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Boot camp: My battle against exercise boredom

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  February 5, 2013 05:30 AM

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Last week I wrote about my struggle with boredom with my exercise routine.

Sure I love running, but man, sometimes doing the same thing over and over again with little variation can feel like, well, you're doing the same thing over and over again with little variation.

So, I enlisted the help of my buddy, Craig, to shake the cobwebs loose.

And did he ever. How about a bootcamp at 5:30 a.m. in 23 degree weather on a Monday morning after the Super Bowl? Sound like fun?

HECK YEAH.

Craig is a trainer for Beantown Bootcamp who I am pretty sure enjoys coming up with new ways to make people work really, really hard. What's weird though, is that he makes you want to work hard (or at least that's how it works for me!). If he thinks I can do something, then miraculously I want to tackle whatever he gives me.

Here's what Craig dreamed up for our session:

I arrived at the "fitness playground" (as an aside, it should not be called that; there was not a single slide to be had) on the Esplanade a few minutes before 5:30 a.m. I arrived without having consumed any coffee and wearing at least half of my entire wardrobe of workout gear to combat the cold.

Craig started off by having us warm up with jumping jacks, high knees, and butt kicks. Then, he had my three compadres and I do two quick runs.

When we wound back into "the playground," there stood Craig in front of a board covered with our names and a bunch of little cards.

Craig explained the "rules" of his evil little game: Each round, grab two "X" cards and one "Arrow" card. Do the exercises listed on the "X" card in rapid succession and then run the distance on the arrow card.

All of these cards were to be completed as quickly as possible, and of course, without stopping. Picture interval training on speed.

bootcamp600.jpg

Honestly, in my head, all I could think about was "pain." Lots of pain.

Each exercise had a certain set of reps to go along with it as well: For example, every time I pulled a card marked "burpees" I had to bust out 30 of those bad boys. Other exercises included: 20 push-ups, 20 bench dips, 20 squats, 10 rows, and 20 squat jumps.

The "arrow" cards had colors written on them that corresponded to little glow sticks Craig planted in the snowy ground along the banks of the Charles River. Pulling "green" meant run about 1/4 mile, yellow about 1/2 mile, and red about 2/3 mile.

We did all of those distances and exercises twice, Craig told me afterwards. TWICE!

Thanks, Craig, and fellow bootcampers for making me push myself quite hard and feeling amazing about it. My quads are not as thankful, however, as my spirit is ...

What else should I do to combat boredom?

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.

CONTRIBUTORS

Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at Boston.com. She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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