Summer reboot

SAGGY man boobs? Giant love handles? Bum bigger than Bolivia’s national debt?

If you have any of these, it’s time to spring into summer and get down to the gold coin donation Community Boot Camp in South Fremantle.

Held on South Beach Reserve, it’s run by 65-year-old fitness guru Penelope Lane, who says people shouldn’t be put off by the term “boot camp”, which conjures up images of the drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket.

• Penelope Lane (far right) puts people through their paces at South Beach Reserve in South Fremantle.

“These community bootcamps are different – they cater for all levels of experience and fitness. It’s for everyone and all ages are welcome,” Lane says.

“There will be alternatives to each exercise to cater for different needs, and we are all in this together.

“It’s not about who’s the fittest and strongest. It’s about coming together and supporting each other so we can all benefit in the way that is best for us.”

Lasting 45 minutes, the classes include a warm-up, two exercise sessions and a cool down.

In traditional boot camp-style, no equipment will be used and there will be a cardio workout and exercises to strengthen the upper and lower body.

“There’s no judgement or pressure to do stuff you’re not comfortable with or you’re not ready for,” Lane says.

“My job is to guide and support so you can participate irrespective of how fit and experienced you are.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to get outdoors at South Beach Reserve, meet new local people and get your body moving for all the health and well-being benefits that brings.

“Oh, and have fun and a great time with other people wanting to get fit and healthy.”

In her 20s, Lane experienced one of the toughest boot camps around – after having her first child she joined a gym to get back into shape and met an ex-SAS soldier who persuaded her to try his high-intensity boot camp.

“I’m pretty sure this trainer introduced bootcamps to Perth,” she says.

“After the initial shock and many moments of wanting to give up, I persevered and went on to absolutely love it and reached his elite squad after six months of training.”

Lane had caught the exercise bug and went on to become a qualified fitness trainer when she was 32, and decades later ran her first marathon aged 61.

She currently holds group exercise classes, Prime Active, for men and women over 55 on South Beach Reserve in summer and at St Paul’s Church in Beaconsfield in winter.

“Throughout the last 30-odd years I’ve worked as a clinical psychologist and a fitness trainer,”  Lane says.

“Alongside my private psychology client work, I took every opportunity to teach group fitness classes. Everything from step, high impact aerobics to boot camps. And I went on to train as a personal trainer as well.”

Cardio workout

The South Beach bootcamp is one of 10 being held across the Perth metro as apart of The Community Bootcamp Project, with the gold coin donation going to The Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit that helps people with conditions like depression, anxiety and bipolar.

“As a clinical psychologist I have had many interactions with the Black Dog Institute professionally,” Lane says.

“They provide an excellent service for people in our community experiencing mental health issues. They have invaluable guidance and resources.

“And I love that at this institute they invest in research to help those affected by mental health issues.”

The Community boot Camp will be held on South Beach Reserve in South Fremantle at 7am every Saturday from November 4. 

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