Chrissy’s Boot Camp Experience

Have you ever wanted to take a Boot Camp class but have concerns about how it will fit into your busy schedule or feel that you are not ready physically?  Chrissy Durden, Apparel Buyer and Head of Design for CS by City Sports, is both a full-time mom and career woman who completed a boot camp series in Downtown Boston this summer.  If she can do it, so can you!  Read about her experiences below.

Week 1
The first week of boot camp was definitely challenging but so far I love it!  I had been thinking about doing a boot camp for a few months now and finally decided to pull the trigger.  I signed up for the 4 week session (meets 4 days a week) to help me get back into shape after having my son 6 months ago.  I stayed active while pregnant, but my intensity level was pretty low – I needed something to help me get back my speed and strength (and look better in my jeans).  I started running again 3 months ago and it’s been a good start, especially since I plan on running a fall half marathon.  But, I needed more inspiration.  After some research I found Ultimate Boot Camp.

The hour long workouts are a good mix of running and strength training and we do a proper amount of warming up and stretching too.  A week in, I am feeling sore everywhere, especially in my abs – a lot of the exercises/drills seem to incorporate abs.  All week I tried to stay on top of the workouts and push myself, but at the same time I did not want to get injured; so I needed to keep reminding myself to listen to my body.  It is nice that the trainers recognize that everyone has to go at their own pace – I explained some issues that I was having and they offered me modified exercises.  The last thing I want is to pull a muscle and postpone my fitness goals.

Thus far every session has been different and I like that – it keeps things fresh.  I also like not knowing what the workout is until we start it, that way I don’t dread anything or psyche myself out.  The fact that someone else has planned the workout takes a lot of pressure away; it’s like having a personal trainer or a coach where they worry about what you need to do and you can just focus on doing it.  I am not sure if I could push myself this hard on my own.

Anyway, I am looking forward to 3 days off and maybe even sleeping in!

Week 2
Two weeks down – I can’t believe it’s half over.  I am not sure that I am any stronger after two weeks because I still feel sore all over, especially in my abs.  After two weeks I am getting used to waking up at 6 am to get to the workout on time.  The other thing is I am beginning to feel hungry all the time!

I have to say I am really enjoying being outside early in the morning.  It’s fun to run around in the grass and not care that I am getting dirty.  It’s like being a kid again when I would just run around the garden and do cartwheels in the grass.  I don’t think I would get that same enjoyment out of a treadmill.

This week we did one workout that I especially liked.  We ran to Government Center and sprinted up and down the stairs that lead from the T stop to Quincy Market while doing strengthening drills between each set of runs up and down.  The stair part was my favorite I think because it reminded me of doing “stadiums” in college.  I am not sure why, but stairs have always been one of my favorite workouts.  Maybe I should try to transfer my love for stadiums to running hills.  I am going to keep that in mind for when I run and see if it helps.

Looking forward to recharging over the weekend, but still need to get in a 9 mile training run for my fall half marathon!

Week 3
Three weeks down, only one to go.  But, I don’t want it to be over!!  I love this and I am starting to notice that my arms and legs are looking a little toner, still not sure about my abs.  One of the trainers said it’s a good thing that my abs hurt so much, that it means I am working those muscles, so I guess I shouldn’t mind the soreness.  I also think that my running has improved over the past three weeks; I feel as if I have improved my endurance and I am not as tired or sore after a run.  A nice bonus since I am up to 10 miles for my long runs.  So, all in all, some pretty positive results.

Seeing results is definitely motivating me, but I have to admit I am also inspired by the other members of the boot camp.  Everyone in the session came for their own reasons with their own goals and has their own fitness level.  We all work together – the trainers push us and so do the stronger members of the boot camp – they motivate me to keep up with them.  It’s nice having peopled to compete against and try to outrun or do more crunches.  That aspect makes the workout that much more challenging.

So after 3 weeks I have been thinking, do I sign up for another session or like summer camp, do I just let it end?  I do like the outside format and the coach, but I also like sleeping.  Will I keep working out on my own beyond just running?  Or if I renew for another session will I get burnt out?  Arg!!  So many questions.  I’m not sure what to do…

Say hello to Lincoln!

Week 4
Boot camp is over (sigh).  Four times a week for four weeks.  I was religious about attending; never missing a session and always put in 100% effort.  I will miss having a (semi) personal trainer, working out outside in the early morning and being surrounded by a great group of people.  I wanted to get the most of the boot camp and think that I did.  I definitely feel stronger and can see some definition in my arms and legs.  So goal reached, but now I am stilling thinking what next?

Do I sign up for another session, do I continue my fitness training alone or do I try something else.  It’s nice that now I will have time for more running since my fall half marathon is approaching (and sleeping), but I don’t want to get stuck in a rut.  I want to make sure that my training is well rounded so that I don’t get injured or board.

There are several people in the boot camp that are veterans and sign up for a new session every month.  That is dedication!  But, I am not sure if that commitment is right for me – would I be so religious about attending if I knew it would always be there?  Or would I take the workouts for granted and slack off a little?

I have been trying to think about it this way: what are my fitness goals?  I want to be healthy, first and foremost, toned and a stronger runner and at the same time maintain a balance with my family, friends and career.  So how am I going to reach these goals and maintain them?  Definitely something I need to spend more time thinking about and I will have time on my long run this weekend of 11 miles.  But one thing for sure this boot camp has put me in the right direction and for that I am grateful – so thank you Ultimate Boot camp!

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