Open for Fitness: We Worked Out Together at Home with Ward Village’s Boot Camp Class

We decided to shelter-in-shape and tuned in separately to a live boot camp class on Ward’s Instagram, taught by Mike Sapp Fitness. Not gonna lie, one of us wanted to drop the Mike and leave.

Editor’s Note: Stacey and Katrina are at vastly different fitness levels (and ages) but both enjoy working out. We thought it’d be fun for the two of them to try new or interesting workouts together each month. This time they took a socially distant boot camp class from Mike Sapp Fitness, hosted live on Instagram by Ward Village.

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When Honolulu’s stay-at-home order went into effect in March, Ward Village’s free Fitness in the Park classes turned digital, broadcasting live from Victoria Ward Park twice a week on Instagram. Every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m., an instructor from Mike Sapp Fitness works out apart from others but not alone—when we tuned in from our backyards, more than a dozen others were also watching live. Our boot camp class, a high-intensity interval training class that aims to strengthen your core through body-weight calisthenics, was taught by Alex, a certified personal trainer who also teaches yoga.



Katrina: I haven’t taken a single fitness class since January—months before we were told to shelter in place, so I can’t even blame anyone but myself. I did continue my regular workouts until my gym closed and I’ve exercised to a couple of videos online and gone for walks, but, wow, it took writing this sentence to realize how little I’ve prioritized my health in 2020. So, naturally, I picked a high-intensity class to kick my butt in gear. What I’m most worried about is the weather: I don’t have a lot of space indoors so I was hoping to do the class in my yard while tuning in on my laptop, but it’s been raining on and off all day. I also hope the screen is big enough for me to clearly see what’s going on, since there won’t be anyone giving me hands-on adjustments or tips.


Stacey: NOT EXCITED. I got sick during quarantine (no, not with the coronavirus) so I haven’t been my same, in-shape self. It could be that my couch has become my best friend and Netflix is my god.

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We reached out to Ward in advance to find out if we needed anything special: just a yoga mat, towel and water. They failed to tell us we needed to be in shape—but we found that out two minutes into the video. About 15 minutes before class, we did a quick check-in with each other on the phone to make sure we were good to go (and that we still wanted to go! C’mon, we’re not the only ones who have traded in sweating for cute sweats). We sucked it up, went to and clicked on the live video promptly at 5:30 p.m.

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The Warmup

Stacey: Was there a warmup? Maybe I was still getting situated. I had to use my phone because my laptop wasn’t connecting. I had “technical difficulties.”


Katrina: We started with a few simple stretches. Alex noted that we might hear some clicking in our joints, which just means we’re getting old, he joked. I liked him immediately. My video was skipping a little, so I tuned in on my phone as well and propped it up against my screen. The video was about the same size on both screens so the laptop didn’t really make as big a difference as I was hoping, but, because the two streams were showing slightly different points of the workout, it felt more like I was part of a class with multiple people, so I left them both up for fun.


The Workout

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Katrina: We went through three eight-minute cycles that each included three exercises. Alex demonstrated the first cycle: 10 burpees, 10 leg swoops and 20 jumping jacks. I’d never seen a leg swoop before, where you start in a crouch, then thread your left leg in front of your right leg, lightly touching your butt to the ground, then do it on the opposite side. I never fully got it but, hey, who’s watching?


SEE ALSO: We Tried an Intense Cardio Workout at Orangetheory Fitness


Stacey: Yeah, my rounds were more like five minutes. I took breaks. Often. Burpees are much harder on the grass, especially when the lawn is slanted. Then there’s the dog who’s trying to steal the spotlight jumping all over me. Yes, I love to give excuses when it comes to doing burpees. Leg swoops are fun if you’re a masochist. Just kidding, the swoops are actually not too bad because you must move fast to get your butt to touch the ground—momentum is on your side. Jumping jacks are always meh to me.


Katrina: Momentum was not on my side. I just kinda rolled around and kicked randomly. After those eight minutes we took a quick break and I refreshed my laptop feed to catch up while Alex went through the next three exercises: 10 jump squats, 10 pushups and 10 plank walks. I made it through the first set of squats before easing up and stepping instead of jumping on the next round, then just doing regular squats. I attempted one pushup before realizing I’ve lost any chest muscles I had and did five pushups from my knees, but I had to keep adjusting my mat since the cement underneath hurt my wrists and knees. Alex’s sister was working out with him off-camera, so whenever he yelled mildly insulting motivation to her, it made me laugh and want to keep going. But my shoes were slippery on the grass, so my plank walks were more like plank slides. Halfway through, I started getting lightheaded.

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Stacey: If you’ve been following our blog, you know my left knee has more issues than Carole Baskin. So, I delete the jumping from a lot of exercises. Somewhere in between my pushups and plank walks, I took a break and focused on the comments coming in. There was a kinky invitation for Alex that popped up. That was awesome! (The comment stream on IG videos is CLASSIC.) Don’t know if he saw it, but he continued. One thing I truly appreciated about Alex was that he’s right there doing everything you’re doing. So, when he was a smidge winded, I felt better about my lack of energy.

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Katrina: Our final cycle involved a lot of glute-squeezing: skydivers, side planks and bridge lifts. I’ve never done skydivers, where you lie face down, then lift your chest, arms and legs off the ground. I had to move my mat onto the grass again, since the cement hurt my pubic bone. I cheated on the side planks, which are too hard for my nonexistent abs, using my opposite hand to push myself up. I couldn’t do proper bridge lifts either and just did some weird kicks before defaulting to a regular bridge pose.


Stacey: This was by far the easiest round. You’re on the ground for everything. Skydivers are one of my faves. You’re flying like superwoman. The side planks are difficult, but like Katrina, I modify it sometimes to fit what I can do without compromising form. The bridge lifts were enhanced to elevate the level of difficulty, so we had to raise one leg up while we lifted our bum-bums. I did, again, not make it to a full eight-minute round. Alex is like the Energizer Bunny after eating a basket full of candy. My goal is to be half the workout warrior he is. 


SEE ALSO: Want That Lean Ballerina Body? Then Try This Barre Class at Sweat + Soul in Kaka‘ako

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The Cool-Down

Katrina: I thought the workout would be a full hour, but it was only 24 minutes of actual intensity. We ended with a few stretches and called it a day.


Stacey: It was much shorter than our other workouts. No complaints here. I ended up playing volleyball with my daughter after. I took some mean hits with that workout too.



Stacey: Not bad. I didn’t go in 100% because I’m out of shape. But doing this video reminded me that I need to get BACK in shape. Will I do this again? Possibly. Online videos are great because you can stop, slack and sit back. But then why workout? In classes, you have no choice but to move. And the results show.


Katrina: I had a hard time falling asleep that night because my legs hurt, but by the next morning, the pain was all in my back and upper body. I can’t imagine what it would’ve felt like if I had done as many reps as Alex. What I like about this virtual format is that I don’t feel guilty for taking breaks in the middle of a set, nor do I feel embarrassed when I’m doing it totally wrong. I like having the structure of a set class time, even if the instructor can’t see me, because it’s more motivating than picking an online workout video at random. It would be nice to have someone help correct my form, but at least I didn’t have to drive home after!


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Free boot camp classes are held every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. on the @wardvillage Instagram page, which you can watch live on your phone or computer. Follow @wardvillage to get notified whenever it’s broadcasting live (you can change your settings to receive all, some or no live notifications from each account you follow). They also host a live yoga class every Monday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. No registration is required. Use the hashtags #WVFitness and #WeAreWard to show you’re working out along with them.