Have you heard the saying “summer bodies are made in winter”? We’re actively refuting with that here at Infruition. We reckon that goals can be set at any point in the year, not just January, and it’s your mentality and approach to achieving those goals that ultimately leads to success.
Buuuuut, you know, it IS still January and it’s a cracking month for shimmying into some Lycra and trying out a new fitness activity. For one, there are oodles of New Year promotional offers to be had, like multi-class discounts and reduced gym memberships with no joining fee.
So, in the name of research, the team sent muggins here along to an indoor Bootcamp class. I’d never tried one before, and I was expecting something pretty hardcore. In fact, it was completely manageable and non-scary. As in, if you thought you might pass out, the class leader wouldn’t stand behind you with a whip and insist that you did ten burpees.
She was basically a tiny firecracker ball of lean muscle, called Hanh. You should check out her Instagram feed - the lady is insanely toned and fit. The class was made up of eight participants, spanning three generations (eeks) and fitness abilities. We had a token bloke who was of course barreled over with the combined nimbleness, hotness and flexibility of the womenfolk. Maybe.
We warmed up by running laps of the room, with high knees, butt kicks and star jumps. I wore my special "sweat is fat crying" t-shirt so that people would laugh at it and like me, and they did: I made Bootcamp friends with a lovely lady who told me repeatedly (and without payment) how (physically) fit I am and how admirable it is that I have two young children, the youngest of which isn't even a year old. Yes. Yes it is admirable. I wish I could keep that lady as a pet.
We moved on to some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercises, where you work at full pelt for a short period of time, then rest for thirty seconds, then go again. We used the floor and foam blocks of varying heights to do walking planks, glute bridges, tricep dips, push ups, jumping lunges, and mountain climbers. I personally love HIIT. It's great for raising tolerance to exhaustion and it helps with athletic condition, but it's not for everyone. It's so rapid that it can be harder to control the movements, and ensure they're being practised correctly, which can lead to injury. But if it works for you, amen. Feel the burn and try not to have a heart attack.
After the sweat (or crying fat - refer to earlier t-shirt visual please) had abated, we got back into our pairs and did a series of bodyweight exercises working against each other for resistance and control. The aim was to go at the pace of the "weaker" person and encourage each other to keep going, which is actually quite refreshing as so many classes are focused around a completely independent workout. Rather than dropping the intensity back, we all found that having a partner spurred us on to work a little bit harder...probably because of that typical British psyche of not wanting to annoy anyone.
After two rounds of paired activities it was time to do some static moves, so we all dropped into a wall sit for a full minute before taking part a "little game" (oh Hanh, you tease) whereby everyone planks in a row, and the person at the end of the row commando crawls underneath. I guess it was the equivalent of shaking someone’s hand and declaring that it had been an absolute pleasure to meet them.
I would absolutely recommend a Bootcamp class to anyone - old, young, fit, unfit...everyone can take something away and get a good workout from it. I love the notion of fitness classes being social, too - there's something rather lovely about looking like a sweaty sack of shite in front of someone you've never met, but still managing to have a gossip about EastEnders.
That’s all from me, I’ll be back soon with some more tips. In the meantime you can email me at Sam@infruition.co.uk or check out my blog over at Mouse, Moo and Me Too. Why not see if there are any new classes starting up in your area that you’d like to try?