Cheap, quick, muscle building – a tin of baked beans! November’s Bootcamp


What’s better than a 5.45 alarm call?

Scraping the ice off the windscreen ten minutes later in the first frost of the year. October is dwindling away, the clocks have gone back (so is it actually 6.45 in my head….I can never work it out) and another bootcamp is about to begin.

Fast forward an hour and a half and there are ten new, smiley, sweaty people leaving into a crisp cold Edinburgh morning. Actually eight as two are returners from previous camps, but still….

The missing 90 minutes are always the best bit of the day for me. From about 6.20, people drift in, like guppies being released into a new aquarium. Sort of – an aquarium would be warmer but these are hardy looking souls.

We talk about short and long-term health goals and learn how to use a foam roller as the new group assembles.

We warm up with bonding games until the only one who can’t name all the people there is me. Gradually the intensity builds as we run through some of the techniques which will form the basis of the sessions and my choice of music is roundly disapproved of. And then the first session is down and everyone heads off, stretched and happy, for their day.

The Bootcamp structure of three classes a week for four weeks is great for being able to introduce a variety of fun, effective exercises and also be able to see (and measure – oh those scales!) improvements.

I’m sensing this group is up for a wee bit of a challenge this time and so it’ll be a whole lot of fun to see what we can achieve together without killing anyone! Or at least, a reasonable natural wastage….

Part of the boot camp idea is to introduce a change in lifestyle – they do say the six-pack is made in the kitchen, not the gym.

The Fitness Soul crew provides a lot of “fitspiration” diet wise. I’m on a more limited gastronomic journey than some though. But after my own training sessions, I do like to make a super-quick, protein and iron-rich curry: sautéed onions and garlic, a wee dash of curry powder and some diced cabbage, carrot, whatever vegetables are on hand.

Then the magic happens – a tin of baked beans.

You heard it here first! Yes, OK, high in salt, not really authentic and a little avant-garde from a culinary perspective. But protein and iron-tastic. I think to add some stock and tomatoes with red lentils and let it simmer, then all the spinach I can carry to the pot goes in right at the end. A bit of coriander and voila.

Cheap, quick, muscle building and if I can make it, so can you. Not bad either….
See you back at the gym! Power focus on Wednesday!


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