Sunday, 16 June 2013

Bootcamp PIlates: Beach Body Challenge Week 2

After the excitement coming out of week 1 (read about it here), week 2 of my Beach Body Challenge with Bootcamp Pilates really didn't get off to the best start.

On Tuesday I found myself in A&E with severe abdominal pain. No, it wasn't my abs recovering from my first session with Ivo (his nickname on the Bootcamp website is Evil Ivo), but I was diagnosed with gastritis - inflammation of the stomach lining, generally caused by excess acid, which is very commonly brought on by stress. Given the last few months I've had at work this doesn't come as much of a surprise.

My stomach is still sore and very bloated, so not looking great on the results front but I'm not going to let this stop me from completing the challenge. I'm not allowed alcohol, spicy food, fatty food, caffeine - basically any of the fun stuff is banned so I'm going to use this as a good opportunity to stick to a super healthy diet for the remaining two weeks of the course. Personally I always find exercise is also a great stress buster so there is no excuse!

Despite the tummy pain, I made it to two of Harry's classes this week. I really enjoyed working out first thing in the morning and how good it made me feel for the rest of the day, particularly the 7am class as it meant I had time to run to and from the studio to squeeze in some extra work.

I've had classes with six of the instructors at Richmond, and whilst you are guaranteed an all over body workout with everyone (abs, glutes and arms are the order of the day), each instructor puts their own individual spin on the class. Some like it more dynamic and intense, others slower paced but more fluid with less breaks in between exercises. This helps keep the classes really fresh and challenges me in different ways each time. You can read more about the instructors sporting backgrounds and styles on the Bootcamp Pilates website here - Meet the Trainers.

I have four classes booked in next week so its going to be tough. Come back next week to find out how I got on!


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Bootcamp PIlates: Beach Body Challenge Week 1

I’ve never been a massive fan of yoga or Pilates. Call me a cardio junkie but I feel a bit cheated if I’m not red faced, hot and sweaty after a workout. Sweeping  generalization here but all that spiritual breathing stuff isn’t for me.
But when a friend recommended Bootcamp Pilates to me, she insisted that this was different. She told me "there is a machine with all sorts of pulleys and straps involved", and she assured me it would definitely be a tough workout.
Sounds odd but it’s actually a dynamic workout using a machine called the Reformer which uses resistance to help you exercise and stretch.

So last week I decided to sign up for their Beach Body Challenge at the Richmond studio (they have four in total across London) which involves completing 16 classes over a 30 day period. I don’t have any holidays booked but I’m still trying to work off the damage from my last holiday where I over did it on the bread and aioli and the mojitos!
I had been to two classes prior to the challenge – Bootcamp studios run a really great intro offer for newbies at 2 for £12 – and my friend had indeed been right. This was totally different to anything I’d tried before and definitely wasn’t easy! Think Pilates meets TRX meets high intensity circuits… Even after two sessions I’m sure I could feel something happening – taller, tighter, leaner, and I liked it.
So the Beach Body Challenge seemed like the great opportunity to whip myself into shape but also put the Bootcamp Pilates concept to the test. Last week I weighed in, took all my measurements and I’ll be tracking them over the next month while I complete the course.
Here's my 'before' pictures I took at the start of the week:

Now I don’t live in Richmond, or London for that matter – I only work down there in the week. This means that to fit in the 16 sessions in a month I have to complete the 4 sessions back-to-back weekdays whilst I’m down there. After the first session last week this prospect was quite daunting, but by session three I was excited about my daily class, and as per my previous experience the tummy was already feeling tighter and flatter.

In addition to the Pilates classes I will be trying to fit at least one run in. Week two starts tomorrow and I can’t wait to get back into the studio…
Follow my progress here over the next 3 weeks and I’ll share with you the results (weight and inches, hopefully) at the end of the challenge.
You can find out more about Bootcamp Pilates at their website