Boot Camp is about intensity and focused training. What it’s not about is danger! However, it’s easy to get carried away or caught up in the wrong style of training if you don’t make sure you’ve taking part in a safe Boot Camp and doing exercises in a safe way too. Otherwise, the result might be no real results or injury which can set your health and fitness right back to where you started or even further back if you’re not careful.
From television programs to charity events, it seems that everyone is trying to push that little bit further than the person before. The idea of challenge, intensity and risk really seem to stir people’s sense of adventure. However, the result can be adrenalin sports gone wrong, accidents which should never have happened and a cavalier spirit that needs to be reigned in, not given free reign. While there’s nothing wrong with getting stuck in and giving it your all, with a sense of gusto and ambition, it should never be about danger, and this includes Boot Camp training too.
There is an old adage that there is no gain without pain. Yes, you might feel the burn in a full-on cardio oriented Boot Camp and you might even be pushed to some personal limit as you forge ahead with your fitness but it’s important to realize that Boot Camp is not about pain. It’s about challenge, really working your body and progression. If you are feeling ill or in pain during a workout then you need to stop, speak to the instructor and either take it down a notch or two or stop altogether.
While a Boot Camp might be a driven training session where you follow quick-fire instructions, there should always be room for you to voice your questions, concerns and comments. Likewise, a good Boot Camp instructor should be responding to your needs and looking out for signs of how you are dealing with each instruction. There should be a sense of communication, monitoring and feedback, otherwise you could follow orders and find yourself in trouble.
Class is too mixed!
Making sure a Boot Camp matches your ability and fitness levels is crucial. A danger sign could be when everybody in the session seems to be really varied and there is no consideration of this. Unless the level of training is beginner then there could be an issue with you or somebody else keeping up. If you see people really struggling or you feel out of your depth then this is not a good sign. It could be a sign that this is a catch-all Boot Camp that isn’t necessarily suited to your level.
You feel inadequate not inspired!
If you feel that you’re being pushed too far this can really knock your self-esteem, not to mention cause injury. Boot Camp is about building confidence not knocking it down. You should feel inspired by a challenge and a goal, not that you’re not good enough. The danger with such feelings of inadequacy is that you might overstretch and cause yourself some damage in a bid to keep up and not appear in a bad light.
Beyond post-exercise burn!
While it’s considered fairly normal to feel the effects of exercise after an intense session and perhaps the following day, there’s a difference between feeling a little post-exercise burn and hobbling around in agony. If you can barely walk or move until your next Boot Camp session comes round then you should see a red flag rising.
Not exercising properly!
An instructor should be ensuring that you’re doing each exercise in the correct way. This ensures you’ll attain maximum results but also that you minimize injury too. If you know you’re rushing exercises because you can’t keep up and are not being pulled up by a Boot Camp instructor, then this is a danger sign that there’s not enough input and focus on fitness in the right way.
If you don’t feel right in a Boot Camp, but can’t quite work out why, don’t try to. Talking to an instructor may shed some light on why you’re not enjoying a session or benefitting but if this doesn’t work then look elsewhere. You don’t have to be a fitness guru to believe in your instinct. Trust your gut but be proactive and change what you do rather than give up your pursuit of a fitter you completely.