Lake Meadows Park, Billericay, a beautiful view showing no hint that for the last 4 weeks this has been the scene of toil, sweat and aching limbs.
Back at the end of April a flyer fell through the letterbox advertising ‘Guaranteed Results Fat Loss Boot Camp’. I had been considering, for a little while joining an exercise group/class but couldn’t decide which to choose, so when this leaflet fell through the door I took it to be a sign. But Boot Camp?!? Wasn’t that really hard? Push ups, sit ups, running with tractor tyres? I couldn’t do that!! I checked out the website and decided to give it a go anyway. After all, you only had to sign up for 4 weeks so if I couldn’t hack it there’d be no real harm done.
A few days before I was due to start I received an email asking for my starting weight, measurements and photos. These would be used to chart my progress. I also received details of how to join the members area of the website and how to download the rules and recipe e-books.
The banned foods list was a bit scary. No bread, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, milk, cheese, sugar, ALCOHOL (eeeeek!). No processed, packaged or microwave food. No breakfast cereals, frozen foods or ready meals. No tea, coffee or carbonated drinks. All foods should be fresh, healthy and nutritious and you should drink 3-4 litres of water a day and you should attend a minimum of 3 Boot Camp sessions a week each lasting 45 minutes. Sounds pretty harsh I know but you receive a weeks shopping list and recipe book to help you.
The first morning I was feeling pretty nervous. I decided to walk to the park as this would help with the warm up and cool down. Everyone had to meet the instructor Caroline at the park gates with a mat or towel for ground work. About 15 women turned up and we made our way to one side of the park and started a moderate warm up. Actually looking back that first morning was nice and easy. It consisted of 12 exercises, including squats, push ups but no sit ups,lasting 30 seconds each with 30 seconds rest between each one then the whole set is repeated.
That night my legs were on fire, even turning over in bed was a chore. However the best medicine for sore muscles is more exercise so two days later I was back at the park gates with my mat and bottle of water in hand thinking ‘I can handle this, its not that hard’. Hahaha was I wrong? In that session there were less exercises but each exercise lasted 40 seconds with a 10 seconds rest which were repeated 4 times. The ground was sodden and slippery meaning that you worked harder.
As the weeks have gone on the sessions have got progressively harder but in such a way that you don’t actually realise how much harder you are working. The exercises have gone from 30 seconds to 40 seconds to 50 seconds but just when you reach the point that you think you just can’t manage another squat, push up or plank the session is over and you are on the cool down. All the way through you receive daily emails giving encouragement, inspiration and tips, with recipes and meal ideas including a recipe for wheat free banana muffins.
During the last 4 weeks there have been days when I have been covered in mud up to my knees, other days when I have been drenched in rain and others drenched in sweat. So was it worth it? Absolutely! Definitely! After 4 weeks I have lost 11lbs and a total of 17”. I have lost 4” off my waist without doing a single sit up or ab crunch and there wasn’t a tyre or kettle bell in sight. I have now signed up for a second tour of duty and I just can’t wait to get started!!
This article comes courtesy of our sports injuries, sports massage & reflexology specialist Angela Mooney-Wood – our very own Boot Camp heroine!!