21 days of bootcamp

Aspire gave us a challenge. We accepted.

Photo: Aspire Fitness Corp

How much can really change in 21 days?

Aspire's 21-day Bootcamp Challenge got us asking this very question. We decided we'd take it on and report back to you. Investigative journalism at its finest, eh?

The focus of the 21-day programme was the small group training and bootcamp classes every day that last between 30 minutes to an hour. However, there's more to it. It's not just about hardcore exercise and training every day. The programme also offers fantastic nutritional guidance, fitness coaching and daily health-related tips that all work towards creating sustainable healthy habits, for life.

Here's a run down of what went down. Decide for yourself if you would be brave enough to take on this challenge.

Week 1

We went in for our assessment on Day 1, a rainy Monday evening. The assessment included all types of crazy measurements. There was also a fitness test, mainly comprised of how many push ups and squats we could do in 2.5 minutes.

Favourite tip of the week: Chew your food at least 32 times.

Alcohol/caffeine consumed: None at all. Result!

Note: We made an excellent new discovery. This thing called the foam roller, you roll it against your sore muscles and it is like you're being massaged. Gonna be honest, this is the only reason why we kept at it with the programme during the first week; self-inflicted massage, why not?

Summary: All our muscles, including ones we didn't even know we had, were in agony. We had real difficulty walking, sitting, standing, everything by the end of the week. We also couldn't make any of the the early morning 6am classes unfortunately, because -- well, the struggle was absolutely real. We needed that snooze button.

Aspire's nutrition seminar on Day 6 was a real eye opener for us. It gave us a thorough breakdown of macro and micro nutrients, the real differences between fats, proteins and carbs and the types of foods that should and shouldn't be on our grocery list. Our food cupboard had a massive facelift on Saturday afternoon. Sunday was our rest day, thank GOD.

Week 2

There's a reason why they say you need a rest day. Without it, we would have given up. But come 7am Monday morning, with packed lunch prepared the night before in bag -- chicken, broccoli and quinoa, what else? -- we were back to Benjakiti park.

Favourite tip: The Bedroom Rule of Two -- Bed should be used for only two activities; sleeping and sex. What this means: No more eating dinner in bed while catching up with the Kardashians. #sadface.

Alcohol/caffeine consumed: Coffee, none. Alcohol, let's just say Saturday got a bit out of hand. #whoops.

Note: We never thought a pull up would be possible. Well, with the help of an assisted pull up band, our dreams came true. Some will say that's cheating, but still, being able to do a pull up, even if it is with help, is an awesome feeling.

Summary: The beauty of this week was that we realised how much we actually liked getting up to work out at the crack of dawn. Ok, we managed a 7am twice, but still. Nothing beats a morning workout in Benjakiti park. Have you seen that view? Definitely makes the burpees more bearable. The morning breeze also makes you forget you're in high intensity hell. You leave feeling accomplished. Like an "Urban Warrior", almost. That class, by the way, is torture. Imagine being on a on a roof, rolling tyres, hitting sledge hammers and doing squats and knee ups while simultaneously carrying a 30kg sand bag.

A group picture after Urban Warrior.

Week 3

Before we knew it, it was already Day 14. We felt a little more toned, especially around our arms and "abs". We also had more energy and we were definitely sleeping better every night.

Favourite tip: Identify Health Food Frauds, like yogurt fruit cups, baked beans, sushi and reduced-fat peanut butter. More sugar and carbs than you think!

Alcohol/caffeine consumed: One coffee. A cheeky glass or two of red wine. But that's okay. #redwinesgoodforyourheart

Note: After a 7am outdoor bootcamp session, we decided to do something different: we had a morning stroll around the park. A great way to relieve stress and generally be more appreciative of the beauty of life. #gettingsentimental.

Week Summary: Good habits take time to cultivate. But already, we were becoming addicted to the natural high you get after a good workout. We were also more conscious of the food and drink we were consuming. On the days we didn't make it to Aspire, we made sure we got a good jog, a brisk walk or a home work out in. With the end of the 21 days fast approaching, the thought of not working out sounded scary.

Overall Summary

Twenty three days later, we went in for our post assessment (see results). OK, so we only dropped 10g overall in weight, but actually, we lost 1.5% body fat and gained almost 1kg of muscle. And 3cm off the waist too, which was highly welcomed. Not bad for 21 days, right?

Obviously, you're not going to drop 20kg in 21 days; by now we all know that muscle weighs more than fat. Aspire's programme gives a balanced and wholesome approach to weight loss and effective exercise, with a real focus on health and nutrition. It's good for those wishing to kick start good habits. And hey, once habits change, result come. We definitely felt a lot healthier after 21 days. And we made a bunch of new friends who are also aspiring fitness freaks. They say you are who you hang out with. We're giving the challenge another go. Why don't you too?

Aspire Club is located right by BTS Asoke, exit 4. The next 21-Day Bootcamp Challenge starts on Jul 4, priced at B4,900++; bring a friend and pay B2,900++. Visit theaspireclub.com or call 02-229-4114.


PRE-ASSESSMENT RESULTS

Weight: 58.3kg Body Fat: 22.9% Body Fat (kg): 13.38 Lean Mass (kg): 44.95 Chest: 90.5cm Waist: 77cm Hip: 92cm Arm: 26cm Thigh: 47cm Push ups: 39 Squats: 69

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