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Fitness for your future - Are you ready for the new year? - Are you at your fighting weight? - Are you at your healthiest?

Published:Monday | January 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The outdoors is a major part of the new combat-style training. - File

It's time to reflect and build your way forward for 2010. Think about damage control and enjoy every moment without sabotaging all your hard work in 2009.

My way is through Revive 'n' Renew with Fitness by Rose 2010 Boot Camp! It's about ridding our body of all the toxins of 2009. Do I dare use that overused, misconstrued word? Yes! DETOX! Not fasting, not colon cleansing, not ridiculous diets, but a new approach to your fitness plan. Incorporating healthy ways to rid our bodies through the right exercises, teas, and clean eating.

Fitness trends come and go, but we always go back to basics for genuine results. This is a rigorous course of exercise, loosely based on military-style basic combat-training programmes, and organised around a team structure which lends itself to competitiveness and encouraging greater results. I would like to share with you the tremendous advantages of this fitness programme. My teams win because these workouts are effective. In a short period of time, body fat decreases while muscular strength increases along with cardiovascular efficiency. We use body-resistance exercises, resistance bands, suspension training, running, interval training and martial arts. Exercise equipment may be included, but they are not the norm since outdoors is the preferred space when using basic combat training. Cardiovascular and muscular endurance, strength, balance, flexibility and core stabilisation are featured elements in every class.

Rather than unstructured visits to a gym, 'recruits' undertake a complete programme that involves nutrition, a scientific approach to their fitness and weight loss which emphasises body resistance training and high-intensity cardio drills.

Spectral Journey's Christina Leon describes AthleKinetix as "a revolutionary way of looking at resistance training. There are no sets, no repetition, no choreography and no two classes are ever the same. Muscles are challenged differently with creative, innovative exercises." The unpredictability of each class makes your body react and this is and always has been, my principled approach.

We always tend to go full circle in our lives from something as fickle as fashion to exercise trends and basics. There are fitness trends that endure and become a part of your everyday exercise routine. Take spinning, for example. Fifteen years after its introduction, Johnny Goldberg, better known to the fitness industry as Johnny G, took outdoor cycling into his basement and the spin movement began.

So we continue in our quest for wellness and its true meaning. In the era of small groups, personalised training being the fastest-growing industry, we also get back to the basics - Boot Camp. Our results are fulfilling, the camaraderie of the camps, a great new inspiration.


The boot camp offers nutritional guidance with dieticians and nutritionists. Aside from the health benefits during the eight weeks, the fun and the habits picked up are crucial, since we want these lifestyle changes to stick. As dietician Franny Mahfood constantlyreminds us, balance helps the diets become manageable. The idea is, after the camp, something has been learned.

It's all about balancing in all areas. For example, you are going for dinner and you know you will have extra food and drink that evening, so you are careful on that day and the next two days. You exercise a little more on that day and the next. We create a deficit between calories eaten and burned, obviously the latter being higher. So there are lots of conversations to motivate, to support and to enlighten each other along the way especially on the weigh-in days where Body Mass Index (BMI) and fat are measured along with inches from your frame.

Training schedules

What we do in our camp is simple. On non-camp days, the 'recruits' focus on cardio training in their target zones, as well as weights, and doing their favourite form of exercise. On the days together, the teams focus on true military drills, body-resistance and boxing to invigorate the body and empower the mind and soul. The no-nonsense body-resistance, in-your-face, bad-to- the-bone workouts leave you breathless, adrenaline-pumping, sweating and begging for more. Days of long walks and jogs are also incorporated, enabling an endurance foundation for the long haul. On the off-days when the recruits just can't manage another push up, swing kick or cross-body blow, they are taken on the indoor cycling bikes for five-minute 'hills' in-between the training.

The camp

The groups quickly become a family. They bond so much, I throw in extra classes on a regular basis. We have fitness parties with healthy food and drinks following the workouts, with guest instructors as a surprise. In these last few camps, we were lucky to have Dr Denise Eldemire Shearer who has also benefited tremendously over the last few years since she started training. I constantly called on her to inform us of the overall importance of our BMI which she pointed out is more critical that fat loss alone.

She stressed, "A person's total body fat percentage includes essential fat, the fat needed for normal functioning and storage fat. It is dependent on both age and gender, females having more essential fat than males. Unlike the BMI, measuring body fat percentage does not need height and weight but measures body composition directly. The BMI for above average fit persons who have increased lean muscle mass may be high but the body fat percentage will be low indicating they are in good physical condition."

She was the perfect example to her patients and students alike, having had neck and back surgery, not to mention ankle reconstruction. She is now at her fittest.

"Persons with joint and other physical problems can do exercise as long as it is done properly and with caution. If something hurts, do not do it." She noted that people are particularly nervous after surgery. She recommended consulting a physician.

"When resuming an exercise programme, after getting the doctor's permission, do so slowly and recognise your limitations. Ask your doctor what kind of movements you can do and whether the restrictions are temporary or permanent. If you want to use weights, be sure to ask the maximum weight allowed for each exercise. It will vary," she added.

Paula Delves, who was the first overall winner on one of our teams, reached her goal of a 15 -pound weight loss to reach her pre-pregnancy weight of 142 pounds. She lost an amazing 22.25 inches on her frame, as well as 5.8 per cent body fat. By week eight, she was 142 pounds.

So are you ready for the next level? What do you have to lose? Weight? Inches? Fat? What do you have to gain? Muscle! Health! Strength! You have the power , now make the right choice.

For any questions, additional information contact Rose Tavares-Finson - training with passion and results or

So are you ready for the next level? What do you have to lose?

Weight? Inches? Fat?

What do you have to gain?

Muscle! Health! Strength!