You know what I miss most about college? Not the parties or the napping at random times during the day. Being a part of a TEAM. The time I spent on the cross country/track teams at Hopkins will always be some of the most memorable moments of my life, and my teammates will always be some of my closest friends. And while I wasn’t the fastest or the strongest person there, no one cared. I can honestly say the BEST experience I had in college was when we won our first conference title spring of my senior year, not only because we won but because we came together as a TEAM and accomplished something no one thought was possible. Our top runners kicked ass and then ran back to cheer on those still running. There’s something about that team bond that outsiders don’t understand, but it’s something that I absolutely love. And while I’ve already preached about things like Flywheel, Flybarre, As1Effect and Barry’s Bootcamp, there’s one experience that has truly brought the TEAM aspect back to the NYC fitness scene– BOOTYCamp!
Rewind… how did I find out about this? Well, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to spin with the one and only LACEY STONE.
* Photo source here.
For those of you who don’t know, Lacey is an amazing trainer and THE next fitness star… I mean, who doesn’t want arms like that!? She was featured a couple of times on MADE– check out the clips here and here. We had briefly talked about my obsession with fitness (who better to talk to!?) but at the time I was still working at my old job in finance and looking for a way to make my dream to work in the industry a reality. And as a side note, Lacey is truly one of the most energetic, hilarious and inspiring people I have ever met.
When I heard Lacey was coming back to NYC for the month of May to run her very own BOOTYCamp!, I knew this was something I did NOT want to miss out on.
* Photo source here.
Who wants to join the TEAM!? Me! So I committed to 8 workouts… 2x a week for 4 weeks… at the crack of dawn every Monday & Wednesday for the month of May. What exactly is BOOTYCamp you might ask? Think running, sprinting, sit-ups, squats, push-ups… basically everything you’ll ever need to get that sick summer body— CHECK IT OUT HERE!
The first day of camp I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect… would we be running the whole time? Doing pushups until my arms fell off? Well day 1 = TEST DAY. It’s used to serve as a baseline for your time at camp… something for you to work on throughout the month so you can see how you’ve improved by the end. Brought me back to my high school presidential fitness test days. Remember those?! The tests that involved sit-ups, pull-ups, the sit and reach and the mile run!? Well our TEST DAY involved six different exercises– pushups, squat jumps, situps, dips, lunge jumps and sprint taps. We maxed out for a certain time frame… for most it was 2-3 minutes. On the last day of camp, we re-did the test in the hopes that your numbers have improved on all fronts.
Since day 1, I have to say that BOOTY has absolutely rocked my world. Our TEAM is amazingly supportive and super energetic (even at 6:30 in the morning!), and we’ve totally brought it, RAIN or SHINE (although for some reason in our case it was mostly rain…). It’s funny… when you’re a runner, you get used to the daily routine of pounding out the miles, with the occasional speedwork thrown in there. Well, Lacey has taught me that there’s more to being “FIT” than being able to run a marathon. There’s always something you can do to be a little bit better, a little bit stronger. You can think you’re in great shape, and then get your ass completely kicked from a workout. That’s what BOOTY has done for me. And remember the test day that I mentioned earlier? After day 1, I honestly thought there was no way my numbers were getting any higher. I already considered myself somewhat ‘fit’, but boy has BOOTY proved me wrong. I’ve started seeing muscles I never knew existed, and I can say that I can’t wait for bathing suit/tank top season. The proof is in the numbers— I’m a complete believer after seeing both the physical and mental changes that have happened over the past four weeks.
In case you’re wondering, here’s how I fared from the beginning of camp to the end (Day 1 test day –> Day 8 results):
Push-ups (2 minutes): 86 –> 111 (+25)
Squat jumps (1 minute): 53 –> 65 (+12)
Sit-ups (3 minutes): 113 –> 130 (+17)
Dips (2 minutes): 128 –> 142 (+14)
Lunge jumps (2 minutes): 105 –> 108 (+3)
Sprint taps (1 minute): 12 –> 13 (+1)
Are you convinced yet? Well, in addition to the tough early morning workouts, BOOTY focuses on making you a healthier individual overall. There’s that popular saying “you are what you eat”…
** Photo source here.
HA. Anyways… being a “healthy” person not only involves getting your workouts in, but also focuses on having good eating habits. One thing I love about BOOTY is the constant support and feedback, not only on the fitness front but also on the food front. While I absolutely love working out and getting a good sweat in, I also love food. Stressed? FOOD. Bored? FOOD. Dessert is my favorite part of any meal, and a day for me is not complete until I’ve had some sort of chocolate. Being a healthier eater has always been a ‘goal’ of mine, but I never had what it took to actually kick it into high gear. Well, throughout the month, I’ve kept a journal of almost all of the food that has gone into my mouth… and have finally been able to get the feedback I’ve been looking for. While the TEAM is a group of 20-22 amazingly fit people, Lacey has somehow made it seem like everyone is getting personalized attention. Have a question about your workouts? Lacey’s on it. Wondering how you should fuel before/after workouts? Lacey has the answer. The pretty much around the clock accessibility is a huge plus in my book.
Towards the middle of camp, there is also a “Team Meeting”, which I unfortunately wasn’t able to attend (I was too busy apartment hunting in Portland… oops!), but is meant to help you “put all the pieces of the puzzle together”…. basically getting both your food AND workouts on track so you can look and feel the way you want to. However, not being able to attend didn’t stop me from getting the feedback I was hoping for on my food journal… again, the accessibility is definitely a plus.
All in all, I absolutely loved BOOTYCamp. It’s hard waking up at the crack of dawn to work out, but when you know you’ve got a team depending on you, you’ll do it, rain or shine. In addition to the physical changes you WILL see over the course of four weeks, my favorite part of camp was the TEAM atmosphere. Our TEAM was a group of incredibly supportive, inspiring and energetic individuals, and Lacey is just… everything a COACH should be. One of the main reasons she started BOOTYCamp is so she could be “the Coach she never had“– the person who believes in everyone on the team no matter what and inspires them to be the best person both on and off the field. To me, that is the perfect definition of a “Coach”. It’s not about who has the most NCAA titles under their belt, but instead about who can make a difference in every single team members’ lives.
So, all in all, BOOTYCamp! is an amazing all-around workout that I can honestly say has made me a stronger person overall. Not only does it combine both cardio and strength, but it also puts you in a supportive environment with a handful of kick ass teammates.
So whether you’re looking for something to kickstart your fitness routine or consider yourself a fitness pro, I’d highly recommend you check out BOOTYCamp! Because what’s better than getting a kick ass workout with a kick ass coach and kick ass teammates? Nothing. JUST DO IT.
* Photo source here.
PS– Team Monday/Wednesday rocks!!
PPS– Rumor has it that there’s a Lacey Stone workout video in the works… so now you have no excuses!
* Photo source here.