Friday, August 8, 2014

Try It: Y-Beach Camp

You could stay in bed on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Or, you could come to Y-Beach Camp and get in sweaty, leg-crushing, core-fatiguing, arm-wrecking workout. And yes, this is a good thing ;)

During several runs this summer, I've passed by the Y group and each time I've been a bit jealous. The workouts looked so hard, yet completely fun. For example, one time I saw the group doing exercises using the playground area in Back Bay Park. I was mega tempted to abandon my run and jump in the workout!

I finally got my chance to try out a recent Y-Beach Camp class and it more than lived up to my expectations! The one I tried was held in the area around Wolf Peach (a Milwaukee restaurant). For those of you familiar with the area, you know there are a ton of stairs and a monster grassy hill - really a mountain - in that area. So you can probably guess what the workout featured. Running, stairs, hill climbs, repeat. Oh, and sets of about every type of pushup imaginable in between. Gulp. 

This is where I should add that just because it's called Y-Beach Camp, it doesn't mean it's limited to the Lakefront beaches. This class goes all over the city. Some weeks you'll find the group at Bradford Beach. Other times at Lake Park. Sometimes the class even hits the Marquette track. Anything to challenge the group and get a good workout in. 


Also, every weekend has a theme. For example, recent themes were The Hills Have Eyes and Adult Recess. Adult Recess?? Sign me up!

Anyhow, the workout I tried kicked my butt. Being a runner, I consider myself in decent shape but all the running in the world couldn't have prepared me for that grass mountain or all the pushups. But this is why I love these types of classes - they are the perfect complement to running and are the best for working muscles that don't get worked during running. 

Although the class is intense, it's still great for all fitness abilities. The instructors are happy to offer modifications if needed. Note: this is different than wanted. Lonnie is quite fond of saying you can take the modification if you need it but not if you are just trying to slack off and be lazy! 

You're in luck if you live in the Milwaukee area! Y-Beach Camp is held every Saturday and Sunday through September. There's still time to slim those thighs, get that six pack and tone your arms. And this is THE place to do it! For more information, contact the Downtown YMCA.

Join the conversation: What exercise do you both love and hate?

I would have to say pushups!

- ST

*All pics from the Downtown YMCA Group Exercise Fitnatics Facebook Page


  1. That sounds like so much fun! I'm a huge fan of group exercise, although I never get to do it! I think I love and hate squats. I know how good they are for me, but man they start to burn!

    1. I'm with you on squats - great for working the lower body!

  2. This sounds like such a fun class! And also a major butt-kicker. I'm also always so surprised when workouts aside from running completely wear me out, but I also agree that it's kinda fun at the same time. It's definitely a different kind of feeling of accomplishment :) I'm with ya on the push-ups. Love/hate that they work everything :)

    1. Yes, it's amazing how just 30-60 minutes of classwork can lead to more fatigue and soreness than the same amount of running! Makes us stronger runners though :)

  3. You better believe the next time I take my daughter to the playground I'm using the big kid swings just like that if there is no one on them. She's not old enough to get embarrassed yet so I figure now is the perfect time.

    This class sounds like so much fun and a really cool way to mix things up! I love that they change locations all the time too!

    1. Ha, I love the swing thing, too - if I had an excuse to play on the playground I'd totes try it as well. Maybe the next time I do an easy run :)