Making a lifestyle change can be a scary thing. As humans, we prefer what feels comfortable and what is easy. We know deep down, taking chances will pay off but society leads us to believe instant gratification is achievable when it comes to most things. We don’t think about how long it took us to get out of shape, or how long we have been eating poorly, and that it just might take the same about of time if not longer to lose what we gained and get back on track. If you are scared to take your health back in your hands, keep reading.
Some of our bootcampers understand this and have put in the work to make these small changes. Rich Brannin did personal training at Badger for a year before joining Bootcamp 17.1. Brittany Charles did last year’s bootcamp and stuck to a routine on her own before joining 17.1, her second bootcamp. Mike started with Badger in 2015 in our elements class but life got busy in 2016 so bootcamp was his step back in the door. All three have tasted success both on the physical, mental and emotional side of things and, even though bootcamp is over, they have taken the next step to join Badger CrossFit’s popular Function class.
They were a part of the twenty-two people who lost 120 pounds, 128.25 inches, 19.4% body fat, and -17.5 off of total Body Mass Index at the end of six weeks! We had the chance to talk with them about their journey. They hope to inspire those who are thinking of joining the upcoming 17.2 Bootcamp or our Function Classes.
What held you back before (in regards to fitness/nutrition)?
Rich: I do not have a big support group around me at home or a consistent workout partner. Going to the gym on a regular basis when I had a long/stressful day at work was difficult for me. I just couldn’t seem to get in a regular workout schedule. My struggles with nutrition were mostly cooking for one and not wanting to have leftovers for a week, or just not having the energy to want to cook for myself. I had a pretty good idea of how to eat, it was just a matter of taking the next step to make it part of my routine.
Brittany: The biggest obstacle I had was consistency and accountability. I would work out on my own, but I wouldn’t have a set time, schedule or even meal plans. That made it very easy to fall off the wagon because if I skipped a workout or went out to eat instead of cooking, no one knew but me. One skipped workout turned into 2,3…until I stopped going. I never was able to get into a routine with my workouts or my meals, so it was always easy to make an excuse not to do it. Having a structured workout schedule and meal plan has not only helped with consistency, but also accountability. If I don’t show up to class, people will notice. If I don’t follow the meal plan, in the end the results will show. For me it was all about changing my mindset. Before, I thought of working out and meal planning as taking time from other things and more of a chore. Now, I just make it part of my daily/weekly routine. No excuses.
Mike: Adding bootcamp to my busy schedule was difficult. I quickly realized there is never spare time you just have to make time for it. It gets harder with a family, children, and work. If you don’t make time for it you will fall into being lazy and not doing it. The biggest challenge with nutrition was keeping track of my calories. I didn’t know how many calories I was over eating before bootcamp. It was eye opening when I realized I was eating my daily intake at one meal.
What was the catalyst to make the decision to join Bootcamp 17.1?
Rich: My main catalyst to joining bootcamp was having a coach that not only knew how to work with me on an individual level, but got to know me and what was best for me to take me to that next level of my fitness journey through bootcamp. The schedule and consistency is exactly what I needed.
Brittany: I realized that I was not getting any younger, and if not now then when? I needed something to help me get back into workouts, which would provide the consistency and accountability I was struggling with. Bootcamp was the perfect option because all fitness levels are welcome, it had a consistent schedule for six weeks, and had a meal plan to follow. There are before and after measurements and testing, so if I wasn’t putting the work in during class or in my meal plan, the results would show at the end. It had everything I was looking for and turned out to be even better than I was hoping.
Mike: I knew I had to lose weight but found it hard to find time. A co-worker told me about it and I thought it be a good way to get back into Crossfit. The 6:30pm class time was easy to fit into my schedule. Learning there would be nutrition added to it as well helped me decide. It was very useful information.
What was the hardest thing about bootcamp?
Rich: The hardest thing for me was making the initial six-week commitment and then walking through the door on the first night.
Brittany: One thing I struggled with was not always knowing my limit when it came to what weights I could handle. ‘Was it too much or too little?’ When first starting out, it was hard to judge. But as class went on and I got more comfortable with the movements, I knew what I was able to handle. There is also no shame in trying out a weight, only to realize you need to decrease or increase it. It’s all about doing the movement correctly with good form, but challenging yourself at the same time.
The other thing I struggled with was the meal plan. I came to realize very quickly that you can bust your butt in the gym, but if you are not eating properly, it won’t do any good. What you put in your body is its fuel, and Whole30 has made me look at food in a whole new sense. It was hard to follow at times and to make time to meal prep, but I quickly realized those are just excuses. Now I just work the meal prep into my weekly routine and there is always something delicious and healthy ready to be heated up or thrown together really quick. When I have something already prepared or made, it is so much easier to make a healthy decision, rather than just picking up a pizza on the way home from work after a long day. For me, it was 100 percent worth it to follow it to the end of the 30 days and I plan to continue following it going forward.
Mike: Leaving bootcamp after the six weeks finished was the hardest thing for me. It became so much of my life I didn’t want it to end. I also struggled wondering if I could do it on my own – eating healthy and finding time to workout. I truly loved coming to class and seeing everyone (we became like family) and the WODs started to become addicting. Having Tina and Jordan as trainers was fantastic. They were so positive and helpful and never talked down to anyone. I wondered if I could find that same feeling moving onto the Function classes and the great news is some of my bootcamp buddies are now in Function with me.
What keeps you going now that bootcamp has ended and you decided to join Function MKE at Badger?
Rich: They said it takes 21 days to create a habit. Over the past six weeks, I was able to create that habit and get the consistency in my workouts and nutrition. [It’s] seeing how much progress one can make when you put your mind to it and having a great community supporting me every step of the way. One of the biggest things I like and that keeps me at Badger is that, whenever I have a question or concern, I get answers and advice from people I know I can trust.
Brittany: Working out has just become a part of what I do now. As cliche as it sounds, I feel so much better from when I started. I feel stronger, fitter, more flexible and just healthier in general and I don’t want to lose what I have gained. When I started bootcamp, I had a goal for myself and I am finally at the stage where I’m not going to make excuses anymore. That’s what got me here in the first place. After the results from my last bootcamp, I was excited. I lost weight and inches and my clothes were fitting looser — all tangible measurements I can look at and think ‘wow, this is awesome, look what I have done in six weeks, imagine what I can do in six months!’ I have come a long way from where I started, but I still have a long way to go and am excited Function MKE is the next step in my journey!
Mike: That is such a great question…I don’t want to fail. I was doing this for myself and my children. I want to make sure I am there for them and leading by example. I don’t want to go back to the weight I was before bootcamp. I lost 16.5 pounds in bootcamp and have not been at this weight in years- since 2000/2001.
What has been the biggest surprise since making a positive lifestyle change?
Rich: The biggest surprise for me since making the positive change is how easy it is. It is no longer hard work to eat right and get to the gym.
Brittany: How motivated I feel. I no longer think of going to the gym as a chore. I can honestly say I now look forward to coming to Badger each time. The workouts are always intense but different so there is no getting bored and the people are great too! I thought adjusting to a workout routine and meal prep would be difficult, but the transition has been much easier than anticipated. If I wanted results, I had to make the time and put in the work and that is exactly what I have done. Being social while trying to maintain a healthy diet isn’t always easy, but I have stuck with it and my friends and family have been supportive and understanding that maybe sometimes I need to skip on a night out or dinner plans. I thought it would have been hard for me to say no and people would be upset, but I quickly realized its my journey and I have to do what is right for me and people support that.
Mike: There are a few. First, seeing the change in my body composition and clothes fitting looser. Second, feeling how much my mobility has improved. When I am performing everyday stuff at home and work I have noticed a difference. Third, I had my employee health assessment and my cholesterol and triglycerides were lower than last year. I was on medication last year and this year I was off medication. Lastly, doing some of the movements in bootcamp. I never thought I was going to do the Turkish getup…I thought I was to old to do it.
Advice to people nervous about starting bootcamp?
Rich: That first step is always the hardest. The support and comradery from coaches and fellow bootcampers is amazing. Take advantage of the private facebook group for questions, support, motivation and nutrition. Enjoy it, the six weeks will be over before you know it and leave you wanting more when you start to see the results.
Brittany: I was nervous when I first started with bootcamp because it was the first time in a long time that I had a structured workout and meal plan. I was nervous I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with everyone else and I would be the last to finish a workout or I wouldn’t be able to do some of the moves or workouts.
From the very first day, I learned four things. #1- The others in bootcamp are not there to judge you. They are there to support you and sweat (any maybe cry, just kidding) through each workout right alongside you! They will cheer you on, push you to do your best, and they will struggle at times right along with you. Everyone is there for a similar reason and has to start somewhere. All judgement is left at the door. #2- There are always progressions for every move. Everyone is going to have something they are good at and something they struggle with, but there is always a way to make a move possible for your fitness level. You may start at the easiest progression, but you can always make it harder as your fitness level allows. #3- You may think you can’t do a move or finish a workout, but trust me, you can. Maybe you won’t be the fastest, or use the heaviest weights or do the most reps, and that is perfectly ok. But if you give max effort and push yourself, you will be able to get through it, no matter how impossible it may seem at first. #4- The coaches are top notch. Not only do they care about you as a member of the gym, but also as a person and the journey you are on. They go through each movement and their progressions in class, so there is no need to know any of the movements prior. They focus on showing you how to move the correct way so as to not injure yourself rather than for speed and weight. They make themselves available to talk about any questions or concerns, but most importantly they want to see you succeed just as much as you do.
While it may be intimidating at first, you will quickly see there is no need. Everyone is there for a common goal and the coaches are there to help you in any way they can to ensure you succeed. Joining bootcamp is one of the best decisions I have made in awhile and I don’t regret a second of it!
Mike: Just do it! The hardest part is making it to class. Once you step in the door bootcamp will change your life. People you meet will become like family to you and everyone will be cheering you on during a workout. No one is there to see you fail. The community there will push you to succeed. My other piece of advice is to go all in. You will not win big if you don’t take the chance. Follow the Whole30 diet to a T ….it will be hard but the results will be great in return.
Rich, Brittany, and Mike have proven that taking a chance on themselves proved to be a positive, healthy lifestyle change. There is no better time to make a change than now. Our next bootcamp begins on Monday and spots are filling up fast. Click here to find out more and reserve your spot today: https://www.badgercrossfit.com/programs/bootcamp/