Bootcamp title: Strapped Express
Studio: Barre Bee Fit, River North
Bootcamp Focus: Using TRX straps, body weight and balance to challenge the body and tone up in an intense 3-day session.
Who should take the bootcamp: Anyone looking for a kick-start to a fitness regimen or to ignite a new fire on a daily routine should step up to the challenge and sign up for the next available bootcamp.
The Fab Fit take:
Barre Bee Fit is one of my favorite studios in Chicago. When I saw that they were offering a 3-day TRX bootcamp, which is different from any class I’ve taken there, I jumped at the chance to sign up. This was one of the toughest things that I’ve ever put my body through – in a good way. The instructor of the 3-day class is the tough and knowledgeable Lina. She led the class through 3 days of 75-90 minutes of rapidly changing classes. She kept us constantly guess and moving through quick bursts of cardio that also worked to tone with tough strength moves using the TRX straps. Each of the 3 bootcamp days is super tough, but combined, the body is challenged in new and different ways each day, resulting in some heavy fatigue by the final day.
Day 1: An intro to TRX
The first day was the shortest class of the 3, at 75 minutes. With the class starting at 5:45 am on a Friday, we felt every minute of work. While the workout was total-body, we did a little bit more chest, arms, glutes and quads, but core was also challenged as a result of trying to stay stable. A few moves we used to break down the body and get used to the equipment included inclined chest-pulls (which looks like this), deep squats (which looks like this) and curtsy lunges (which look like this).
Day 2: TRX + Kettlebells
With 1.5 hours of work ahead of us, we started day two of the bootcamp with the TRX straps in their lowest position and added kettlebells to the mix. We did a little less in the vein of cardio blasts and worked a lot of butt, thighs and abs.
Lina promised not to burn our muscles out so that we would make it to day three. She lived up to her word, but the leg section was tough. We did sets of lunges with the back leg in the TRX strap (like so) and alternated with kettlebell swings. Another star of the leg section was the side-lunge with one leg in the TRX strap. Throwing in some rows and some chest presses throughout, we finished off the session with a variety of planks and pushups with our feet in the TRX straps. Moving from planks on forearms to planks on hands with arms extended, we rocked, shook and bent our legs until our cores could take no more.
Day 3: TRX + Kettlebells + resistance band + Pilates balance disk
On the third day, we used the 1.5 hours to bring everything we’d done together and focused on toning the entire body with bursts of cardio peppered throughout. We completed a lot of different types of movements and transitioned between them quickly. Starting with lat pulls and tricep dips, moving into pull-ups and chin-ups on the floor we killed upper body. We moved to legs with deeps squats, jump squats and curtsy lunges. For core, we did no less than 8 20-second planks with feet in the straps. After pushups, we finished with ab and balance work on the Pilates balance disk.
- Watch for the bootcamp offering, there are a few different bootcamp options that the studio rotates between about once every month or two. Keep checking back here.
- These classes are early – 5:45am on the weekday and 8 am on the weekend. It is unwise to go out the night before. You need your strength.
The verdict: I would take this again. It was really tough, but a welcome challenge.
Dates taken: 9/14-9/16/2012