Boot Camp Bash

Regular readers will now that I have been running a fair bit recently and eating sensibly to lose weight and get fit but I have been wanting also to work on my upper body and core strength.

I’ve been umming-n-arring about how to do this as I really don’t like gyms and don’t have the knowledge or motivation to just do some appropriate stuff at home.  I’ve  seen some fit types on Southend Seafront doing gym type stuff in the past and so did some web searching and turned up Essex Boot Camp and soon realised it was them on the Seafront.

After a few weeks of failing to sign up for the first (free) session I did so last week and had my trial session at 8am  this cold but dry morning on Southend seafront.  It was both what I expected and not what I expected but I enjoyed it enough to go again.

There were around 15-20 people there – probably 5 or 6 blokes and the rest ladies and there was another lady there having a trial session.  Red bibs were donned, valuables were locked in instructor Jamie’s van and off we went.  Most of the participants looked pretty fit.  One of the chaps I spoke to said he’d been doing it for 6 weeks.

There was essentially a warmup and stretching session, a light running/press-ups/squats session, and then a heavier session of rotating through activities adding more resistance training with ropes and heavy bags etc.

Now as I say I’ve been running a bit over the summer and consider myself reasonably fit – legs and stamina – but knew my weedy arms and upper body was far from fit.  I coped with the warm-up okay and started getting puffed in the light session.  I found the heavy session well – heavy and sat out some of the session as I felt a bit light headed and like I could throw up.  It was good though and I wasn’t put under any pressure to more than I felt able to do.

I joined in the warm down stretching at the end and was glad when the session was over.  I didn’t have a watch on which meant I had no real sense of how much more of the session there was at any one time which was a lesson learned.  Another time I will take a watch and keep better sense of time and try not to over exert early in the session!

I cycled down to the seafront to save driving but this wasn’t too good an idea in hindsight – everyone else drove.  By the time we finished my arms were wasted and cycling home was – interesting.  Having your car meant also having somewhere to leave cold weather gear and food for after too.  I think I’m right in saying the parking charges don’t start till 9am either so parking would be free.

All in all I enjoyed the session.  I like the format and whilst it was hard work I can see that you would get fit pretty darn quickly using this method so I am thinking I will sign up.  You can’t pay as you go and have to buy 5 or 10 time limited sessions.  Full details on their website.  I spoke to instructor Jamie Stumpe afterwards about food and drink before and after the session and will do that better next time.

They have a fair number of sessions in my area too and hold sessions in Southend on the Seafront on Saturday mornings and Monday and Wednesday evenings plus they do sessions in Leigh on Sea on Marine Parade on Sunday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Being able to do any session anywhere without booking is great as – once you have pre-paid for your sessions – you can just turn up and do as is convenient.

So there you go.  It was tough but enjoyable and I think I will pre-pay for some sessions and see how I get on.  It is just a case of fitting it all in around everything else and to be honest I think through the winter my golf will definitely go by the wayside and I’ll maybe substitute one run a week with a session.  I think 1 session a week will do me to start with.

Loads of details on their website including pictures of sessions at Southend and Leigh plus you can follow them on twitter at @essexbootcamp although their tweets are almost entirely marketing.

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