It’s week 2 of Boot Camp via Snap Fitness and I’m down about 3-4lbs already. I’ll be honest, it’s hard work and somewhat dismaying to realize I’ve hit my 30s and am already noticing how much work it takes to stay in shape. I used to be a competitive swimmer, and have always been quite active. But somewhere in my mid-20s my metabolism took a hard turn and all those calories suddenly turned against me. They gave me a sucker punch to the gut and then landed a solid blow to my strapping chin. So I did what most people would do, I bought bigger shirts and grew some facial hair.
I’ve learned recently that self-control is an exhaustible resource. So I found leverage from a personal trainer to help balance my lack of willpower. Last summer I did my first Boot Camp, and it was the single most effective weight loss activity I had done up to that point. It was only an hour, twice a week but I saw great results after the 8 weeks. This year, Boot Camp is 3 days a week (although you can do 2 days a week to save time / money) for 10 weeks. It takes place in the early evenings at Denison Park. I’m not sure if you can still join, but if your interested, give Snap a call at (607) 973-2888 to see if you can get in for the next 8 weeks.
There are a few things about Boot Camp that are different this year. Most notably, the group is a lot bigger. Last year we had people come and go; at any one time we only had about 4 to 5 people. This year I’d say we have about 12-15 people. In a way it makes it easier because you don’t get singled out as much. Don’t get me wrong, they still push you, but its a wee bit easier to sneak in a few extra seconds to catch your breath. The big group size also makes it a lot more fun. We are able to incorporate games like tug-a-war and capture the flag at the end of the workout. It’s more satisfying when you feel like you’re with a big group of friends outdoors, all going through it together.
Also new this year is the EasyFit System, which is a little clip-on that you wear every day so the trainers can see how you’re actually doing. You wear it even on your off-days to measure progress and hit weekly goals. It’s not unlike a pedometer that tracks your steps, but EasyFit tracks your actual daily activity and applies a point system. It syncs up to your computer and to your personal Snap Fitness webpage where you can see your own progress and compare it to others. Boot Campers get one for free, but anyone can purchase one from Snap for about $60.
A daily EasyFit point goal is great – and maybe that’s enough – but I’d like to see more goal setting in terms of weight loss and diet. We haven’t really talked about specifics. I know that it’s probably implied that we have personal goals and are eating better (it’s hard to validate a weekend cheeseburger bender when you know how hard you’ll have to work to burn it off). Personally, I do calorie tracking. I know a lot of people frown upon that, but watching calories as they come in is a huge advantage. It’s fun to do on my smartphone (I love seeing stats), and it’s easier to watch calories than obsess on the types of foods. The types of food you eat comes easy when you start seeing calories in terms of a budget.
I’m really digging Boot Camp this year. It’s kind of like summer camp. And even though it’s pretty hard work most of the time, I can tell I’m kind of going to miss it when the 10 weeks is up. I’m thinking it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Snap to organize some active weekend trips for members to do things like go on hikes, play games in the park, or take ski trips in the winter. It shouldn’t be too hard to convince people to have fun… at least, it’s one of my strong points. I’m a fun pusher. It’s a source of great anxiety to my lazy friends.