Boot camp 101

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— West Point it was not, but the grassy fields at Ski Town Park served as a suitable place for the members of Peak Fitness' inaugural boot camp class to bust their butts.

The recently completed six-week class offered by instructors Mary Beth Magalis and Bernice Trujillo, featured numerous obstacles similar to those associated with the famous military training course.

Class members were expected to crawl under nets, run through tires and jump from cone to cone while maintaining a jog or sprint. In between, there were stations designed to increase the heart rate and improve strength and conditioning.

Combined, Magalis and Trujillo have about 33 years of experience in fitness and sport training. Both are certified personal trainers with very different approaches to teaching. Magalis said she acts more like a coach, while Trujillo is an involved group instructor.

Boot camp participant Linda Strong has taken classes from Trujillo before and said she's a great motivator and keeps classes exciting. Trujillo, however, enjoyed Magalis' teaching style and approached her about doing a boot camp class with her.

"I loved the idea," Magalis said. "The name is common, and we just applied the hardest stuff we could imagine."

It proved to be too hard at the beginning, Magalis said.

Since no one participating had actually gone through boot camp, and because of the anaerobic nature of some of the drills, many were not prepared for the toll boot camp took.

"We had no idea what would happen during the first class," Magalis said. "It's a totally different conditioning. Steamboat is a really fit town, however, they are fit at what they do."

After some adaptations, Magalis and Trujillo found a level they and the members of the class were able to maintain. Magalis said by the end of the course, however, the class members were performing at a level far above that of the first day.

"We had students get burned out the first day of class," Magalis said. "It exhausted everyone, guys and girls alike. What really improved, but what the average Joe wouldn't see was their balance and power. Their anaerobic ability also improved."

Strong said she finds classes like boot camp appealing because of the variety they provide her in her workouts. A person may exercise five or six days a week, but the body will grow accustomed to the workout if it isn't altered, Magalis said.

As a personal trainer, she's heard the complaints, and she suggests cross training as a perfect solution to the workout rut, which is why she enjoyed teaching boot camp.

The arrival of winter, or at least snow, prompted the boot camp to come to an end, since it requires the space of the outdoors, but Trujillo and Magalis said it would likely be offered again once spring returns.

In place of boot camp, however, the instructors at Peak Fitness are offering a variety of classes, which winter sport enthusiasts may find as a good addition to their training regimen.

For a schedule and description of the courses stop by Peak Fitness or call 879-4943.

To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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