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Boot camp: more than just a fitness programme!

September 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Week 8 done and dusted!

After conquering Lion’s Head over the weekend, we felt victorious!

What a week, we thought we were going to have the last three sessions easy but we were in for a big surprise.

Monday evening we had our re-assessment, overall improvement, cholesterol a tiny bit up and I gained a coupla grams….everyone says its muscle (mmmm I hope so).

Check out my results..



Wednesday we had the obstacle course from hell, what made it even harder was the aroma of meat on the grill, Westerford had a braai.

Obstacle course

  • Running with a 5kg rocket bag
  • Running around cones
  • Bear crawl on skipping ropes
  • Bunny hops
  • Skipping/running combination
  • Climb over and under an obstacle
  • 10 burpees with weights
  • Ladder runs
  • Run up and down stairs
  •  10 step ups, per leg
  • 10 tricep dips
  • 10 push ups


First round I clocked in at 5:48, second round 5:40 minutes, not too bad I know for sure that a few weeks back I wouldn’t have been able to manage that.

We then had a soccer match for old time’s sake.

Thursday we had our passing out parade, at SSISA I have to admit we weren’t in the mood for a session, but we soldiered on. We did some exercises on gym equipment

  • 5 min cycling
  • Arm, shoulder, back exercises
  • 2 laps aroudn the track
  • Leg exercises


The past two months have been a life changing experience, I thought that I had just signed up for an exercise programme but it turned out to be much more than that. It’s taught me again important it is to have something to work towards, what it is to be part of a team that is supportive and that being physically active is so important for emotional well-being. It was a renewing of body, mind and spirit.

A big thank you to the awesome group Africa, Gerald, Anthony, Lynn, Ina, Yvette and Michael and our super fantastic trainers Fawaaz and Taryn.


This won’t be the last you hear from me, I’m on to the next fitness adventure.

If you’re interested in doing the programme visit SSISA, it’s hard work but in the end it’s all worth it!

Private L out for now……

PS Check out my certificate and medal!



The end is nigh

September 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

For the past couple of days I’ve been feeling really great, the best I’ve felt in a long time. My colleagues have commented that I’m looking leaner and toned . We also got our Soldier ‘Kit”- I’ll post a picture next week.

More uphill work was on the cards on Wednesday

  • Uphill one-foot ladder runs
  • Uphill two-foot ladder runs
  • Single foot jumps over hurdle
  • Bunny hops over hurdle
  • Alternative foot ladder runs
  • Step ups
  • Push ups
  • Tricep dips
  • Horse and cart uphill/downhill
  • Horse and cart combined with bear crawl
  • 3-way crunches
  • 3-way plank
  • Grasshopper
  • Spiderman


Thursday’s session was a bit more subdued. We did our usual laps around the field and also played a game of soccer and ‘dog in the middle’ (the person in the middle has to get the ball from the rest of the team).

And then we had our Yoga session and it’s really hard work. We did a number of poses which lead us to a climatic handstand at the end of the session. Dare I say it, but burpees are easier.

Next week we have the all-important re-assessment scheduled, and I’m really interested in seeing just how much I’ve improved.

Week 7 done and dusted!


Up the hill we go

September 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week’s focus is Hill Training all in preparation for the hike up Lion’s Head this Saturday. I’ve been up Lion’s Head already, I was very unfit then and, needless to say, I struggled a lot. But I’m pumped to conquer it this time around.

So in preparation for said hike Major Pain worked us hard at Monday’s session:

  • An uphill/downhill jog around the block (it feels so much different running on the road)
  • Some more uphill/downhill running on the field
  • Thrown in for good measure, 10 push ups at an uphill/downhill angle
  • Followed by some more running, and a race in which I kicked ass and won! (whoever won the race could sit out the next exercise, I didn’t of course)
  • 10 dips and 10 push ups
  • Game of touch rugby (I scored a try, hilarious) Private Yvette one of my troop members says my facial expressions when I get the ball is priceless, it’s like I never know what to do with the ball

Why do we run so much? In our weekly telegraph, Sergeant Mc Quaide-Little answered with this quote:

“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”……so we keep running


Tonight we have another Yoga session, and a surprise… (I love surprises)


As I was driving home on Monday night, it hit me hard that this whole adventure is almost over, I really can’t believe how quickly the time flew. I’ve been asking myself: what next?


Apart from the physical changes I’ve been going through, mentally I’m in a very different space than when I started, I’ve forgotten the high you get when you’ve accomplished something, when you’ve seen it though, it’s addictive too.


I’ll be savouring each and every session left .



Time flies when you’re having fun

September 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Is it just me or has this week come and gone way too quickly?

We had Lieutenant T for Wednesday’s session, she says we’re looking.


Started with the usual laps, I am starting to get the hang of this jogging thing now.


With a partner, 2 rounds

  • Lateral ladder runs, with a sprint
  • Shuffle running
  • 2 step ladder runs, combined with zig zag running around a hurdle
  • Sprinting up a down an incline


Ab attack: crunches, 90 degress crunches, bicycle crunches, toe touches, and plank.

Thursday session

Major Pain is back, and in full force.

Did four laps around the field (whoop whoop, getting there).

We started with a soccer match, we had to drop down and do the following exercises throughout the match – 10 of each:

  • Push ups 
  • Crunches

Followed by a jog up and down some sets of stairs.

And then some strength training with dumbells, 2 rounds of:

  • Bicep punches
  • Over head punches
  • Upper cuts
  • Bicep curls

Followed by some ‘higher grade’ skipping, not so easy for somebody who is co-ordinationally challenged.

We then continued with our soccer match, same format as the previous round.

Ended with the ab attack, with dumbbells:

  • Crunches, bicycle crunches, toe touches, ankle touches, extended v-sit and twist v-sit (I’m feeling it in the ab region today.)

We’re heading for the final stretch now, I’m really starting to feel fitter and stronger and enjoying the exercise high.

Going for my massage today Onwards to week 7!

Of speed and agility

September 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

I dragged myself out of bed early Saturday morning, being outside in the fresh air and the beautiful views were definitely worth it. We finished the hike in record time



This week’s focus is agility and speedplay….

We started with the usual 3 laps around the field, I’m getting much better at this now, I can now jog 3 laps straight out.

While we were doing our stretches SuperGirl 101 and her Trifit Team came out for a jog on the field, we were feeling very intimidated.

We had a short soccer match, and then the rain chased us inside into shelter.


With a partner

  • Step runs
  • Zig zag running around hurdle
  • Bunny hops over hurdle
  • 2 feet ladder running/shuffle
  • Lunges with 5kg dumbells
  • Tricep dips
  • Shuffle running

Followed by some more running; backwards, forwards, sideways. Burpees and push ups.

We ended with:

  • Ab attack: crunches, 90 degree crunches, another set of crunches lifting your arms just above your head, single heel lifts, double heel lifts, oblique crunches, plank and side plank

Major Pain is back on Wednesday (eeeek!)

Lucky number 7

September 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

With Major Pain still away we were introduced to another new instructor, Sita, on Wednesday. We were warned that she had just returned from holiday and that she was in a very energetic mood.

Started with the usual 3 laps around the field I’m pleased to report that I jogged them all (yay!).

Divided into 2 groups we did the following:

Station 1

  • Push up with an arm stretch
  • Seated row, with tricep kickback with dumbbell
  • Bicep curls
  • Pelvic bridge with extended leg

Station 2

  • Skipping
  • Lunges – forward, side and back
  • Calf raises
  • Plank

We alternated between each station and in between stations we did a combination of running up and down stairs, sprinting and jogging. We did 1 minute rounds at each station.

We then ended with:

  • Ab attack: 30 reps, 2 sets each : crunches, 45 degree crunches, another set of crunches lifting your arms just above your head, toe touches
  • Extension exercise
  • Clam, leg raises, leg raise with forward and backward circles

We had a lucky draw at the end of the session, and yours truly won (lucky number 7, whoop whoop), can’t wait to redeem my free 30 min sports massage, thank you SSISA!

Here are some pics of Wednesday’s session…



Thursday session

After Wednesday’s beautiful weather, yesterday’s weather was a downer, the rain meant that we had to exercise indoors. I’ve grown accustomed to exercising outside, there’s just something about being outside in the fresh air.

We had Fay again for this session, warmed up with skipping, shuffle running, running up and down stairs.


With a partner, two rounds

  • One foot ladder hopping with a dumbbell
  • 10 rotating squats with a 5kg rocket bag
  • Shuffle running, cone to cone, with a straight out sprint
  • Bicep punch with 2kg dumbbell
  • 5 burpees, followed by a sprint
  • Plank and running with a 5kg rocket bag over head

In between the rounds: skipping, shuffle running, running up and down stairs.

We ended with:

  • Ab attack: crunches, 90 degree crunches, bicycle crunches, combination toe touches
  • V-sit while passing rocket bag (Major Pain should be very impressed that we finally managed to master this)

I can’t believe how fast 5 weeks have flown by, what am I going to do after Bootcamp? In the beginning it took some time getting used to, but I’m finally in the rhythm now and regular exercise does put you on a natural high.

Tomorrow morning we have a hike at Newlands Forest, let’s hope I don’t get lost along the way (fingers crossed).

Week 6 here I come!

Cardio mayhem

September 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

So week 5 is all about ‘persuading reluctant muscles’ aka CARDIO CIRCUITS! I did say I needed to work harder on it.

Major Pain’s stand-in, Fay, came early to set up, she usually takes the Elites in the morning – major warning bells. There we were having our social time when we saw her construct this….


Did the usual 4 laps around the field I jogged 2 laps straight (improvement, yayness) and then walked/jogged the other two.

And then we got introduced to Circuit 1, a series of cones were set up as stations where we had to do the following exercises:

  • 10 push ups
  • 5 burpees
  • Lunges, 5 each leg
  • 10 star jumps

In between each station we had to jog, sideways running, crab walk and backward running. We did 2 rounds of this circuit.

Circuit 2

6 stations, 1 minute at each with a partner

  • 2 step shuffling, sideways running and backward running in ladder 
  • Bunny hopping over cones, with a sprint
  • Running while dragging a 5kg rocket bag
  • Squats with bicep curl, accompanied with a dumbbell of course
  • Skipping
  • Tug of war


Followed by another round of Circuit 1 and a 20 sec round of Circuit 2, sprint up and down stairs and a jog/walk around the field.

And we ended with the ab attack: crunches, 90 degree crunches, toe touches, ankle touches, 90 degree ankle touches, plank and v-sit. I’m really starting to feel the differences in my core. On a whole the team is shaping up pretty good. 


I slept like a baby last night.

Wednesday is bring a friend along, my said friend is still considering tagging along (coward!) and we have another trainer lined up….bring it on!

Week 4 done and dusted

September 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

Wednesday’s gryokineses class was very different from anything I’ve ever done. Truth be told I tend to find the strength training much easier to do. I’ve always thought that exercise has to be pain, feel the burn etc. But I find it much harder to do fluid motions and movements.

We did 30 minutes of cardio with Tarryn: running, skipping and (thrown in for good measure) some crunches and push-ups.

The gryo session with Philippa Heynes, SSISA Pilates, Gyrokinesis & Gyrotonic Instructor followed.

We did basic movements such as: arch, curl, side bend left, side bend right, spiral left, spiral right. And then various combinations of the above moves. Each movement concentrates on elongating the spine and ‘opening up the body’. We also focused on breathing, most of us tend to do reverse breathing (did you know?) the abdomen contracts inward during inhalation and relaxes outward during exhalation.

The moves look deceptively easy and ‘light’, after doing a couple of them I was feeling something. It’s amazing how much resistance your body itself offers. Yesterday I felt a bit sore around the abdominal region, from all the twisting and stretching, a good sore though.

Thursday session

Major Pain was in top form last night. Probably because he had a home ground advantage – because of the rain we had our session at SSISA.

The session started with cycling on the exercise bike, I missed it (blame it on the rain and an accident on the M3 off ramp) , but I heard all about it from my team mates.

Circuit 1

  • Rowing
  • One foot balancing on a half balancing ball
  • Plank row with dumbbells
  • Step ups

In between each change of station we had to do a half lap around the track and up and down 3 flights of stairs.

At the end of the circuit three laps around the track.

Circuit 2

  • Rowing
  • Sit ups with a partner accompanied by a heavy ball
  • Step jumping on the half balancing ball with dumbbells
  • Dips and push ups

In between each change of station we had to do a half lap around the track and up and down 3 flights of stairs.

At the end of the circuit one lap around the track.

Major Pain joined in, not so easy hey….


We ended with the usual ab attack: crunches, 90 degree crunches, bicycle crunches, toe touches and jack-knifes.

We’ve reached the half way mark now on the whole, I’m starting to feel stronger and a bit fitter, I should work harder on the cardio and I’ve also changed my eating habits.

Major Pain will be away for the next two weeks. I wonder who our new Drill Sergeant will be…?


Onwards to week 5!





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