We had a chance to test out one of the first GameChanger bootcamps, run by leading fitness professional Karen Riedel-Gallagher and elite trainer, Michael Johnson in Whitby, Ont.
What it is:
A 90-day transformation program that combines different drills from a variety of sports “football, soccer, gymnastics, MMA, swimming, and even winter sports. Each workout provides aerobic and anaerobic training so participants can burn fat, lose weight and gain muscle over the 90-day period.
Each class has roughly six segments which consist of three or four different sets of exercises. Participants repeat each set three to four times, and then get a minute break before moving on to the next segment.
You get weighed and have your measurements taken when you first begin, as well as throughout the program to help track your progress. Riedel-Gallagher and Johnson also provide nutrition programs to assist with the transformation.
Why we love it:
We love this workout because of the variety of exercises involved. Each class focuses on a different area of the body so participants can get an entire body workout each week. Plus, the variation definitely keeps us interested.
If you do the exact same thing all the time, you’re going to get bored, and you’re not going to see changes, says Riedel-Gallagher. I try to make each class different, and to challenge people differently. That way, they keep progressing.
We also love the intensity and competitive element (it sounds crazy, but it’s true!) Participants are encouraged to do as many reps as they can, and to continuously try to beat their own accomplishments.
Since this program offers a variety of workouts, you will never experience that fitness plateau.
[Compared to other workouts], GameChanger challenges you and pushes you beyond your comfort level, says Riedel-Gallagher. As a trainer, I always encourage people to do a combination of things, and this class gives you that.
Johnson agrees. You will get a much better workout here than you would just doing cardio or lifting some weights. You are building your endurance, building lean tissue, and burning a ton of fat.
Who can participate?
Anyone who wants to get fit and see results!
And don’t worry if you’re not that great at sports.
Half the exercises you do, you don’t even realize that they’re sports-related, says Johnson. It’s a compilation of a bunch of different drills thrown together into one thing.
How to prepare
Johnson suggests doing a full week of lifting weights and doing cardio so that your joints won’t be too sore when you begin the program.
You basically need to prepare to have your muscles overworked, he says. I couldn’t even lift a glass of milk after my first week!
However, he says not to be discouraged if you experience sore muscles.
Even though I couldn’t walk after my first class, I still went the next day. You will loosen up if you continue with the program. If you stop in the middle, and then start again, you’ll just put yourself back to square one.
Where to try it:
Currently, there are only two training locations: Markham, Ont. And Whitby, Ont.
The workout is also available in a series of workout DVD’s and through DirectTV.
For more info, visit trygamechanger.com
Want to take it to the next level?
Every three to four months, the GameChanger trainers hold GameDay “ an event where athletes from all over Ontario compete in teams of three and are put through a rigorous series of Gamechanger-inspired exercises.
You’re competing against the best, and it’s very challenging, says Riedel-Gallagher, who has competed twice and placed in the top five both times. If you take our class and times it by ten, that would be kind of like the GameDay.
The 45-minute workout is comprised of eight of the toughest drills from each sport. The event is free to participate, and benefits Right to Play, a charity dedicated to helping children through sports.