When I think bootcamp, I picture a muscular man yelling at me to drop and give him 20. But, to my relief, Adventure Boot Camp doesn’t involve a drill sergeant shouting in your ear. Instead, it’s a community of women with one common goal: to see a transformation in their fitness – and their lives.
So, how does it work exactly?
Adventure Boot Camp is an outdoor fitness programme designed especially for women. With over 60 locations around SA, it’s affordable (nice!) and works for everyone, from total newbies to those who just want to switch up their current exercise regime. You can register for four, 12 or 20 sessions over a four-week period, depending in your #goals.
For me, it was a chance to push myself out of the solitary-gym-comfort-zone. I’ve never exercised in a group setting before, so this was totally new territory for me. From the first week to the last, I was pushed like never before. I became stronger – fast – and learnt that I was capable of much more than I’d ever realised. Here’s what happened over the 30 days…
I discovered a community
I’ve always been a bit of a lone exercise wolf, but I loved having other women to work out with. Knowing that I wasn’t alone during difficult moves really helped me get through them. Case in point: During one particularly difficult exercise (which I was convinced I couldn’t do!), another camper stood next to me, saying, “Come on, you can do it” – a small gesture that made all the difference. It’s that type of motivation that kept me going through the entire month. Whether it came from the trainer or fellow campers, it felt great to have a community cheering you on.
I vibed with variety
I loved that no two days are the same. Even though some days target the same muscle groups, you won’t be doing the same exercises. Monday and Thursday are full body. Tuesday and Friday: Upper body and core. Wednesday: Legs and cardio. This kind of variety is great if you’re someone who gets bored easily. Plus, switching things up made the workouts fly by – so different to being on the treadmill where you can feel every second painfully tick away.
I made actual progress
I started my weight-loss journey nine months ago, and I’ve come a long way, but never have I seen such fast progress as I did during these four weeks. How’s this? My trainer made sure to always incorporate running, so I could gauge my improvement on that. During my first week, I could hardly run one length of the quad. Fast-forward to my last week and I was able to run the entire length on the parking lot. And run around the quad with weights! I literally went from someone who hated running to training for my first 5K.
My mind did a 360 shift too. I found I was pushing myself way more than when I worked out solo. Perhaps it was the motivating environment, or the fact that I didn’t want to be the last one to finish (I’m super-competitive). Either way, I always completed all my reps and even tried exercises that scare me (box jumps!). I’m way more confident in my exercise abilities – and learnt that if an exercise seems difficult now, it won’t stay that way.
You basically score your own personal trainer
Another bonus is the fact that you get personal training at a fraction of the cost of the gym. Because the classes aren’t huge, the trainer has time to pay attention to you and offer advice and pointers. If your form is off, or you just need of a bit of extra motivation, it’s great to have a pro to help you along.
So, how much weight did I lose? In all honesty, I can’t give you a number from the scale, as I’ve stopped weighing myself (for all the right reasons).
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t see results. I measured my waist after the last camp – I’d lost 11cm! During those 30 days, I lost a jean size and went from an XL T-shirt to a Large. I also know that I could’ve lost more weight had I not been sick, causing me to miss a few classes. But I’m extremely pleased with the results I got.
Want to beat the winter bulge – and discover the badass woman that you really are? You can sign up for the Adventure Boot Camp 40 day winter challenge – starting 14 May.
This article was originally published on Women's Health South Africa.