I have been seeing a lot of ads and seeing people around me joining short term fitness bootcamps.
The fitness bootcamp idea is generally 5 weeks, 2 to 3 times a week workouts with a trainer in a small group for a couple of hours a session. A couple of nights ago Desperate Housewives (the TV show) brought a fitness boot camp to TV.
What Are Fitness Bootcamps?
Have you tried these group workouts out? The idea is great. You learn a lot of new exercises so that your workouts are not as stale and boring and you have this very immediate feedback loop as to whether the workouts are working or not.
In practice though sometimes I wonder whether the fitness bootcamp is a great new idea or just a fad that will go the way of strippercize. After watching them continue on the last few Springs though it seems to be a workout with some staying power.
Here are the plusses of fitness boot camps. You learn how hard you can push yourself, you get a really good idea of what you are missing from your current workout schedule (from muscle pain the next day), and you get to potentially meet future workout partners.
The real problem with the fitness boot camp concept is the same as any other workout plan. There is no force to continue after you are done.
We all know that is good for us and we all know that we need to continue to workout but after a very intense few weeks it is really easy to just walk away and look at he boot camp as being just another experience in exercise.
How Are Fitness Bootcamps Structured?
There is a better way. I just watched someone go through a five week fitness bootcamp and she found it really tough.
It is hard for most people to find a couple of hours a night to workout so the best thing to do is find 30 minutes or so every night or most days during the week anyway and workout in those times following parts of your bootcamp workout.
Do weights one day, running or cardio the next and work through this schedule. Purposely mix up your workouts to keep them fun and add or subtract what you did not like about the bootcamp but not the intensity.
There are several thinigs you can change, the music, what you ate before and after, the breaks (still keep them short) and even the partners. Maybe you can get together with the same people in the morning or evening.
If you can mix up your workouts and have a few buddies to workout with then you have a much better chance to continue.
This spring I am sure the biggest story in fitness will be fitness bootcamps. Shop around and see what trainers are doing for bootcamps and what the schedules are.
I am sure some of these bootcamps will be better than others but realistically you will get our whatever you put back in to it.