Okemos' Elements Fitness Offers Holiday Boot Camp
The holiday season is full of family, fun and lots of food. From turkeys to hams to cupcakes and treats galore, it is much harder to stay accountable and on task with diet and exercise. Elements Fitness in Okemos is now offering a special Holiday Boot Camp class to make this feat more manageable.
Elements Fitness is a women's only gym that is setting a new standard, inside and out, by offering a balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle: body, beauty and mind. This national gym was created to serve as a complete lifestyle solution for women by focusing on the elements of living: fitness, diet and community. Elements is more than just a fitness center, it is an upscale club that features saunas and locker rooms combined with a dedicated team of highly trained lifestyle consultants. The programs that they offer are customized to meet your personal needs and schedule.
Gina DeMott, the manager of Elements Fitness--Okemos, is the mastermind behind the 2013 Holiday Boot Camp. It is an 8-week intensive camp that is designed to help keep clients motivated during the holiday months. "Elements has never had a boot camp before and I wanted to base it around the holidays so that we can help keep you on track. This way if you eat a little extra, you know you have boot camp, and we will help you work it off. We are here to keep you accountable by taking your weight and measurements, during the period of the course, so that you can see your successes."
We had a chance to speak with boot camp instructor, Michelle Sosa, about the design of the course and how she keeps the women motivated. Additionally, we sat down with attendee, Gail Walker, as she talked about her experience at Elements Fitness and her participation in the boot camp class.
Jane Sugiyama: Can you give a brief overview of what the Holiday Boot Camp class is like?
Michelle Sosa: It is an 8-week course that started November 4th and runs through December 28th. The class is focused on high-intensity workouts that are offered five times a week. We are working to improve cardiovascular health, neuromuscular adaptions, posture, and overall we are aiming to improve body composition.
This boot camp is special because it brings together a group of women who have formed their own little community. They are working together everyday and are helping to keep each other accountable. Among the group, they are able to share their personal goals and what they need to improve upon. My goal for the client's is to keep them motivated, while also helping them lose fat and gain muscle.
JS: Have you seen success among your clients?
MS: We are half way through the class and are going to re-asses body composition and measurements after Thanksgiving weekend. I have been hearing from other instructors at Elements that they have already been noticing a change in some of the clients who attend other classes.
JS: Boot camp can be very intense. How do you keep your clients motivated?
MS: I do the workouts with them. If they see I am working hard, then it encourages them to workout at the same level. I also think that working out in a community setting motivates them to keep going and to keep pushing their limits.
JS: How are the workouts set up--are they tailored to beginners or the more advanced?
MS: We stress what is called the "RPE" scale--the rate of perceived exertion. We have people evaluate how they are feeling while doing the workouts. Our goal is to make people feel comfortable when exercising by allowing and even praising people for taking necessary breaks. I want to make sure that everyone is getting a good workout in, whether you are at the beginner or advanced level, so we do offer modifications. Another great thing about boot camp, is that your heart rate is constantly going up and down, which makes your workout more effective.
JS: What happens when the Holiday Boot Camp ends?
MS: We will be awarding our clients with prizes. The top three ladies in three categories will win an extreme makeover. The client who has the lowest percentage of body composition will be named "Miss Ferrari." The "Biggest Winner" will be the person with the lowest percentage of body weight lost. The person who attends the most classes during the 8-week period will be named the "Iron-Maiden."
Jane Sugiyama: Talk about the atmosphere at Elements Fitness and how it stands in comparison to other fitness centers.
Gail Walker: It actually reminded me of a spa. Because it is a women's only gym, you do not have to worry about others looking at you and judging you. It is also an additional plus that there are no men grunting in the background.
JS: The word "boot camp" sounds intimidating. Have you ever done a boot camp class before?
GW: (She laughs.) I have unfortunately, and they are always hard. But, what is great about Michelle is that she always encourages people to proceed at their own pace. Even though she is there to push me, she always reinforces the fact that there is no reason to push yourself to the point of injury. The class is intense, but overall good.
JS: What kind of activities did you complete in class?
GW: I went to two different classes, which were very different from each other. Michelle progressively makes each class harder and challenges you in a different way each day. During the evening class, we all did the same exercise at the same time together using medicine and exercise balls, along with some light weight-strengthening exercises. The next class, we were divided into teams doing circuit exercises, which worked different muscle groups.
JS: Would you recommend this class to anyone or only those who are at the more advanced fitness level?
GW: I would definitely recommend this class to anyone and everyone. There were women in their high school years ranging all the way up to women in their sixties participating. There was also a mother-daughter duo doing the boot camp together. The whole class is a women's empowerment hour.