Is your current workout regimen failing to yield results? Are you struggling to lose those last few pounds? If so, you might want to consider mixing up your routine. A fitness bootcamp workout can be an effective way to lose weight and build muscle while enjoying numerous mental health benefits.
While bootcamp-style workouts are hardly a new development, they are enjoying a resurgence in popularity of late. The trendiness may stem from the fact that these fitness regimens are highly customizable. From bridal bootcamps to women-only classes, beach bootcamps, and camps for beginners, there’s an option for every fitness level and taste. Read on to discover if these high-intensity workouts are right for you, along with tips for getting the most out of your exercise routine.
While bootcamps are as diverse as the people who participate in them, most of these workouts do include some typical exercises. Featuring a mix of strength training, cardio, and aerobics, a basic bootcamp may include pushups and pull-ups, crunches, lunges, sprints, deadlifts, and more. In most cases, the instructor will alternate more intense exercises with gentler ones. Bootcamp workouts tend to involve little special equipment and can be performed indoors or outdoors and in different environments and terrains.
Wondering if you’re the kind of person who would enjoy a bootcamp? While bootcamp training is rigorous and may be difficult for those who are unaccustomed to working out, people who already engage in cardio and strength training tend to appreciate the challenge. Additionally, bootcamp programs offer a number of benefits including:
1. Meeting New People
There’s a reason people tend to make lifelong friends in college. After all, this time in your life is often marked by stress, new challenges, and excitement. Similarly, it’s easy to bond with the other members of your workout class. You can sweat it out while helping one another overcome personal challenges and get stronger.
2. Reducing Stress
If job stress or challenges at home have you tearing your hair out, a bootcamp class might be just the solution. As you focus on mastering the exercises and getting fit, you won’t have time to think about that annoying thing your coworker said or whether your spouse is going to hit the grocery store on the way home. You will likely leave the fitness studio in a better mood than when you arrived.
3. Avoiding Boredom
Even the most fun workouts get boring if you do them every day. One of the best reasons to try a bootcamp is that it keeps you guessing. Because of the challenges involved in this fitness regimen, and the speed with which participants move among different exercises, there’s little time to get bored or watch the clock. Before you know it, class will be finished, and your muscles will be singing.
Of course, every workout has its drawbacks. Here are some reasons that a bootcamp might not be ideal for your needs.
1. Learning Curve
If you’ve ever tried out a bootcamp and decided it wasn’t for you, the problem might have been the steep learning curve. Because many of the exercises in a bootcamp are on the intense side, you might have to try them a few times before getting it right. Additionally, it’s normal to feel a little sore—or a lot sore—when you first attempt this workout. Individuals who are easily frustrated might want to opt for another fitness class.
2. Possibility for Injury
Because bootcamps involve high-intensity exercises and a good deal of strength training, it is possible to suffer an injury in class. For best results, do your research before selecting a class and an instructor. Make sure you choose someone who will watch you carefully as you perform the exercises and correct you before an injury can occur.
Ready to give bootcamps a try? Follow these tips to ensure your first time is a success:
Nothing can ruin a bootcamp experience faster than wearing the wrong clothes. After all, these exercises are intense, and you don’t want to be uncomfortable. To maximize comfort and enjoyment, wear well-fitting workout clothes like yoga pants or joggers, worn-in sneakers, and a cool top. And be sure to bring water; you’ll need it!
Similarly, it’s important to drink plenty of water before class. While you don’t want to have a huge meal, aim for a light, protein-packed snack like bananas and peanut butter or an apple and some wheat crackers.
While you might be tempted to let your mind wander during your weekly yoga session or daily jaunt on the treadmill, this practice is potentially dangerous in a bootcamp. Pay attention, stay in the moment, and listen carefully to the teacher’s instructions.
With a little luck, and a lot of hard work, you’ll be a bootcamp expert in no time.