To close out the #FitMob series and kick off a new season of indoor workouts, we headed to the gym at Garfield Community Center this past Saturday for a high-energy bootcamp.
More than 50 people, including members of the Sweaty Betties social workout group, joined Olympic swimmer and world-record holder Ariana Kukors for push-ups, lunges, squats, planks and other exercises in the community center gym.
Instructors Natalie Joffe, Chris Cuffee and Ian Weinberg led the mob in a warm-up, and then rotated the group through exercise stations, working with people to modify exercises for any fitness level and making sure everyone had fun.
Bootcamp 101 with Chris Cuffee
Want to give a bootcamp class a try? Check out our interview with Chris Cuffee, northern California transplant and trainer at IanFitness in Seattle for tips on how to get the most out of your workout.
ANW: What is bootcamp and what are the health benefits?
Cuffee: Bootcamp is a variation of high intensity interval training. It consists of short intervals of intense exercise (push-ups, squats, burpees, etc.) followed by short periods of rest. No two bootcamps are ever the same, which allows for constant growth of your fitness level. The intensity provides a fantastic cardio and strength-training workout that burns loads of calories and builds strong, lean muscles.
ANW: How would you define your style of bootcamp?
Cuffee: Our style is a push-yourself-to-your-limits kind of bootcamp. The goal is to guide you through a workout to show you not only how strong you are but how strong and fit you can become. The short intervals allow you to spend time working every muscle group in your body rather than focusing on one or two.
ANW: What would you say is the most common misconception about bootcamp?
Cuffee: That it’s too hard for people, which is not true! Bootcamp is for everyone. A knowledgeable instructor can modify any workout and any exercise to make it manageable for any fitness level. In the end, as long as a bootcamper keeps moving and pushing through, they will find a sense of accomplishment in having participated and their fitness will improve tremendously.
ANW: What’s your favorite bootcamp exercise that people can do at home and at the gym?
Cuffee: My favorite move is the burpee – it’s the best exercise you can do. Begin by bending down and placing your hands on the ground. Then, jump your feet out behind you so that your body is fully extended in a plank position with your arms straight. Then jump your feet in back toward your hands, and jump up high into the air. It’s a fantastic move that works your whole body.