Angel Jones

Angel Jones

ACTIVE LIFE: Boot camp all about improving fitness

NANAIMO – Class has little in common with army workout of same name.

Rookie boot camp at Oliver Woods Community Centre can be an option for people considering fitness as part of their New Year’s resolution.

The program incorporates different exercises from session to session and while participants will get a good sweat and workout, instructor Angel Jones said it bears little resemblance to the army program of the same name.

“Boot camp tends to be a scary [term],” said Jones. “It’s not a military-based boot camp … I’m not a drill sergeant. It’s not like tire flipping and crazy boot camp or traditional boot camp that you would think about. It’s a full-body fitness class.”

Jones said exercises are tailored to match a participant’s level. It can include exercises with weights, exercises bands and gliders.

“It’s more for the beginner to intermediate exerciser, so if you’re just starting out, it’s a great program to come out to because there’s beginner options and if you’re an intermediate exerciser, it’s great too because there’s always that advanced option, that smaller option, that just makes it that much harder,” Jones said.

Typically, the first five to 10 minutes of the session are devoted to warm-up, which can consist of walking laps and warming up the joints, and then a section devoted to strength and cardio that goes for about 30 minutes.

That is followed by 10 minutes for abdominal work on mats and it concludes with cool down and stretching.

There could be a tendency for the beginners to feel a little intimidated by people at the intermediate level, but Jones said everyone can draw inspiration from one another.

“In my opinion, having a group fitness class, with the different levels of physical activity and fitness levels, it’s just motivating to see where you could go, to see maybe where you’ve come from and just everybody is always encouraging within the classes,” said Jones. “Nobody is judging you on your ability.”

Kathy Gonzales, Oliver Woods’ program coordinator, said boot camp classes run Monday to Friday, with sessions from 9:30-10:30 a.m. There are also evening sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 to 5:50 p.m.

For more information, including registration, go to the parks, recreation and environment section of the City of Nanaimo’s website,, or call 250-756-5200.

“Come on out and give it a try,” said Jones. “Don’t be afraid. The first step is just getting through the door.”

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