Fit in the Great Outdoors
dawn on a Thursday morning at Golden Gate Park, Keith Wohlwend
(B.A., Psychology, '99) hands out headlamps to the men and
women of Boot Camp San Francisco. The group of 20, clad in sweatpants
and T-shirts, rub their hands together for warmth as they await the
"Everyone, grab a jump rope and a rubber band," Wohlwend
calls. He takes his group on a warm-up jog. His partner, Boot Camp instructor
Stevan Krstic (B.S., Kinesiology, '99), leads his group to an
open field. Some of his charges climb a hill to jump rope. The rest
run crab-like and do a series of hip-swiveling about-face turns.
"Boot Camp is about becoming a better athlete -- not just getting
trim," says Krstic, who also works as a part-time strength and
conditioning coach at State.
Approximately 50 participants gather four days a week at 5:45 a.m. for
Boot Camp. Never mind the name -- all have come on their own accord,
paying anywhere from $375 for six weeks of training to $2,520 for a
full year. Some have joined to supplement their marathon training, others
to improve their fitness or lose weight.
It's more pricey than a membership at the Y, but, says Krstic,
"There's only so much you can do in a gym." The human
dog sled, for example, is definitely an outdoor activity. In this event,
Boot Campers attempt high-speed sprints while partners pull them in
the opposite direction via large rubber bands around their waists.
In designing the program three years ago, Krstic and Wohlwend, both
certified personal trainers, drew from their track and field experience
at State. Krstic was an All American in the hammer throw. Wohlwend threw
shot put. His record throw of 57 feet, 6 inches remains unbroken.
"We got to know the entire [track and field] team's work-outs -- from
the distance runners to the sprinters," says Wohlwend, who is
pursuing his master's of science in kinesiology at State.
The duo tailors the program for each individual. After assessing cardiovascular
condition and muscle strength, participants are placed in beginner or
intermediate/ advanced groups. As the days progress, there are more
sprints, more jump roping, and more sweating.
"A program needs to adapt as your fitness level changes,"
The session is, by all observations, a thorough workout. At the end
of the hour, faces are flushed. Sweat is pouring.
"My car is so gross from the drive home after doing this,"
a female Boot Camper whispers to her friend.
As sunlight spreads across the park, Krstic's group heads to a
set of stairs, taking them briskly, two at a time. Then it's back
down and up again.
Lastly, there are dips to do. Several sets. A dip is similar to a push-up
and requires a reserve of energy. At the moment, Boot Camper Rob Rynski
appears to have a short supply. He sighs repeatedly as he pushes through
the pain to dip #30.
"It feels great when you're finished," he says as
he rises, wipes his brow and staggers with the rest of the group back
to the parking lot.
Amazingly enough, Boot Campers call out to Krstic and Wohlwend "thanks"
and "see you soon," reassuring them that they will return
in 48 hours for more.
For more information: www.sfbootcamp.com