Monday, September 5, 2011

Boot Camp, Labor Day 2011

I had wanted to start some strengthening exercises for some time and somehow I had never gotten around to kick this off. One idea was to sign up for the weight room orientation at the Midway YMCA and then put together a program of XC skiing specific exercises. The other thought was to join one of the Ys strength or cardio/strength oriented classes. The Boot Camp in particular intrigued me, however the times at my local Y did not accommodate my schedule. I was looking for a class very early in the morning and, if not at the Midway Y, not too far out of my way to work. So I systematically checked all the metro locations and found a possibility at the Southdale YMCA in Edina. They have a 6:00 AM class on Mondays and a 5:15 class on Wednesdays. The Labor Day holiday class had been moved to 8:00 AM, a good opportunity to check it out.

The Y advertises its Boot Camp exercise class as a rugged workout to improve strength and stamina. It appeared that the sequence of exercises would work on both the explosive muscle movements and my respiratory and cardio capacity. Coach Ben later confirmed that this type of workout is an excellent complement to my training plan.

I left the house with what I thought some time to spare, unfortunately I got to the back side of the Edina Y and had to snake my way around the neighborhood to make it to the entrance. I missed my chance to check in with Tom, the instructor and struggled to get ready by assembling my collection of weights, mats and other miscellany.

The warm-up consisted of a serious of running exercises like carioca steps, high heels, high knees and on all fours across the gym including a push-up, and jump sequence at the change of direction and holding light hand weights all the while.  We cycled through the drills three times.

Then the main body of the class began. Using a barbell, we went from deadlift to shoulder press to behind the neck press and back, 15 reps, followed by push-ups, a jumping exercise and an ab exercise. We cycled through this sequence three times, 10 and 5 repetitions after the initial 15. The we increased the weight on the bar bell and did the sequence again, increasing weights and sequence one more time.

The last sequence was a circuit of jumping jacks/push-ups, running in place while tapping a punching ball and another jump sequence.

I was drenched within 15 minutes of this and, not being the most coordinated of people, I had trouble with some of the motion and step/kick sequences. My fear that the unaccustomed motions and exercises would result in some seriously sore muscles did  come true, similar to after the Sisu Year Round Group's first session. I scheduled easy jogs for the remainder of the week and Sisu's session with Sister Kenny Institute's Dr. Leisz and PTs came at an opportune moment.

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