lovely Facebook support and chat group where we can all get advice from one another and everyone’s welcome so feel free to come and introduce yourself.
If I have inspired you in any way through my ramblings please share my blog or pages with anyone you think might be interested. If theres one thing I love, its inspiring more people to know they CAN do this!
Love and hugs! x x x