Breaking out from the monotonous typical weekend races, 360° Fitness Club introduced their Boot Camp race last Saturday at the PhilSports Arena, and it was one of the most enjoyable event that I’ve ever had.
The Boot Camp race is a supersized version of 360° Fitness Club’s signature circuit training where you do routines in a number of stations in a specified period of time. This time around the number of stations was fewer but the distance travelled between each was greater including the degree of difficulty. Of course being a race you have to do it all as fast as you can.
There were three levels of difficulty to choose from: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced, but since it’s quite impractical for everyone to be assessed their fitness level participants just have to select whichever they’re comfortable with. At first I was torn between Beginner and Intermediate as I’ve never done circuit training before, but as a no-stranger to the gym it may be unfair to opt for that level. Learning that an acquaintance had signed up for the Intermediate level somehow “pushed” me to that direction, but I guess that was where I really fit.
That week was one of my busiest weeks where I had few hours of sleep with zero runs and zero gym sessions capped with an all-nighter out of town party which led me to almost miss the race. I was fortunate that my friend was a fast driver so I was back in Manila just in time for the orientation. The problem was that I was so, so tired and was very, very sleepy. Of course I was also quite dehydrated. I was just lucky that I had a familiar face to keep me up and talk to, and also that the event’s drink sponsor was generous enough to give participants a bottle even before the race started. (I had completed an entire 500mL bottle before the race started.)
The race started in heats and by levels with the first heat for Beginners starting at 4PM. I belonged with the fourth heat of the Intermediate level which started past 5PM so until that time I was able to take some pictures (with my phone’s as I left my camera in my friend’s car). It was my first time to be at PhilSports Arena with the sun still up.
The race was composed of eight stations spread across the field, and you have to run the track to get to each one. The first one involved push-ups, regular ones for men and modified for women, 25 repetitions for Intermediate.
Then it was back to the track to get to the next station where you get to run up and down the bleachers, twice for Intermediate.
After again running the track you get to the third station where a set of Kettlebells awaits. This was where from a squat position we lift a Kettlebell to our chest and then over our heads, 25 times of the 12kg for intermediate.
The fourth station was where you carry a medicine ball and step up and down the bleachers, 25 times for Intermediate. It was after this station where I felt my legs got quite heavy so running the track towards the fifth station was a bit more difficult.
The fifth station involved some jumping with the “elevated ladders.” Two rounds for Intermediate.
The sixth station again involved the lower body as we ran zigzag from some hurdles, again two rounds for Intermediate.
The seventh station went back to the upper body with rows using TRX®, 20 reps for Intermediate, and after an almost full cycle on the track, back for the eight to do “atomic push-ups,” also using TRX®.
TRX® atomic push-ups are where both your feet hang on TRX® on push-up position, do a push-up, then pull your knees to your chest using your abs (like a crunch), then extend it back to push-up position—that’s one count. Repeat 20 times for Intermediate.
The TRX® atomic push-ups on their own are difficult enough, imagine doing it after doing all the routines of the previous seven stations! It was quite a miracle for me to complete the entire routine without resting! Of course I was sweating a river as I was doing it, but finishing it was quite satisfying!
After the eight station came the final 300m run to the finish which, unfortunately, I was unable to time. I forgot to bring along any device with a stopwatch (my phone was in my bag in the baggage station and I forgot to note the time we started) so I have no idea how well I did, but I knew that I did better than I expected—considering my state before the race.
Comparing it to a typical running event I’d say it’s roughly the equivalent of a 5K race, only more difficult, given that the winner for Intermediate level finished it in about 17 (?) minutes. The Men’s Health Urbanathlon was the closest event to relate to it, albeit this one can be described as “obstacles with running.” With a mere ₱350 registration fee we got more than enough drinks; a loot bag with coffee, chips, and water; a finisher’s shirt; and free shake and pasta from sponsors.
360° Fitness Club’s Boot Camp race was one of the few events that I gladly paid for during the year and it was very much worth it. I loved how much cardio exercise I got and how most of my body was challenged. It may sound weird but I loved all the aches my body felt soon after, attesting to a really great workout I had that probably compensated for my week of absence from physical activities. I sure hope that this event becomes a regular because, like that favorite ride in the theme park, I want to do it again!