Stacy Who Won't Go Inside
People kept telling me about Stacy's Bootcamp in NYC's Central Park, so I tracked the infamous Stacy Berman down. What I became was her next victim. I'm not going to lie to you. I've never been so close to collapsing. But if you want to lose weight and gain muscle REALLY FAST, Stacy's your girl. I call her Stacy Who Won't Go Inside.
Stacy Berman Is An Anomaly
She's smiley, giggly, and sweet as can be...until you show up to her office where her expectations must always be met. And where's that? Well frankly, it depends on what exactly Stacy has in mind for her bootcamp that day. But one thing's for sure, she clocks in every morning to Central Park (“the only park in Manhattan where you can enter and almost forget you are in the city")...it's just a matter of what conference room she decides to use.
This can be frustrating if you're the type that doesn't like surprises. As long as you meet at 86th street and Central Park West 10-minutes before bootcamp starts, there's always 1 person who knows the way to Stacy's chosen workout spot within the park.
Why She Likes To Keep You Guessing
There are so many great locations in Central Park to workout and each place has a unique characteristic that can change the intensity of the workouts. There are hills and even bigger hills, pull up bars and tracks, steps and a sandpit. By changing the location of the workout as the workouts themselves change the body is always being challenged in different ways so plateau-ing is nearly impossible. Plus, boot campers get to experience parts of the park that most of them have never seen. So its a workout / sight seeing tour.
Why She Won't Go Inside & Doesn't Want You To Either
Other than being recognized as an outdoor fitness starlet, I asked Stacy why being outside was so important. Especially when the weather, frankly, sucks. She broke it down into 4 reasons for me:
- "Outdoor workouts go along with my life philosophy that we are built complete. We don’t need any fancy equipment nor expensive gym to train. In fact, our bodies are our BEST equipment and the outdoors are our BEST gym. There is no pussy footing around the workout when its just you and the great outdoors (or Central Park). Trotting on a step machine just doesn’t compare." You can spend lots of money on top of the line equipment or you can spend an hour with yourself outside and do it better.
- "Being outdoors also adds the element of, well... the elements into a workout. Its one thing to say you did a badass workout. Its a whole different story when you say you did a badass workout at 5:30am, in the dark, outside. For me and my boot campers it fosters a deeper sense of strength that reaches far beyond the physical component."
- "Simply being outside increases immune function and the sense of well being while decreasing stress and anxiety. Holding classes outside gives New Yorkers the opportunity to get some much needed outdoor time and workout, killing two birds with one stone.
- "Plus, gyms are gross"
Stacy's right. There is no "pussy footing" in her bootcamp. She won't scream demeaning things at you, but if you don't suck up the pain and keep moving along, you'll feel her fast approaching or sense her gaze about to fall on you (since it's pitch dark outside and you can't see a damn thing) and that's enough to scare you into submission.
I Went Looking For Trouble But What About Others?
You pretty much have to stare death in the eyes to get through your first bootcamp session with Stacy. I had to run 2 miles with a 6 lb medicine ball just to get to the secret meeting spot for our workout to begin. So I wondered how Stacy recruits her clients and keeps them coming back for more without scaring them away first. I went back for Round #2 of Stacy's Bootcamp but I’m a sucker for torture. According to Stacy, I'm not the only one.
“Most of my clients find me through word of mouth or media coverage. I have great clients and I am continually honored that they come to workout with me whens its 10 degrees and dark out as well as when its beautiful. Sometimes I'm actually shocked when 15 or more people show up in a crazy blizzard. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! But the things they love about class are:
- The most effective and challenging workout that they have ever had
- Being outside
- The camaraderie
- The workout variety
- Dare I say... Me!"
Stacy’s boot campers really do adore her...pain and all. One woman turned to me during a strenuous set of walking-lunge-presses and said, “When I work out with Stacy, I keep the Ibuprofen handy.” I made a mental note to pick some up on the way home.
Does Being A “Nice” Drill Instructor Always Get Her What She Wants?
Yes, I find it does. I want my people to work as hard as they can but I don’t want them to hate me in the process. I ask a lot from them. I ask that they give me everything they have, and then I ask for a little more. Its way better received with a smile and a penis joke than with a frown.
For the record, I heard her tell a penis joke. It was good fun and yes, it numbed my pain.
Does Stacy Spy (like on other people’s bootcamps)?
I don’t go out specifically to spy on other bootcamp classes but being in Central Park everyday, all day, I do run into them sometimes. Competition is a very loose term since I know what my class is about and I know its one of the best.
What She's Got Up Her Sleeve: The Body*Mind Project
Stacy has just rolled out her Body*Mind Project, a program that combines high intensity exercise, movement meditation, visualizations, wellness coaching, nutritional guidance and fashion guidance to create a healthier, happier you. It is designed to change your body, change your mind and change your life. Its a multi-layered approach to health which takes into account much more than exercise. The program is customizable. There will be group classes, one on one classes, traveling workshops/retreats and an online component. To find out more about it, CLICK HERE.
How I Styled Up For Stacy's Bootcamp
Camo, of course! My YogaFit Camo Stretch Legging ($24.99) were perfect in theme and functionality. They're stretchy, pocketed and thick enough to protect you from all the groundwork (on terrain and concrete) that Stacy makes you do. The Jo&Jax Tri-Tank ($35) I wore is sexy, fitted and moisture wicking (because unfortunately NOT sweating is NOT an option).
What Stacy Wears To Work
When these pictures were taken, Spring wasn't far off but it was still nippy outside. Stacy was dressed warm and take-charge-chic. She's too cute in her Ralph Lauren puffy vest, moisture-wicking top layers and Shiny Nylon Tricot Leggings from American Apparel ($34). But what made my day were her no-nonsense, rain or shine Pajar Greenland Boots ($185). Stacy gushes over her beloved Pajars...
I bought them 1 size bigger so that I can wear thick socks and toe warmers without cutting off circulation. With this set up I have been able to stand outside for 4 hours in 19 degree temperatures without any issues.
My Wrap Up On Stacy
Stacy Berman takes her job seriously. She runs her bootcamp like a protective older sister. She has high standards and expects you to finish ever set of squat leaps, stair sprints, burpees and a long list of other exhausting bootcamp moves. She makes sure to keep you moving and engaged.
As a result, your limbs will send high alert signals to your brain but somehow Stacy teaches you to over-ride them with newfound inner strength.That's how Stacy Berman won me over. She's like a jawbreaker--a relentless piece of candy. So tough but so sweet that you can't help but return for more soreness.
And let's just say, I can't complain about the results or the fact that Stacy even tracked my half marathon split times without me knowing it. When I crossed the finish line, she sent me a text that read "Not bad at all."
For a dose of Stacy, go to Stacysbootcamp.com