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My Fitness Bootcamp to Conquer Cancer

Cancer is kind of a big deal.

It so happens that 2 in 5 people will hear the words “You have cancer” in their lifetime. And, as one of the leading causes of death in North America, cancer has the potential to affect our lives in ways we cannot even imagine.

Personally (and fortunately), I have never had a close friend or family member diagnosed with the disease, but I’ve seen how powerful the effects can be and I’ve seen how, within minutes, it can change a person’s life forever.

So how do we make a difference?

I think most of us just sit back – not because we don’t want to help but more so because we don’t have a reason to. There is no motivation for it. It seems as though we only look to take action once the damage has already been done. I guess that we need to be personally affected by something before we decide to do something about it.

I thought I would follow through with this thought process and try to do something to help the cause. That’s why, together with my lovely girlfriend, I decided to put together a fundraising event to raise money for cancer research.

Being the fitness enthusiast that I am and with the beautiful weather upon us here in Canada (kind of), I decided to put together a fitness bootcamp fundraiser.

Running a bootcamp is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and this was the perfect opportunity. I sat down and put together an hour long session that would be both challenging and enjoyable.

Here’s what happened.

NOTE: The bootcamp was held on a large grass field.

Dynamic Warm-Up

We used a distance of about 20 meters and performed each of the following dynamic stretching exercises twice – once there, once back:

  • Stutter steps forward,
  • High knees,
  • Butt kicks,
  • Hamstring stretches (alternate leg every 2 steps and hold for 1 second),
  • Quad stretches (alternate leg every 2 steps and hold for 1 second),
  • High kicks forward (alternate leg every 2 steps),
  • Karaoke,
  • Lunges there, reverse lunges back,
  • Sprint.

I kept the dynamic warm-up very simple. It’s extremely important to dynamically prepare the muscles for action. If you want to learn more about dynamic stretching, check out the The Complete Dynamic Warm-Up. I use this guide religiously to get ideas for all of my dynamic warm-ups. 

Cardio Session 1

Using the same 20 meter distance that was used for the dynamic warm-up, we performed the following exercises:

  • Walking lunges forward for 20 meters,
  • 20 meter sprint back,
  • 10 burpees.

We performed three sets without any (or with minimum) rest in between sets. Legs were burning!!

(Rest 2-3 minutes-get water)

Everyone was looking like this guy after the first cardio session.

Cardio Session 2

Again, using the same distance, we performed the following exercises:

  • Standing long jumps for 20 meters (there),
  • Backpedal (as fast as you can) back to start,
  • 30 mountain-climbers.

We performed three sets without any rest in between sets.

(Rest 2-3 minutes-get water)

Strength Circuit Session

The strength circuit was made up of six stations. Each station was to be done for one minute with 30 seconds of rest in between each station. The stations were as follows:

  1. Pushups,
  2. Bodyweight squats,
  3. Planks to arm extension,
  4. Side lunges,
  5. Jumping jacks,
  6. One-legged bodyweight deadlifts,

(Rest 2-3 minutes-get water)

Core Strengthening Session

The core session consisted of four abdominal exercises. Each core exercise was to be done for a minute with 30 seconds of rest in between each exercise. The exercises were as follows:

  • Russian twists,
  • Leg climbers,
  • Side to side heel touches,
  • Planks (participants compete to see who can hold the plank the longest).

(Rest 2-3 minutes-get water)

The final plank competition was a fierce one.

 

Cool-Down Session

We finished the workout with a cool down session. This is an important element of the workout so always make sure you do it! It consisted of a very light jog around the field and a series of static stretches that target all muscle groups used. We stretched our quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, lower and upper back, shoulders, triceps and chest muscles.

That’s it really. It turned out to be a really challenging 50 minute bootcamp session. Maybe it was the scorching heat or maybe it was just the initial lunge-sprint-burpee combo that had everybody dripping sweat. But everybody got through it like champions. Most importantly, everybody had a great time and we raised a decent chunk of money for a great cause.

If you’re looking for a challenging workout, give this baby a try and let me know what you think. I’m going to try and get a video of the session up because it’s difficult to explain some of the exercises in words.

Once again, thanks to everyone who came out and supported us. It feels great to do something positive for such an important cause even when no one expects you to.

What have you done to make a difference in someone’s life?

Sam- Look Like An Athlete - June 12, 2011

Srdjan,
I think it’s awesome that you believe strongly in this cause.

-Sam

    Test - June 12, 2011

    Sam, it’s not so much about believing as it is choosing to take action. Believing is the easy part.

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout - June 13, 2011

Srdjan,

Glad the bootcamp fundraiser was a hit! Seems like everyone got a pretty solid workout in also! Nice work!

Alykhan

Ahmed-LivingNotSurviving - June 15, 2011

Great cause, and great job taking action!

Nathan - Nathan Strength Fitness - June 16, 2011

This is a great idea man.

I’d love to do something like this someday. After reading this, I’ve been inspired to do some personal training with someone and donating half the proceeds to a charity. It must be a great feeling to help others get healthy (supporting Cancer research) by helping others get healthy (guiding people in fitness bootcamps).

    Test - June 16, 2011

    Glad to be a source of motivation, man. It’s always a great feeling to do something nice for others. I think that’s a great idea you have – the big thing now is to take action. Good luck man!

Tim - The Lean Look - June 16, 2011

Srdjan,

Great job buddy! I love how you set up this workout. It involved everything from a proper warm up to a couple of cardio circuits, a strength circuit and a cool down. A blueprint for getting a lean, muscular physique.

Tim

    Test - June 17, 2011

    Thanks for the comment, Tim! The workout was very effective for everyone. I’m currently putting together a bunch of new workouts like this and I hope to put up some new videos so we can all benefit!

Jordan - The Healthy Teacher - June 18, 2011

Great work, excellent cause. I would love to run one of these with you next time!

Cheers,
Jordan

    Test - June 18, 2011

    I think that’s a great idea Jordan. We should definitely set something up!

Charlie - June 26, 2011

I love this. This is an excellent example on how to be more proactive when it comes to health causes. I am glad to hear that the bootcamp went well. I also hope it was able to generate a lot of interest so there can be another one soon!

    Test - July 12, 2011

    I am definitely looking into putting together another one very soon this summer! I’ll keep you all posted. Thanks for the support 🙂

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