Health/Fitness » Fitness

Gay Boot Camp: The Final Push

by Steve Weinstein
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday May 20, 2009

So, now it's over. Last week was the final of the four weeks of the Gay Boot Camp Series.

The last article in this series detailed the middle of the program. This is about the ending.

Laura and Josh, the two trainers, were as friendly and un-drill instructorlike as ever, but they did push us. Armed (footed) with the new pair of workout shoes that Laura promised me would enable me to run without injury, I managed to make most of the seemingly endless treks around the Greenwich Village pier.

The games became, if anything, more intense than the previous three weeks, but the dozen or so participants all showed a notable improvement in strength and stamina. I definitely was running--my weak spot--much better than at the beginning of the program. And I noticed that the guys who had lacked some upper-body strength were heaving the weights with a bit less pain.

Josh emphasized the importance of stretching throughout the day to mitigate the tightness that comes with such an intense workout. That was good advice; I had no pains or minor injuries for the last week.

In retrospect, what was the hardest single thing we did? That's easy: Making myself a human wheelbarrow and moving across the lawn on my hands while a partner held my feet. Trust me, it's even worse than it sounds. The military push-ups, where you lift a weight in each arm between push-up, is also pretty bad--even worse when you high-five a partner facing you.

I'm sorry I missed the very last workout, when everyone compared notes and had a friendly cup of coffee. But I definitely feel a new vigor in my body. Now that it's back to the regular gym routines, I'm trying to keep up the same leel of intensity. Taking workout classes at my gym, which has a pretty full schedule, helps. But so far, I haven't found a class that compares in camaraderie or fun.

I do not, however, miss getting up at 5:45 a.m.

If you're in the New York area, there will be another Boot Camp starting soon. Check it out!

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early '80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).


  • , 2009-06-24 15:21:57

    Exercise has never been my cup of tea and I never saw any change after efforts. But a friend of mine told me that I should try Gay Men’s Boot Camp. I started training 2 days per week but now, I;m up to 3 days a week. You don’t feel the pain, only see the effects. It’s a real pleasure to exercise now and I feel great after my trainings. Thanks Gay Men’s Boot Camp!!!

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