I Survived Boot Camp: Some Tips

Specialized Trainer James Ward and Boot Camp participants
Specialized Trainer James Ward and Boot Camp participants

Boot Camp. The words alone are enough to strike fear into the hearts of many. The classes are patterned after Marine Corp fitness, using intense intervals and circuit-training to push people farther than they would normally go. The class can be used to jump-start a training routine or as a regular part of an ongoing workout regimen.

I had taken a Boot Camp class a few years ago, had great results, and decided to try it again because I wanted to make a change in my health. In the class, James took us through just under an hour of interval training which included cardio, weight training, stretching, lunges, sit-ups and push-ups. The workouts varied with each class, from lifting weights to running outside, using the treadmill, kettle bells, and straps.

In the 12 sessions I completed, I felt more energetic overall and was gradually able to lift more weights. But don’t make the same mistakes I did when I started. You’ll want to prepare adequately for the class.

Some things I learned:

  1. It is really important to listen to your body and modify exercises as necessary. While I was able to do most of the exercises, I did have to modify some (my knees do not like burpees or jumping jacks). I started with weights on the lighter side—I’ve had issues with my wrists and know what sets them off—even though the trainer suggested heavier ones. But he also provided suggestions for modifications when I couldn’t think of them.
  2. Finish eating breakfast at least an hour before an intense workout. I was eating breakfast when I got to my desk around 8:40 AM, then started Bootcamp at 9:30. Not a good idea. (Wrong kind of burpee!)
  3. Bring a healthy snack; I was always famished after Boot Camp.
  4. I should have set up my fitness tracker beforehand so I could have measurable numbers on how my body reacted to the intense workouts.

Even though I’m back to working out on my own, the important thing is that I’m incorporating new exercises and maintaining the benefits gained during the month. If you are looking to challenge yourself physically and go beyond your comfort zone, Boot Camp is a great way to go!

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Amy Shulman

Written by Amy Shulman

Amy Shulman is the Web Services Manager at the Oshman Family JCC. An empty nester, she lives with her cats Tuna & Mya. She loves traveling, paint nights, dancing and listening to music. She also loves her job, but not her commute.

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