Rose & Jenna: Be Well Philly Bootcamp

Over the weekend, we attended the Be Well Philly Bootcamp hosted by Philadelphia Magazine. In a word, it was awesome. This event, which was held at Drexel University, gathered together hundreds of healthy and fit women from across the region. The day ran from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and included fitness classes, health chats, a keynote speaker and a slew of vendors. We decided to arrive early – though not too early – in time to try out the Red Hot Dance Fitness class. Here we are, pre-sweatfest.

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Throughout the morning, we took three fitness classes: Red Hot Dance Fitness at 10 a.m., Body Blast at 11 a.m. and a Vinyasa Yoga class at noon. Needless to say, we were pretty wiped out by the end of it. This is our grin-and-sweat-it face after the first class. Below are our reactions and reviews of the sessions.

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What was your favorite class of the day? And what did you think of the other classes?

Rose: By far, my favorite was the Body Blast class. The instructor’s energy was powerful, and the moves were effective but manageable. There were participants of all levels in the crowd, and I felt like the instructor kept that in check. Plus I swear my soreness on Sunday came from that class. Those are moves I normally don’t do! As far as Red Hot Dance, I liked it (and managed to burn 300 calories while doing it), but it wasn’t my favorite. It kept reminding me of a fitness class I took in Pittsburgh, though Red Hot fell short. The moves weren’t too complicated, but it was hard to coordinate a group that large. As for yoga, I loved the class and the instructor. It was the perfect cool down after such a busy morning.

Jenna: Body Blast! It was hosted by Be Well Philly Health Hero Leslie Marant. I had read a lot about her in the past, and was so excited when I realized she was the one teaching. Her class was awesome; I must say, I got more of a workout in that 35-40 minutes than I ever would in the gym. She was energetic, engaging, and provided motivation a long the way. The tabatas we did still have my lower body hurting. Red Hot Dance was fun, but not quite challenging enough for me personally. I did enjoy it and it was fun getting to dance with such a large group (although this was hard at times considering my limbs are so long…). And I have always loved Mark at the Yoga Garden. I have taken classes from him before and they are some of the more rewarding and challenging I’ve been to.

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So how hard did you work? And did you refuel? What did you think of the food offerings?

Rose: The proof is in the heart rate monitor. I burned around 1,000 calories by the time all was said and done. I LOVE getting in crazy calorie burns like this early on the weekend. After doing so, I feel like I can finally just rest and relax. As for the food, that was a bit of a dilemma. They only had salads without protein and ran out early. We waited in line a bit and were thankful to snag these from Hip City Veg. While I really liked this salad combination, I probably could have used a bit more fuel after such an intense morning.

Jenna: I fed off the energy of the crowd for sure. I pushed myself hard during Body Blast and even tried to kick it up in the dance class even though it wasn’t very challenging. You get what you put into a workout, no matter what. My lower body was screaming during yoga, but I didn’t want to stop or give up. As Rose mentioned, the food situation was a little crazy. They kept running out of salads that weren’t quite enough to make it through the day. I wish they had been a bit more clear about bringing your own food instead of saying “lunch was provided”. I left there needing food and coffee stat.

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What were your overall impressions of the event?

Rose: I love the idea of having this many women in one place. Nothing inspires me like strong, independent women who enjoy working out. I love that Philadelphia Magazine gathered such a group together and brought in some great fitness instructors and health experts from across the city. I almost think the day could have been a bit longer, actually. I likely would’ve attended more of the health chats (instead I was busy working out). For $25, I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth, and I’m looking forward to going back next year!

Jenna: It was an awesome day. It was incredible to feed off everyone’s energy and to have that many fit-minded women all in one place. Other than the food hiccup, the event itself was really well executed. I do wish it could be bigger and better! It would be great to have open classes on the hour, each hour instead of having to get into a lot of them through a lottery. Maybe next year! I also feel like I certainly got my money’s worth.

So how did you spend the rest of your day?

Rose: See below. It was Philadelphia Beer Week. Of course we had to participate.

Jenna:Yes. And it was so much fun!

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