Way back in my group exercise instructing days I filled in to teach a “Bootcamp” class. I was told the class was mostly men, early twenties. The teacher I was filling in for was a young muscular guy that boasted about how hard the class was and told me to “kill” them. I would hear about the 100 burpee challenge and the push up contests. He would enjoy it when people could not make it through his class. It sounded like torture to me and an equation for injury. I never understood the mentality of an instructor whose intention is to kick their students butt and make them “die” during the workout. I don’t even know how to prepare for that.
So the day I subbed for the “Bootcamp” class I was conflicted. There was no way I felt comfortable trying to “kill” these guys but I didn’t want to let them down. The guys walked in and immediately sized me up. They were “voicetress” and arrogant. They all started grabbing jump ropes, barbells, various dumbbell weights etc. What a waste of time to set all of that equipment up and a waste of space to keep all the equipment around you. I stopped them and told them all to grab one weight. I think my words were, “Take only ONE weight, choose wisely because that weight will be with you the entire hour and you are to NEVER put it down.” I heard the guys talking amongst themselves and saying things like “How are we going to get a good workout with just one weight?” They looked disappointed.
Of course the bad ass boys rushed over to get the heaviest weight that was available to them in the class. I believe it was a 20lb dumbell. About three minutes into class they were changing out their 20lb dumbell for a 15lb and 12lb. About ten minutes into class they were changing their weight to a 10lb. The egos were tossed aside. The mouths were shut. The eyes stopped rolling. The boys were working hard. They ran high knees with the weight behind their back. They punched with the weight in their hand to a five count while holding wall squats. They put the weight between their feet and hopped while in a low push up. They did handstands against the wall and passed the one weight from left to right. They even did their ab workout and stretches with the same one weight. I got asked, “When do we get a water break?” I said, “It is your hour to do whatever you like. I don’t announce breaks.”
At the end of class everyone was extremely anxious and happy to put their one weight away. It was a different group of guys. They were quiet and humble. One guy even came up to me and said, “That was a great class – I was not prepared for that!” I said, “Some of the best things in life happen when you are the least prepared.”
Are you prepared?