So you’re thinking about joining a bootcamp? The word itself “bootcamp” brings to mind a drill sergeant yelling in your face while you struggle to do pushups in cold, sludgy mud. Although, indeed, these are the roots of a traditional bootcamp, which incorporates high intensity interval training with bodyweight strength training in order to build camaraderie and physical fitness among new recruits in the armed forces, most “bootcamps” offered to the public are much less about pain and suffering and more about having fun, getting results, and making new friends.
I have been to my fair share of bootcamps, and, honestly, no two are exactly alike. Some bootcamps will use training aids such as TRX, Kettlebells, boxes and agility ladders to put you through your paces, while others rely solely on body weight, partner exercises, and team games. You will also see “travelling” bootcamps, and “stationary” bootcamps. The latter you will be in one place, and remain there for the entirety of the session, switching between HIIT and resistance exercises comprised of your own body weight and/or partner drills. During a travelling bootcamp you are typically moving along a pre planned path (such as a wooded path in a park) and stopping periodically to complete certain tasks like pushups, burpees, tricep dips, and the like. Both bootcamp types have their advantages and disadvantages, but the bottom line is both types will get you the results you desire, (as long as you’re willing to put the work in!).
If there is one thing I put on my list of priorities for what I want to see my clients achieve from a bootcamp (right at the top of the list, directly underneath RESULTS) it would have to be the forming of camaraderie amongst my bootcampers. In my opinion, a bootcamp should be FUN! As adults, we sometimes forget that exercise can be enjoyable, it can be fun, it can help you make new friends. I hear people say “ugh, i’d so much rather sleep an extra hour than get up and go to the gym”. The way I structure my bootcamps usually has people waking up BEFORE their alarms and actually looking forward to coming in, seeing familiar (and new) faces, and really getting a chance to let loose and enjoy themselves, leaving them energized, and excited to step out the door and begin their days! Let’s not forget we were all children at one point in our lives, lets remember what it feels like to PLAY, to get out and perform exercise while fully and completely losing yourself in the joy it brings you and the fantastic way it makes your body feel!
Have any of you had bootcamp experiences, either negative or positive that you would like to share with the community? I’d love to hear from you all, as input from others is the best way for me to be able to tweak and retune my own programs to make them super enjoyable while also keeping them challenging and rewarding! I hope any of you in the Philadelphia, PA area will come out to see me at our Fit and Fab for Life Bootcamp being held Saturday June 14th, 2014- one session 9am and one at 10:30am. Two completely different styles for you to try, find out what makes you tick, find something you truely enjoy, you never know, you may get hooked!!