Updated: May 3, 2020
“Don’t you dare reach over for that water bottle, I don’t care if you pass out, don’t stop.” “You’re two minutes late, get down and give me 20!” “What, you're tired? There's no such thing in bootcamp!”
Bootcamp has achieved a reputation for being a no nonsense workout. For many the word, bootcamp, conjures up an image of a drill sergeant type instructor who is tearing you down mentally and physically with the purpose of making you stronger. The “no pain, no gain” mantra of the Jane Fonda fitness era has become synonymous with bootcamp classes of the past.
Bootcamp elicits excitement in some people while in others it makes them say, “oh H to the No!” If you're in this camp, don’t walk off yet, let me change that "No" to a "Yaaas!" by breaking down the many facets of bootcamp and arm you with the questions you should ask yourself before venturing to a class.
Bootcamp is a type of class that includes different training methods and approaches. For example, High Intensity Interval Training, a.k.a HIIT, could be one part of a bootcamp class or the lead actor. An instructor may also include classic strength training techniques like super setting, performing an exercise back to back with no break, or running you through mini circuits that include a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility exercises. Creative instructors may also incorporate partner training, games and obstacle courses into the class. I love incorporating these approaches in my classes. It helps to build camaraderie and infuses fun into the class so that you don’t even know you’re working out.
Overall, bootcamp classes can vary. The training techniques used and level of intensity depends on a number of factors such as the fitness level of participants or the goal of the class. Bootcamp classes are great for people who get bored easily and appreciate variety in their workouts. It could also be for those who enjoy working out in a group setting and like the feeling of being part of a community. Bootcamps can help meet your fitness goals, whether you're looking to lose weight, improve your strength and power, or maintain your current fitness level.
Bootcamp (basic training) has a military type-origin; as such, it is known to be a challenging workout. The most important thing is to not be intimidated by the word. Cancel the spirit of fear and uncertainty by understanding your fitness goals, your fitness personality, and what motivates you. For example do you like to be pushed in your workouts? Do you like working out in groups? Do you require a lot of support? Also, learn more about the class and the instructor who runs it. Is the class moderate or high intensity? Does the class include a lot of running? Is the class inside or outside? Is a warm-up and cool down included in the class? Does the instructor offer modifications? No matter where you are in your fitness journey, you should attend a class that has exercise options to help you feel successful.
A bootcamp class can be challenging, but know that you won’t break, you got this! After all, you could be missing out on a great opportunity to try a workout that will help you reach whatever fitness goals you have in 2019.