Saturday, 31 January 2015


Boot Camp programs have been in the top fitness trends. This directly mirrors what has been happening nationwide, according to America’s leading authority on fitness, the American Council on Exercise. Their annual surveys consistently rank boot camp style workouts as preferred by most exercisers as the wallets tighten and demands for access to quality training experiences grows. According to ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant Ph.D., “The overarching theme… is getting more bang for the buck.” There are several reasons why our boot camp workouts fit the bill:

· Boot camp provides a total body workout. Rather than taking a cardio-endurance class, a yoga / core conditioning class, and a weight-lifting / resistance class, boot camp participants can now get a more effective 3-in-1 workout that burns up to 600 calories per hour.

· Boot camp is budget-friendly. The cost of boot camp gym membership is way below the hefty club charges.

· Boot camp classes are the newest specialty. Specialty classes like Zumba Dancing and Yoga have always been popular. People like boot camp because they get to run through obstacle courses, do military-style drills, and get some fresh air outdoors. No two workouts are ever the same and every class has a little bit of fun woven in!

· Boot camp workouts take us back to basics. Who needs fancy equipment or complicated steps when you can get a better workout by simplifying? Squats, jumps, lunges, push-ups, and old staples are making a dramatic comeback in people’s preferences!

· Circuit training is effective. Boot camps use interval training (with periods of intensity, followed by periods of recovery) to yield better weight loss and health benefits. They also have people run through different circuits, mixing up between different types of activity to keep the mind and body challenged at all times. Countless studies show that these methods are more effective for fat burning.

· The classes are social. Boomers and retirees especially like the social atmosphere of intimate boot camp classes. Groups go to lunch, the movies, grocery store tours, nutrition seminars, races, and other fun events together – and often form lasting bonds outside the gym.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Boot Camp for Beginners: 7 Things You Should Know

What to expect and how to get the most out of your first boot camp class.
A few weeks ago, I decided to try out my gym's boot camp class. Thinking "boot camp" would consist of a bunch of girls doing some squats and jogging around the room, I figured I could handle it no problem. You can imagine my shock when I entered a room full of beefy men and started sweating profusely within the first five minutes of class as the tough instructor with a buzz cut barked a series of training exercises that had me gasping for breath.

For the next hour, I felt as humiliated and weak as a middle school football player, and even a few classmates gave me supportive high fives as I consecutively came in last place on the relays, outside sprints, and mat sequences. For the next week, my entire body ached, and I could have given up all together. However, I decided to persevere and attend the next class better prepared. The second class, I felt a million times stronger and more resilient, and now I'm on a total bootcamp kick. If you are considering taking your first bootcamp class, feel prepared and confident to dominate this intense workout by following my tips.

•Hydrate one or two hours before class. Definitely bring water or a sports drink to class, but it's difficult to bounce around when your belly is full of liquid.

•Enter with a good, can-do attitude. The workout will be challenging, but it's so important to continue to motivate yourself and keep your mind calm when your heart is racing and your muscles are burning. I try to smile and laugh to help release tension in my face.

•Stay present, and listen to the instructor. If you concentrate on how much it hurts and how much you want to quit, you might forget the next sequence or next relay move. Actively focus your attention on the instructor, and you will distract yourself from the pain.

•Remember your breath and your abs. Breathe through tough exercises, and simultaneously, be sure to contract your abs to protect your back. It may seem awkward and uncomfortable at first, but you will eventually train your body to breathe deeper while your abs are engaged.

•Push yourself to stay up front. Be the first person in the relay race line; stand in the front of the room; and run towards the front of the jog line. Being last will make you feel lethargic and more prone to giving up.

•Don't stop moving. If DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) usually gets you down, challenge yourself to move around rather than take mini breaks. My bootcamp instructor kept yelling at us to jog in place throughout the entire hour to prevent muscle soreness by sending fresh blood to the muscles.

•Load up on electrolytes after class. Intense workouts and sweating cause you to lose essential electrolytes. Be sure to replenish them with an electrolyte-filled snack.

Fitness boot camps offer what gyms cannot

Instructors shuffle exercises between cardio and muscle building, and participants foster camaraderie not found in gyms.

When the New Year's resolution calls for getting in shape fast, joining a gym and pushing yourself hard every day probably won't happen. What will work? Having someone scream, "Drop and give me 20!"

Fitness boot camps may be one of the fastest ways to go from zero to fit. The setup is simple enough: A trainer leads a group of clients through an intense hour of cardio and functional-strength training. The secret lies in the circuit-style workout that toggles between cardio and muscle building. This leaves little if any down time, and the shuffling of routines prevents boredom and exercise ruts. For people willing to put in the work, boot camps enable exercisers to see results quickly, the better to stay motivated.

"It's a very efficient workout because you're working your whole body in a short period of time," says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise. "It's fun, and the exercises are different, so you're not going to get bored."

Los Angeles-based actor Ed Stanley made his New Year's resolution to get fit a year ago, joining Boot Camp L.A., a nearly decade-old program that takes place six days a week at the park by the Page Museum on the Miracle Mile. Stanley wasn't happy with the ever-increasing size of his waist.


My first month of Fitness Boot Camp is almost over. As a new member, I got a special price of $100 to try it out. After this month, the price will be $200. Aside from the charge, I’ve also been taking a few Bar Method classes / Zumba classes to mix it up. If I keep doing this, my monthly fitness costs will exceed $300! I am committed to getting in shape (must repeat: lifestyle change, lifestyle change), but I also have financial goals to achieve.

So, I’ve been considering doing the Fitness Boot Camp for another month, then switching to a gym membership – even the most expensive gyms such Equinox cost around $150 a month and offers unlimited classes. Plus, during the December / January holiday seasons, there are frequently deals with waived initiation fees.

I have scoped out the class schedule of an Equinox gym that’s relatively close to work, and I found about 2 classes per week day that I’d like to join: Express Train, The Ultimate Body Shaper, Rock n’ Body Sculpt, Boxing Boot Camp, Barre Burn, etc. If I do classes 5x a week, that would be 20 classes a month or $7.50 per class. There’s no where else I can get classes for that cheap. On the other hand, even the cheapest membership wouldn’t make financial sense if I don’t go (not to mention the health costs of sliding back into a sedentary lifestyle). And I don’t have the best track record with gym attendance. Fitness Boot Camp Pros & Cons:

Great instructors
Planned workouts: I love the fact that I never have to think about what workouts I’m going to do – if I show up 4-5 times each week, I know I am getting all of the major areas hit: strength, cardio, flexibility, balance, etc.
Accountability: Wake-up calls (and texts, and emails when I miss a session)
Month to month contract
Measurement / weighing of progress every 1.5 months

Cost – $200/month
Only in the mornings
No choice of classes / times
Gym membership at Equinox Pros & Cons:

Variety of classes – all included in the gym membership price!
Option to work out morning or after work: which, for the mornings that I don’t want to get up at 5am, is huge plus.
Cheaper than Boot Camp – $140/month: $60 is nothing to sneeze at. [In fact, if I choose to go to a cheaper gym, the membership can be as low as $30 a month].
Luxurious shower / locker facilities

No accountability: no one will give a mouse’s behind if I don’t go workout
Limited validated parking – if I want to stay for 2 classes back-to-back I would have to pay for parking
1-year contract
About 15-30 minutes from work (but it’s on the way home)

If I were rolling in dough I would do both (muahaha). But, alas, rolling I am not. So I have to choose. What do you think? Should I stick with what’s been working [Fitness Boot Camp]? Or should I give the gym membership a go [Equinox]?

Friday, 23 January 2015

Boot Camp & Interval Training

Interval Training

Interval training is an essence to boot camp concept.Interval training is a type of discontinuous physical training that involves a series of low- to high-intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods.The high-intensity periods are typically at or close to anaerobic exercise, while the recovery periods involve activity of lower intensity.

Interval training can be described as short periods of work followed by rest. The main aim is to improve speed and cardiovascular fitness.

Some experts believe aerobic interval training may benefit exercisers by allowing them to burn more calories in a shorter period of time, and by improving aerobic capability at a faster rate, when compared with continuous-intensity exercise. In addition, some exercisers find interval training less monotonous than continuous-intensity exercise.

Interval training can be an effective means of enhancing an athlete's lactate threshold. Lactate threshold has been shown to be a significant factor determining performance for long distance running events.

This method of training may be more effective at inducing fat loss than simply training at a moderate intensity level for the same duration. This is due to the metabolism-boosting effects of high intensity intervals.

What Are The Benefits Of Interval Training?

The benefits of interval training include:
Increased anaerobic and aerobic energy system efficiency
Improved endurance
Decreased fatigue
Increased metabolism
Increased fat loss
Maximal gains from shorter workouts
An extra edge over the competition

Fitness Boot Camp

Basic Training — The Need-to-Know

A fitness boot camp is a type of group physical training program conducted by gyms, personal trainers, and former military personnel. These programs are designed to build strength and fitness through a variety of intense group intervals over a 1 hour period of time.Originally popular in the US, they were brought over to the UK in 1999 and have been growing in popularity ever since.
Boot Camp training often commences with dynamic stretching and running, followed by a wide variety of interval training, including lifting weights/objects, pulling rubber TRX straps, pushups/situps, plyometrics, and various types of intense explosive routines. Sessions usually finish with yoga stretching. 

Many other exercises using weights and/or body weight, similar to CrossFit routines, are used to lose body fat, increase cardiovascular efficiency, increase strength, and help people get into a routine of regular exercise. Many programs offer nutrition advice as well. It is called "boot camp" because it trains groups of people, may be outdoors, and may or may not be similar to military basic training.

The term "boot camp" is currently used in the fitness industry to describe group fitness classes that promote fat loss, camaraderie, and team effort. They are designed to push people a little bit further than they would normally push themselves in the gym alone. Boot Camps are sometimes organized outdoors in parks using bodyweight exercises like push ups, squats, suspension training and burpees, interspersed with running and competitive games. The idea is that everyone involved works at their own pace as they team up and work towards one goal, either in pairs, small teams of three or four, or even two teams head on.

Boot camps provide social support for those taking part. This provides a different environment for those exercisers who get bored in a gym and so find it hard to develop a habit of exercise. Participants make friends and socialize as they exercise, although how strict the trainers or drill instructors in charge can be will depend on the company running the camp. Members of fitness boot camps are usually tested for fitness on the first day and then retested at the end of the camp, which usually runs for between 4 and 6 weeks.

An advantage of a boot camp is that the large group dynamic will often help motivate the participants. A growing trend in fitness boot camps are the indoor locations which prove to be climate proof and provide a better workout environment for the members.

There are many other benefits of a fitness boot camp, which includes mental health. It has long been known that regular aerobic exercise can help to reduce high blood pressure, hypertension and combat stress. Part of this is due to the release of endorphins, which act as a mood elevator.