Getting in shape the hard way
EDMOND - Victoria Woods doesn't mind punishment -- in fact, she arrives early for it.
At 5:45 a.m. on a recent weekday, the 50-year-old investment adviser stretched with about 14 other people in anticipation of Bikini Boot Camp.
"I was just not getting results in my normal aerobics classes, and weight training wasn't enough for me anymore. I looked at ballroom dancing, pole dancing, tennis classes," Woods said.
"Then my personal trainer told me about boot camp."
Woods took the Edmond course in March and is back for the April session.
"The first month I thought I was going to die. On day 10, I cried. Then I overheard my husband telling my sister-in-law how immensely proud he is of me. That kept me going," Woods said.
Martial arts instructor Mike Cejka has been conducting monthly boot camps for three years in Shawnee out of his Mind and Body Fitness center. This year, he brought the idea to Edmond.
The $239 camps run every 30 days from March through September.
Cejka has a team of about 13 instructors who help teach the classes while he rotates between the Shawnee and Edmond programs.
Both groups meet from 6 to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday.
In Edmond, the group meets at Unified Martial Arts, 1413 S Fretz, two mornings a week, and in Hafer Park three mornings. In Shawnee, the group meets at Mind and Body Fitness, 1500 N Kickapoo.
The workouts are intense.
On the sixth day of boot camp, recruits were put through a grueling routine of push-ups, crunches, sprints and other exercises designed to push them to the peak of endurance.
"No knees touching, you can do it, only 10 seconds left," Cejka coached as he held himself up in a side push-up.
Cejka, 35, has been in martial arts for 20 years, and he's trained members of the 101st Airborne Division in hand-to-hand combat. He modeled his program after actual military training, he said.
Melissa Gellerman, 37, said she joined Bikini Boot Camp to prepare for her July wedding.
"I wanted to get a little more structure to my workout to fit in my wedding gown. I knew if he had to look at what I ate every day I would do better," she said.