After agreeing to attend Revival’s Boot Camp I had sharp feelings of abject fear. I have only done two runs in the last year and have been physically sick both times. I watched Kubrick’s masterpiece Full Metal Jacket to get into the mood. Watching a soldier bullied into murder and suicide by his drill sergeant did not ease my fears. I hoped my boot camp wouldn’t come to this.
It thankfully did not. I did the half-day boot camp and this is a good length for the physically unfit like myself. That’s not to say it wasn’t a challenge. The day started with a “gentle warm-up” as we did laps of the park interspersed with jumps, sprints and side-steps. I enjoyed the competitive element of racing against my physically fitter friend. It’s a good idea going with a friend for friendly competition, but if not you’ll still be paired up.
In essence this is circuit training with different obstacles and drills. This variety keeps you going, with shuttle runs, rope-pulls, lifts and my nemesis- the cargo net! When the trainer Marty announced we would do this for 10 minutes I looked at him with stunned disbelief. Before I knew it I was immersed in this circuit and competing with myself on the obstacles. The brief breaks are just enough to recover for another dose of intense exercise.
The trainer Marty can somehow get more out of you with a yell and a disapproving expression even when you think you’re at your limit. I have to admit to easing off slightly when his back was turned in order to catch my breath.
My favourite part was the boxing drills at the end. The boxing is the perfect antidote to a frustrating and stressful week in the office. My first instinct was to show off with powerful, quick bursts of punches. After 30 seconds I quickly regretted this as I still had three sixty second drills to come. By the end of the drills I was barely troubling the pads I was “tickling” in the words of my bellowing trainer. Just as I felt I had nothing left Marty replaced one of the women as my sparring partner. I was then repeatedly screamed at to hit the pads harder whilst the other girls stopped to watch in amusement.
Whilst none of this sounds like fun it really is. Marty’s yells are tongue-in-cheek and his punishments for insubordination or wearing pads incorrectly really add to the experience. The music pumping from speakers helps to keep your motivation up as you struggle through the drills. Whilst mainly attended by women the training is great for men too as it focuses on strength and fitness.
By the end of the session I ached all over but felt better than I had for a long time. I’d recommend a half-day session for a beginner or a full-day if you’re fitter than most. The November boot camps are on 23rd and 24th and half day courses are available throughout December. They also run week-long camps in Suffolk and international ones also.
Written by Martin Stocks
Follow Martin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Stocks1986