What with studying, classes, work, and other distractions, exercising always seemed to get pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. I’m ashamed to say it now, but I was definitely the master of excuses for pushing an hour of running or working out at the gym to the side. Whether it was the “Not today, I’m tired” excuse, or, my favorite, “I can’t make it to the gym tonight because Glee is on,” I always convinced myself to stay home instead. Then the holiday season came along and needless to say I was sucked deeper into the habit of eating and failing to get my ass to the gym.
An opportunity to join a boot camp session in Santa Barbara came in my direction and I decided it was the perfect time for me to snap out of excuse mode and jump into exercise mode.
The switchover to a more fitness-friendly lifestyle was made possible with the help of Jenny Schatzle and her Ultimate Boot Camp class at Fueled Gym downtown. Schatzle, who is originally from Minnesota, has been living and working in Santa Barbara for 10 years and dedicates her life to training and motivating her clients with her very own energy, which she dubs “jenergy.” Her philosophy is simple: “There is no magic pill that’s going to make you skinny, healthy, and fit. You’re going to have to work out and eat right for the rest of your life, so you might as well learn how to do it properly and you might as well have fun while you’re doing it!”
So, prior to the start of the boot camp session, Schatzle takes the time to meet with every one of her clients individually, provides them with a training log, and discusses goals, nutrition, and health. “The great thing about my program is that I hold you very accountable,” Schatzle told me. “A lot of programs, you go see the trainer, work out a couple days a week, and then you’re on your own for the rest of the week. [But] I want to know what you’re eating when I’m not around,” Schatzle said. Her involvement during the session doesn’t end with a single meeting; she’s available via email, text, or Facebook to every one of her clients who may need help figuring out exercise plans or healthier food choices.
Schatzle’s Ultimate Boot Camp intrigued Lisa McCollum, a first time boot-camper, who was looking to lose the excess baby weight from her pregnancy. She had seen her friends who participated in “Team Schatzle’s” running events looking more slim and fit. “My three words to describe Jenny’s attitude on life and working out would be dynamic, confident, and devoted,” McCollum said. “She really cares about each person in her program and it’s her charismatic spirit that keeps you coming back each week. She has an energy that really drives you to work hard.”
It is safe to say that I have never worked out as hard as I did the first day I met with Schatzle, doing everything from tricep burnouts to an endless sea of lunges and squats. My body felt like a big bowl of Jell-O for three days straight. However, I had also never before felt so motivated and de-stressed as I did after every one of the sessions. This camp pushes you to your core through workouts designed to raise and lower your heart rate—and through teamwork.
Chris Bartl, Schatzle’s assistant in the boot camp, teamed up with Schatzle out of admiration for her philosophy. “It’s different because of the energy and camaraderie,” he said. “Everyone supports each other and encourages each other. Plus we get results.” Tai Kerbs, an on-and-off boot camper for about a year and a half, said that in comparison to other fitness programs, it’s the camaraderie in Ultimate Boot Camp that really makes the difference for her. “It’s nice to have the support of people that are going through what you are going through, and so that [team element] has been nice to incorporate within these intense circuits,” Kerbs said.
My favorite parts of the workouts were the moments when Schatzle would remind me, the second my body trembled, “You are stronger than you think you are.” And she was right, I was always stronger than I thought. I would never have tried that weird rowing machine at the gym, let alone picked up the dreaded 25-pound weight, but I did because she reminded me that I was capable.
Schatzle definitely pushed me out of my exercise comfort zone and I’m glad she did because after three weeks of painfully pleasant soreness, I am proud to say that I was able to lose five pounds, 2 percent of my body fat, and 11 inches. Ditching the excuses and working out has been a changing experience, and this boot camp is a class worth taking if results are what you’re looking for. Schatzle’s next session of Ultimate Boot Camp commences in early April. For more information go to jennyschatzle.com or call (805) 698-6080.