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Posted June 23, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Beach Body Boot Camp: Program caters to those hoping to get in shape quickly

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Sarah Buracker, right, fitness trainer at Woodstock Rehab & Fitness, coaches Laura Bishop, 19, of Woodstock on performing squats. Photos by Rich Cooley/Daily

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Buracker tosses a ball to Bishop as part of an abdominal muscle exercise.

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Buracker uses a set of bands as she works with Bishop.

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Lisa Rhodes, of Strasburg, performs lunges during her workout at Woodstock Rehab & Fitness. The center is offering a “Beach Body Boot Camp.”


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The deadline to register for Beach Body Boot Camp is June 30. The cost is $347.95 and Buracker and Guisewhite will work with participants on the schedule they choose. Woodstock Rehab & Fitness is located at 1195 Hisey Ave. Shower facilities are available, as well as free child care on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 459-7772.

By Ben Orcutt - borcutt@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- While the "Beach Body Boot Camp" at Woodstock Rehab & Fitness may not get you in shape to become a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, it does promise to get you fit enough to be confident about slipping back into your favorite bathing suit.

"It's designed as a pretty intense program," says Sarah Buracker, who, along with Bonnie Guisewhite, is a personal trainer who will put boot camp participants through their paces for three one-hour sessions a week for four weeks.

"This time of year we get a lot of people coming in," the 29-year-old Buracker adds. "They want to lose weight really quick or tone up really quick so they can fit into their bathing suits from last year. We called it boot camp because there will be squats and lunges and things like that that anybody, even if you have knee problems, it can be worked around that. We can change things for any situation. It's not necessarily just for people in their 20s or just women. It's all ages and all situations."

Buracker and Guisewhite are certified by the American College of Sports Medicine. Each of them will work one-on-one with the boot campers.

"It's actually designed for people who are not members," Buracker says. "We wanted to target the public. So if they don't want to be tied down to a one-year commitment or they just want to do this, we're gearing it towards them."

Don't expect that you will look like a swimsuit model at the end of the four-week camp, Buracker cautions.

"That's not gonna happen," she says. "You have to kind of be realistic about it, but you can definitely see differences in four weeks. Diet plays a big factor. Of course you want to watch carbohydrates in your diet and increase your intake of water, especially throughout the summer. You do not have to have an OK from a doctor. If there are serious health issues that Bonnie and I are concerned about we may request that, but you don't have to have that done."

The boot camp will incorporate cardiovascular and strength training, Buracker says.

"You're gonna burn more calories working your large muscle groups, so we may have squats with hand weights so you're working your arms at the same time," she says. "We try to do more functional training on the exercise balls, free weights, the benches and the mats. You can notice a difference in muscle tone in just a few weeks."

People of all fitness levels are welcome to join the program, Buracker says.

"This is more just to get people set in the right direction thinking about fitness and healthy eating," she says. "Nobody's gonna come in here and in four weeks lose 30 pounds and five inches, but we're getting you set in the right direction and even if you lose 5 to 10 pounds in a month and then you try on that bathing suit after working with Bonnie and I after 12 sessions, you're gonna notice a difference you're gonna be happy with."

Even though it's called a boot camp, Buracker says she and Guisewhite won't yell and scream like drill sergeants.

"Not unless they want us to," Buracker says, laughing.

Like Buracker, the 58-year-old Guisewhite is the mother of three. Guisewhite also has a granddaughter.

"I can relate a lot about being 58 to a lot of women in menopause who are very upset by how their body shape has changed and things like this," Guisewhite says. "It's not something you wait around to do. If it's the shape you've gotten into and it's taken you four years to get into it, you're not gonna get out of it in four weeks.

"But I can tell you in the boot camp, every time I've worked in a boot camp, we've been very successful because most of the time people come into it, they expect to work very hard and they expect to really fine tune certain parts of their body and in a boot camp, we can get away with sort of pushing people a little bit harder because with the term, boot camp, it's automatically assumed it's gonna be harder."

While she may be a taskmaster, Guisewhite says she's not going to push participants too far.

"Nobody wants to be abused without having fun," she says. "Our idea is not really to beat you up, but it's to make you work harder than you would work yourself. I love what I do. I love personal training. It's a way of teaching people and I just have a lot of fun doing it and it's very enjoyable. You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself. You have to be very knowledgeable. We have to be able to know that when we look at somebody, we can tell from their body language they're being pushed too hard and we have to know when to pull back."

Guisewhite said one of her goals is for the boot camp participants to say after they've completed the program, "You made me do what I wouldn't have done on my own."

Woodstock Rehab & Fitness member Lisa Rhodes is a 41-year-old single mother of girls ages 3 and 5. Rhodes maintains her 103-pound figure on her 5-foot 3-inch frame by working out six to seven days a week and has the beach body that boot campers aspire to.

"I actually ran the entire time [during] both pregnancies and once I had the kids I had a double jogger stroller and ran with them," she says.

Rhodes encourages boot camp participants to take what they learn and make a lifetime commitment to staying fit by working out regularly.

"It's a great stress release," she says. "Juggling work and the kids' schedule it is the one selfish thing I do for myself. It does take a lot of work. It definitely takes dedication. It's exercise and diet combined. It's not one or the other."

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