By Meredith Clinton Bell
Pure Power Boot Camp (PPBC). The name is intimidating, but this is the real deal in boot camps (short of joining the military, of course). All classes consist of 10 or 16-person platoons and are taught by former U.S. Marines. The facility boasts the only indoor obstacle course in the country complete with the “barbed wire crawl,” “belly robbers,” as well as rope swings, intensity walls, and plenty of hurdles. No detail is left un-perfected. Recruits even change into their mandatory uniforms (a PPBC T-shirt and camouflage pants) in one of two army tents.
Figuring this could successfully launch me out of my comfort zone and into a leaner, toner self, I enlisted for a two-week, six-session “trial size” tour of duty. It sounded like the perfect way to kick-off a spring fitness routine. The morning of my first workout I arrived 40 minutes early and watched the end of the previous platoon’s workout, and let me just say that it definitely looked tougher than I’d imagined.
Each class groups all fitness levels together from beginner to advanced for non-stop – seriously, non-stop – action. Whether it was bear crawling or lunging around the course, doing squats while lifting tires up and down, or jumping jacks and push ups in between laps around the room, we were always moving. Because there are two instructors, we were often split into two more evenly matched groups for half the class time. The obstacle course is chock full of variety, so there’s something to push anyone and everyone to their max and beyond.
At the end of my first hour-long session, exhaustion was an understatement. I was on the brink of admitting defeat and, above all, not sure how I’d survive the rest of my workouts. Knowing I couldn’t quit (not allowed at PPBC), I had to get it together.
After a small pep talk I realized I just needed to think I could do it because physically it was possible. Things were looking up; I’d already achieved one thing: getting out of my comfort zone. Assured by my platoon members that it did get easier and the waking up at all hours of the night (sorry, not joking) did cease after a while, I was pumped and ready for class number two!
The rest of my tour of duty was a full-on success. Instead of leaving exhausted everyday, I left exhausted AND pumped up. My confidence level was high, and I continuously felt stronger. With no clocks and plenty to keep us occupied during workouts, the time went by faster (a lot easier for me to say now, I admit) and there was no room for boredom.
PPBC is an all-positive environment that values team work and physical fitness above all else. At the end of every class, recruits recite the eleven principles of leadership on which the boot camp is founded. The instructors and fellow recruits are encouraging, and there’s a noticeably stronger camaraderie among everyone than in any other group training session/class at any other gym I’ve been to.
Traditionally, tours of duty start with 24 sessions with the option of four times per week for six weeks or three times per week for eight weeks. Check out the website, purepowerbootcamp.com, for more options and class times, at either the Chelsea or Jericho, NY locations.
I challenge you to enlist at Pure Power Boot Camp, especially if you’re bored with your current workout routine (or lack thereof) or are looking to push your body to new heights. Don’t be intimidated; you can do it. You’ll thank yourself later, I promise!
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