Tired of your same old boring workout but don’t know what to try? Think about joining a bootcamp! You should know that the term “bootcamp” can apply to many types of workouts and not all bootcamps are created equal! There are so many group fitness options to chose from including gym classes, CrossFit, TRX, sculpt classes and more…and all could technically be considered a bootcamp. At my bootcamp in Houston (Bombshell Bootcamp), we do a mix of exercises and include many elements of other popular classes and workouts.
Why Choose a Bootcamp?
- You will make friends. Why is this good? Well, besides obvious reasons…if you have friends at camp you are more likely to attend. Plus, you can hold each other accountable and it just makes theÂ workoutsÂ more fun.
- You can get the benefits of personal training for a lot less. At our bootcamp, Carrie and I always take time to answer questions from our members and sometimes do Q&A sessions. We also are constantly giving out fitness andÂ nutritionÂ tips during the camp and we are constantly giving people tips on how to correct their form so they don’t get injured (this is very important, especially if you are new).
- You get to enjoy some fresh air! Studies show that people who workout outside are less stressed! Plus, it’s a nice change of scenery to look at trees, grass, plants and wildlife (we sometimes have ducks and rabbits!) compared to your boring office.
- You burn more calories outside! If you took the same exact workout that you do at the gym and did it outside – you would burn more calories and fat outdoors. Why? It’s harder for your body to workout in the elements (heat, cold, humidity, wind, etc). It’s also more difficult to run on grass or dirt and your legs have to work much harder.
- You have access to more variety! When you workout outside, you have access to hills, stairs, trails and other terrain that you can’t get inside. This makes the workout more fun and more challenging.
Tips For Joining A Bootcamp:
- Every instructor is different – so see if you can go try out a class for free before you join.
- If you prefer to workout with women only – find a camp that specializes in women’s training. Need something more advanced or more for newbies – ask the instructor what their camp caters to.
- Can’t tolerate the outdoor elements? You will get acclimated, I promise. If it’s cold, dress in layers and if it’s hot stay hydrated (check out my tips for heat here).
- Some bootcamps may require you to bringÂ equipmentÂ and some do not. The important thing is not what equipment you use (you can get very good results just using your body weight) but how often the trainer or instructor mixes things up. You don’t want to show up week after week doing the same exercises or eventually your body will get acclimated and hit a plateau.
- Make sure your instructor is certified & listen to your body. I know of many “CossFit” gyms and other bootcamps that have instructors that are neither certified personal trainers or CrossFit certified. If someone is telling you what to do with your body – at the bare minimum they need a group fitness certification and I highly recommend they are also a certified personal trainer. CrossFit certification is just aÂ separateÂ certification to teach CrossFit (like yoga or spin class), but if they don’t have a personal training certification – they still may not know how/why you need to trainÂ certainÂ muscles. This post wasn’t intended to bash CrossFit – but I have to throw this in as a side note…as a personal trainer, I’ve had many people take my classes and come to me for training that do CrossFit (and are in great shape) but have horrible form on some of their exercises. Some CrossFit gyms tell their clients to perform squats too low (you can tear up your knee) and do pushups way to close to the ground (hello rotator cuff). So, just beware, regardless of what class you take…if something doesn’t feel right (either right away or after a few weeks) – stop doing it!