REST! It Does A Body Good

Have you ever wondered what rest and recovery have to do with your fitness and wellness journey? How on earth can the time that you’re not working out be as important as the workout itself?

Well, rest assured, it’s more than just not doing physical work, you are actually becoming stronger! 

Although you aren’t doing physical work during that period, your body is repairing itself and getting ready for the next time you exercise. The repair process is the strengthening process.

It helps to know a little bit about that fantastic system our body has called the Muscular System. There are 3 types of muscle in the body. Cardiac (heart); Smooth (walls of internal organs); and Skeletal, which are the muscles that move the body, arms and legs. This last is the one we’ll be discussing.

When you lift weights, your muscles contract. The muscles can both shorten and lengthen. So when you are doing your sets of pushups, squats, etc., your muscles are working to meet the demands you are placing on them. You’re depleting your glycogen stores (muscle energy) and the muscles become fatigued. The muscle, while you’re lifting weights, is getting small tears.  These tears simulate the body’s repair response.

The recovery process (repair response) starts when you are done working out. Your glycogen stores get replaced and the tears are repaired. Time is necessary for the repair process as your body is rebuilding the muscle STRONGER than it was previously. Rest is essential to these improvements.

So what happens if I don’t rest?

Best case scenario is that your performance decreases. Have you ever had the experience of working out a ton, and just not getting anywhere?  A lack of rest could be the cause. You’ll also feel more fatigued when working out. The exercise will be, and feel, more difficult. Worst case is that you will get injured. If the body doesn’t have time to repair, then the tears just get worse and worse.

This is the reason that Booty Camp is set up to have you work out different muscle groups on each day; to give the muscles time to rest. Break Weeks are a great time to rest (and get stronger) as well.

So enjoy your time off, and know that it’s making you stronger and healthier!!

Front Page, Motivation, The Moves

Getting Started with Running

“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles is sure to have trouble.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

What’s the best way to train to run a race? Any race, be it your first 5k, or your 8th marathon?

The answer is simple; you have to run. Yes, it’s that simple. The principle of running is that you run to run. But how far? And how often? And what do I eat? And what shoes are the best? What about speed work? And hill training?

Congrats to the Booty Babes who did their first ever 5k at the Shore Run last weekend!

What follows is a very basic outline of how to get started and get the most out of your training experience.  (Please note – we will be offering a 5k to Half Marathon Training Series starting March 28 and ending on June 13, 2015 at the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon … another goal setting opportunity perhaps?!! xo)

  1. Your Attitude

“I hate this.” “Running sucks.” “I’m not a runner.” Do any of these sound familiar? Have any of these thoughts bounced around in your mind? Don’t worry, everyone has these thoughts; even Olympic marathon medalists. But you can change that message.

“I love this!” “I’m getting stronger with every step.” “Running is keeping me healthy.” “ I AM a runner!.”

No one but you can lace up your running shoes and get out there. You don’t need to win races, or even beat anyone in a race to be a “runner.” If you run, you’re a runner! End of story.

      2.    Your Running Schedule

Ah, here’s the rub. Basically, to have a successful race, you need to train. Build a base. It’s the foundation on which you can then increase distance and speed. That means lacing up those shoes and going out for a run. The bonus here is, that as a Booty Camper, you’re already doing that, at least 4 times a week! You need to have an aerobic base to run any given distance successfully. That means putting in some miles. Slow, easy runs.  How far depends on what you’re training for, as does how often. But a good rule of thumb is to try to run at least 3-4 days a week.

Hill workouts are only needed AFTER you’ve built your base. Same with speed, or track, workouts.

      3.    Your Shoes

Wear good running shoes. Your body will thank you, and you’re less likely to get hurt. Yes, they can be expensive, but if you really want to be successful, good shoes are key. Each person has different feet, be it high or low arches, pronation or supination, and so on. Go to a local running store and try on different shoes to find the ones that are perfect for you. They are experts in what they do, and will allow you to actually run in the shoe and will watch your gait to see what is best for you. I’ve had success with these stores in particular:

Super Jock n Jill

Everyone for everyone and everyone for themselves… the journey and uplift of having and completing a “race” goal.

Balanced Athlete

Fleet Feet

West Seattle Runner

The owners of these stores are local runners themselves.

      4.    Your Clothes

Be comfortable, above all. Cotton is not your friend, as when it gets wet (as it will when you sweat) it clings and can lead to chafing. The running stores have good gear, but you can generally wear the same thing you wear to booty camp. Stick with tech or wool.  Layer when needed, and remember that as you stand there being cold, you’ll warm up very quickly when you start to run.


      5.    Your Recovery

Listen to your body! If you are just starting out, you may need more rest. If there’s a certain body part (usually knees or feet) that is starting to nag at you, stop then to assess it. If you try to “run through it” or “tough it out”, you’ll probably get injured. Talk to your trainer at that point. Sleep is key, as is stretching, and when needed, a foam roller.  Epsom salt baths relax the muscles before sleep, as well as a magnesium/calcium vitamin before bed.  Also, hint hint: Join us for Yoga Fridays here!

     6.    Your Nutrition

You need fuel to run. We could spend days covering this topic alone, but suffice it to say that the fuel should come in the form of carbs (burn quickest) and a little protein. Protein is more for after you run, for helping to build muscle tissue. Staying hydrated is also key, so make sure to drink your water.

     7.    Your Race Day

The main event! Have your clothes laid out the night before, with your race number pre-attached if at all possible. Whatever you’ve been doing in terms of nutrition and clothing during training, stick with this on race day. Never wear new shoes or clothes on race day! That is, clothes or shoes you’ve not worn before this day. That just opens the door to chafing, blisters and a generally bad time.

This is a VERY brief synopsis to get you started. So let’s hit the road!

-Contributed by Trainer Michelle

The Moves

How About Those Hammies?

Hamstring tightness and lack of flexibility is a concern for many of us, and something I get asked about frequently at Booty Camp. We work out to build strength and flexibility and this can be compromised when an integral part of our body, such as the hamstrings, are overactive or tight, making what would be a good workout session a painful or injurious event. Our goal is to provide preventative measures to help strengthen those hamstrings and provide flexibility tips to help lengthen and loosen the hammies and keep you moving smoothly throughout your daily life.

What the Hamstrings Do:

Three muscles make up the hamstring muscle group–the bicep femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus

The hamstrings flex the knee joint and extend the hips.  They are critical in ensuring a normal range of leg and joint movement and play a major role in forward propulsion—transferring power between hip and knee joints.    When we jump, they are one of the first muscles activated to propel the leg motion.

Some Factors That Contribute to Tight Hamstrings:

  •        Decreased back mobility
  •        Pelvic tilt/lumbar curve
  •        Poor posture
  •        Lack of core strength
  •        Long hours sitting
  •        Unconscious tension held in the body
  •        Prior injuries
  •        Weak hamstring muscles relative to stronger quadriceps muscles


When our hamstrings are tight or inflexible, the body compensates for this restriction, typically by increasing pressure on the lower back/lumbar spine. Those of us with tight hamstrings often have associated lower back pain.

Flexibility Tips:

There are a few simple techniques we can employ to lengthen and loosen the hamstrings, thus creating more fluid movement through the legs and take the stress off the lower back. Correcting the length of the hamstring, through strengthening and stretching exercises, while simultaneously strengthening the lumbar region, is important to the body’s overall well-being and something we work on regularly in Booty Camp. Some tips:

  • Perform hamstring stretches when your muscles are warm
  • Do not force any stretch. Only perform the stretch to the point where you feel it but are not experiencing acute pain.
  • When you do stretch, start with low back and calf stretches first before progressing to hamstring stretches.
  • Back exercises for core stability and coordination help with hamstring tightness! It’s all interconnected.
  • Foam rollers, tennis balls, etc are your friend.   Use them to roll out problems spots in your body, especially the legs and back.
  • Most importantly, listen to your body.  Hamstring strains and tears take a long time to recover from. After you have strained a hamstring, they are more susceptible to injury moving forward.  If you have injured a hamstring muscle, don’t push through the pain! Modify. Ask your trainer for suggestions.  We are here to help with your overall fitness health.

– Contributed by Trainer Gina


Keeping Your Booty in Check over the Holidays

The holiday season is a great time to be mindful about your health and fitness goals.    The holiday season can oftentimes be a period of overindulgence and temptation. Months of parties.  Temptingly delicious potluck dishes.  Way too many cookies and pies.  Cozy homes protecting us from stormy weathers.  It’s difficult to maintain your motivation to exercise and eat right amidst the many holiday and winter distractions.

Most women I know go into the holidays hoping not to gain too much weight and just accepting that it is likely to happen.  That doesn’t have to be the case!  You can maintain all of the good work we do at camp AND eat pie. The important thing is to be good to yourself, be mindful of your eating habits, and keep active.  Here are some helpful tips to keep your booty in check over the holidays:

Be Selective

At big holidays meals, focus on your ‘favorite dishes’.  We all have that one dish we absolutely must have for Thanksgiving. Even if your favorites are not the healthiest of the dishes on the table, eat it and enjoy it, guilt-free.  However, make choices about other things you might be willing to give up as a result.   For example, I love green bean casserole, but now I skip the stuffing and most other casserole dishes on the table.  Gotta leave room for the pumpkin pie! Think about it as a calorie budget.  Distribute your calories wisely!


Portion control can take you far during the holidays.  I love a good potluck and my friends/acquaintances can cook!  I have found that taking small servings or mini-bites of what’s on the table usually satisfies my cravings for the delectable treats without going overboard or feeling deprived.  Again, choose your unhealthy dishes wisely!


Consider healthier alternatives to your favorite holiday dishes.  Think about the essence of the dish and why you love it.  Deconstruct it into a healthier alternative.  I still enjoy a good, soupy green bean casserole, but I now make a simpler and healthier green bean dish with sautéed onions, garlic, and seasonings and leave crumbled bacon and crispy onions on the side as a topping.  Upon reflection, I realized I didn’t even like the creamy soup part of the casserole dish—just the taste of green beans and bacon together (with the texture of something crispy on top)!

Get Fresh Air & Take Time for Yourself

If you are hosting a big party or meal, make sure you make time for yourself the day of.  Go for a run or walk in the morning.  Take a 5-minute walk around the block before you dive into food preparation. Stand outside in your yard or porch and take 20 deep breaths.

During holiday meals, suggest a post-meal constitutional.  Everyone in your family could benefit from going for a walk in the fresh air and it will do wonders for everyone’s disposition.

Drink Lots of Water

Stay hydrated.  Water does not have calories!  If you drink a glass or two of water before you eat, you feel fuller, which goes a long way toward increasing your willpower to stay away from too many buttery rolls. Also, if you are choosing to eat more calories than normal, you don’t want to drink an excess of calories on top of that.

Stay Active

Traveling during the holidays? Can’t make it to Booty Camp? Stick with an exercise regimen!  At a minimum aim to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity three times a week. Go for a run.  Make up your own Booty Camp workout around the neighborhood.  Explore the places you are visiting by going for a long walk. Stay active in whatever way works for your schedule.  It’s good for your physical AND mental health this holiday season.


-Contributed by Trainer Gina

Community News, Motivation, Partners

Strong Supportive Hands

Booty Camp has a way of attracting the people who, like SSBC are unique and motivated to build something really special.  I sat down with Alicea Cole, our wonderful camp massage sponsor, who has been a participant and contributor within the Booty Camp Community for many years!  Alicea shares more with us here, as well as a special offer to all booty campers!

Every time I spoke with Alicea I was struck by her infectious enthusiasm for her work and how she sees the links between her practice and Booty Camp because they both centered around the same values; holistic nourishment, community and non-competitiveness.  Alicea is loyal, kind to the core and great at what she does!  She brings 16 years experience to her massage practice.  Alicea has been with booty camp since it began in 2008.

Why is Alicea Massage a sponsor? She credits Booty Camp for helping her stay a happier and healthier therapist and person.  Alicea says “Booty camp is part of taking care of myself. Booty camp allows me to be a nurturing giver in the rest of my life.  It keeps me strong physically and mentally, it keeps me feel better about myself.”

Alicea also participated in our video testimonials this spring. If you need any inspiration look no further!

Where’s your Booty Camp Home: Volunteer Park! 7:30am class!

What exercise would you actually do on your own?

“I actually do the clam shells at home, I love them!”

What exercise would you never do on your own?

“Burpees or mountain climbers, I barely do them in camp ha! ”

What’s a favorite Booty Camp moment?

“The first time I walked up the steps of the water tower in Volunteer Park and I could make it the whole way without stopping. That was a good feeling.”

What’s your secret to making it to camp?

“Prepare. Have your clothes ready the night before”

Do the math. Give me two words that make up Booty Camp:

Booty camp = Strength + Commitment

Wishes for fellow campers…

Alicea wanted to note that most of us spend a LOT of our time as women nurturing others.  Alicea challenges all of us to take more action to re-charge ourselves “It’s like re-filling a well” she says.

And what about that super gift I mentioned? Alicea’s generosity is palpable she has a seriously super Booty Camp special for us… any enrolled camper gets $10 off their massage EVERY TIME they come in. Whoa. That’s a booty camp first.

How do I get one of her famous massages?

Call her or write her at… Alicea Cole Massage Therapy, 206-902-7745 or

psst… your insurance might cover massage even though you don’t know it. Alicea is covered under several insurance carriers (including Regence). Call her today to find out!

-Contributed by Booty Camp Blogger Becka Tilsen

Special Events

Booty Babes Snowshoe Expedition 2013

Booty Camp Founder Jessica Breznau and Trainer Melissa Madgsick lead a group of intrepid booty campers on a gorgeous showshoe up to Source Lake Basin.  It was a brilliant day!  About half the group braved their first snowshoe and several joined us again that came last year.  Check out the slideshow below.  Highlights:  A discussion about whether or not wine should be allowed on our first ever Booty Camp Restorative Retreat this May ; )  Also Melissa brought along the star of the parade – baby Grace and also her hubby Greg of Freggies – one of our co sponsors!


Community News, Special Events

5th Anniversary Holiday Party!


Southside Booty Camp celebrated our 5th Anniversary in style this holiday season!

Thanks so much to all who attended and made it special.  Highlights were the mid dance party plank contest.  Camper Kathleen Skeels (the champion) and Laura Shoemaker each won a week of camp each, with both coming in at over 7 minutes 30 seconds!  So you all can expect some longer plank holds during camp now!  The table was set with amazing food from so many excellent kitchens.  Randi Rascal gave us the sweetest burlesque act which involved clothes being shed in the effort of trying to fit into a box… And Camper Xena Harris performed and showed us how to get our Bollywood on as we all took the dance floor.  We celebrated 5 years of sweating together and plan on many more to come.  Extra special was Jessica getting to present “I’m a Booty Babe’ onsies to FIVE campers who will all give birth to new booty babes early this year!  Congrats all around!

Many thanks to Cheri Pearl Photography, Waid’s Haitian Lounge, Mean Girls Massage, Dahlia Spa, Freggies, and Communichi Acupunture.

Community News, Motivation

Why “News and Goods”?

Our Camp Tradition: News and Goods

Every Thursday after a tough and terrific roving day in the park we circle up.  Sweaty campers with cheeks flushed all share a “New and Good”.

Why do we do a “New and Good”?  SSBC is about so much more than getting a bangin’ workout.  It’s about bringing more power, balance, energy and health to women individually and as a community.  When we circle up we:

  • Take a moment to connect with the collective group of powerful women
  • Share a bit about lives beyond the mornings of mats, weighs, and circuit sprints
  • Pause to reflect on something going well in our lives

But wait!  What is a “New and Good”??

Great question! A “New and Good” is a bit of news about you that is BOTH new AND good.  It doesn’t have to be big news, it can be a small moment.  A New and Good can be:

  • A pleasant moment that you recently experienced like a beautiful walk, a visit with a friend or family member or a recent adventure.
  • A recent accomplishment from your life or from Booty Camp (i.e. showing up for camp!)
  • Something fun coming up that you’re looking forward to
  • A *Brag* this is addition was contributed by our brilliant Seward Park Trainer Stephanie!  It’s so good (and uncomfortable!!!) for most women to get some practice bragging about ourselves!  Thank you Stephanie!

What if I don’t have one of these “News and Goods” to share??

Well first ,if you’re asking this question then I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough way these days!  L  The tendency to feel crummy is actually precisely WHY we do New and Goods in the first place.  This exercise is not about making anyone be falsely positive or forcibly upbeat.   We do News and Goods because it’s a practice to train our minds to notice even the smallest uplifting moment, something warm, gentle, sweet, loving or tender that happened to us that week.

Is it okay to share sad news during New and Goods?  Yes it is!  The goals of the circle is to building connection and community and hard times is part of keeping it real between us and not being isolated in grief or loss.   Sometimes sharing a sad or hard bit of news can open up our attention to notice something sweet or comforting inside of it.

For example, just a few weeks ago I shared that a lovely colleague of mine died suddenly.  As I shared this I found myself telling the group about the amazing experience of seeing how many people loved this person, fighting back tears I reflected how profound it was to get to know someone so much more deeply after they have left our world.   When I looked up others were crying with me. It was comforting to be with my workout women and get to feel the strength of our compassion and connection for each other.


-Contributed by Becka Tilsen

Community News, Partners

Birth Days of all Shapes and Sizes

Today is a BIRTH DAY.  No it’s not our fearless leader Jessica’s Birthday (although stay tuned for the upcoming Booty Camp 5th year anniversary party!).  Today we are honoring Booty Camp Sponsor and Camper Marge Mansfield and her organization Seattle Home Maternity Service and Childbirth Center.

Located in Columbia City, this is the oldest practice and birth center in the state.  Marge is one of the founders!

Some of you may know Marge as your fellow camper in Stephanie’s 6:15 class.  When she’s not doing her reps with you at camp she is working with women all around Seattle since the late 1970’s to have satisfying and empowering births.

“Brilliant” is what Marge calls Southside Booty Camp’s outdoors exercise experience.  She makes connection between her work and SSBC through empowerment, education and community building.  Marge appreciates how SSBC gives women tools you can use anywhere for their own personal fitness.

“Midwifery care is a different kind of care…it’s client driven” she says.  Marge wants everyone to know the breadth of options available to pregnant women.  For example, did you know?

– Most Midwives offer a free consultation

– With a Midwife you can give birth at home, in a birth center, or in a hospital

– Midwives are covered by essentially all health insurance plans, including Group Health and state Medicaid

Marge reminds us that Seattle is an incredible place for options:  “you deserve to have a care provider who is responsive to your needs and concerns.”  She advises – not to accept a care provider who doesn’t know or can’t tell you:

– her/his c-section rate

– time you can expect her/him at your bedside,

– If she/he is open to having a doula present

What to do if that happens?  Marge says “It’s never too late to change providers.  If you’re not comfortable, fire them!  Look for someone who’s right for you.”

For new parents she stresses a healthy recovery and adjustment time, validating self-care; trust yourself and your ideas of your body’s capacity, “come home to that trust” she reminds pregnant women and new moms.

Want more information for you or a friend? Check-out these resources:

Contributed by Camper Becka Tilsen

The Moves


Here are 4 workout ideas for break week or for when you are on vacation and want to take us with you!

With all the workouts start with a 5-10 minute brisk walk or jog to get your body warmed up and ready to go.
Then mobilize your joints with some dynamic (moving) stretching like we do in class.
When you begin the  workout remember to belly breath as much as possible, and strive for maintaining good form over
completing the right number of repetitions or time, and stay hydrated.  When you are finished the main work set
take 5 minutes or so to stretch out the muscle groups that you have worked.  Have fun ~ even try putting a smile on your face when
it starts to feel hard, and whenever possible get a buddy to join you, that always makes it more fun.

There is a core workout, a lower and upper body workout. You can always take a piece of each of those
workouts and combine them together for a more full body session.


You will need a watch for this one, or if you are doing it inside a wall clock with a second hand works well.
using a 30-45 second interval with 10- 15 seconds to rest/transition to the next exercise.

Round 1.
Forearm plank hold – press through your whole forearm, and draw your shoulder blades down your back
Side plank hold –   lift  your top hip up, and try to keep your your body in one long line
Bridge  –  engage your core before you lift up, and press through your heels to make sure you are using your glut muscles
Superman –   keeping your core engaged, lift your legs and arms up and down for a count of 5.

In between rounds 1 and 2 and  then 2 and 3 take a run and or do 1-2 minutes of the cardio move of you choice
(jacks, mountain climbers, skipping etc)

Round 2 – same exercises or if you want to increase the challenge add the following modifications
Plank- try body saws, hinging you body forward and back
Side Plank – lift your hips up and down
Bridge – lift your body up and down, with spine straight (no curling)
Superman – lengthen your lift to a 10 second hold

Round 3 – continue where you are or modify further
Plank – while holding plank, alternate lifting you legs out to the side
Side plank – lift top arm and leg up . Now try going up and down…!
Bridge – hold bridge and march your legs by extending your lower leg out till it is level with your thigh
Sea turtles – as you lift up through your spine, sweep your arms back by your sides and spread your legs out to the sides


Tabata is a pretty quick way to fit in a workout and get your metabolism fired up for the rest of the day.
You will need a watch or a wall clock for this one, using the 20 ‘on’ and 10 seconds rest timing for a total of 4 minutes.
if you have any physical restrictions feel free to substitute another cardio exercise of your choice
Between rounds take 2 minutes of rest (or more if you need it) and drink some water

Round 1
Jacks ( plyo jacks will increase the intensity)
butt kicks (jog in place but kick your heels up high behind you.

round 2
Mountain climbers
jump squats or quick pulse squats

Round 3
Skipping (if you don’t have a jump rope pretend..!)
Punches  stay active on your feet as you punch out in front about shoulder or eye level.


This is a ascending/descending ladder. Do each of the exercises below 5X, then 10X then 15X, then 10X,  then 5X
in between rounds bring your heart rate up with 30 jacks, mountain climbers or punches or if you prefer take a 200 meter run.

DIPS (use a chair if you are doing this inside, or a bench outside)
LUNGES WITH BICEP CURL (step back into lunge, then bring same leg forward so that your knee is raised as you do a bicep curl)
LEG LOWERS (laying on your back with your legs raised, and knees bent with your feet up in the air, engage your core muscles, maintaining
your neutral lumbar curve, and slowly lower your heels to the ground.  This can be done with straight legs, but make sure you are not flattening you spine
into your mat)


Make sure you warm your legs up well for this one with some jacks, squats and around the world lunges (right leg lunges forward, to the side, back, then left leg lunges back, to the side and then forward) and get your core engaged by doing some balance work on each leg.

Standing with your legs hip width apart, wrap your band around your knees or ankles (the lower the more challenging).
Bend your knees and take 10 steps to the right, keeping your upper body steady over your pelvis as you walk.
10 squats  pressing your knees out into the resistance of the band to feel the engagement of you hip muscles.
keep your knees bent and take 10 steps back to the left.
Repeat this sequence 3x resting if you need to in between sets, take a jog after 3 rounds or do 2-3 minutes of cardio moves of your choice.

Alternate between sets 2 and 3 3x, resting as needed between rounds

10 lunges per leg.  For extra challenge add arm weights with a bicep curl or fly as you lunge.
jog backwards to where you started, 10 push ups (or burpies if you are looking for extra challenge!)

15 jump squats (regular, low squats are fine if you don’t jump)
15 bodyweight squats   (pulse in the lower range of the squat if you did regular squats the first time
Low squat hold   30 seconds, keep chest lifted and try not to put your hands on your thighs


This is a great way to break into running more if you typically walk or gain speed if you already a runner.

1.Alternate between 2 minutes of  brisk walking or easy running and 1 minute of jogging or moderate intensity running
(Repeat 5 times)

2.Alternate 30 seconds of walking or jogging with 30 seconds of jogging or high intensity running.
(repeat 3 -5 times)

Repeat 2 minute/1 minute interval 3- 5 times finishing with an easy effort to bring your heart rate back down.

-Contributed by Trainer Stephanie Levine