Health/Fitness » Fitness

Gay Boot Camp: Your Intrepid Editor Enlists

by Steve Weinstein
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Sunday Apr 19, 2009

When I got the email about Gay Boot Camp, I admit I was intrigued. Here was a program that guaranteed. As a veteran of gym-going since the mid-'80s, I confess to a bit of gym burnout.

It's not that I go to the gym and just lift weights, or even lift weights and go on a cardio machine. I have what by any standard would be a varied workout. I have regularly taken spin, yoga, step, cardio, "urban rebouding" (trampoline), kick-boxing, and stretching classes. Among others.

But trudging to the gym gets tiring day after day--especially after 20 years! And, although I'm not as hopeless about my appearance as the average gay man, I'd like to trim a waist size or two from my midsection.

So when I got the message about a super-intense program for spring, it seemed like a fresh start: "Gay in New York and looking for a change up in the boring dumbbell and treadmill gym routine? Or maybe you've been noticing a few extra pounds creeping on but feel intimidated by the meat head scene at your local globo-gym."

Well, actually, I kind of like the meat-head scene, but that's OK. I agreed with the rest of the press release. So when Rose Levy invited me to take part in a four-week program, I said, "Why not?"

The program actually offers three or five days a week. Being a masochist, I am choosing five days. The biggest challenge, I suspect, will not (only) be the workouts themselves, but getting to the Hudson River pier at Christopher Street at 6 a.m.

As a night person, I usually go to bed between 2 and 3 a.m. So I have the choice of staying up all night or dosing myself with booze and sleeping pills to get to bed by 10:30 p.m. We shall see. We shall see.

The program head (drill instructor?) is Laura Miranda. I'm glad it's a woman. I've always found in classes I push myself harder when I see a woman doing better than I am. (Yes, I'm gay, but I'm still a man - can't be bested by a woman, right?)

There is also a nutrition lecture and even a trip to a grocery store, which marks a holistic approach to exercise that I wholly approve of.

Those interested in the class should contact Laura here. And don't worry if you're not in fighting trim, or haven't even seen the inside of a gym in a few years. The class "is a competition-free zone," according to the site. "Each guy is worked to his personal potential. Men of all ages and abilities are encouraged and welcome to participate. Each day will slightly increase in intensity."

Now drop down and give me 10!

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early '80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).


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