The two words ‘Boot Camp’ usually conjure up thoughts of ‘oh no, what a pain!’ This is probably what happened when we announced the first EBS 8 week Boot Camp to kick off the new year!

I thought an 8 week Boot Camp would be great way to start the new year and to have a bit of fun out of the office each week. I arranged a gym membership for the EBS team to assist with their workouts and to give them a chance to focus on some health goals.

At EBS we are all about the team and their wellbeing. What better way to show this than to put your money where your mouth is and invest in some healthy activities.

The idea was received with some trepidation by a few and maybe some excitement from others (well, maybe just from me), but after some consultation with the team, everyone agreed that it would be a good idea.  So we put the plan in motion.

To prepare for the Boot Camp the team needed to have an initial individual fitness assessment to ensure that the trainers knew everyone’s limits and to assist with preparing a safe training program. This also provided a fitness benchmark to allow each person to reflect on where they were before the program and where they ended up.

This is much like how we run implementation projects in our business. We assess our clients issues, take some measures to snapshot that point in time and then reflect on these at the end of the project to ensure we’ve have success in our training (oops, I mean implementation).

Once everyone completed their assessment we were able to kick off the 8 week program and get to work.

One the first day of the Boot Camp, no one knew what to expect and we gingerly walked across the road to the gym to see what was in store for us.  The first session wasn’t as scary as everyone thought with a 30 minute circuit that included some boxing, weights and body weight exercises. Everyone worked through the process and some even had fun.

Week two was more relaxed.  We had a session outside in Heidelberg Park.  It was a nice sunny day and everyone had fun. The boxing was the highlight I think.  We have a couple of pictures from the session and as you can see no mercy was taken. Linda won a prize that day for the best effort, but it was good to see everyone having a go and most importantly having fun.

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So, as each week went on some days were harder than others. We had some gruelling high intensity interval training (which were the toughest by far) and some more moderate kettelbell exercises.

At EBS we work hard to deliver for our clients. We work hard together and play hard together and as we say in our EBS values ‘RESPECT’ – we enjoy ourselves and have fun. Our culture is creative, energetic and dynamic. As we succeed, we give back, to our customers, to our team and to our community.  For me, Boot Camp is one way we give back to our team. The effort every person put in, the fun they had while doing so and the bonding that we had as a group was all very real.

It wasn’t all work though, we also took some time to have lunch together as a team.  We took great pleasure in capturing this image of Dan who insisted the naan bread was not going against the rules of no junk food. We posted this on our Boot Camp Facebook group and the trainer made sure he did extra burpees the next week.

We also had some competitive days and as we are into data here at EBS (it’s what we do right) it was only fitting we took part in a trial for a fitness company who were working on an app for team fitness sessions. We were hooked up to heart rate monitors and statistics were called out as we did our high intensity interval training session. The app runs on an iPhone or iPad and provides real time data as you can see on the right here. But ultimately it provided more fun and a matrix we could monitor as we worked.  It was also a good distraction to take your mind off the pain of the workout that day.

All up, we did 8 weeks of Boot Camp. What did we learn in that time? For me it was good to see our team support and encourage each other as each activity proved to be a different challenge to each person. We worked as a team even when we were competing against each other, and most importantly we had fun. We got out of the office for 30 – 45 minutes each week and it was a opportunity to take a little time to exercise, relax and reduce any stress.

Working hard together in the office is not that different from working hard together in a workout. We all learn from each other, we support each other and have fun together. So how did everyone feel at the end of the 8 weeks? I’m not sure at this point, but we are going to follow everyone up with a survey to see how they feel after the 8 weeks. But I’m sure of this, the team is a closer team than we were 8 weeks ago.

We discuss topics like nutrition and what we have been eating as a way to inspire each other to make healthy choices. We laugh and joke about some of the workouts we did. In the last session, we did an exercise where we had to leap frog and crawl under the legs of each other and it was fun (I don’t think we could have done that on week 1).

So will we do this again? We will see, but it was a fun process and the whole team seemed to have the great time. Some people are even going to the gym more often and dare I say, getting in better shape than prior to the Boot camp. So, if nothing else I can say we are in better health now that we were before and in life, happiness and health are important.

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