Are boot camps an effective way of training? And do they actually work?

Claygate Boot Camp

Are you thinking of joining a boot camp? Looking to get fit for your summer holidays and want to find out if a boot camp is right for you? The Trainers have written this guide to help you to determin if this method of training will suit you.

What is a boot camp?

Boot camp workouts are similar to circuit training. They generally include a mixture of body weight exercises and resistance training (weights) aerobically. You’ll move onto each exercise fairly quickly, which helps keep your heart rate elevated. This, in turn, will ensure you are burning more calories and will have an effective workout.

Is boot camp training for me?

This type of training will appeal to you if you are looking for a varied intense workout. Expert personal trainers will ensure you are completing each exercise with the correct technique and form. However, they should be able to adapt each exercise to suit your needs. This type of high-intensity aerobic interval training will help you burn more calories in less time than compared with moderate exercise classes.

Finally, a well-structured boot camp will help you to meet the NHS’ recommendations for physical activity. Which should be for a healthy adult, at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. As well as strength training for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. So, boot camps are an easy way of meeting those guidelines if you do not enjoy going to the gym. See our pros & cons below.

What are the benefits of boot camps?

  • Efficient: You’ll receive a whole body strength and cardio workout in each one-hour session.
  • Motivation: When exercising with a group of people there is boosted morale and you’ll generally exercise harder than you would alone.
  • Lower Cost: Sharing a personal trainer, will offer you a reduced rate.
  • Calories Burned: The fast pace will have you burning more calories per hour than other sessions.
  • Variation: Boot camps will offer variety and will help to prevent boredom.
  • Community: It is a great chance to meet local like-minded people.

What are the negatives of boot camps?

  • A barrier to entry: People often feel scared or intimidated to join a boot camp. However, you are all there for the same reason – to get fit.
  • Steep Learning Curve: At your first session, there is a lot to take in, for example, new exercises and routines. In order to see results, you need to stick to it for a month or so.
  • Scheduling: Boot camps are often first thing in the morning or early evening and may not suit your schedule.

What to look out for when joining a boot camp?

Before signing up, it is important to ensure you are enlisting in one of good quality:

  • Safety: Ensure the instructor asks about injuries prior to each session.
  • Medical Clearance: You should be given a PAR-Q prior before starting (a pre-activity readiness questionnaire).
  • Certificates: Ask the instructor about his/her qualifications. They should also have public liability insurance and be fully qualified in first aid.
  • Try Before You Buy: Before committing, it is important to check that the boot camp class is for you. Ask to try a session before signing up.
  • Warm Up & Cool Down: EVERY boot camp should always begin with a warm-up and end with a cool down.
  • Exercise Modification: If you do not feel comfortable doing an exercise, ask the personal trainer to modify the movement for you.

Boot camps may not be for everyone. But if you are looking for a high-energy workout then a boot camp may be just what you need.

Wanting to join a local boot camp? Are you local to Claygate? Join The Trainers Boot Camp every Monday & Thursday at Claygate Rec at 7 pm. For more details click HERE.


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