REVIEW: Healthy Living London Bootcamp

THE BASICS: A weekly bootcamp for Summer 2015, held at 7pm every Wednesday in Highbury Fields (furthest from Highbury & Islington Station- towards the tennis courts). Sessions are run by Healthy Living London writer and qualified PT Eliza. £6 for your first class, £14 a class thereafter (10 sessions for £100- bargain!)

THE CLASS: There was a whiff of sunshine and everyone signed up to the bootcamp was unable to make it. Sadtimes! I’d made a pledge to sweat and didn’t give up that easily! toddled down to bootcamp feeling incredibly lucky to enjoy a 1:1 PT session with Eliza, who’d give me undivided attention, while still running it as a bootcamp so I could get a flavour of them.

I’ve met Eliza a few times at events, and we’ve always been panting, sweating, and only able to have a few brief chats. Tonight, it was just the two of us- I was looking forward to much of the same, but with hopefully more of a chance to get to know each other!

She was so sweet from the very second I arrived, and offered to make the class really fun, participating like a partner class. Sounds like a little thing, but the amount of PTs I see standing about hollering instructions at their clients and not taking part made this offer pretty special. I flourish under this kind of instruction so I was really happy to have the session framed as a class with a pal!

We warmed up (bear crawls and crabs…)  and then graduated onto two main parts of the class- partner reps and EMOMs (I’ll explain).

Eliza came up with a partner-sequence workout, with each set taking a minute. We got to work. She let me chat while gently yet firmly keeping me on track “c’mon, plank and talk!” being the funniest line. We did moves including high-five planking, and a hilarious sit up and tricep dip move which saw me collapse onto poor Eliza’s lap on several occasions.

Time for the higher intensity part of the class- EMOMs (Every Minute On the Minute)!

I’d never heard of these before, but we had 10 sessions to complete in 10 minutes. 4 burpees, 5 pike-sit ups (OUCH!) and 3 press-ups in one minute. I could take it slow, or get them done fast and enjoy resting for the remainder of that minute. All I knew is that, the more reps we did, the slower I got, and the shorter the rest time became. Eliza kept me on track with encouragement and the odd, gentle “c’mon, don’t get distracted!” chide; made me giggle but pick up the pace- good PT skills!

Healthy Living London Eliza Bootcamp ReviewA couple of highlights from the class have to bethat I ended face down in the grass, nearly peeing with laughter (good for training the pelvic floor) at trying to do wheelbarrows.

Remember these as a kid? I planked, Eliza picked up my legs, and I stumbled forwards on my weak little wrists. Many screams of laughter and I managed about 3 metres of hand walking before I collapsed in a little heap of weak excuses and giggles.

A second highlight- Eliza made some observations about how I hold my core, and how I could improve this to make a workout more impactful. Looks like I don’t actually tense my core when I’m engaged in a whole host of exercises, and so it’s not actually very strong. She gave me an exercise to do at home to improve this, and I’ve been diligently “bowling” every morning since!

THE VERDICT: These classes will be a blast as a bootcamp, but I loved the fact that Eliza was still up for running the class and doing loads of partner work as  PT on this particular occasion. A lovely, friendly and encouraging gal with a real knack of getting the best out of you, and keeping your spirits up while you roll around in dried mud.

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