Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Are You Cut Out For Bootcamp?

Hi Everyone

In case you're not familiar Lilly Sabri is my good friend and also a top-of-her-game Physio/Hot Pilates instructor. She is also my client for Legs and Glutes, and I'm her client for Hot Pilates! Basically this year we teamed up and ran Bikini Body Boot Camps together in North London throughout the summer. Life story over. I'll get to the point now I promise.

This was our fifth boot camp across the summer and I'm not gonna lie, I've really loved holding them. Not only have I met some great girls, but there's also nothing better than kicking arse throughout the whole weekend, without it feeling like your arse is actually being kicked!

Once again winter's coming round all to quick and summers coming to a close me and Lilly Sabri held the final Bikini Body Bootcamp last weekend (sad face).
I'm all for exercise and being hardcore but standing in a park in pissing English rain throughout the winter is not my idea of fun. At all. Therefore we are in the process of planning winter friendly indoor boot camps (hold the tears).

Since I've started blogging I thought I'd write a post about it and let you know how these have been going down across the summer. Don't worry this isn't an advert or promo, I'm not going to have a link for tickets at the bottom of the page, but I thought some of you might find this info useful since we do pretty much every exercise under the sun across the weekend, so I have a few ideas you can pinch for your workouts, and hopefully our girls will inspire you to get back in the gym too!

I want to share with you the exercises we did, classes we held, calories we burnt and why a weekend of intense exercises might sound like hell but is actually great for the body and mind.

We were lucky enough to have sponsorship from Coco Pro and Bounce Energy Balls to keep our girls both hydrated, energized and kicked their body into recovery mode. As mentioned in my last post all about the booty, I highlighted the importance of amino acids/protein in order to let your muscles recover.

Coco Pro has 20g of Protein per carton (nearly half of the 'female recommended daily intake'), whilst Bounce has 15g per ball (a third of the recommended intake).
With the amount of exercise taken part in across the weekend, this means more protein was required per female as a daily average, I suggested to the girls about 60-70g per day instead of the usual 46g-50g, therefore Bounce and Coco Pro were the perfect brands to team up with and offer as recovery treats to our participants.

Session 1

To start the weekend off we held a circuit session at my Studio in North Finchley. We had an hour and a half to squeeze as much into our circuits as possible, so decided to do three different circuits of 12 stations, with the first circuit focussing on abs and core, the second on arms back and shoulders, and the third on legs and glutes.

Each station was one minute intense exercises with no breaks in between each station apart from the time it took to move from one to the other and get into place. I generally don't believe in rest time. My clients will tell you that. I am a slave driver (as is Lilly). We might give you 10 seconds to get your breath back, but if you need a minute to sit down in between each station, you're probably in the wrong place. If you give yourself too much time to rest in between sets, I find you lose motivation, you start to cool down and therefore make the next exercise way more difficult than it has to be when starting up again.

Here's a little video clip and description showing how the evening went and exercises we done for each circuit:

10 Min Warm Up Road Run 

HIIT & Abs Circuit 

1 minute each station

1. Russian Twists w/ Kettlebell
2. Spiderman
3. Jumping Lunges
4. Jumping Squats
5. Step Ups w/ Dumbells
6. Treadmill Sprint
7. Leg Raises
8. Crunch Sit Ups
9. Scissors
10. Toe Taps
11. Star Jumps
12. Mountain Climber Slides

Water Break 

Arms, Shoulders & Back Circuit 

1. Padwork
2. Wrist to Arm Plank Change
3. Battleropes
4. TRX
5. Kettle Raises
6. High Plank to Chataranga
7. Press Ups
8. Plank Hold
9. Bicep Curls w/ Dumb bells
10. Upright Row  w/ Bar Bell
11. Shoulder Raises w/ Dumb Bells
12. Single Arm Row w/ Dumb Bells

Water Break 

Legs & Glutes Circuit 

1. Pelvic Thrust
2. Donkey Kicks
3. TRX Legs
4. Squat Ball Slam
5. Squats
6. Treadmill Walking Incline
7. Kettlebell Thrust
8. Calf Raises w/ Dumb Bell
9. Box Jumps
10. Deadlifts w/ Weighted Bar
11. Good Mornings w/ Weighted Bar
12. Hamstring Curls w/ Dumb Bell

Stretch and Cool Down 

By the end of the first session the girls were shattered, sweaty but unexpectedly optimistic. We didn't finish until 9.30pm on a Friday night so props to them for going home drinking their Coco Pro and eating their Bounce Balls instead of drinking a glass of wine and eating a kebab!

Session 2

The second day started with a bang - the first of our two Hot Pilates sessions in North London Yoga Studio. If you have never been to one of Lilly Sabri's Hot Pilates classes before, there's not a lot I can do to prepare you for how hot (and intense) it is. The class is one hour of continuous exercises, in up to 45 degrees heat. If you struggle with exercising in a cool gym you will most definitely struggle here. I usually release about 6 and a half buckets worth of sweat (slight exaggeration), burn on average between 1500 - 2000 calories (no exaggeration) and batter my core and abs to beyond recognition.

I take part in the Hot Pilates sessions of the boot camp whilst Lilly teaches the class. As someone who frequently goes to her classes (masochist),  I really feel the burn and can genuinely comment on how the class pushes your body. To put it simply when I walked in my top was grey, when I walked out it was nearer black and my leggings felt like I'd just been pushed in a swimming pool. However the only motivation I needed to keep going was Lilly's abs. Lil is basically my real life ab idol, she is an absolutely abmazing abtastic ab queen. If you don't believe me here's the whip cracker herself grinning while we all stretch out/die at the end of the class.

Below are a couple of exercises Lilly put us through, you might want to try out with your training partner if you dare. These will leave your abs in pain for a good couple of days, but pain is beauty lets never forget that...

Partner Ab exercises from Lilly's Hot Pilates Class: 

  • Plank hold opposite partner head to head - high five each other for 1 min x 3 (in video below)
  • Head to head laying on back - holding hands with partner - leg raises for 1 min x 3
  • Facing each other on matt - Interlock feet with partner - sit ups for 1 min x 3 (in video below)
  • Sitting next to each other in crunch position - legs off floor - Russian twist your water bottle 5 times before passing to partner - partner completes 5 times before passing back - 1 min x 3 
  • Staying in crunch position legs off floor the entire time next to partner - extend legs twice then bring back into crunch before partner does the same, pass the extension between you for 1 min x 3 

After a a rejuvenating/traumatising Hot Pilates class we then moved our participants outdoors for some much needed fresh air.

Session 3

For the third session we had a park based military outdoor workout. Upon arrival we took our ladies on a 10 minute warm up run before splitting them into groups of two. I worked team 1 on more weights based exercises while Lilly took on the cardio side of things.

Lilly focussed on pairing the team up for cardio style teamwork activities including wheelbarrow competitions, sprints, burpees and star jumps.

I focussed more on circuit based exercises including kettle bell thrusts, resistance bands, pad work, skipping, squat ball passes etc. as shown below.

Here's a little video summarising some of the workouts throughout the second day....

Miltary Style Outdoors Circuit

Partner Work 
1 minute per person then switch 

  • Partner Resistance Band Run 
  • Partner Padwork 
  • Partner Squat Ball Passes

Individual Circuit
1 minute per station

  • Kettle Bell Thrust
  • Kettle Bell Squat
  • Kettle Bell Tricep Extension/Raise
  • Skipping with Skipping Rope
  • Resistant Band Glute Walk 
  • Lunges with weighted ball in hand 
  • Step Ups onto bench with weights in hand
  • Wide Lunges with weights in hand
  • Squat Shuffle walk with weights in hand 

Session 4

By day 3 the girls were all a little achy and struggling BUT we had no drop outs and they all pushed through for a 9am park meeting (because we all love 9am on a Sunday don't we?). 

Me and Lilly had decided that our second to last session should be an intense HIIT session to really go for a hard fat blaster. 

In order to keep mixing it up we decided that Lilly would lead this session and I would take part with the girls in order to encourage and keep them motivated. 

For this session we literally did not stop moving. High Intensity Interval Training is AMAZING for fat blasting. Forget being on a treadmill for 35 continuous minutes while feeling like you want to shoot yourself in the head. HIIT is the way forward. They key to HIIT is that you're training at varying interval speeds which basically sends your body into fat burning overdrive. Whatever you do when interval training, do not let your body adjust to one intensity level. Keep switching it up. 

The bulk part of this session involved 30 minutes of continuous jogging around 4 posts while Lilly shouted instructions at us e.g Sprint, change direction, left hand down, right hand down, burpee, side shuffle, high knees etc. (as seen in the videos below)

The second part of the session involved relay races between teams, competing for extra protein goodie bags (shown at the end of the below video)!

The teams were divided into 3 and the relay race involved team mates star jumping at the bottom while the first relay runner started with: 
  • Two steps ups
  • Suicide sprints up a hill until they reached a kettle bell
  • One kettle bell thrust burpee before running back down to tag their team mate. 

The girls got really competitive and this was a really great way to burn fat and work extra hard without it being painful. One thing me and Lil always try to do is make exercise as fun as it can be. Once you start to get bored, you won't last long! 

Session 5

The fifth and FINAL session was back at North London Yoga Studio straight after the HIIT Session. By this point the girls were all pretty sore and needed a good stretch out so the heat (believe it or not) was actually the perfect thing to end the Boot Camp and stop us all from seizing up. 

Lilly took the intensity of the workouts down a notch or two thankfully for the final Hot session as we decided focussing on core exercise and stretching was needed, rather than an intense training session. Therefore she decided to include lots of plank holds, chataranga holds, squat hold on tip toes and general pilates balance positions. 

Again, don't be fooled by thinking this might have made it slightly easier. Another 1500 or so calories were burnt, the mirrors steamed up and we were all dripping by the end. The picture below shows all of us at the end, and had to be heavily edited to remove the steam so that we were actually visible (check the condensation on the mirrors on the right if you don't believe me). I think Sunday afternoon was spent eating and then sleeping for 90% of us by the time the session was finished. 

Overall across the weekend I would say between 4000-6000 calories were burnt depending on the person and everyone really pushed their bodies to the extreme. I highly recommend people taking part in boot camps if you lack motivation, knowledge of exercises, or just need to try out different options to see what works best for you!

For all OUR ladies who took part you deserve a whopping pat on the back, standing ovation and a blue peter badge. However a protein goody bag and memorable experience will have to do! 

Please feel free to leave session suggestions in the comments for our next bootcamp, it could be anything from boxing to spinning to dance. 

I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces at our Winter Workout Bootcamps, where it's going to get harder, more intense, but always better! 

Good luck 



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