Workout Wonders: 30-Day Boot Camp Challenge

If heavy equipment and machines in a typical gym setting intimidate you, then meet boot camps!

HIIT Boot Camps have become more popular because it is designed to push the body beyond its limits. The workout involves a lot of bodyweight exercises like squats, burpees, planks, and push-ups.

FIT Studio recently opened their boot camp classes for an introductory price so I decided to give it a try. A free trial was provided to introduce me to the routines and assess if it's something I can commit to.

I had so much fun in the trial session. It reminded me of the rigorous training for street dancing competitions back in high school (haha!). We were a small group of 10-15 girls with the same fitness goals so I decided to sign up for a month.

Boot camp routines start with stretching. Once warming up is done, the high intensity interval training (HIIT) part comes in. Basically, it's intense and in intervals of various cardio activities where you really have to push yourself in every rep. High knees running, jogging, burpees, and jumping jacks, squats, jump sets, and lunges are some of moves here. Man, the thigh burn here was nasty!

Russian Twist

We moved on to more HIIT moves focused on the arms and core like planks, mountain climbers, chair dips, and activities using weights like floor press, overhead tricep flex, shoulder-to-shoulder press, reverse fly, crunches, Russian twists, and a whole lot more!

The workout routine is capped off by a cooling down stretch-- taking the basic positions of yoga.

Naahi and Imthi, the main coaches for boot camp, were very supportive and encouraging. Boot camp videos I've watched online showed coaches shouting and harshly pushing the students to their limits. Fortunately, this was not the case with FIT Studio coaches.

During the first 2 weeks, I religiously followed the 3x a week schedule. On the 3rd week, however, I felt drained physically and mentally so I settled to 2 sessions weekly.

I noticed a lot of changes in my body even only on the 3rd week. I used to give up already within 10 reps of burpees, but later on, I can already do a full minute combination of of jump sets, burpees, and mountain climbers. Definitely, my stamina and endurance improved.

Although my weight didn't show any changes (I'm maintaining a 52.5 kg), but my waist surely did. An inch and a half were shed and I didn't feel that much bloated anymore. But you have to take note that I was also doing a pescatarian diet during this challenge.

Lastly, MY ARMS! I did baton twirling and Arnis back in high school so my arms were really at their best back then. However, they underwent muscle atrophy in college because I was inactive in any kind of sport. My arms had become my weakest parts. They were delicate and a little jiggly. I can't even do a proper push up because my arms can't support my weight.

Getting the help of weights for toned arms

Finally, boot camp fixed that part. It was extremely painful at first, but later on, I could carry myself in planks and do a full body push-up instead of touching knees to the floor. There was also a noticeable improvement in its appearance and size.

HIIT Boot Camp really burns fat because your body is heated up by the intense exercises while you're carrying your own body weight.

So, is this something I can sustain even after 30 days?

Due to the schedule (8-9 pm), I can't really maintain it. I got exhausted and my mornings were a little sluggish because of the intense workout the night before. Evening gym sessions don't work for me. FIT Studio offered morning boot camps but it's not suitable with my office schedule.

I also noticed my thigh muscles got tight and knotted because of too much exertion without exhaustive stretching or massage. My flexibility noticeably decreased after a month. Between strength and flexibility, my priority is the latter.

However, HIIT is the kind of workout routine I can confidently recommend to anyone who wants to lose weight. I have first hand experience of how effective it is in burning fat and building up the muscles. So, if I overeat during my annual leave and gain 20 pounds (heaven forbid!), then enrolling in a boot camp class will be the top-of-mind solution.


Have you given boot camp a try?


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