You Gotta Go Through Hell to Get to Heaven

Angel Alicea

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine came back from her lunch gym break looking disheveled. When I asked what was wrong she simply answered “Purgatory Boot camp.” I had no idea what she was talking about and just chucked it up to something she was going through before her baptism.

In a conversation with another friend she mentioned Purgatory boot camp and I found my interest piqued–and then scared–as I heard the words come out of my mouth: “Oh I’d like to try it, can you get me a guest pass?” I must have lost my senses at that moment because a class called Purgatory couldn’t possibly be a good idea, right? But I agreed to meet on Wednesday and sweat it out. And that’s exactly what I did.

Upon entering the class your water bottle is placed in the furthest part of the room to ensure that you don’t drink until class is over (guess what genius forgot her water bottle). A quick survey of the class revealed all levels, which lessened the intimidation one feels when taking a new class. However, the participants were harmless in comparison to Angel, a picture-perfect, chiseled statue of health whose handsome face seemed to mesmerize even his loyal followers.

Class began with a series of jumping jacks and squats, quickly moving into power push–ups and mountain climbers. I found myself wondering isn’t purgatory suppose to be the waiting place between hell and heaven because this felt more like HELL. Angel takes your workout serious as he strides around the class pushing you to squat lower, push harder and demonstrates with ease the exercise that will transform your body.

At one point during a set of plank up-downs my mind started to wander. It was akin to the feeling people experience in the desert. I felt delirious as I screamed out a host of obscenities. I needed water. A quick glance at the clock didn’t help because there were ten minutes left. *sigh* As I write this now I realize what a baby I must sound like, but this class was HARD! I refused to let it beat me, though.

I managed to finish the class without dying, though I did take a two-minute break to get some water AND to make sure my heart didn’t pop out of my chest. As with any fitness class the key is to go at your own pace, but to push past the pain and get the work done. As Angel said to me when I sneakily downgraded my 5lbs weights to 3lbs* ones, “You came here to work and I’m going to make sure you WORK.”

So the question of the day: Would you go back? HELL YES! After one class I feel the difference in my arms and that’s what I came for.

Overall I would recommend this class for all levels who want to see results quickly and aren’t afraid to die work hard and sweat even harder.

Purgatory Boot camp was designed by Angel Alicea and incorporates the Tabata method. Tabata consists of 20 minutes of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeat 7times. This method is excellent for burning fat quickly.

*Angel took my 3lbs weights and brought me back 7.5lbs instead. I finished on a high note but my arms will never forgive him.

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