Unmotivated to exercise?
Kara Layfield may have a solution for women who feel this way.
Layfield is instructor and owner of Columbus’ Adventure Boot Camp for Women, a local wing of the national Adventure Boot Camp outdoor fitness program.
The 34-year-old said she has always been into physical fitness. After working at TSYS for nine years, Layfield decided to leave the corporate world in 2006 to become a personal trainer. She worked as a personal trainer for a little more than a year before she established Adventure Boot Camp in Columbus in January 2008.
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Now, she can be found at Lakebottom Park almost every day helping groups of female “boot-campers” navigate obstacle courses and use playground equipment for strength training.
Layfield said these kinds of activities help make exercising fun. She sat down with the Ledger-Enquirer to talk about challenging yourself physically, staying motivated and switching up exercise regimens.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
So the camp is just for women. Why?
Women will work out with women. They may not be as comfortable working out with men. They seem to stick with it longer. … They get close. They bond.
So is it really like boot camp? Is it tough?
I think it’s really tough. You can make it as hard as you want. You can push yourself. For example, I will have some people in class who, while I’m giving instructions, they’re still doing jumping jacks or moving around — making sure they keep their heart rate up. Whereas, some of the newer campers might just stand there because they’re out of breath and listen to what I have to say. I encourage both options, based on their level. I think it’s pretty hard, but do-able.
Tell me about your fitness background.
I grew up in sports. I had some really good coaches growing up and was fortunate to play on some (softball) teams with really good players. It started from there. I’ve always enjoyed it. For most of my life I’ve been an early morning exerciser, runner. It’s always been my passion.
I loved working at TSYS — loved the company, loved the people, but wasn’t crazy about the job. I was always scared to go out on my own as a personal trainer because of the insurance, and not knowing how much money I was going to make. When I got married, I asked my husband, “I’ve always wanted to be a personal trainer. What do you think about me giving it a shot?” He said OK. Next thing you know, I’m turning in my notice and I started personal training at North Columbus Athletic Club (now Gold’s Gym.)
What are your favorite ways to stay in shape?
My favorite activity is biking. I run a lot too. Running and biking are right up there together. … Over the past year, I’ve done a couple of triathlons, smaller ones. I (recently) did a duathlon (biking and running) at Callaway Gardens.
How do you stay motivated?
For me, it’s kind of like a hobby. I get the endorphins. I feel great. I like to sweat. It helps me sleep. I guess all this time I’ve recognized the benefits of exercise. How I feel is what motivates me.
Summer’s right around the corner. Is there still hope for women who want to look good this season? What advice would you give them?
Yes, absolutely. Of course, they need to come to my June boot camp (laughs.) It starts June 1.
Don’t do the same thing every day. Mix up the running and strength training and biking. That’s the way boot camp is designed. We do something different every day. (My students) get there and they never know what’s going to happen. I rarely do the exact same workout twice.
Variations — doing different things on different days — definitely helps you get into shape a lot quicker because your body gets used to doing the same thing over and over again. Even if you, for example, run the same route every day, your body gets used to that. So reversing that route will help you change your body.