Boot Camp Workouts
September 25, 2011
Boot Camp Workouts
In the past ten years we’ve watched an incredible shift in the fitness industry. Boot camp workouts have dramatically changed the landscape of personal training and commercial gyms – for the better, in my opinion. Let me make my case and give you a sample bootcamp exercise workout at the end.
First, so many more men and women are having success with bootcamp exercises and fitness programs compared to the stuffy gym environments. We’re seeing incredible body transformations in both men and women from this style of training – including men AND women losing up to 34 pounds in just 12 weeks.
Another amazing benefit to bootcamp workouts is that you can do them anytime, anywhere. The best bootcamp programs use little more than bodyweight exercises. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how you can get a total body metabolic resistance training workout without weights.
That said, you can do more advanced boot camp workout sessions where kettlebells, dumbbells, resistance bands, and even cool toys like prowler sleds, tires, TRXPRO, and rings. These pieces of equipment allow you to increase the intensity and variety of traditional bodyweight bootcamp classes.
Boot Camp Workouts for Group Training
As you can imagine, the simple bootcamp has morphed into a variety of ways to do group training. At my friend Jason Ferruggia’s Renegade Gym, he has small groups of guys and girls doing heavy lifting followed by kettlebell, bodyweight, and TRX supersets. However, that’s not your typical bootcamp – even though the workouts are legendary and there are plenty of guys and girls with six pack abs in his gym.
Instead, the typical bootcamp workout features bodyweight movements performed in circuit or superset fashion, often in a park or in an aerobics studio. Now there’s nothing wrong with that type of training, but you have to make sure that you are using the right bodyweight exercises in your bootcamp programs.
Too many trainers are relying on classic crunches, pushups, and lunges, when often these are the poorest choices for their clients. Just make sure that whatever exercises are in your program are the right ones for helping you burn belly fat.
One big mistake that rookie personal trainers make is having clients jog around the park before training. This is a big waste of time that would be better spent on a bodyweight circuit warm-up. But those trainers, and their clients, don’t know better. It’s simply a lack of experience.
Instead, the warm-up should start on the ground and progress to the feet, using exercises like hip extensions, planks, modified pushups, glute squeezes, mountain climbers, and prone stick-ups.
These exercises will activate the muscles while surprisingly working up a sweat. Then we move to the feet and get into bodyweight exercises like squats with various hand positions, split squats, and other lower body mobility exercises and booty workout moves.
It certainly helps to have resistance bands to activate muscles of the upper body with movements such as band pull-aparts, band rows, and band presses. But if don’t, then simple modified pushup versions will be your best bet, followed by traditional standing stick-ups and other shoulder mobility exercises.
At this time we’re now ready to crank up the intensity and get into the metabolic resistance training portion of the program. This will burn fat without long, slow, boring cardio, and sculpts muscle even better than interval training workouts.
If clients are advanced, we will use various forms of jumping exercises, and these are only done if we are exercising on a safe surface. At no time should bootcamp workouts involve jumping on concrete or pavement. Suitable substitute exercises include squats-onto-toes and total body extensions. These don’t involve jumping and are low impact.
For newer clients, jumping jacks are about as advanced as you need to go with jumping. Keep the repetitions between 8-20 for this movement, as even 20 jumping jacks can be stressful to joints of overweight clients.
The best bootcamp workouts train the total body, and going in an alternating fashion between lower and upper body movements works best. In this case, the jump exercise is therefore followed by a push or a pull exercise.
For bodyweight only versions, you have over a dozen pushup versions you can choose from. Simply modify the hand stance, stagger your hands, elevate one hand on a block, or elevate your feet for decline pushups. You can also get creative with your legs and do spiderman or grasshopper pushups.
As for pulling exercises, you simply can’t work your upper back without some type of equipment. Your lats, the muscles of your back below your shoulders, get worked heavily with pushups, but you’ll need a resistance band, a kettlebell, a dumbbell, or a TRX to do rows for the muscles between your shoulder blades.
It’s important to train that metabolic hot zone of the body (your upper back) because it will burn a lot of calories and sculpt your body. You’ll get sexy six pack abs only when you work your entire body with metabolic resistance training workouts.
So pick three exercises at the start of the program and go through them in circuit fashion, that’s how the TT Done-For-You Bootcamp workouts are created. In almost all TT bootcamp workouts, except for the “Abs First and Last” workouts, you’ll start your program that way.
Next up, you’re going to get into a circuit of moderately intense exercises performed for a moderate repetition range. I use the Big 5 circuit here, picking a squat movement, a push, a pull, a single leg exercise, and finally a total body six pack abs exercise. Each exercise is done in a circuit with no rest between exercises. In the Big 6 circuit, we add an interval type movement to the end of the circuit, such as a sprint or a kettlebell swing. In the Big 7 circuit, we add a jump style exercise to the start of the circuit.
Big 7 TT Boot Camp Workout
For example, a Big 7 TT Bootcamp workout would look like this: Squat Jumps, Prisoner Squats, Close-Grip Pushups, TRX Bodyweight Rows, Reverse Lunges, TRX Strap Fallouts, Kettlebell Swings. That alone is a workout itself when done three times in a row, but combined with the warm-up and the start of the workout Power Triset, your body will be burning a lot of calories in this metabolic resistance training session.
Finally, a great bootcamp workout can finish off with additional fat burning interval training if necessary. This may involve sprints, kettlebell exercises, or even games like follow the leader or Simon Says. Your bootcamp workout should always include fun, energy, and social support – that keeps people sticking to the program so they get maximum results.
As you can see, bootcamp workouts don’t have to be boring, traditional exercises like a military setting. You don’t have to jog or do pushups and situps. There are far too many other cool exercises to do. And even if you don’t have cool equipment like the TRX or kettlebell, you can still have amazing bodyweight only workouts using the proven
TT Done-For-You bootcamp workout programs.