What It Is: An all-women boot camp held indoors in the winter and outdoors from spring to early fall. Started in Ontario in 2007, this fitness licensing program now offers about 100 classes across Canada. All Booty Camp leaders are certified fitness instructors or personal trainers.
What You Might Not Know: Booty Camp gives away cool loot to a Booty Camp “recruit” who’s shown exceptional progress in their Eight-Week New You Challenge. Win the challenge in 2011 and Booty Camp will fly you to L.A., give you a credit card loaded with thousands of bucks and even rent you a convertible. Nice perk.
Feelin’ the Love: Exercising in the fresh evening air versus at the gym was a welcome change for me, and I didn’t even mind doing my most hated exercise, burpees (200 of them, in fact), in plain view of whoever happened to be strolling through the waterfront park where our class was being held. My favorite Booty Camp drill was sprinting across an open field between bouts of jumping jacks and squat jumps.
The instructor, Crystal Eckenswiller, came across as both strict and non-intimidating, which I really liked. I want my instructor to have high expectations of me without being a jerk about it. Crystal was all about tough-love, but in the friendliest of ways, stating that we’d be doing a total of 60 pushups and 60 triceps dips in the kind of pleasant tone that made it hard to slack off and risk letting her down.
If I Could Change One Thing: I loved the personal challenge the class provided, but afterwards I realized I’d barely had the chance to interact with the other women there. If I could change one thing, I’d swap about 100 of those dreaded burpees for a fun, runaround game to break the ice and build team spirit with the group. Also, by day three post-camp, I’d had enough of the lingering delayed onset muscle soreness in my triceps (curses to those 60 pushups and 60 triceps dips).
Should You Try It: If the idea of a challenging workout in a women-only class sounds good to you, try Booty Camp Fitness. Had my schedule allowed it, I’d have begged Crystal to let me come back for the full eight-week program. Cost: $299 for eight weeks, two classes per week (16 sessions total). Group discounts also available. Find a location and register at BootyCampFitness.com.