“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” - Henry David Thoreau
by Kris Parfitt
- The Capitol Hill Times -
Beginning of the year resolutions haven’t always included weight loss for me. But after moving into my 40s I became aware that my hyperactive metabolism became an active metabolism, which then settled into an “I don’t wanna” metabolism. Weight crept onto my tall frame and I went from a size 8 to a size 12 in a discouraging number of years.
But I’m quite a lazy sot when it comes to exercising regularly. I never had to do it before to stay trim so it’s not immediately my first thought of the day. Actually, it isn’t really any thought I have during the day.
Out of all the possible fitness agendas available for weight loss and boosting fitness levels, boot camps are quite effective fat-burners because of their rapid workout styles. In 2012 boot camp workouts were in the top 20 fitness trends, according to Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2012.
By using the three fundamentals of fitness, boot camps focus on strength, cardio and agility with our own body weight for resistance. The combinations of high-active circuits of sprints, planking, pushups, crunches and jumping jacks with barely a break in between assists our bodies to increase cardio ability and also boost metabolism levels to help burn more calories. The intensity factor among a group of people and friends makes the workout more fun than doing one on our own.
In any physically stressful activity it is our brain that quits first and bullies the rest of our body into stopping before the benefits kick in. Logic and reasoning around the application of pain and discomfort to look and feel better has never been an agreeable combination. Boot camps appeal to me because someone else is providing the motivation, the routine, the time frame and peer pressure. I just show up, do whatever is demanded and leave complaining, sweaty and satisfied.
While walking and basic movement is near impossible the following day, the stiff and sore muscles remind me that I’m doing something good and that I had pushed my body to its fullest potential. For about $10 a visit, I’m a willing participant for pain that, in the long run, results in the pleasure of being in better shape.
My boyfriend and I picked the boot camp at Miller Community Center because of the price and proximity to our house. Both of us are athletic and have participated in team sports all our lives, so boot camp was just like pre-season training for lacrosse or swimming. Picking a boot camp that works for anyone takes some experimenting and perhaps a few changes in venue, instructor or intensity level. However, the freedom at any boot camp compared to pre-training with a sports coach, is that the participants can choose to what intensity they want to work out.
For example, my boyfriend plays lacrosse and is on two soccer teams each week, so he is in much better sprinting and cardio shape than I am. I do a regular yoga routine so I can balance and plank for longer periods. Because I like to function the days after boot camp, I didn’t sprint the full distances, nor did I do as many sit-ups or push-ups as the instructor suggested. I chose to go at my own pace and fitness level using her suggestions as guidelines, not the law.
I don’t know if I’ll do this boot camp for the whole year, or even six months. My overall plan is to lose a certain amount of weight by eating well, exercising regularly and getting my booty kicked once a week at boot camp. I prefer to use it as a great measuring stick for fitness and an effective launching board for my other favorite activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and kayaking.
As in any physical activity be prepared with water and snacks in case blood sugar levels dip during the work out. Wear comfortable and layered clothing so you can cool down during the workout, but also keep warm afterwards.
Here’s a list of the current Boot Camps on Capitol Hill:
Miller Community Center
330 19th Avenue East Seattle, WA 98112
10am in the downstairs gym.
$10 (cash or check, no cards.)
401 Broadway Ave E. Broadway Market
Seattle , WA 98102
1 Hr Boot Camp
Mon & Fri
30-minute Boot Camp
Free to members
Local residences can get a 7-day pass by calling or going to the gym prior to class.
Southside Booty Camp – For Women
Winter location is the Russian Community Center
704 19th Avenue East
Mon thru Thursday
6:15am & 7:30am
$15 drop in and for first 3 weeks of consistent attendance.
After 4 weeks it’s $10 per class.
Part time options as well – call owner, Jessica Breznau for details.
Free boot camp Wed Jan. 23 6:15am & 7:30am.
MODE of Fitness
1410 14th Ave.
1508 10th Ave
Express Fit and Firm
Tue & Thu: 4:30pm
TRX Series – all over body fitness
Tue & Thu: 6am
Drop in $12
7 day free membership trial call gym for details.
They offer multi-class punch cards at a discount.