Monday, 29 September 2014
Why Spending 3 Nights a Week in a Night Club is Good for My Health
Picture the scene...
The music is pumping.
The strobe lights are flashing.
The atmosphere is electric.
Bodies in tight clothes are stumbling across the dance floor which is strewn with the usual assortment of kettlebells, barbells and dumb bells... wait, WHAT!?
Yes, you did read that correctly.
The Shed night club in Glasgow's South Side is the home of Core Fitness Boot Camp, and my latest Sweatin' for the Weddin' effort.
The classes themselves follow a traditional circuit format with 12 outer stations and 6 inner stations with an emphasis on strength training. We bootcampers work our way round lifting, pushing, pulling, squatting and planking to the command of Patrick, founder and owner of Core Fitness. And possibly the most enthusiastic man I've ever met. Each station lasts one minute with no time to rest. After completing 12 stations we are gifted a 30 second breather and water break before moving on to the next round. Each session consists of 4 rounds, with each more intense than the last.
Having been through a fair few body pump sessions I thought I was, you know, pretty strong... for a lady. I thought I'd be in with a fair shout. How wrong I was. See, that's the thing about boot camp - any fitness you thought y0u had instantly evaporates (along with your latest wave of sweat). Every session I think, "That was the toughest" only to be swiftly proven wrong the next time. My body is literally pushed to its absolute limit every time. By the end of each session I'm completely (there's no other word for it) gubbed. Yet, as I struggle to find the strength to turn the ignition in my car, a wave of endorphins rushes through my body. A big grin appears on my face. I can't wait to do it all over again.
I'm now 6 weeks into the 16 week programme and have completed 24 sessions (3 nights per week at the Shed and 1 morning of hill sprints in Queens Park). My love for boot camp is only growing. Firstly, I'm amazed how quickly my fitness is improving. In week one I was deadlifting a 20kg kettlebell and I'm now pushing through 8 reps of the 60kg trap bar. In 6 weeks. What, even? Seriously, so chuffed with myself. Not only that but with the exercise regime combined with the nutritional support I am already losing inches and receiving compliments. I'm thinking on doing a progress post at the 8 week mark with measurements and progress photos. Would you like to see that?
There is definitely a primal satisfaction in being able to lift seriously heavy stuff. And when you're struggling to life even the lightest weights on offer the dim nightclub lighting provides some shade for your dignity (and your red sweaty face if my experience is anything to go by). However, don't be fooled into thinking that the lighting makes you invisible to the trainers. A microscopic slip in form or a mere 5 second breather and one of them will be over in a flash to get you back on track. The mere sight of them approaching is enough to snap you back into action. With 3-4 trainers circulating the room boot camp bridges the gap between traditional group exercise and personal training. Despite a ratio of trainers to bootcampers of about 1:10 I always feel like I'm given personal attention, whether it's to correct my technique to pointing me in the direction of the heavier weight.
At the end of each session Ally holds a stretch and foam roller session (or sadistic torture session depending on you view point). Firstly, the session is held upstairs, which after an hour of pushing your legs to do things they're not prepared to do, is definitely the toughest part of every boot camp. Secondly, rolling around on a foam roller, or a lacrosse ball if you're feeling particularly self-loathing, and being told to 'find the sore bit and stay on it' is probably the closest I'll ever come to self-torture. Yet it's strangely satisfying. People tell me it's like having a sports massage. I've never had one. And after this, I don't know if I want one. Despite the pain it definitely works. The morning after I always feel a lot less sore than I would have had I not tortured myself.
There's a lot more I could say about boot camp but I've probably rambled enough now. If anyone has any further questions send them my way or get in touch with Patrick and the other bootcampers at the Core Fitness Facebook Page.
I'm off to soothe my aching body in a muscle soak bath.