MADE in Lake County is part of a paid partnership.
Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. This month we’ve gotten to know Becka Nieder owner of Becka’s Boot Camp in Grayslake. Today we are going inside to experience what boot camp is like.
Your new year’s resolution may have come and gone, and spring has sprung. With the warmth of the sun and the lengthening days, it’s a perfect time for many to commit, or recommit, to a fitness routine. Exercise is so important for parents, not only to keep you healthy but also to have the energy to chase your kids at the park, coach a baseball team or jump in the local pool (feeling good about how you look in a swimsuit is a bonus too!). As a busy mom of 4 who tries to live an active lifestyle, I am always on the lookout for fun, convenient ways to incorporate exercise into my day. I recently had the chance to check out Becka’s Bootcamp in Grayslake and I’m excited to share my experience at one of her early morning sessions.
I attended the 5 a.m. class on a very cold Friday morning in March. It did take an extra boost of motivation and coffee for me to get up and out that early, and I’m a morning person. As I parked, I already saw another woman going in the front door, so I knew I was at the right spot, as the rest of the houses on the street were still dark and sleepy.
Becka greeted me in the doorway and led me down to her basement, where her exercise studio is currently set up. Although not large, there is a wide variety of exercise equipment set up at various stations around the room. Mats on the floor, mirrors on the wall and a large hanging punching bag complete the room. One other client was already warming up when I arrived.
Becka’s workouts for the day are outlined on a whiteboard. Clients are responsible for the warm-up at their own pace, 10 repetitions of each activity. Our warm-up consisted of some yoga-inspired moves, kettlebells swings, lunges, planks and squat jumps. They are dynamic, somewhat challenging warm-up exercises that get the blood flowing.
Once complete, Becka demonstrates each exercise in the first circuit; then you find a spot and jump in. Her demonstrations are quick, but she will encourage and correct you on any form issues as you go. Each circuit is 4 stations, 40-seconds per station, then a 20-second break. After all 4 stations are complete, you repeat the circuit two times. After the first circuit is complete, you get a quick break, and then start with the second circuit of 4 stations, followed by another quick break, and a third circuit rotation. In all, you complete 12 separate stations, 4 times each. Each station is completely different, from planks to resistance tube strength training to ballistic jumping exercises. Becka offered modifications for all exercises for each client’s individual needs. The mix of stations offers a complete high-intensity interval training workout that includes cardio bursts and strength training using both equipment and body weight.
During the workout, Becka uses a tablet to keep time and play music. It’s a casual, encouraging environment with everyone working at their own pace and comfort level. One person may be jumping, while another is modifying to low impact. The clients at the morning session we’re all very friendly, and it was a nice way to socialize while sweating in a supportive setting.
At the end of the workout, it was time to stretch. Everyone in our group stretched on their own. I prefer an instructor-led stretching session because stretching is the key to maintaining flexibility and preventing injury, but at 5:45 a.m., it was clear that people were ready to hit the road and get ready to start their day.
In addition to physical training, Becka lends support with nutritional guidance as well. She encourages all her clients to journal their food and is happy to sit down and discuss their nutritional needs. She even told me she has one client who texts her pictures of every single food she eats to help keep her accountable for her food choices. That’s above and beyond what most fitness classes’ offer, and you can tell Becka really wants to help all her clients live a healthy lifestyle.
Becka is in the process of converting her garage into a gym, complete with a screen for exercising without the bugs, and is planning on moving classes out of the basement in May. When boot camp moves outdoors, she will incorporate more short running segments and introduce other outdoor equipment.
Becka’s Boot Camp offers a thorough, well-rounded workout for all levels and abilities of an athlete, from the most beginner to a high level.
Find more reviews of classes and gyms at Fitness in Lake County.
Disclosure: Becka’s Boot Camp s is our featured Business of the Month. This series is part of a paid promotion partnership with Little Lake County. If you are interested in featuring your locally-owned business in our series, please contact the sales team.