YMCA Boot Camp: Got Air?

Yesterday’s commercial shoot was Part 2 for the Downtown Oakland’s YMCA.

(Click here to see my first shoot with the YMCA, which focused on YMCA’s amazing people and programs.)

I’ve always wondered what Boot Camp was like.  (I’m more of a Yogini.)  Now I know where to go if I were ever to do Boot Camp!  The Downtown Oakland YMCA!

It was hard core, like I expected, but what was surprising was how motivated the leaders (Jeffry, Jack and Kym) kept all the participants!  They knew how to push you to be your best, but you could still listen to your body.  All the Boot Camp participants were also incredibly supportive of each other and they all worked to their maximum capacity, which served as motivation for the rest of the group.

All of this — combined with the stunning views of Lake Merritt — made for the coolest Boot Camp class ever!

The Warm Up

Jack is leading the class.  I love how the sun is directly above his hands and you can see a glowy outline around his head and arms.


Here’s a dramatic silhouette, an example of how you can capture the same image in completely different ways.

What makes this shot is how Jeffry is standing in the archway.


As the single female Boot Camp leader, Kym showed the class that women can be just as fast and strong as men… if not faster and stronger!


Running The Stairs

What you don’t see from my photos of people running the stairs is how many times they had to do this!

Up and down a couple of times?  No way.  After a good warm up, they did some running around the lake, exercises at the bottom of the stairs, then ran up the stairs, did more exercises (with a different leader) at the top of the stairs, then went down the stairs to repeat the process!

The leaders kept changing up the exercises, so there wasn’t monotony that you often get when you work out on your own.


I was so impressed with most people’s perfect form, even at the end of the workout!




Got Air?

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Your Partner As Resistance

After almost an hour, when you think it’s just about over, you have to run up and down the hill as well as do more push-ups and sit-ups!

My favorite, most unexpected exercise was the partner work.  Your partner’s body weight acted as resistance as you hold them up and push them up the hill.


It is a highly effective exercise because even if you are exhausted, you can’t let your partner down.  Literally, your partner will fall down if you don’t hold up your end of the exercise!


Some Fun Shots at the End

Show me your guns!


Go Team!


The incredible Boot Camp Leaders:  Jack, Kym and Jeffry!


The extraordinary Boot Campers!


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  1. Kym Sterner

    These are FABULOUS! I love how you captured us in movement and your dialogue is also inspiring! Thanks so much for coming out and being so willing to engage with us in our workout environment. My only editorial comment is the spelling of Jeffry’s (no “e” before the “y”) and my name (Kym instead of Kim), but I don’t know that that info is going anywhere anyhow. Thanks again!!!!

  2. Annie, these are great. About 20 mins after we left, it started to rain! I’m so happy that we did not have to battle the elements. I can’t wait to see the gallery! Have a fantastic Christmas.

  3. Thanks, Kym & Laura!

    Kym: Thanks for the name spelling info. I just changed them in the blog.

    Laura: Yes, it was raining on my way home and I thought the same thing! Thank goodness we had a dry shoot.

  4. Good post with lots of useful info. My fitness routine consists mainly of high intense interval training. I discover that I am most productive I exercise inside the morning.