Classes We Love: Pilates Bootcamp

Kick off the weekend right with Jennifer Phelan's free Pilates Bootcamp class.

Pilates Bootcamp

Pilates Bootcamp at Quincy Market. Photo via Jennifer Phelan Pilates Facebook page

What it is: 

Taught by Boston Pilates guru Jennifer Phelan, Pilates Bootcamp is a combination of high-intensity bootcamp (think drills like squats, jumping jacks, arm presses, and plenty of planks) and traditional Pilates mat exercises. The class is designed to combine the body lengthening and strengthening of Pilates with fat- and calorie-burning cardio for a total-body workout. Phelan teaches the class for free at 9:15 a.m. two Saturdays a month in the upper rotunda of Quincy Market (pictured).

Know before you go: 

The “bootcamp” part of the class name is no joke. This is not a relaxing, ease-into-your-Saturday workout. You will sweat, your muscles will burn, and you will question why you dragged yourself out of bed for a torturous 9:15 a.m. round of burpees. If you plan on going, it might not be a bad idea to skip those Friday night cocktails.

As painful as it may be, it’s also worth skipping those extra few minutes in bed to get there early. With no pre-registration required, the rotunda fills up quickly and late-comers are forced to squeeze into corners or set up way in the back. The plus side, though, is that Phelan gives her instructions via microphone and walks around the room (in wedges and full makeup, no less) instead of simply demonstrating at the front of the room, so you’ll never be confused about what to do even if you get a bad spot.

The vibe: 

This class may be free, but Phelan brings her A-game, not letting anyone slack off for a minute. She’s a funny, energetic, and sassy teacher who makes sure you’re working hard, but without sacrificing a fun, social vibe. Groups of friends made up the majority of the class, adding to the social atmosphere, and Phelan ends the class with raffles and giveaways.

What to bring:

A mat or towel for the Pilates portion of the class, a water bottle (unlike many mat Pilates classes, you will sweat), and sneakers for the bootcamp section.

The bottom line:

This is a great way to get whipped into shape by one of Boston’s best fitness instructors at absolutely no cost to you. If you’re willing to sacrifice your beauty rest for a day, it will be well worth your while.

Jennifer Phelan

Want a body like this? Head to Pilates Bootcamp. Jennifer Phelan photo courtesy of Lucie Wicker