Bored? Try a Boot Camp!
Are you bored of your gym routine? Do you need motivation to get off (and stay off!) the couch? Your answer may be waiting for you at your nearest fitness boot camp!
If you’re like most people, your days are crammed full of activities and commitments. You definitely don’t have time to waste when it comes to your workout. Fitness boot camps may be the quickest and most efficient way to get from zero to fit in a short amount of time.
What Is A Boot Camp?
Modeled after old-school military training, fitness boot camp classes include an intense mix of strength training interspersed with aerobic elements, all under the direction of one to several trained fitness instructors. The goal of each workout is to provide a whole-body challenge that builds strength, endurance, and mental toughness. You can expect to burn between 500-600 calories in a 60-minute session via kickboxing, burpees, pull-ups, push-ups, squats, aerobic drills, obstacle courses, and sprints, all performed at varying intensities. In essence, the boot camp style of training is a type of interval training (HIIT) where bursts of intense activity are cycled with less intense recovery periods to maximize fat burning and yield overall improved athletic conditioning.
What Should I Expect?
In my personal experiences, I have seen the greatest changes in just four weeks of consistent effort. I have witnessed members drop four to six percent body fat, lose up to ten unwanted pounds, and reduce their one mile run time by almost two minutes.
One of the best aspects of boot camps is that the workouts vary each class. This helps prevent boredom from setting in and, more importantly, helps avoid performance plateaus. Likewise, each workout can be customized and modifications can be easily made; the routine can be tackled by anyone from a couch potato to an elite athlete while still providing a good challenge.
The confidence that is gained from both the positive physical transformation and the realization of an improved, healthier lifestyle extends to other facets of life. Many boot campers tell me that my program has literally changed their lives.
Now aside from the incredible mental and physical results I personally witness my students achieve, the secret behind what keeps them coming back for more is the friendships they build along their journey to optimal health. The reason fitness boot camps have become so successful is personal, one-on-one training along with the motivation and push from a group (not to mention accountability!). I personally feel that the huffing, puffing, and sweating in a group contributes to a deeper camaraderie. It’s a win-win combination that results in one very happy boot camper!
BEFORE YOU START, here are some tips to get the most from your boot camp experience:
- Don’t be afraid to speak up if an exercise is too difficult.
- Be sure to stay well hydrated beforehand and bring enough water with you to drink during the workout.
- Consume carbs and protein about one to two hours prior to class.
- Have the attitude of “quality over quantity” – you’re not racing with anyone but yourself!
- Give each workout 100% effort – you get what you put in.
- Listen to your body and train smart – ego will not get you through that last rep safely.
- Be sure to stretch afterwards.
- You need resistance to increase your strength- bodyweight alone won’t do!
- Do your homework – make sure the instructor(s) has formal training and knows how to instruct with safety in mind!
FULL-BODY BOOT CAMP WORKOUT
Here’s a full-body routine you can do anywhere using only a pair of dumbbells.
One pair of dumbbells (10-25 lbs- go as heavy as you can handle!)
WARM UP (bodyweight only):
25 jumping jacks
15 jumping jacks
5 jumping jacks
10 military push-ups (modify by dropping to knees)
10 renegade rows; alternating to each side for a total of 20 reps
10 overhead presses
REPEAT sequence 5x
15 sumo squats
15 pulsing lunges RIGHT leg
15 pulsing lunges LEFT leg
15 jump squats
REPEAT sequence 5x
20 V-ups (modify by bending knees)
20 Russian twists – 10 on each side (modify by keeping your feet on the ground)
REPEAT sequence 5x
“Teamwork makes the dream work!”
About the writer:
Born and raised in Canada, Lorraine Haddad is a lifelong fitness enthusiast with a passion for motivating and inspiring others. Having been involved in sports and fitness from a very young age, she has said,“Being fit and healthy is what I know and love!” She is a national-level figure competitor, fitness model, personal trainer, and head instructor of Women Only Fitness Bootcamp in Miami, Florida. Her goal is simple; through her commitment to exercise and healthy eating, Lorraine is on a mission to change lives!