Monday, February 7, 2011

Boot Camp Day 1: Lessons Learned

Down dogs feel so good--if there's time post Boot Camp.

This is not going to be easy. Not that I ever expected a workout with the name Boot Camp ever would be. But really, surviving the next two weeks won't be easy. I thought that before today's first class, the tension building as I sat through yesterday's orientation and I listened to how I'd have to alter my eating plan and the time I set my alarm. I'm still thinking it now as I struggle to get through the work day, sore to the core, arms aching and biceps burning. Oh wait, that was during the it's my butt that's burning.

Do I regret enlisting? Not yet...and I don't think I ever will. The first workout was a challenge from arriving early in the morning--I think my doorman was shocked to see me bundled up and walking out the door at 6:55 a.m.--to enduring each round of the 10 circuits. And then having the stamina to stay awake, and alert, for the rest of the day. That workout might be done, and the day feels so much longer, but there's still a lot to be learned. Here are my takeaways from the first 24 hours:

I'm constantly hungry. I heeded the orientation advice to replenish with some protein shortly after the workout, but I still want to eat. Salad, oatmeal, bananas, Trader Joe's 9 Whole Grain Crunch cereal, nuts. I'm surprised I actually got work done because I was running into the kitchen every few minutes to find another snack or meal.

Naps are good. I don't know how some of the boot campers go straight to the office after class. I snuck in a nap mid-morning to recharge my engine and was way too thankful that my office is only steps from my living room couch.

How am I going to fit in this second workout? First I thought I'd follow up with my usual routine of yoga sculpt, but after holding a 10-pound medicine ball over my head while squatting, and doing bicep curls, tricep extensions and push-ups among other activities, I really just wanted to go to bed and return to another class later. But when you're thinking about dragging yourself out the door at 8:30 p.m., only to be returning to the same place again the next morning, my grand plans to try hot yoga were abandoned.

The price is right. At $399, less if you have a CorePower Yoga membership or are a program alumni, this two week program doesn't break the bank for what you're getting. An hour-long workout six days a week for two weeks, all the yoga you could want during that period, a coach who checks up on you via email or phone, four coaches who encourage you throughout the day's workout and correct you if you're doing something wrong, nutrition suggestions, the chance to win raffle prizes. I'm sold, especially since I didn't expect the nutrition component and thought it only came with CorePower's other programs like the Wellness Cleanse or Live Lean (also pricier, I might add).

Thank goodness I'm a regular yoga sculptor. I'm recognizing some of the moves from my regular attendance at yoga sculpt so it's not too hard to adapt. But they are kicked up to an even higher level. I'm just happy to see these repeat moves--I'm terrible grasping the coordination with new ones.

Why can't I do more sit-ups? Today's class started with a challenge of counting push-ups, sit-ups and jumps over a block that we're going to repeat two more times during the program and see how we've improved. For thinking I'd be good at them, my sit-ups were horrendous; I almost did more push-ups than sit-ups in the allotted time. Yikes! Let's hope that improves the next time we're tested.

I shouldn't follow a boot camp with a yoga sculpt class. Not that I've tried--yet--but after the way I felt this morning, I didn't even think I'd be able to lift more than three pounds. And I usually use five- and eight-pound weights.

It's easy to slip out of proper alignment. How many times was I reminded to sit lower on the wall? Or drop my shoulders while holding the medicine ball? Or have my tailbone tucked under for me?

My yoga practice, especially my sculpting one, is going to change--for the better. I've been doing some of the routine moves incorrectly and not getting as much out of them as I should and could. Hmm, no wonder I wasn't seeing the results I thought I'd get from multiple classes in a week. That was fixed within a rotation of today's workout with my back row and burpee. 

It's easy to be intimidated. Some people make the work look easy, hardly sweating by the end of class. Others have done BootCamp before and know what to expect. And while appearance isn't everything, some look pretty fit, beanpole thin, too. Meanwhile, I'm soaked, constantly catching my breath during half the circuit and turning red then ashen during the other half. Even with marathons under my belt, this is a diferent animal, and I'm wishing that I started at a different station because my hardest stations hit me all at once to the point where my legs start burning and never stop.

Partners push you to work harder. We paired off to run through each station, which helps in more ways than simply knowing someone else in class. You have someone to share the pain--the coaches make the moves look a lot easier than they actually are. You feel more accountable for slacking off, especially when your partner effortlessly hops over the jump rope and you continue to trip (oh wait, that was me stumbling!). And you're going to try harder. I was pushed to stay in plank longer before dipping to my knees and tried a heavier weight because she was--or maybe that's just my competitive side showing its face.

A water bottle or two later and I survived. Sore, tired and resting up for day two. And hoping that I won't have to do any more skater jumps for the rest of the week.

Photos grabbed from lululemon athletica and ACEfitness at flickr.

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