The Ultimate Workout

Head outdoors for an intense fitness regimen


With just a few weeks to go before my wedding, I knew my exercise routine needed a good kick in the rear. It’s not that I wasn’t already in good shape, it’s just that knowing I would be squeezing myself into a form-fitting strapless gown was incentive enough for me to want to take my workouts up a notch. I’m talking the kind of high-intensity, heart-pumping, calorie-burning workouts that are known to show fast results. In other words: bootcamp.

A four-week outdoor session with Ultimate Bootcamp coincided perfectly with my window of time to get wedding day-fit, so I jumped at the chance to join the program. Four times a week for four weeks, I arrived at Memorial South Main Street Park in downtown Providence at 6am to get whipped into shape by Ultimate Bootcamp trainers. Now, I’m not a morning person by nature, so there were days I had to ask my fiancée to literally push me out of bed. But knowing how good I would feel after the workout ended, and how much energy I would have for the rest of the day, made it much easier to rise and shine at that early hour.

Ultimate Bootcamp started in Boston in 2004 and just began conducting sessions in Providence in May. The outdoors-only program promises fun, creative workouts that include obstacle courses, drills, total body conditioning and partner relays. Our trainers, Vanessa, Christine, Gin and Joe (who would split up so we’d get two of them one day and the other two the next), made sure that our workouts were challenging and effective. They were awesome about encouraging us every step of the way. Between uphill running drills, sets of push-ups, climbing (and re-climbing) stairs and doing more burpees than I could keep track of, I found that I was feeling and looking stronger every week.

I think what I most enjoyed about my sessions, though, were the friendships I made with my fellow boot campers. When you work out with the same people day after day, you bond easily and really feel each other’s pain – even though it’s a good pain. When we showed up each morning, we knew we would be pushed, but we knew that we would get through it together. And thanks to my trainers and my new boot camp friends, that form-fitting strapless wedding gown? It’s a perfect fit.