What is Boot Camp Class? With Group Exercise Instructor, Erin Fajardo.
Boot Camp incorporates cardio, muscle conditioning, and athletic drills to give you an incredible full-body workout. We wanted to dive a little deeper into what Boot Camp is, so we asked our ultra-talented instructor, Erin Fajardo, a few questions. Our Colorado clubs are lucky to have her, and now you can learn from her too!
1 | We are so excited to get to know you, Erin! Could you let everyone know what you do at Chuze Fitness, how long you have worked here, and how you ended up on the team?
I am a Group Exercise Instructor at Chuze Thornton and Chuze Westminster (WestCo) in Colorado, where I currently teach Barre and Boot Camp. After teaching group exercise for about a year, I joined Chuze for a new venture and new opportunities with a new facility. I have now worked at Chuze for about three years since they came to Colorado. In fact, I think I was one of the first people to apply in Colorado! My try-out was in the temporary location, in a small back room, with a Bluetooth speaker doing a block of Insanity—and the adrenaline was at a high!
2 | For those of us who aren’t familiar with the class, could you explain Boot Camp to us?
Boot Camp is a freestyle cardio and strength class that incorporates intervals, circuits, drills, weights, core, and functional moves. You can use your own bodyweight or use other available equipment.
3 | What made you want to teach this style of class?
I love teaching Boot Camp because no class is ever the same and I get to be creative. It keeps the members challenged and myself engaged with learning new formats and exercises. I like to prove to members that Boot Camp can be fun, not scary, and it doesn’t matter what level you think you are at.
4 | Take us through an hour of Boot Camp. What exercises will we do and what should we expect?
I mix it up every week to challenge the members and keep them coming back to see what I have for them next. I started Group Exercise by teaching Insanity and PiYo, so I use a lot of non-weight, functional exercises that work the whole body in every directional plane. We usually do some type of interval, circuit, or drill format, starting with cardio to get the blood moving. We then add in some functional moves with weights, a little more cardio, and then focus more on the core toward the end. I always make sure they are warmed up and cooled down with a bit of stretching as well.
5 | Boot Camp sounds like it is a challenging workout, are there ways to modify this class for people who are new to the gym, or even seasoned athletes?
Boot Camp can sound scary, and every instructor is different. Anytime someone new approaches me before class, or when class is beginning, I always let them know that this is their class, every day is different, to listen to their body, and just keep moving. I will always show alternative exercises when applicable, especially if I see someone struggling or needing a little more challenge. I want the folks in my class to have fun, be challenged, and also be safe.
6 | What are the main differences between Boot Camp and the other Group Exercise classes that include a mix of strength and cardio?
Once again, every instructor is different. Boot Camp is going to be freestyle and not a pre-formatted class such as Insanity, P90X, or BODYPUMP. Many of the exercises or formats can be similar, but changing up the formats is what makes Boot Camp unpredictable and fun. We use every type of equipment available to us along with our own body weight. Sometimes partner/group exercises or challenges as well.
7 | What would you say to someone who wants to give Boot Camp a try but is afraid to come into class?
I have a feeling some of my regular class members convince their friends for me. 🙂 I have a lot of gym members looking into class to see what we are doing, so I just motion my arm to say “Come on in!” When talking to a member outside of class, I just reassure them that I will always show many different ways to do an exercise and to take it to the level they are at that moment. I’m always available before or after class for any questions about modifying for injuries as well.
8 | What is the best advice you have received on your fitness journey?
I always worried about not following the “routine” planned or for a formatted class. I had a group exercise veteran tell me to go up and put on a show and have fun with it. If a mistake is made, it’s very unlikely that anyone would know. We’re all human, and the members are just happy that you are there to kick their butt for the day.
9 | Do you have any summer hobbies you are looking forward to this year?
To me, summertime is traveling and camping/outdoor fun with the family. We just returned from Montana and Glacier National Park and heading to Costa Rica in August. I have a massage practice, kids, and a huge garden to maintain—so that keeps me busy!
10 | Thank you so much for sharing this information, Erin! Can you tell us the one takeaway you want our Chuze Family to remember from this interview?
I’ve loved group exercise since high school Jazzercise, and love that I still have the ability and opportunity to share my love and motivation with others through the community and support of Chuze Fitness. Thank you for being so awesome!