Fit Savvy | Connie Cook
You think you’re tough, huh? As tough as nails? That’s pretty tough. As tough as Chuck Norris? You wish. As tough as love? Impossible.
Let’s see what you’re really made of. It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and into a challenge that moves you beyond your daily workout routine. Boot Camp workouts push you to become physically and mentally fit. They set high standards and help you reach goals you might not reach on your own. It is a very efficient workout; your entire body gets a beating and you burn calories like crazy.
In one action-packed Boot Camp hour you might run relays, flip tires, climb hills, jump hurdles, roll logs or do more pushups than you ever thought possible. You’ll definitely sweat like you never have before.
Boot Camp fever runs rampant in San Diego and there are several things to consider when choosing from whom you’ll be taking orders. Participating in a Boot Camp is a great way to be trained by top professionals at a very affordable rate. Plus, it’s cool to push yourself to be your best.
Who’s your taskmaster: I’ve seen some very interesting people claiming to be boot camp authorities. Working out for many years and having enthusiasm does not make someone an authority on boot camp leadership any more than eating in the best restaurants makes you a chef. Ask what certifications your commando holds, because there are standards in the fitness industry that should be met before anyone takes on the responsibility for another person’s physical fitness. American Council on Exercise (ACE), Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are some of the best-known and respected certifications
Show me the way: the freedom of flying by the seat of your pants is gone once you sign up for Boot Camp. A good class leader will provide you with guidance and instruction along the way and not simply bark orders. There is an art to leading a large group of participants and getting each of them to perform at a level higher than they would on their own, as well as managing their safety at the same time. Take your leader on a test run. Sample a workout before you commit and be aware of how the group is managed and directed. There are many different styles of Boot Camp leaders to choose from and you have to decide what personality works best for you. You need to be pushed by someone who will motivate you, not annoy you.
Progress report: what good is busting your hump like a maniac if you don’t check your progress along the way? Each time I start a new Boot Camp, I always test the participants at the beginning and end. They do timed sit-ups and pushups and a one-mile run. These very basic tests give me a good indication of how fit everyone is to begin with and what they should be able to accomplish by the end. Everyone is always amazed at what they can achieve in a four to six week period and that lets me know I’ve done my job.
Have fun: Boot Camp is a great way to meet new people with similar interests and the camaraderie of the group can make the experience even more fun. As a Boot Camp leader I enjoy watching friendships form and seeing the encouragement the group provides during the workouts. It is true that sports do not build character; they reveal it.
—Connie Cook’s next Boot Camp begins April 16. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to join in. She has over 20 years experience in the health and fitness industry. After extensive work in the top fitness and athletic clubs in Houston, Texas, she moved to San Diego to become the fitness and marketing director of Fit Athletic. She is instructs all formats of fitness classes and is certified in multiple national group fitness courses.