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Bootcamp Blues

Muscle Conditioning Class

I hate running.  It hurts my knees - so I have an excuse not to do it.  So I have to do my cardio training a different way.  Also, I’m persuaded by the strong evidence that muscle conditioning is just as important as cardio, if not more important.  This month I am writing about my muscle conditioning class, and our instructor known as Coach J (Jason Inglis of Freestyle Fitness).   This is a class I attend weekly with Jamie and our daughter Sarah.  Every week we wonder why we signed up for this, but we keep going back.  The proof is in the pudding (or lack of pudding); it works.

I have to admit, as an adult woman who works with the nuances of words for a living, I am slightly horrified by platitudes such as “CAN’T = crying and not trying” and "work like a horse, sweat like a pig, look like a fox."  But much to my chagrin these phrases stick.  They motivate.  Who wants to be a quitter?

Each class we do a series of exercises in sets.  The sets vary – one 8-minute set might be a series of rotating abdominal exercises.  Another might be a mix of lunges with weights, burpees and bicep curls.  No major muscle group is forgotten.  I am reminded the day (or two) after the class when it hurts every time I move. 

Does it reflect badly on me that I feel the need to compete with my husband and daughter?  This despite the fact that they can kick my butt, in part because one is a man and one is 17 years old.  This goes against Coach J's message.   He encourages us to compete against only ourselves and improve on that basis.   The class is fun in a sick sort of way.  The people who attend are of varying levels of fitness – not everyone is an Ironman. 

All of us who attend regularly have improved our form and performance, and developed real muscle definition.   Bottom line = if you are willing to try you will see results.   Coach J and Freestyle Fitness offer classes at different locations, including Spynga.


Naomi Bussin is a lawyer, fitness enthusiast, healthy cook and the wife of Tonic’s publisher. It’s   about time that she wrote for the magazine. For more information visit spynga.com