Sweating For Real

A bootcamp gives both you & your workout a serious boost

By Jason Santerre

After two years of jogging in winter and cycling in summer, I needed to change gears. I needed a workout re-boot. A friend recommended bootcamp. “Put your conditioning level to the test and maybe even take it up a notch while you’re at it,” she said.

My mouth said yes before my brain could process exactly what I had gotten myself into. After all, when I think bootcamp, I think pain, I think dozens of war movies depicting training camps whereby new recruits are brought to the brink of physical collapse: thousands of chin-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and kilometres running up hills with 40-kilo army issue backpacks.

Then I met Tina Kissavos and her partner, Bryan O’Connor, neither of whom look like a drill sergeant. Three years ago, Tina and Bryan started with seven clients sweating atop Mount Royal. Today, Better Body Bootcamp (bootcampmontreal.com) has spread to six locales, from downtown, west to NDG and north to Laval and on to the south shore in Brossard.

I swallowed my fear (and pride), dusted off the exercise mat, and took part in Tina’s NDG Bootcamp. Despite being in what I felt was reasonable shape, I did experience some trepidation. Could I keep up or would I say uncle after five minutes? “That’s the question I get asked the most by first-timers,” says Tina. “I tell beginners that the goal is to simply be better than their former selves. If you couldn’t do a push-up yesterday and you can do one today, you’ve already improved.”

I survived the first class. It was a tough, intense workout, but after being pushed to my limits, I felt great afterward—partly for surviving and partly for getting a good sweat going. Still, it was 45 minutes I was glad to see end. The second class was a little bit easier and the one after that I levelled out: Still feeling the burn, but not the pain and actually seeing results in terms of increased strength and lost pounds.

Because each class is only 45 minutes, the program’s formula helps shed unwanted fat and tone muscles in the quickest yet most effective way possible. Kim says the focus is on overall body movements that engage more than one muscle at a time, which burns more calories. “Quick transitions and time-based exercises allow every trainee to go at their own pace and do their personal best.”

The ultimate goal of a six-week bootcamp is to inspire and keep the fire burning to continue that lifelong journey to better health. It’s not just a quick fix. And it’s not for the meek. But it is for the weak looking to get stronger, fitter and more energized.

Summer 2013, Vol 5 N°3

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