Vinny’s Summer Bootcamp

I have been training with Emma for a while now and wrote a blog post about picking a personal trainer that you can read here.

Training I have done with Emma has been varied from in the gym, outdoor workouts, obstacle training and running.  Recently, however, Emma has started doing outdoor training more and this has worked well especially within the constrictions of government guidelines around COVID.  When she advertised for a 6-week summer bootcamp I was immediately interested.  My main focus is cycling right now but with all events cancelled for 2020 it has given me the opportunity to change my focus slightly and incorporating more strength work, I know from experience, would provide benefits in itself.

So what was included?  Well there were 3 packages on offer as follows:

  • Yellow – £50 – 3 x group PT sessions per week, access to online workout videos, 1 x face to face nutrition talk per week
  • Purple – £70 – unlimited group PT sessions per week, access to online workout videos, 1 x face to face nutrition talk per week
  • Black – £90 – unlimited group PT sessions per week, access to online workout videos, 1 x face to face nutrition talk per week, 2 x solo PT sessions to be used over the 6 week period

I opted for the yellow package as that fit in with my schedule the best and still allowed days for cycling.  I am currently working from home so have the benefit of being a little more flexible with time compared to if I was commuting into the city and with 17 bootcamp sessions on offer over each week it is easy to make this work with other commitments – no excuses!

All sessions are held outside, no matter the weather, on private fenced tennis courts so the space being used is purely for Emma and the participants of the sessions she is taking.

In advance of the start I was added to a private facebook group, which was good as everyone on the course is in the group and you can all interact with each other and ask questions.  Emma emailed over a booklet, which included everything about the course, link for the booking system with timetable, exercise and food tracker, nutritional detail and more.  There would also be videos shared within the facebook group from Emma with nutritional information that we could benefit from.

Emma, by her own admission, is not a personal trainer who will opt to use lots of fancy equipment and so whilst there is pretty much all the equipment you would need for a bootcamp/circuit class for these sessions, some will use purely one tyre per person for the entire session – don’t be fooled by thinking the simpler the easier as these are often the harder sessions.  And I will admit those sessions are my favourite – how much can you do with one tyre?  The answer is a lot and you will definitely feel it by the end of the session!  She won’t scream and shout at you so you will get out what you put in and you just need yourself, a mat and a bottle of water.

The hardest session?  There was one where we completed 1,000 reps within the session.  There were 10 stations, 1 exercise per station, 1,000 reps in total (it was savage) but at the end I was all check me out I just did 1,000 reps!!

I like the bootcamp type of workout as it is great for strength and conditioning and as many of the sessions are high intensity aerobic intervals you tend to burn more calories.  I also find with group training I tend to push myself harder especially if I am paired up with someone else.

I knew a number of the people signed up for the bootcamp course but even those I didn’t  were all very friendly.  As my work returns to potentially going back into the city I won’t be able to keep these sessions up and will miss it, the structure is fab although I won’t miss the midges!  There is, however, the option for pay as you go so I am sure I will still be back for some of the sessions on offer.

If you are wondering what sort of thing is done during these sessions head over to the Trained By Vinny facebook page to see some of the videos and pictures that are shared to give you an idea.  For more info you can also check out Emma’s website here.

And with regards to COVID Emma has put in a number of measures including completion of a questionnaire in advance of attending sessions, providing a register on arrival, gloves for those that want them, antibacterial gel for us, wipes for people to use and all equipment is wiped down and sanitised before and after every session – my equipment at home will seem alien not smelling of anti bac ha ha!

There are also benefits from training outdoors including getting more fresh air, some people claim that being outside raises serotonin levels that regulate anxiety, happiness and moods, it is better for your well being, boosts your immune system, more time in the sun increases vitamin D levels and when it rains it hides the sweat!


And the results speak for themselves!  During the 6 week period I got the following results:

  • I improved in all areas on my fitness test at the end of the course compared to when I started.  This test included how many sit ups, press ups and squats I could do within a minute and how long I could hold a plank.
  • I found as the weeks progressed certain exercises like chest press, shoulder press were noticeably easier.
  • I lost 9.5lbs in weight.
  • I lost a total of 16 inches across chest, waist, hips, thighs, arms, neck and wrists.

Just look at all the smiles!

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