The "Death of Bootcamps" is an interesting title you might think, considering I run a bootcamp "style" program... and a pretty successful one I might add but I am a little biased so take that with a grain of salt ha!
Seriously, when most of you think of joining a bootcamp fitness program I bet a couple things come to mind.
- First, that there'll be a large muscular dude in a tank-top or sleeveless shirt, or an extremely fit lady wearing skin tight shorts aka booty shorts, screaming at you to do one more rep.
- You'll be doing a TON of running and endless number of pushups, jumping jacks, and squat jumps.
- It seems like the work-outs are just thrown together, and the format is pretty much the same day in, and day out.
I'm going to address each one of these points, but I'm going to go in reverse order and tell you why my program, and my colleagues in the Fitness Revolution Network are a little different.
Now when I say it seems as if most bootcamp programs just simply throw their work-outs together I'm not talking about everyone. I have some friends in the industry who run very successful programs, and their clients see some pretty good results but who wants "pretty good" results right? For me, I spend part of Sunday writing workout plans for the week, and I spend a good amount of time making sure the "flow" is right. Now I'm not perfect, and there are times I have to improvise on the fly, but I have enough experience (18+ years academic and in-the-trenches practical) to adjust if I need to. Additionally, our work-outs have a monthly theme or focus point. For example, last month our focus was strength training. Not maxing out for 1 or 2 reps on the bench, but focusing on two metabolic exercises for a desired number of repetitions for 5 continuous minutes and then moving on the next group. It may sound confusing, but it's pretty easy once you get the format.
Second topic, most bootcamp programs emphasize a TON of distance running and endless number of push-ups, jumping jacks, and squat jumps and/or burpee's. Now let me make a quick disclaimer, as my clients will most certainly tell you, we do most of these especially pushups, burpees, and squat jumps, but employ other tools as well. Kettlebells, battling ropes, sandbags, olympic plates, dumbbells and barbells, bosu balls, jump ropes, val slides, rowers, TRX suspension Systems, bands and Rigs are just a few of the tools my fellow FR trainers and I use on a daily basis. Our programs are based on scientific, proven principles that allow you to maximize intensity in the shortest time possible most of our work-outs are done and over within 35-45 minutes including warm-up, abs, workout, energy training, and cool-down/stretching/SMR techniques.
My good friend, BJ Bliffert of Full Throttle Athletics in Frisco, TX has a tractor tire with hooks attached drilled in to attach bands for 5 people do do band work, while another group of 5 is working with the battling ropes. Btw, if you live in the northern part of Frisco / Little Elm area, I would HIGHLY recommend you get in touch with BJ and his team.
Finally, when you think of most bootcamp programs, you think of a guy (or gal) standing around yelling at you to go faster and faster. Now let me be clear, my voice will raise and I'll shout words of encouragement, or I'll jump in on a set of jump squats with ya. I like to have fun during work-outs. Also while I like to consider myself in better shape than others, I'm not a muscle-bound rep counter who's always looking at themselves in the mirror (yeah you guys know who you are, truth hurts). I'm energetic, I jump around, I'm loud, you'll catch me singing and dancing (rather badly might I add... I am short, white and blonde after all haha), and I like to give high 5's. Think of the typical bootcamp instructor then think of the COMPLETE polar opposite and that's where you'll find me.
One other thing, I just thought of this. Most if not, dare I say, all bootcamp programs fail to do a basic assessment BEFORE you start working out. I have to admit that I've been guilty of this during the first couple of years, but quickly changed my tune when I realized how critical they can be. I'm not talking about the standard one-minute push-up/sit-up and 3 minute step test that every single health club teaches.
We go far beyond the standard.
While those tests do provide a bit of information, I want to see how you MOVE! I want to see how your hips and knees move together during a squat, assess your hip mobility, shoulder mobility and core stability just to name a few. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is required to go through an orientation BEFORE they can begin a program. This is the only way I can insure you will not do an exercise that something that either compounds a problem area or causes an injury. As I learned from my good friends, and fellow FR colleagues, Steve Long and Jarrod Woolever of Smart Group Training, if a client has a movement issue, say for example limited shoulder mobility, it is better utilize a corrective movement that improves T-spine extension and rotation with the goal of enhancing shoulder flexibility and mobility rather than using an exercise that continues to limit mobility. Once you have mastered this movement then we can start doing loaded exercises such as shoulder presses with band or external loads.
I hope this gives you a little insight to what makes our program, and the programs of my fellow Fitness Revolution peeps, different and why you will have a better experience with our group training programs than the typical bootcamp program.
Until next time!