Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Camp Gladiator - The final weeks!

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Heavy thunderstorms rolled through during the 3rd week - that doesn't stop a Gladiator though.  Brandon demonstrates our next workout while under cover near our usual location

My final blog for Camp Gladiator!  Unfortunately I wasn't able to complete as many days in the last two weeks as I had hoped to so I combined weeks three and four in this blog to give you a condensed version of what took place. 

WEEK THREE

...was interval week.  Compare it to what some people, (including yours truly) will do while running on the treadmill when you alternate walking and running.  I used it as a way to feel like I was exercising longer when in reality I was cheating myself by taking longer and longer breaks or just keeping myself from being completely bored to death.  Brandon was in control of our breaks though and made sure to push you to your maximum heart rate and give you a very small amount of time to recover.  By very small I mean, not enough time to drink water, lay down and wait for my heart to stop pounding as I would have done had it been me.  Let's not forget we kept this rate of intensity up for an hour.  When is the last time you pushed yourself that hard in a gym?  The more fit you become though, the easier it gets for your body to recover.  My husband has been taking tennis lessons for years.  He started doing CG with me (except he was going at 5:30 in the morning!) and has noticed a big improvement in his tennis game in terms of how quickly he is able to recover during matches. 

We ran several drills where our goal was to try to stay within one minute of our original time each time you repeated the course.  With barely a minute to recover I was definitely pushing myself!  All but one time I was able to keep within a minute of my original starting time so all in all a pretty successful workout week.  I also learned something during the course of this week.  I was saving up all my energy during the warm up routines, (which feel more like a workout than a warm up) and giving 100% when it was time to sprint.  Each time I did that though, I felt pain in my legs that would almost stop me dead in my tracks.  What I quickly discovered is how important those warm ups are for getting my muscles stretched and ready to go for the more intense drills.

Sprinting to the finish line was just the start of the drill.  Once we arrived we still had to complete additional exercises such as mountain climbers, plyo planks, high knees, side winders or squat jumps

Towards the end of week 3 there were a few different CG happy hours scheduled for around the Austin area.  Various locations accommodated the North, Central and South sides of town.  Again, Camp Gladiator is all about having fun and so building relationships outside of your one hour class is just as important to them.  You are more likely to keep up with your workout routine if you have friends holding you accountable and encouraging you.  Oh, and if you are questioning what a happy hour with boot campers looks like, don't worry. Your trainers aren't watching to make sure you only order a celery stick!

WEEK FOUR:

THIS IS IT!!

I'm at the end of my month with Camp Gladiator.  Still no sign of drill instructors or lifting heavy machinery.  I have been very pleased with my experience and even more surprised with my results.  I had hoped to get in a Saturday workout as my third workout for the week but instead of the usual Saturday morning workout at Zilker, Camp Gladiator hosted Gladiator Games at their Quarries location.  Their website described the event as:  
Competitors will race over a 300 meter technical obstacle course that will include a 20 foot vertical cargo net, ascending monkey bars, a 9’ wall that must be scaled, “overs and unders”, as well as a few new surprises never before seen! Conquering the Obstacle Course Challenge will take speed, agility and endurance, as well as determination, nerves of steel, and a Gladiator spirit!

Sounds fun! Although they assured me that any fitness level could participate, I just couldn't fit it into my schedule.  Really.  I'm not making up excuses.  Perhaps next year you'll see me there!

Photo courtesy of Camp Gladiator

So this week was Metabolic week.  I thought interval week was hard, but I quickly found out that was cake compared to metabolic week.  The goal is to keep up your workouts with not as much rest and keeping your heart rate up the whole time. 

I knew the dreaded Fitness Assessment Test was inevitably coming up and sure enough, on our last day of camp, we pulled out our fitness assessment cards from the first week.  I was very curious to see if I had any improvement from the first week but still being in the back of the pack day after day left me with little hope.  Let me just say that when I started this endeavor, I reminded myself to have realistic expectations.  During the one month I have been with Camp Gladiator I only actually worked out a total of 9 days.  I made some smarter choices in my day to day diet but certainly could have done better.  Like the day I had a coffee, popcorn, hot dogs... you get the point.

So we start the fitness test with a set time to complete as many push-ups as we could during that time.  Since we want results that compared apples to apples, if you started out doing a beginner's push-up, (on your knees) then you do them the same way on the last day.  After we completed our push-ups we moved on to sit ups.  After the sit ups, our final portion of the test consisted of a timed course.  We ran a lap around the parking lot followed by 40 high knees, 30 push ups, 20 bicycles, 10 squat jumps, 5 burpees and another lap around the parking lot.

So how did I do?  Here are my results from the first week:
4/28/11: 22-Push-ups, 34-sit-ups, and a time of 7:40 (remember, I was the VERY last person to finish)

...and my results for this week were:
5/19/11: 43-push-ups, 57 sit-ups, and a time of 5:55

VERY, VERY EXCITING!!  I asked Brandon if he was sure that we were doing the same amount of time because I was honestly SHOCKED by my results!  This is so much more than I have ever done inside a gym.  I know my greatest fitness improvements are going to happen in the beginning of my new workout routine, but I kept thinking, if I was able to do this in 1 month (9 days) of working out, just think what 6 more months could do for me!!

As a matter of fact, I have been so impressed with the entire overall experience that my husband and I have both decided to sign up for 6 more months in an effort to also receive the greatest financial discount available.  We're both excited to see the continued physical, fitness and health improvements in these next 6 months.  Not to mention that there has been an increased desire in both of us to be more aware of what we eat.  A breakfast pastry isn't as desirable anymore when you have worked that hard to get in shape.  To fill up on that almost seems like a waste of a good workout.  So I finish my blogging adventure with Camp Gladiator ready to give a positive review in every aspect to any bride looking to get in shape and not just fit into her wedding dress  but look absolutely stunning in it!  Not only will you benefit physically but I am willing to bet that if you try Camp Gladiator out you too will see the appeal to continuing to stay with the program and develop a fun, fit and healthy lifestyle that goes on even after the honeymoon.

Forget scales.  My results from my Fitness Assesment Test on Week 4 written on the bottom tell a much more accurate story.  I am beyond excited! (And I have lost 3 lbs.)




If you have been keeping up with my Camp Gladiator adventures, you may have noticed that I am posting my final blog a little late.  In fact, I've since had a scheduled week off and start back at CG this morning for day 1, week 1 of my second month.  During my week off I did not workout at all, ate pretty poorly at times and regretted it immediately after and stopped drinking nearly as much water as I had been when I was working out.  Proof that if I don't have something or someone holding me accountable, I just go back into my old bad habits.  At least for now I do.  Bad habits take time to change. 


I hope that I have been able to inspire you through my personal experience to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.  Or at the very least take a look at the Camp Gladiator website for yourself and consider signing up.  I know with the summer season you may have plans that keep you from wanting to make a commitment.  I would have to argue though, if you don't do this now, when will you?  PLUS! As an added incentive, keep in mind that Camp Gladiator has offered an incredible deal for our Fairy Godmother Brides.  Simply contact us if you are interested in signing up, trying out a session for free or have any other questions. 

I leave you with a humorous video of me on my last day.  We played a game of Marco Polo CG style.  If you were not "It" you could only move around by doing lunges and you had to keep moving.  I thought I was being smart by volunteering to be it and skip the lunges.  I'm not so sure "smart" is how I would describe me though.  That's me in the red CG shirt looking incredibly foolish!  It's slightly entertaining. ;)





--
Angel Carter
The Fairy Godmothers Weddings & Events







ownfairygodmother.com

Austin 512.644.6886

Houston 972.804.3295

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