I wrote several blogs in January 2017 and here is a quick description of each boot camp blog with a link to them.
My first blog I wrote asked these three questions –
1. Why do you train?
2. What is the desired long-term outcome?
3. Who are you trying to impress?
You can find the ‘Impress Yourself’ boot camp blog here.
Then second fitness blog I wrote discusses the benefits of finding failure within the training environment.
You can find ‘Be A Boot Camp Failure’ blog here.
The third blog looks at the psychological side of boot camp training and performance. Within the article I offer several easy to understand strategies on how you can improve your performance by altering you existing thoughts.
You can find the ‘Go A Bit Boot Camp Mental’ blog here.
I then got asked by a magazine to write an article for existing gym owners. Within the article I suggest various benefits associated with gym owners running a residential fitness boot camp for their clients and staff.
You can read the ‘Boot Camp Your Gym’ blog here.
My fifth article looked at effective fitness assessments and goal setting. The boot camp blog looks at the detrimental effects of using weight loss as assessments and goals while offering suitable alternatives.
You can read the ‘ Phat Boot Camp Assessments & Goals’ blog here.
The last and most recent boot camp blog focused on flexibility. It looks at the physiological process your muscle goes through when stretching, explains how you can maintain or improve your joints range of movement and why you would even bother in the first place.
Check out ‘Be A Boot Camp Bender’ blog here.
We I hope you find these articles interesting and easy to understand. As with all my boot camp blogs I try to make them informative, educational and practical. I hope you have achieved all you aspired to achieve in January and are progressing into February with enthusiasm and vigor.
I also run a 5 Day Residential Fitness Boot Camp along the beautiful Dorset Coastline. For more information about Reboot Dorset, to book a place or even receive a free 7 day training plan please check out my boot camp website.
In this Boot Camp Blog I want to talk about flexibility. We will look at the benefits associated with carrying out effective stretches and different types of stretching routines, as well as understanding how our muscles work. With a better understanding I believe you will be able to incorporate and execute appropriate stretching routines more effectively. We will also look at pre exercise routine stretches and post exercise or developmental stretching routines.
So is stretching important or beneficial to health and performance?
Any research I have read that suggests stretching is detrimental to an athlete’s performance usually refers to it within the elite spectrum. For the purpose of this Boot Camp Blog I want to look at the majorities and those that may not currently have a normal or full range of movement throughout their joints.
My personal belief is that it is better to take your joints through the full range of movement, under control, during your warm-up. This means that when you begin your training session and take your joints through the same range of movement, but more dynamically, you joints have already done so safely. Please remember, it is important to warm your muscles up prior to stretching. Think of your muscles like blu-tac, if you stretch blu-tac when it is cold it will break, but if you warm it up first it will become more pliable. It is suggested you hold the pre boot camp exercise stretch for between 8 – 12 seconds.
There are three main benefits to good flexibility –
• A more flexible joint requires less energy to move through a greater range.
• It decreases the athlete’s overall risk of injury.
• It increases performance during exercise, as well as posture and ease of movement during normal daily routine.
OK now let’s look at the process a muscle fibre goes through during a developmental stretch. When you go into a stretch, as you reach your optimum range of movement, your muscle will contract and you will experience a biting sensation. This biting sensation is simply the body’s safety mechanism preventing you from damaging the muscle. Your muscle has not been through this range of movement for a while and therefore sends a signal to your brain that you should stop. At this point all you need to do is simply hold the stretch. After approximately 8-12 seconds the muscle will begin to relax the contraction as it realizes it is not going to tear, at which point you can increase the stretch several centimeters. You do this slowly until you feel the biting sensation again and simply repeat the process. It is suggested that you spend approximately 60 seconds on each muscle group and this is how you increase your flexibility.
If your flexibility is extremely lacking and requires drastic intervention you can speed up this process by carrying out Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching. To do this you follow the same method as described above for developmental stretching, however, when your muscle contracts and you experience the biting sensation, instead of just holding the stretch you actively work the muscle and push in the opposite direction you are stretching. This tricks the muscle into thinking it is in a working mode rather than a stretch. Once you relax the contraction and increase the stretch the increased range of movement is greater.
Many people struggle to dedicate enough time post boot camp style exercise to stretch out their muscles. If this is the case for you then it might be a good idea to attend a flexibility type class like Yoga, Pilates or Body Balance. Do not underestimate the benefits associated with good flexibility.
Well thanks again for reading another Fitness Boot Camp Blog and if you have found it beneficial please share this on your various media channels.
Happy training and I hope one day to see you at one of our Reboot 5 Day UK fitness Boot Camps in Dorset. You can also receive a free 7-day training plan by joining our mailing list that can be found on our Fitness Boot Camp Website.
In this boot camp blog I want to discuss the importance of assessing your current ability and identifying the types of assessments you should to carry out. I will also discuss goal setting ie choosing an appropriate goal that will motivate you to train more effectively in a manageable way. Assessments and goal setting are paramount if you intend on measuring the effectiveness of a given intervention.
When it comes to boot camp health and fitness the majority of the population use body weight as a determinant. This is where most people get it wrong! There are several reasons using weight loss as an assessment and goal can cause problems as it does not take into account fat loss and muscle gain. You can be training for several weeks or months and the body can lose a significant amount of body fat while increasing muscle mass. The story on the scales may be interpreted as ‘no change’ and therefore prevent that person from continuing in the specific intervention.
A while ago I had a client that trained with me over a 12-week period; he was only a couple of stone overweight. During the first 6-8 weeks his weight remained the same, his performance, however, had increased significantly. The distance he could run in 60 minutes had increased from 7.3km to 9.5km, the amount of press-ups he could do in one minute had jumped from 18 to 32 and his sit-up assessment had improved in a similar manner. If I had not carried out the other assessments and just weighed him each week I am pretty sure he would have given up. However, as the good news continued over the final 4 weeks of his personal training course his weight dropped by 2 stone. Not only did he lose the weight but eight years later he has managed to maintain it.
So next time you decide to assess your current ability may I suggest you do not just weigh yourself – it is ok to weigh yourself but do it in conjunction with other varied physiological boot camp assessments:
The more boot camp assessments you carry out the more informative the reading will be when you re-assess.
Now let’s move on to boot camp goal setting. When someone states that they want to lose weight for me it is like a young person stating they want to be rich. Let me explain – you can walk around until you are blue in the face saying that you want to be rich but it will not increase your bank balance. If you want to be rich, unless you are going to rob a bank, you need to work hard at school, you need to come up with a future plan and decide on a career that pays the appropriate wage. You need to be frugal with your finances and not squander wastefully. I think this example fits in very nicely with health, fitness and weight loss.
If you use weight loss as a goal it does not give direction. For me, weight loss is a by-product of achieving an effective physical goal. Let’s say that you can currently run for about 8 minutes before walking and you decide to set a three month goal of being able to run for 60 minutes. The next time you turn up to the treadmill for your scheduled 10 minute jog you know that if you don’t manage that 10 minutes the following week, when it is upped to 15 minutes, you will not be able to complete it – it therefore gives direction. Also, if you do stick to an effective and progressive training plan and in three months manage to complete your 60 minute boot camp run, I guarantee the weight loss will look after itself. If you think running for 60 minutes could be your three month challenge and would like more information on how to achieve this please check out my other fitness boot camp blog.
Well there you have it … it is not all about weight loss. I hope you have found this blog beneficial and would appreciate it if you could share on your various social media channels. Happy training and if you would like to receive a free weekly training plan or more information about the 5 day boot camps I run please check out our fitness boot camp website.
Throughout this article I will set out the major benefits associated with running or including residential fitness boot camps for your gym members. It will include four main benefits for both you as the business owner, your gym staff/fitness instructors and, last but not least, the benefits that your clients will receive. I will also give you an easy to follow plan on how to design, implement and execute a successful 5-day fitness boot camp in an affordable, low risk and potentially high return basis.
My name is Mark Hooks and I am the owner of one of the UKs best and longest established residential fitness boot camps. Prior to setting up Reboot Dorset my whole life was spent gaining experience within the health and fitness industry. Having served with The Parachute Regiment and being employed as a physical training instructor for the British Army, I gained what I believe to be one of the best grounding qualifications the industry has to offer. Since leaving the military in 2002 I continued to obtain various other instructor qualifications as well as a BSc degree in Sports Psychology & Coaching Sciences at Bournemouth University. I have worked at all levels within the public and private sector, from class instructor through to group gym manager, for private clubs and council run establishments. I also have a vast amount of experience working with clients on a one to one level, as well as within groups, with specific experience in coaching for triathlons.
Having spent nearly 20 years learning my trade I decided to take the plunge and set up Reboot Dorset. Reboot Dorset is a 5-day residential fitness boot camp dedicated to delivering a holistic, educational and empowering service to all that attend. My main objective is to empower the individual with the knowledge and confidence they need to implement and maintain long-term healthy lifestyle changes and wellbeing. If you are looking for a short term return and not interested in the long game then this may not be for you. But if you are looking to build strong lasting relationships built on trust and respect between you, your employees and clients then this article may be advantageous for you.
1. Closer employee/customer relations – spending five days with anyone within a retreat type environment will develop strong and lasting relationships. Normally, within a typical working week, you would spend 4 – 5 hours maximum with a client or employee, and you would probably spend about 8 – 10 quality hours each week with your best friend or spouse. When setting your boot camp daily schedule it is important to ensure that it is inclusive to all in attendance, while nurturing a positive and supportive environment. It is paramount to have coping strategies in place for the negative or less than enthusiastic attendees, these can be easily drawn up and implemented. Reboot Dorset does not have a ‘them and us’ culture; the instructors eat and sleep within the same environment as the clients and participate in all the training sessions. Friendships between clients, instructors and myself that were built back in Reboot’s early years are still going strong. These may be via social media, group chats on email or physical reunions, but the bonds made almost 8 years ago are still going strong today. This is why I believe every year at Reboot Dorset we see more and more returning clients, referrals and recommendations.
2. Fast effective results – a client usually visits a gym for an hour or two up to five times per week. During this time you can prescribe exercise and offer healthy nutritious food, however, for the other 22 hours each day or 158 hours that week you have no control over what your client does. The health related changes obtained within the gym environment are limited and can be counter-productive when external gym activities (or lack thereof) are taken into account. When you have clients training, eating and sleeping within a controlled environment the results achieved can be astronomical. As a result your clients will gain a level of respect for your ability that will last for years and will produce amazing testimonials and future recommendations. Introducing a residential boot camp every 6 or 12 months will become an event to be talked about by both staff and clients, pre and post boot camp. It can encourage new members, while increasing retention of existing clients and staff allowing productivity to thrive.
3. Great opportunity to assess and develop your instructors – we all know how easy it is for an employee to pull the wool over our eyes in an interview or assessment, or for them to become the person they think we as an employer want them to be. When you spend 24 hours a day for five days with your staff it is easy to identify the leaders and those that are less than enthusiastic. It is a great opportunity to develop their skills while leading from the front and develop a team that you can be proud of – a successful team that will increase productivity while enhancing customer satisfaction.
4. Financial benefits – I have already mentioned some of the benefits associated with running a fitness boot camp for your gym; better staff and customer relations, increased productivity, improved retention and higher quality of existing services. However, if done correctly, running a residential fitness boot camp can bring in substantial profits. Reboot Dorset breaks even on a fitness boot camp at around six clients – everything on top of that is profit. As a gym owner you are in a great position as you will not require the same level of advertising costs as Reboot Dorset as you will hopefully gain the majority of your business in-house. If budgeted correctly an average boot camp could earn your gym between £2000 – £5000 pre tax profit. There are so many other benefits associated with your gym running a residential fitness boot camp that, for me, it is a no brainer.
It is important to test the water within your establishment; does your customer demographic fall within the financial bracket that can afford upwards of £500 for a five day retreat? With effective market research and planning this can be identified prior to any financial investment. The location of your boot camp is extremely important and things to bear in mind would be whether the site is idyllic and secluded, yet easily accessible. The majority of Reboot clients travel approximately two to three hours, a few will spend over eight hours getting to us and a few will visit from Europe and beyond. I have found that people local to the area do not like to run around their usual haunts where friends or acquaintances may see them in their lycra! Do not be afraid to travel a bit to find the ideal location within budget.
When putting together your weekly schedule ensure it includes lots of variety with little down time. Rest will be required between sessions but this time can be filled with nutrition, physiological, motivational and psychological workshops. Reboot Dorset starts on a Monday at 1.00pm and finishes on Friday at 1.00pm, with the other three days starting at 7.15am and concluding at 7.30pm. In the evening we offer massages at an additional cost, while our accommodation offers comfortable communal areas to relax and socialise. The dining area has one large table that allows everyone to sit around and discuss the day’s events, which is essential for group bonding.
It is important to feed your clients well; most boot camps go for low calorie, which can make the whole experience a chore. The clients wake up hungry in the night, fantasize about food throughout their boot camp days and gorge on these fantasies when they return home, making any weight loss achieved short term and difficult to maintain. Reboot delivers three hot meals and three snacks each day, staying clear of sugars and processed food. Amazing results are achieved and maintained long into the future. All the recipes used during the week are given to the clients to take home and are discussed in the relevant workshops.
You already own and run a gym so the content of the physical programme can be varied – I am sure you know what to include with this regard. I would, however, encourage you to prescribe a personal, physical three month goal for each of the attendees to complete, such as a distanced run or swim. This could be held in your gym at a date of you choice and at this point you could sell PT, classes or provide meals at your gym bringing in further income.
Well I hope that this article has been of some benefit and provoked some food for thought. I wish you all the best and hope that your staff and clients have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.
If you read any sports personality’s autobiography you will find at least a chapter talking about the mental side of the game; how they achieved what they did and how they raised above their competitors through psychological means. Now for me we need to stay pretty grounded with this shit … there are so many charlatans out there taking this way too far on so many levels, so I want to keep it simple.
There are four points I want to cover in this Boot Camp blog –
1. If you want to improve your fitness you need to raise the bar and train harder than in the previous session or sessions.
2. When you reach your perceived failure point, or quit during a boot camp session, understand that it is a mental decision to stop and not your true physical potential.
3. Assess what we tell ourselves during a boot camp training session just seconds before we quit? If those thoughts are negative then they will be detrimental to our boot camp training.
4. How we can replace these negative thoughts to enhance our output and begin to get the results we deserve?
1. If we go to the gym and lift weights that we can already lift comfortably and when it begins to get difficult we decide to put the weights down, all we are doing is maintaining our current level of fitness or strength. If we go on a run and stay within our comfort zone, although we will receive cardiovascular benefits during the session, unless we push ourselves beyond our previous attainment we are simply maintaining our current level of fitness. Now if you are happy with your level of fitness then this is fine, but if you know that you want to improve you need to raise the bar and train harder than the previous session and push yourself.
Please ensure throughout all boot camp training sessions that you maintain correct technique and posture to prevent injury. Check out this boot camp blog if you need more advice on this.
2. Understanding that your current failure point or quitting point is not your maximum physical ability is a major part of the game here. We need to understand that there IS more in the tank. If you go round saying I give 110% then you are a fucking idiot. For two reasons, firstly it does not exist and secondly you are falsely educating yourself to the idea that you have reached perfection. This is fine if you are happy with your current ability, weight, size and performance but I am pretty sure if you have read this far down this boot camp blog, that it is not the case. So what we need to do is ascertain what our current physical output is on a percentage % scale against our maximum physical ability. Below I have given examples to assist you in determining this. Please remember this is a personal thing and only for YOU and YOUR mind games.
100% – For the purpose of this exercise this is death!!! There are people in third world countries that, if they were lucky, ate half a cup of rice three days ago, yet still have the physical ability to walk 10 miles with an empty clay jug on their head to a watering hole, fill it up so it weighs in excess of 2 stones then attempt to walk back to their village and family before falling dead after 18 miles or so. Now of course this is the extreme and I am not advocating that we go out and kill ourselves during any boot camp training session, but it allows us to understand that 7 minutes on the cross trainer after more than enough water and calories is not our maximum physical ability or 110%. You do not need to worry about killing yourself during a boot camp training session. Our bodies have so many safety mechanisms in place to prevent us from doing so, such as muscles cramps, lactate build up in the muscles (this causes discomfort and if not adhered to will overflow into the stomach and cause you to vomit) and so many more.
90%+ – Top athletes around the world that push their bodies to the limits and shortly after their training session or event they recover and go about their normal lives.
80%+ – Individuals that compete in events at a pretty high standard, or go to the gym and push through the wall or pain barrier.
70%+ – Those that use the gym or go to classes and give as much as they feel appropriate but when the going gets tough they ease off the pace.
60%+ – Those that attend spinning classes and hide their resistance knob with their towel and pretend to wind it up when encouraged to do so by the instructor.
50%+ – Gym goers who read a magazine, paint their nails or use the water bottle holder for their Pringles tube while training.
40%+ – People who bypass the gym completely and go straight from the coffee shop to the sauna.
30%+ – Zumba participants or Aqua members (only joking 😉
The whole point of this exercise is to identify your current maximum physical output during a fitness boot camp training session and give it a percentage score. Let’s say, for example, you score yourself 68% – you are informing yourself that when you get to your perceived failure point in previous sessions you are mentally quitting or giving up and that there is more in the tank.
3. When we decide to put the weight down in the gym, slow down on a hill or stop exercising during a boot camp session what are we telling ourselves? Just before we throw in the towel 9 times out of 10 these pre-quitting thoughts will have negative connotations. We will be telling ourselves things like, oh my God this is heavy, it feels like my lungs are bleeding, I can’t do this, got to stop, got to stop, got to stop! You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand that this negative self-talk will have a detrimental effect on our performance outcomes. Pretty soon after we encourage ourselves to stop with well prescribed excuses, guess what, yep you are going to stop! It is so important to understand that this is when the magic happens … when you push through those barriers and endure the uncomfortable phase, this is when muscle fibres are broken down, your lactate tolerance is increased and many more physiological changes occur. Put simply, when you train ‘YOU DO NOT GET ANY FITTER’, you simply distribute oxygen to the muscles and break the body down. Our body’s reaction to being broken is to come back fitter and stronger when you rest, hydrate and eat healthy nutritious food. This is why Reboot Dorset runs for 5 day UK fitness boot camp and not a 7 day boot camp. So how do we block this negative talk when our mind is telling to give up?
4. Moving on to the final part of the fitness boot camp blog, we are going to look at replacing those negative thoughts with positive ones. As with ‘point 2’ this is a very personal thing and something for you to decide for yourself, but, for the sake of this blog I will give you a few examples. I believe that the western world we live in weakens our minds. Pretty much everything that is built or produced in the world is done so to prevent us from moving. Whether it be remote controls for the TV, lights, heating or any other appliance around the house, gadgets on the car that automatically close the boot or the robot vacuum cleaner that does not require human assistance, etc. It is not only mechanical gadgets that weaken our mind but also the society we live in; everyone seems to be against us as individuals trying to make healthier choices. Most clients that attend our 5 day fitness boot camp have stories of friends that were less than supportive of the fact they were to spend upwards of £500 on a fitness retreat and using their precious holiday leave allocation to spend improving their health. Similarly if you leave work and decide that instead of heading to the pub for the usual post work beverage you inform your colleagues about the new trainers you are going to break in, they are less than encouraging. It is, I believe, a combination of these factors that prevent us from mentally asserting ourselves anywhere near our true physical potential.
We discussed the detrimental effects of negative self-talk during our boot camp training sessions, so now I want to look at how we can replace the negative thought connotations with more positive facilitating ones. For this we need to ask ourselves, what gets you up in the morning, what motivates us to be a better person, what is our drive? For me it is my two beautiful children; they are my everything and when they were born my life really started to have meaning. I have a well selected 12 km route I enjoy running near my home and, having served with The Parachute Regiment, I still enjoy running with weight on my back. On quite a few occasions throughout the year I use this route as a fitness training session. The last part of this run culminates with a steep incline up Constitution Hill in Poole, Dorset and as I am nearing the end on the run, half way up the last hill I begin to get those negative thoughts. “Chill out Hooksy, you are not in the Army any more, you are the wrong side of 40, slow down brother, etc”. But I want the most from this session and I want to receive the optimum physiological and psychological benefits possible for the time dedicated to training. So at that moment in time, when the negative thoughts start to fester in my brain, I have a very vivid image of my son Herbie or my daughter Missy smiling at me and telling me that that they love me. Don’t get me wrong, at this point I don’t have an out of body experience and float to the top of the hill, but I do believe it helps to block those negative thoughts for an extra 20, 30 or even 40 seconds. It allows me to push that little bit harder and gain the best possible results for that session. It is important to chose something that is simple and short to focus on, it is no good reciting a four chapter poem while you are breathing through your ass! If you are chasing weight loss then an image of yourself in a pair of jeans or the weighing scales bouncing around your target weight might surfice.
This will not happen overnight as it is something to be practiced and nurtured.
But when you do manage to push yourself harder physically by becoming mentally stronger, the good news is that the mental strength will overflow into every other aspect of you life, whether it be social, work or family, you will become a stronger person.
Now it is over you to begin to put into practice your own little mind games. I hope that this has been easy enough to understand and not too heebie-geebie, psychedelic shit talk!
Good luck with your training and remember – it does not happen overnight. Small changes maintained over a long period of time will produce measurable lasting results.
Thank for reading this Fitness Boot Camp blog – you can find more like it by following this boot camp Blog link. Please feel free to share with your friends and family and I hope to see you soon at one of our 5 day fitness boot camps.
As far as I am concerned failure is a positive thing on so many levels. During boot camp endurance type events until you may reach your failure point but if you don’t you will never really know what your true potential is. This blog is going to look at ‘failure’ within the boot camp strength environment.
I currently see two types of people in the gym and at fitness boot camps who are getting it wrong, and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Firstly, you have those that don’t lift weights heavy enough to improve strength. They have probably read an article or blog about exercises that will get rid of bingo wings or love handles. They then select a weight that they could easily carry out dozens of repetitions but limit themselves to maybe 3 sets of 10. This will not improve their strength but it may burn ½ a calorie.
Secondly, you have those that select a weight that is far too heavy and therefore prevents them from performing the exercise through correct range of movement. The outcome may improve strength but more likely cause injury.
So let’s begin by understanding why we want to improve our strength. It is a great form of exercise for burning fat and, once your body has increased muscle size, all it wants to do is munch away at fat stores, even when you are resting. More importantly, however, when we have an effective and balanced strength training regime it increases performance and also prevents injury. One of the most important groups of people that should carry out strength training is women, especially as they age, as it will assist in combating osteoporosis.
Hopefully we can agree that there are benefits to strength training, so now let’s look at the actual process and see the importance of finding and accepting failure.
Your body is an amazing machine and will always adapt to its surroundings, but this does not always provide a positive outcome. If you are sedentary, and spend most of your day sat behind a computer, always using a vehicle to get from A to B, your body will adapt by increasing your body fat. The fat will be stored mainly around your ass to improve the comfort of sitting for hours on end. Fat will also store around your shoulders to assist you in reaching your keyboard and your body will decrease muscle mass for efficiency.
However, there is some good news …. it is never too late to start strength training and gain the associated benefits.
If you want to get stronger you need to ask your body to do something that it cannot achieve. Here are several points to follow to ensure that your Boot Camp strength training session is safe and effective.
Above and beyond all these 5 points, finding failure and accepting it is paramount to improving your strength. Let me explain … you do not get any fitter or stronger during the boot camp strength training session; you simply distribute oxygen to the muscles and break the muscles down. Depending on how much you break your body down will determine how much fitter and stronger your body will develop. If you train with a weight that you can perform 10 repetitions but stop at 8, 9 or even 10 reps then you are simply maintaining your current ability.
So next time you carry out a boot camp style strength session I suggest you select a weight that you can lift 8 times and challenge yourself to complete 10 reps. Now it is important that when you get to the failure you point you do not adjust your stance, bend your back or twist to allow yourself to complete the rep but rather pull at that failure point for 3 seconds. What you are actually doing is asking your body to achieve something that it cannot currently achieve and this is when your body will adapt and get stronger. At a physiological level you will slightly break down your muscle fibers and after several days of DOMS (Delayed Onset Of Muscle Soreness) you muscles will become stronger.
So there you have it – be a Boot Camp Failure during strength training sessions and achieve the results you deserve.
For more information about our 5 day fitness boot camps or other blogs that assist in improving long term health please check out our Fitness Boot Camp website.
Why do you train?
What is the desired long-term outcome?
Who are you trying to impress?
These three questions are important to answer before undertaking any form of physical activity, as they will help you to develop an appropriate boot camp training schedule. This training schedule must prevent injury, help you to maintain a sustainable level of exercise and assist you in knowing when you have achieved your goal. These three questions are highlighted at our 5 day fitness boot camp prior to our clients setting any goals.
I am going to leave it up to you with regards to answering the three questions on a personal level, however here is my boot camp perspective. I have to be honest … it is only recently that I have been following this train of thought myself and putting it into practice.
The main reason I boot camp train is to improve my quality of life; I am not talking about financially, however this may come as a by-product due to your increased physical and mental ability. The focus for me is on ME personally – I am not interested in measuring myself against others. As soon as I use others as a benchmark I am only setting myself up for failure. There will always be someone stronger, faster and better no matter how hard I try. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not an easy task and I am constantly reminding myself about this.
When I do manage to focus on measuring myself against myself here are the benefits:
This brings us nicely onto the desired long-term outcome and for me that is easy … a happy life and increased longevity! That means decreased injury and illness and an increase in the number of years that I am able to run around with my children’s children’s children.
So then, who am I trying to impress, yes you got it… ME!!!
We were born to run, the bones and muscles are situated in the body to facilitate the action of running. Just look at how your leg attaches to the hip and how the upper arm attaches to the shoulder.
Many moons ago, before vehicles were invented, if you wanted to get from A – B and time did not allow you to walk, the only option was for you to run. If you were being chased as prey or chasing prey your only option was to run.
We get a lot of people turning up at our fitness boot amp and the first thing they inform us is they cannot, do not want to and will not run. The reason for this is simple; it’s because they never have. It amazes me that there are lots of people out there that have never ran for an hour before… EVER. However, I have yet to meet a client that has not trained twice a week for four weeks and then not been able to run/jog for 60 minutes.
So how do we achieve this at our fitness boot camp. It’s quite simple really and I am going to break it down into four simple steps:
Boot Camp Route Selection – Begin by mapping out a route that will only take you 15 – 20 minutes – this should be manageable whatever your level of fitness. Choose a route that is flat that will enable you to maintain a slow, steady, manageable pace. Once you complete this distance don’t belittle it thinking that you did not go far enough. Instead give yourself a big pat on the back and say WELL DONE MEEE!!!
Boot Camp Pacing – If you have never run before then you cannot run too slow. DO NOT RUN TOO FAST. Even if you are jogging at a walking pace you will raise your heart rate to a level high enough to cause your body to undergo cardiovascular training. Your heart rate rises gradually at the start of your run, remains at the same level for the duration of the run, then slowly decreases to normal after the run. After several sessions you will increase your body’s efficiency of producing energy at the same given work rate or heart rate, enabling you to run faster. If at any time on your run you need to walk then you are simply running too fast. SLOW DOWN!!!
Boot Camp Breathing – The main thing your body does when you run is distribute oxygen around the body as the muscles that are used demand higher levels of oxygen. So all you need to do is regulate your breathing with your running pace. This can be achieved by spitting out a small breath the first time your left foot lands and a second spit when the right foot lands. It is important you still have approximately 60% of your lungs still inflated with oxygen after both breaths. You then inhale a comfortable amount of oxygen the next time your left and right foot lands and repeat the process. You can start by practicing this technique when walking then, once you are confident, break into a gentle jog.
Boot Camp Progression – Once you get comfortable with the previous distance increase it next time be adding another 10 – 15 minutes to your route. Continue doing this until you can manage a 60 minute run then measure the distance you have run (don’t worry about how far it is) – this then becomes your endurance run. Each week complete your endurance run until you are able to complete it in 55 minutes then simply add approximately ½ km.
It really is as simply as that and here are a few good reasons to use running as a form of exercise:
It is a very cheap form of exercise as all you need is a pair of trainers.
You can run anywhere, whether you are on holiday abroad or away on business.
It is very easy to assess your progress.
It is very sociable as you can do it with your family, friends or even the dog.
So why don’t you give it a go? You will be amazed how much better you will feel both mentally and physically.
Are you thinking about making 2017 the year that you become healthier, fitter and more positively inspired individual?
If this is the first year you have ever had these intentions then the chances are you may well succeed. If however every other January you had these good intentions then what is going to be different this time?
Here are a few tips to make 2017 YOUR year!
To start with it is important to not consciously link any new fitness training with other lifestyle changes. Let me explain, most people tend to give up smoking and alcohol while introducing a diet at the same time they start exercising. Then when they slip up in one of these areas, like having a drink, a cigarette or a chocolate bar; the boot camp exercise and any other good intentions stop too.
If you have a bad diet but still exercise you are going to be fitter than if you have a bad diet and don’t exercise; the same applies with smoking and drinking. As you get fitter you will want to eat healthier and not have the same urges for alcohol and nicotine.
At Reboot Fitness Boot Camp I begin the week by saying, this week we are going to eat too healthily, do far too much exercise and focus too much on positive thinking.
Now this may sound crazy but let me explain.
If clients leave our Fitness BootCamp trying to replicate everything we do there, without the support of the instructors and other like minded clients the chances are they may last a day, week or if you are lucky a month. This short blast of exercise and healthy eating throughout their lifetime will just be a small blip on the radar having no real lasting healthy implications.
If however you start eating breakfast, having not previously done so, and maintain this change until 2026 it will have massive health implications on your life. In the same vain, a 30 min boot camp jog once each week with a few press-ups and sit-ups thrown in for 10 years will have profound and life changing results. Compared to a week or two of an unrealistic training regime.
Just remember, small changes maintained over long periods of time will have a massive impact!!!
So don’t start what you can’t finish by taking on too much!!!
For more information our our life changing 5 Day Fitness Boot Camps please check out our website.
Boot Camp body resistance training is a great way to build and tone those beach bodies for the summer. Most people have the misconception that cardiovascular exercise, like running and cycling, is the best form of exercise for burning fat. The truth of the matter is that a good body resistance training session that can be carried out on the beach can burn far more body fat than running.
Boot Camp Beach Body resistance exercises are predominantly used to improve strength and are great beach training exercises that any great weight loss boot camp prescribes.
Rest between exercises for strength training should be between one to three minutes, allowing energy stores to replenish.
The body’s response to boot camp strength training is muscle growth. During this process an aching sensation occurs in the muscle group; this is known as `The Two Day Ache`. Its name speaks for itself as this is when the pain is at its worst. During these three to four days the body burns carbohydrates and fat to fuel the muscle growth. To this end body resistance training is one of the highest fat burning boot camp training systems.
Boot Camp Beach Training Exercises
Three great exercises we do plenty of at Reboot fitness boot camp that can be carried out at the beach that combined can train all of the muscle groups in the body. You could even stick them in half way through a run:
Boot Camp Beach Training Exercises 1
Press-ups lie on your stomach with your hands on the floor and your thumbs positioned shoulder width apart. Depending on ability the level will depend on the type of Boot Camp Beach Press-up performed. The harder of the two exercises requires you to lift your chin up to allow the chest to touch the floor then keeping the rest of the body rigid by engaging the core muscles. From that position extend your elbows to full extension and then lower the chest to the floor by flexing the elbows. The easier of the press-ups is to place the knees on the floor instead of the feet therefore reducing the amount of weight above the hands. This exercise when performed correctly trains most muscles throughout the body.
Boot Camp Beach Training Exercises 2
Sit-ups – lie on your back on a mat with your knees slightly bent placing your arms across your chest with your fingers in the depression of your clavicle. A full Boot Camp Beach Training Sit-up will be completed when you sit up until the base of your neck is directly above the base of your spine; lower back down into the start position under control until your shoulder blades are in contact with the floor. Benefits of having strong abdominal muscles include better control of breathing and also an increase in overall strength and power.
Boot Camp Beach Training Exercises 3
Burpees – stand upright with your feet together, by bending at the knees and hip, place your hands on the floor beside your feet. While keeping your feet together jump back into the Boot Camp Beach Training press-up position with your hands and feet on the floor. To complete the exercise return to the standing position the same way you got down and jump into the air bringing your knees to your chest. This is not for the faint hearted and you may not find it easy.
People often ask me what my top boot camp training tips are, so in this I am going to give you my top ten tips on exercise and fitness Training…
10. Remember – One Step At A Time!
I often meet people at boot camp who have decided to get fit. They put together a list of all the things that they are going to change:
They decide to change all these things at the same time in the hope of getting fitter and making a drastic lifestyle change. The problem is that changing so many things at once is hard to maintain. When the inevitable happens and they slip up, by having a cigarette or drinking too much, they feel that they have failed and give up on everything. They then go back to where they started and, in addition, now feel like a failure. By taking things slowly and setting realistic goals there is more chance of success. If you continue living your existing life and introduce exercise then you are in a better position than you were before. Once you have been able to make exercise a habit you can then begin to change other aspects of your life that you feel need to change.
9. Group Boot Camp Training
Group boot camp training sessions like a fitness boot camp can be very helpful in giving you some competition and motivation which, in turn, encourages you to push yourself harder than you do when training on your own.
If, however, group boot camp training sessions are all that you do then it would be beneficial for you to fit in at least one cardiovascular endurance training session each week for you to do on your own at your pace; this should last 40-60 minutes.
When we exercise effectively, the muscles in our bodies demand oxygen. It is therefore important to regulate our breathing pattern with the type of exercise we are doing.
When weight training we should exhale on exertion. When taking part in a cardiovascular type exercise like running, swimming or cycling then it is beneficial to breath in rhythm with the particular activity. This can also help to focus the brain and get into the exercise zone.
7. Rest Days
If our aim is to increase fitness levels and strength we should push the body during our boot camp training sessions hard enough to warrant the body to require repair. To this end the most important part of our boot camp training schedule should be recovery, as this is when we actually get fitter and stronger.
I would suggest that if you train six or even seven days a week you are either continually picking up injuries and illnesses or you are not training hard enough during your sessions. You should have at least two rest days a week or eight rest days each month. Our fitness boot camps run for five days leaving the other two days for rest to allow the body to recover.
6. Annual Training Diary
Have a yearly boot camp training cycle in which you train for three specific events throughout the year. These may be triathlons, a 10k run or something smaller such as a 1k run. Â After each event you should allow a recovery break where your body recovers from the strict training routine, allowing you to focus on your next training period. The year should be broken down into three training periods. You will then have three training diaries with specific events or tasks to focus on.
It never ceases to amaze me that people who have attended fitness clubs and gyms for years cannot do a complete press up, ie one full range of motion, chest to floor then arms fully extended. This is one of the most simple exercises to learn and can be done at home in your own time. A good tip is to count how many press ups you can complete in a minute and make a record of it. This is an excellent way to monitor your strength progress. Great improvement can be achieved is a short period of time, we generally see a 25% improvement throughout one of our 5 day fitness boot camps.
4. Abdominal Strength and Endurance
There seems to be a current trend to do stomach crunches instead of sit ups. While crunches do have their merits, I believe that the only way to fully train the abdominal muscles is to learn how to complete full sit ups. This then covers the full range of motion that is controlled by the abdominal muscles.
3. Correct Technique
Never compromise the correct technique in order to achieve your required number of repetitions.
Strength training is all about finding the failure point and therefore demanding improvement from our muscles. If during a training session we compromise technique to complete a set we are using other muscle groups to cheat, thereby preventing the muscles from being trained to find failure.
2. Mind Set
To be able to train most effectively our mental and physical self need to be in tune.
During a training session, most people concentrate on how hard the session is getting and how long it will be before they need to stop due to the severity of the activity. We should really focus on how well we are doing and how comfortable we feel, while remembering that your body will recover!
1. Assess – Set Goals – Plan Training – Train – Achieve Goals – Re-Assess
This speaks for itself. If you never assess your current fitness level then you will have no idea how effective your training is. Set your goals, plan your training and then reassess to monitor your progress. Progress gives you the drive to continue and will prove how effective your training is.
So there you go I hope you have found it helpful and remember small changes can make a big difference!
For more information about our 5 Day Fitness Boot Camp please check out our website.
Welcome to the new Reboot Blog!
My name is Mark Hooks and I am an ex-army physical training instructor. I now live and work in Poole and, over the last 10 years, I have been running regular fitness classes and triathlon courses around the south coast and also work in several of the local schools tackling obesity within the family unit.
We all know the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle; the tricky bit is finding the balance between exercise, diet and enjoying life. Some people can become disheartened by following the same recommended training schedules but not making any real progress. I have found that the hardest part of training is getting started. committing to yourself, friends or family that you are serious about getting fit and meaning it.
Two years ago I decided to set up a Residential Fitness & Weight Loss Boot Camp and I think its name explains what I wanted it to achieve perfectly. REBOOT!!!!
The first year was spent developing and implementing everything I had learned working in the fitness industry over the last 15 years. After many hours work over 12 months we were ready to go and Reboot’s first fitness boot camp was launched in April 2010. I put together an amazing team including a mind coach, nutritionist, fitness team, chef and massage therapy team. Our first boot camp was awesome and it started the journey for a very special young man Usman Ulhaq who weighed over 27 stone. He has since been to three more Reboots and now weighs under 20 stone. He plans to return in April 2011 and is working hard so he can kick my ass up the amazing hills Dorset has to offer.
Since April things have continued to improve and we have had nine other successful weight loss boot camps with many similar success stories.
So what is different about Reboot and other fitness boot camps?
Reboot is an education. not just about fitness but also how the mind and body work together and healthy nutrition. Prior to setting up Reboot I prided myself in empowering my clients with enough information for them to become their own personal trainer. I achieved this by meeting them weekly over a three month period and setting a weekly training programme for them to follow and log their results prior to their next session. During their three month personal training programme they were shown how to carry out speed, endurance and strength training sessions. All these sessions were specifically linked to a three month goal – for some this was a mile and a half run and for others a triathlon or Iron Man.
When developing Reboot I condensed the three month personal training course into a five day residential fitness boot camp and included three months personal training after care. When a client leaves Reboot they take with them a weekly training programme to follow when they get home. At the end of the first week home they email me their results and I adjust their programme according to their goal and email the following week’s training programme back. At the end of the three months they are invited back to a weight loss boot camp day in Dorset which acts as a reunion and also a chance to fulfill their goal. This is the main reason why I feel Reboot works!
So here we are almost 12 months on and each month produces more exciting success stories. Since December we have been providing the Rebooters with a DVD highlighting the challenges of their week which allows them to share their experience with family and friends on their return home. It also acts as a great motivational tool when they are at home and do not have the Reboot team there to encourage them. They can simply watch their DVD which evokes similar emotions experienced on their fitness boot camp week.
One of the main things say at the end of Reboot is that it is a life changing experience! If you want to read any of the many glowing testimonials we have received the you can click here.
Well I think that brings us up to date! I have every intention of regularly updating this Blog with stories of other Rebooters as they arise. Over the next fortnight I will get each member of the team to introduce themselves and tell you what they are all about.
Prior to setting up Reboot Dorset Fitness Boot Camp I have had experience working in many different types of gyms, from within the military through to civilian private health clubs, public health clubs and leisure centres.
There seems to be various areas of importance depending on the type of establishment you attend. I found that the best results were attained within the military gymnasiums. I spent some time at Worthy Down Training Camp in Winchester and the main focus of importance was results, ie specified goals, linked with appropriate assessments and training, with realistic timelines to enable the individual to develop and improve gradually and incrementally. The instructional content was not designed as a ‘feel good’ factor for the clients – it was there to achieve a set outcome.
When I left the Army in 2002 I went straight into the private sector, teaching various group exercise classes and developing training programmes. Time and time again I meet people who want to turn up to sessions and get away with as little as they can but expect to see results. They have the mentality that attending a training session reflects accomplishment, rather than working hard to achieve results. I believe this is down to both instructional expertise and the general gym ethos.
I have also worked as a Gym Manager within several private health clubs and found it was all about sales, ie new memberships, maximising profit, personal training or the new fad health supplement that the club had signed up to. Little, if any focus, was placed on increasing the clients’ physical ability or aiding their clients to achieve goals.
A typical gym with around 20 running machines, swimming pool and say 20-30 weight training stations requires between 4,000-8,000 members, paying regular membership, to cover costs. Yet they only have enough equipment for around 100 clients to use the establishment at any one time.
When you sign up to a gym the gym instructor may take you around the gym, advising you to spend around 10 minutes on two or three various types of cardiovascular equipment like the stepper, x-trainer and rower, then suggests you use half a dozen weight machines before relaxing in the pool or sauna. The first time you leave the gym feeling great then after several visits find the routine quite easy. You weigh yourself several months later with little or no change whatsoever. The lack of results and momentum may mean that you use your gym once a month, if at all, but continue to pay your monthly membership. Obviously this is great for the gym but not so good for the client who has never set or achieved a physical goal and may actually have put weight on.
I have yet to meet an establishment that runs proper physical assessments on their clients, for example a timed run, 1 x repetition maximum, best effort sit-ups or press-ups. This means that clients have no idea of their current fitness levels or how they have improved. This is all covered in greater detail during our 5 day fitness boot camps.
I know it all sounds very negative but there is light at the end of the tunnel. By following a proper training schedule, whether strength, endurance, speed or a combination of all three, you can begin to train efficiently with training sessions that work for you. At one particular council owned gym that I worked for I was informed that clients did not want to get fit, they just wanted to turn up to make themselves feel better. If this is how health clubs and leisure centres are setting their standards then the levels of obesity and health related diseases are only going to continue to rise.
Billions of pounds have been spent on research to find out how we can most efficiently get stronger, faster and all together fitter. This information is used for athletes all around the world yet facilities that the general public use do not adapt these proven methods. To see how you can start to train smarter why not check out one of our fitness boot camps via our home page.
Well that is it from me for now!
In this Blog we are going to discuss boot camp strength training so we can begin to build and tone our bodies. Most people have the misconception that cardiovascular exercise, like running and cycling, is the best form of exercise for burning fat. The truth of the matter is that a good strength training session can burn far more body fat than running.
Weight training is predominantly used to improve strength. This is achieved by carrying out between one and 25 repetitions in any one set. The amount of sets undertaken depends on time available. Research has shown that over a six week period training five times a week one set can improve strength by 34% and three sets five times a week can improve strength by 36%, only a 2% improvement for three times the amount of work.
The main goal in boot camp strength training is to find failure in any given muscle group, therefore demanding improvement. It is vital to maintain good form and push until it is physically impossible to push anymore. At this point congratulate yourself for achieving your goal rather than beating yourself up for not being able to perform another exercise.
Rest between exercises for strength should be between two to three minutes, allowing energy stores to replenish. This may need to change for sports specific training as you may find out at fitness boot camp.
As a rule of thumb the larger muscle groups should be trained first leaving the smaller muscle groups to the end of your work out.
The body’s response to strength training is muscle growth. During this process an aching sensation occurs in the muscle group; this is known as `The Two Day Ache`. Its name speaks for itself as this is when the pain is at its worst. During these three to four days the body burns carbohydrates and fat to fuel the muscle growth. To this end strength training is one of the highest fat burning training systems.
The body cannot produce carbohydrates, yet it is required to burn the subcutaneous fat stores in the body. Think of your body like a two stroke motorcycle engine; to provide movement the bike requires petrol and oil, in the same way the body requires fat and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can be found in pasta, bread, potatoes, etc.
You do not need to be a member of a gym to build and tone your muscles as there are lots of exercises you can do in and around your own home. At Reboot fitness boot camp we use TRX straps & power bags.
In our next Blog we will be looking at endurance training.
In this Blog we are going to look at ‘fartlek training’; fartlek is a Swedish word meaning speed play. Many of the sessions carried out at our fitness boot camp incorporate this training system.
It involves training at a high intensity for short periods of time that require the body to work the muscles in an anaerobic (without oxygen) capacity. When we work at these high intensities, in the gym or at a fitness boot camp, our muscles produce several metabolic by-products, one of these by-products is lactic acid. Years ago believed that lactic acid was detrimental to training as it causes our muscles to fatigue early and our performance to decrease. It is now widely acknowledged that lactic acid plays several important roles within the body.
Firstly, it acts as a safety mechanism that prevents us from pushing our bodies beyond their limits. When our muscles produce lactic acid it causes a burning sensation in the muscles that can become very unpleasant and makes us reduce our training intensity. If we continue to work at these increased intensities the lactic acid can build up so much that it enters the stomach and causes us to vomit. Not that we would encourage this at our fitness boot camp.
Secondly, it plays an important role in developing our bodies training systems and improving our overall performance. Lactic acid in the presence of oxygen will turn into a substance called pyruvic acid which will turn into energy. As energy is the currency the body requires to perform movement and exercises it is paramount to performance that we develop our lactate system.
So how can we carry out a fartlek training session similar to those carried out at a fitness boot camp? Let’s begin by looking at how the professionals develop their training. For this we will look at Paula Radcliffe; as a long distance runner she will carry out sprint sessions on a track that will involve a 400m track. After a warm-up and stretch she will carry out various sprints over differing distances with relevant recoveries in between each sprint.
A typical sprint session on a track would involve 2 x 400m sprints with 400m recoveries, 4 x 200m sprints with 200m recoveries in between and 8 x 100m sprints with 100m recoveries in between. During the sprints her muscles produce lactic acid and when she enters a recovery period her breathing rate and depth increases to feed the muscles with fresh oxygenated blood.
She continues to repeat this process throughout the session enabling her body to become more efficient at dealing with the lactic acid and turning it into energy. Paula Radcliffe is so accustomed to this type of training that when she competes it seems like she is sprinting a marathon. Her body is continually producing lactic acid and rapidly turning it into energy to produce more lactic acid and so on.
I am not suggesting that you all need to go to a running track tomorrow unless you are training for a 5km race or further distance. Most fitness boot camps and classes that you attend at your gym involve this type of training. You just need to make sure that the classes you do attend adjust the type of exercises, intensities and time durations you train for, week in week out. Whether you attend a fitness boot camp, spin, circuit, step, boxing, pump or aerobics class it needs to be varied to avoid the body becoming stale.
Reboot fitness boot camp runs varied fartlek training sessions for all abilities making our boot camp effective, adaptable & fun.
In this Blog I want to give a few simple tips on how to get a new fitness regime started without having to attend a fitness boot camp.
To start with it is important to not consciously link your training with any other lifestyle changes. Let me explain most people tend to give up smoking and alcohol while introducing a diet at the same time as they start exercising. The problem arises when they slip up in one of these areas, like having a drink, cigarette or chocolate bar; the exercise tends to stop as well because they have linked it with other factors. If you have a bad diet but still exercise you are going to be fitter than if you have a bad diet and don’t exercise; the same applies with smoking and drinking.
The other problem most people tend to make is that they do far too much too soon. When they are unable to maintain their five times a week training programme they give up altogether. It is better to introduce small amounts of exercise once or twice a week, then increase the amount slowly if you feel that way inclined. Throughout the time at our fitness boot camp we continually remind clients that training the way we do at our fitness boot camp is unrealistic for long term maintenance.
Barriers are the main reason most people don’t carry out a planned training session. These barriers can include things such as the cost of gym membership, time, weather, location of training session or anything else that might prevent you training. It is best to identify as many of these barriers prior to engaging in the fitness training programme and find solutions to better suit your existing lifestyle.
The easiest type of exercise is running as there so no need for expensive specialist equipment – you just need a pair of trainers. It is best to plan routes that start and finish at home so you don’t need to travel anywhere before you start. Begin with 10 – 15 minutes and then build it up from there. The other two exercises that I think are effective are sit-ups and press-ups, which, again, do not require any specialist equipment and can be easily incorporated into your existing lifestyle. If you spend five minutes in the morning when you get up, or at night before you go to bed, you will be amazed how much you can fit in and how good you will feel when you have finished.
Another important factor to bear in mind is that when you miss a planned session don’t dwell on it or let it affect your next training session – just get out as soon as possible and not let it end your training regime altogether.
If you assess yourself prior to starting, then set a goal connected to those assessments and reassess in several months time, you will be motivated by the improvements. Another thing people tend to use as a tool for assessing is their weight and if you train properly most of my clients tend to remain the same weight over the first six to eight weeks as the are losing fat mass and increasing muscle size, therefore remaining the same weight. When you have increased the muscle size your body can then burn the fat at a higher rate as there are larger muscles working.
Finally, remember variety is the spice of life! Give yourself different modes of exercise like swimming, cycling, running, weight training or group exercise classes to mention just a few.
So if you can’t find the time to dedicate a week at one of our amazing fitness boot camps then follow our advice above and start you healthier lifestyle today.
Your Reboot week (Monday 1.00pm – Friday 2.00pm) is packed full of a variety of sessions including fitness, nutrition and mind training. Reboot takes you on a journey of education and empowerment as you become the person you want to be. From the moment you sign up to Reboot you will be given advice and support leading up to your Reboot fitness boot camp week and then for 12 weeks after.
Mark will work with you to assess your current abilities and design boot camp weekly training plans leading up to your week away. Your Reboot fitness boot camp week is an educational week, full of information, advice and key skills. You will leave Reboot fully prepared for the 12 weeks ahead, safe in the knowledge that you have Mark’s support and help, leading up to a specific goal that you will have chosen with the Reboot team.
Here is a typical day at Reboot Dorset Fitness Boot Camp:
7.30am – Strength Training (an early morning run to kick-start the system)
8.30am – Breakfast (a high energy, low glycemic, nutritious meal)
9.00am – Boxing
10.00am – Mind Training / Snack
11.00pm – Circuits (a fun packed team event)
12.30pm – Lunch (gluten free and nutritious)
1.00pm – Nutritional Workshop
2.00pm – Casualty Evacuation (a team building fitness event)
3.30pm – Sea Swim/Paddle (optional)
4.30pm – X – Fit
6.00pm – Dinner (gluten free and nutritious)
7.00pm – Stretch & Relax Session
8.00pm – Massage
9.00pm – Nutritional 1-2-1
10.00pm – Bed / Relax
Every day is entirely unique and is designed to suit the clients attending that week. The days are structured to educate and empower you with the knowledge needed to continue your Reboot journey at home.
We only run 5 day camps to allow your body to recover – when we train we don’t get fit, we break our body down. The body’s reaction is to come back fitter and stronger. This happens on rest days and you should include a minimum of 2 rest days each week when training. Your body needs these rest days!
So why not join up TODAY!!!
This Blog will give you a bit of information about who I am and why I feel Reboot Fitness Boot Camps are simply the best!
My name is Mark Hooks and I have been a fitness coach since 1991. I have always been interested in personal fitness and the enjoyment gained from achieving optimum levels of fitness. Â I briefly moved to New Zealand during 1989 where I concentrated on hill running and core strength exercises for endurance runners which assisted me in playing football at a competitive level. On returning to the UK I spent hours every day training in the gym, road running, boxing training at the local Boxing Club and I was a member of the local Rugby Club.
I soon felt it was time to combine my love for sport and fitness with a career. This led me to join the Parachute Regiment of the British Armed Forces in 1994, which is undoubtedly the hardest physical and mental training in the world.
I spent five years with the Parachute Regiment until I transferred to the Royal Military Police in 1999. During my time in the Armed Forces I gained many qualifications including Physical Training Instructor, Sports Coach and Professional Exercise to Music Instructor, as well as representing my Unit at competitive level in boxing, football, rugby, cross-country running and water polo.
My last 12 months in the Armed Forces were spent at a soldiers training depot in Worthy Down, Winchester, England. I was specifically responsible for compiling monthly training programmes for new soldiers, officers, other instructors and civilian personnel at the depot. Throughout my career in the Armed Forces, I learned more about the human anatomy, diet & nutrition and more varied and complex types of physical training. This enabled me to understand the more scientific aspects of health and fitness.
I also began formulating my own training programmes and classes for civilian personnel at various health and fitness clubs throughout the UK. The success of these classes and the enjoyment of the class members encouraged me to pursue this line of business outside of the Armed Forces. I then started my own business as a Personal Training Instructor, called Airborne Fitness. I ran this for 7 years while also working at various fitness establishments as a gym manager. Unsatisfied with these places I knew the only way forward was to set up my own fitness boot camp, which I started 3 years ago. We have had great success over the last few years with 100% customer satisfaction. Why not check out a few of our boot camp testimonials.
Watch this space for our next Blog which will inform you how Reboot fitness boot camp guarantee life changing results.
In a previous Blog I discussed the specifics of how you can develop and implement effective goals to enhance your training whether at a fitness boot camp or training home alone. Bearing this in mind, I now want to move on to your mind set prior to, during and after boot camp training sessions. A famous phrase I recall being used on many occasions, by fitness instructors and sports coaches alike, when encouraging their athletes is to give 110%. As we all know 110% of one’s effort is not only unrealistic but does not actually exist. The other problem I as a sports coach have with this is that if an individual feels that they are giving 110% there is no more they feel they could possibly give. Reboot fitness boot camp training pushes the body to its limits but there is always so much more in the tank.
Let me go a little further and explain how I feel an athlete can better prepare their mind for fitness boot camp training. I would suggest that the average gym member that attends several exercise classes each week and a couple of weight training sessions gives approximately 55% – 65% of their maximum potential. Those who compete in various events like 10km or half marathon runs at an amateur level probably give between 65% – 75% of their maximum potential. Then there is the elite athlete that competes for their country or professionally and they give around 80% -90% of their maximum potential.
Now before you start thinking, who does this guy think he is, I give 100% every time I train. The potential of the human body is above and beyond what we could ever perceive. In third world countries like Africa there are people who walk miles upon miles without food or water to help provide for their family or save their own lives. They continue to push their bodies further than we could dream of doing, so far in fact that they push themselves to death. Now I am not suggesting that we all exercise ourselves to death but if we did it would be 100% of our maximum physical potential. There are many things in the western world that weaken our physical and mental capability, such things as supermarkets, remote controls and having everything made easier and easier preventing us to have to work for anything.
As a healthy individual it is near on impossible to exercise to death as there are so many built in safety mechanisms to prevent us from doing so. One of these mechanisms, many of you may have experienced, is muscle cramp (experienced by so many clients at our fitness boot camp) which is when your muscles seize up during excessive amounts of exercise and prevent you from pushing harder or even continuing to exercise. Another of these safety mechanisms is when our body produces higher levels of lactic acid than the muscles can cope with and the lactate then overflows into the stomach and causes us to vomit.
So how can we use this information to get the most of our training session? By understanding our maximum potential and our actual effort output during training sessions we can begin to become conscious of the gap. From there we can begin to push ourselves a little harder giving an extra one or 2% of effort during our training sessions knowing that there is a little more in the tank. It is not an easy task by any means or something that happens overnight but every time we manage to give that extra 1% or 2% the effort output and maximum potential gap is decreased. We see amazing improvements at our fitness boot camps clients pushing those boundaries never seen before.
So the next time you prepare yourselves for a training session, boot camp, fitness boot camp or weight loss boot camp when you are getting your kit ready, prepare your mind at the same time. Think about the last time you carried out a similar training session, how it felt when it got strenuous and how quickly your body recovered after the training session. Then when you start training, instead of concentrating on how hard the session is and focusing on the aches and pains your body is experiencing, focus on the positives! Look at how well you’re doing, how much more you could achieve as well as telling yourself how easy the session is and how you ARE going to be able to complete the task rather than telling yourself you can’t.
I hope this is helpful for future training sessions and by combining these techniques with effective and SMART goals you will be amazed how much more you can achieve. Finally, remember whatever you put into a training session you will take away with you. During progressive exercise training sessions you are simply breaking your body down and the body’s reaction to be broken down is to come back fitter and stronger. You can achieve just as much benefit whether at the gym, a fitness boot camp or training at home it is how close to failure you reach to allow the body to effectively react.
In this blog you will find all the information and tuition you require to effectively carry out the ‘Circuit Dose’ session as delivered at Reboot Dorset Fitness Boot Camp. The session is a high intensity circuit type session for those wanted to improve all over body strength. This boot camp style training session only requires an exercise mat. All of the exercises are body resistance and the video describes varying options for all abilities.
Before watch the video please download these 3 documents.
Now that you have saved these documents or preferably printed them off you can now start the Reboot Fitness Boot Camp Circuit Dose Video.
My name is Mark Hooks and I am ex-army physical training instructor, I now live and work in Poole. I set up Reboot Dorset Fitness Boot Camp to give advice on fitness and help people get the most out of your training.
We all know the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle; the tricky bit is finding the balance between exercise, diet and enjoying life. Some people can become disheartened by following the same recommended training schedules but not making any real progress.
The hardest part of training is getting started, committing to yourself, friends or family that you are serious about getting fit and meaning business. This is where Reboot Fitness Boot Camp comes in… today I will give you all the information you require to get started with the long term goal of becoming and staying Fit for Life.
To begin with we need to follow three simple steps:
Once you have achieved these three simple steps you are ready to put together a boot camp training programme.
You need to understand that when we exercise all our body requires is the delivery of oxygen to the muscles and the extraction of metabolic by-products, like lactic acid and carbon dioxide, away from the muscles. Although this sounds very complicated it simply occurs during normal breathing. We inhale oxygen enriched air and exhale carbon dioxide enriched air.
If it has been a while then it is best to begin with jogging and abdominal exercises.
Many people think they are unable to run, when the truth of the matter is that our bodies are built to run. They were not made to sit around all day at the computer or on the sofa in front of the telly. Most people at some time in their life have decided to go for a run, they get all the gear on and step outside the front door not knowing how far they plan to run, what speed they intend to run at or how long the run is going to take. They start running down the street at the speed of a thousand gazelles to get to the end of the road feeling like they are going to die of a heart attack and quickly return home hoping that no one saw them. This is evidence enough for them that they can not run.
Try this… sit down and plan a route, please make sure it is achievable, know the general area of the halfway point. Work out how long the run might take, if it is your first run for a long time then a short route around the block that lasts about 10 minutes is ample. Walk outside your front door and continue walking for about 100m then break into a gentle jog no faster than your walking pace. When you arrive at the halfway point evaluate the situation, should I slow down to ensure I get home and continue running or could I increase the pace slightly as this is far too easy. When you are about 100m away from your house begin to walk again and continue walking until your breathing returns to normal. Stretch out the major muscles in your legs, drink a large glass of water and write how long it took you in your training diary whilst giving yourself a well deserved pat on the back.
As you find the run gets easier increase the distance by going round the same route twice.
The abdominal muscles are very important during exercise as they control many things like breathing. This simple routine can be carried out once or twice a day and only takes about one minute to complete – I usually do them after my run but you can do them in the morning or at night.
There are several safety points to remember:
Begin with a very achievable amount of exercises in each set maybe six or 11. This is actually five or ten but I always add an extra one to each set in case I did not complete one properly. If you find this too difficult then place your feet under the sofa or ask someone to hold onto your feet. As you find the sets get easier then increase the amount of reps by five, ensuring that correct technique is maintained throughout.
You should find that when you wake up the next day your body may begin to feel sore. This is very normal as your body is repairing the muscle tissues and getting stronger. To facilitate this your body requires carbohydrates and fat. The body cannot produce carbohydrates as this needs to be consumed. Fat however is stored all over the body and can very easily be broken down and utilised along with carbohydrates to enable the body to recover. Your body is like an old two stroke motorcycle engine which requires oil and petrol to produce energy. However your body requires carbohydrates (rice, pasta, bread and potatoes) and fat (as stored in the body or in cakes, pies, sweets and chocolate) to produce energy as energy is required for all human functions.
Therefore, by increasing your carbohydrate intake and decreasing your fat intake your body will burn more fat as the muscles repair.
In summary you need to complete your assessment, set your challenging achievable goal and plan your boot camp training diary for the next month. Ensure your training sessions includes your progressive run and abdominal routine. Please join our mailing list via the website and receive your first Fitness Boot Camp Training Plan free.
It really is as easy as that but don’t expect it to happen overnight – it is a lifestyle change that you need to adopt. The first two weeks are the hardest but once you get through them you will begin to feel the benefits of exercise.
Remember your goal and how much you want to achieve it re-assess in three months time, so forget about the scales and enjoy life!
When you carry out a boot camp training session it is important to ascertain the required outcome. For many boot camp athletes they believe it is important to maintain correct lifting technique, ensuring full range of movement of the given joint or even staying within their optimum ability. This is all well and good if you want to achieve longevity but, let’s be honest, lifting heavier and completing more reps than our boot camp counter-parts supersedes effective boot camp training.
Let’s look at the typical boot camp press-up as a perfect example. Why would anyone insist on correct postural position or bending their arms until their chest touches the floor? Surely it is much better to pelvic hump the floor while keeping the arms straight or to lower your forehead to the floor preventing full range of movement. This will mean than more press-ups can be achieved making you the ultimate boot camp athlete, enabling you to boast about your performance results.
It is not only the quantity of boot camp exercises I am referring to but also the amount of weight you lift. Why on earth would anyone lift within their ability ensuring correct boot camp technique is adhered to? Obviously it is more important to be able to boast about your maximum bench press, squat or dead lift weight. To achieve this the athlete is required to bounce the lifted weight off the floor or chest. This enables the floor, or even better their spine, to recoil the free energy back through the bar. To increase the amount of weight you can squat simply shorten the range of movement your hips and knees bend enabling between 30%-40% weight increase.
Now I know what some of you are thinking, what about injury?
Let me tell you this, and you heard it here first… injury is under rated!
You do not need to worry about your knees, elbows or shoulders; think about it, you have two. As for your spine, there are so many animals that exist on this planet that don’t even have a spine. What is more these creatures were existing on this planet long before we did.
So to conclude this boot camp article please remember the following points:
1. More is more.
2. If you are not lifting outside your comfort zone, compromise technique.
3. Spotting is for nerds.
4. Above all else never ever be beaten.
Thanks for reading this blog and please stay tuned for more helpful boot camp training advice that will have you in a wheel chair before you are 60.
* Important – Please do not compromise correct lifting techniques or decrease range of movement to increase reps completed or weight lifted.
“This place is not suitable for ethnic minorities. You will get ignored the whole time and the staff will be distant and stand offish. While I was there I was ignored by the staff. I was given the dingiest shabby room with no lights and had to scramble around in the dark to get ready. When I asked for a light bulb they put on a light with such low voltage it hardly came on. They also paired me up with another ethnic minority and we were laughing at how we got paired up together. The exercise programme is from 7am to 7pm so any opportunity to have a nap, I would take it. There was a staff who had amputated leg as he had lost it in the army in Afghanistan. He did a talk on how he lost his leg in Afghanistan. I stayed for the first talk but the next day I went to my room and slept. It was nothing political. When I came down, everybody was giving me dirty looks. I don’t know what the talk has got to do with boot camp anyway. On Thursday there was a dinner held and we played a game, a bit like secret santa where we had to make presents for the name chosen. The staff did not include my name. When I sat down the staff with the beard went to the kitchen, got a egg cup and put it in the box for the person who was not included- which was me. On the last day I was extremely light headed. I went to ask the cook if I can have some sugar and she got annoyed, she huffed and puffed while getting a sugar out of the cupboard. I explained that I am feeling very dizzy. Then when we all sat down to get our plans made up, again the staff did everybody’s plan and ignored me. I approached him and he didn’t seem at all interested. It was a very bad experience and wish I didn’t waste my hard earned money on such experience. I know countrysides are racist and this place definitely is. If you are ethnic minority, get ready to be ignored and alone.” Reena Shiva
This was a review we received from a client attending our Fitness Boot Camp via Google+ page and this is our response…
“Dear Reena – although this is not the name you booked your boot camp with us under – why are you going incognito? To label our company as racist is quite disgusting and you have absolutely no right to do so. Clients are paired off in rooms randomly so the fact that you shared a room with another lady of ethnic minority is purely down to chance and the fact that you had both booked a shared room (triple basic – the cheapest option we offer). The other clients had booked private rooms. I can assure you that we do not distribute varying voltage light bulbs due to sex, colour or religion and I am sorry the bulbs provided were not of a voltage to your satisfaction. The accommodation you stayed in is one of the oldest and most beautiful rectories in England and is a period listed property. The rooms are not dingy or shabby. The exercise programme is not from 7am to 7pm. The boot camp training schedule each day is full and varied, broken up by three meals, two snacks, nutrition workshops and positive mental attitude talks. There is not a scheduled time during the day for clients to have a siesta, sorry. Reboot is an exercise and fitness boot camp, not an opportunity to catch up on missed sleep. The instructor you mentioned in your review, Neil Heritage, had not lost one leg but had both of his legs blown off – it was not in Afghanistan but Iraq. The presentation that Neil delivers was not about him losing his legs but rather an inspiring talk about his life post injury and his cross Atlantic rowing challenge. This is done to encourage motivation and show that anything is possible with the right frame of mind no matter what barriers are put in front of us. If you had stayed for the presentation you would have known this. Neil is an inspirational individual and has helped many clients with his positive and motivational story – I am sorry you feel this was not appropriate. As for your comment “everybody was giving me dirty looks”, I am afraid that we have no control over the facial expressions of our other clients but it was certainly not something that we noticed. I am sorry but I have no idea what you are referring to when you say that the staff did not include your name for the team building, creative session on the Thursday evening. Throughout the week the nutritionist discussed with the group why we do not eat sugar at the boot camp (perhaps you missed this talk when you were having another nap) so when you demanded sugar it took a while for our staff to find some. I can assure you that our chef would not have “huffed and puffed”, as it is not in her nature. and I’m sure that our hundreds of former clients would agree. When it came to writing your training plan you informed me that you wanted to continue attending the classes you were attending prior to boot camp and that you did not have any need for our three month post boot camp training – therefore there was nothing for me to write down in your training plan. This was your decision, not ours. Throughout the boot camp you isolated yourself from the group and missed integral parts of the week by choosing to remove yourself and take regular naps. I find your narrow-mindedness and stereotypical view that everyone from the countryside is a racist ridiculous and abhorrent. Just so that you know, none of our staff actually live in the Old Rectory – we only rent the accommodation for our boot camps. The majority of our staff, and indeed the other clients on your boot camp, all live in large towns or cities. I am sure from the previous 46 positive reviews we have received here on Google+, and the hundreds of positive reviews that we have received from clients of all races, religion and genders, that future clients will see through YOUR racist views and not allow it to affect the decision to book a fitness boot camp with Reboot.”
Reboot Dorset Fitness Boot Camp UK
Response from a previous client…
“To all those reading these comments, I would like to state that “Reena’s” comments do not in any way reflect reality.
The time I spent with Reboot was one of the most challenging (mentally and physically), rewarding, uplifting and fun weeks – oh and it was also “ethnically diverse”, not that any of us noticed as we were, from the off, treated as one big family. To put it into context, out of the eight in our group, four (myself included) were from “non-white” backgrounds and not once did a single one of us (and the whole group is still in touch) feel degraded, unfairly treated or disregarded because of our ethnicity, our religious views, our sexuality etc.
The week is tough, make no mistake, but it is approached with confidence inspiring techniques, motivational talks and a “you can do it” attitude – Mark, Beverley, Neil et al. frankly do not have time in the week to make negative aspersions over someone’s ethnicity and it is obvious from the few moments of meeting them that this is a team high on integrity and equality. Neil’s involvement is testament to Reboot’s stance on “looking beyond the surface” and from our wide ranging topics of conversation at supper time, it was clear that the team were blind to any kind of “…ism” that there is. One’s differences just were not ever an issue. Full stop.
Referring to Reena’s comments around the accommodation, Reboot is set in a lovely old Rectory and a range of rooms are available, based on how much you choose to pay. None of the rooms, even the cheapest ones, are small or dingy and had the room been so bad, Reena could have asked Mark to see if there were any others available and find out what sort of deals he could have offered her. I originally booked a shared room and before I even saw it, I decided on the day I arrived to see if there were any private rooms with en-suites available and Mark sorted me out with a lovely room for a very reasonable additional sum.
It is a shame that Reena felt so put out in her time with Reboot, but from her post it actually seems as though she was expecting a spa break and was affronted when it was not a week full of cuddles and chocolates. In no way would her ethnicity have played any part in how she was treated – that from an outside perspective looks to be a cheap shot from a disgruntled “house-guest”.
Please do not disregard Reboot on the basis of Reena’s post. Instead choose them and go with a positive mental attitude, the expectation that you will be worked hard and challenged to your limits and go with a real purpose. If you do that, you will enjoy your time immensely, make new friends, and have a wholly different outlook on exercise and healthy eating.
I would note, Reboot has not solicited me to make any comments with regard to Reena’s original post and I have not discussed with them that I intend to write and so as you read this for the first time, so will they.
Liam Sheena (Iraqi origin – in case you were wondering)
Most people that train think that just attending a boot camp training session or boot camp class is all that is required to improve their fitness and in turn their physique. They will read an article in a magazine about exercises to carry out to get rid of bingo wings. It will prescribe a series of exercises, reps and sets for the reader to follow. They then go to the gym or boot camp class and pick up a light weight and throw them around with little effort thinking they are all sorted!!!
So what is required to gain the optimum performance and results?
1. Assess and except your current ability.
2. Test your endurance by running at a slow pace for 60 minutes and measure your distance. This distance then becomes your weekly boot camp endurance run and when you get the time down to 55 minutes you add 1/2 km. You stay in your comfort zone and and let your improved cardiac output get the results.
3. Strength training can be carried out in the gym, at a fitness Boot camp, a circuit class or at home with your body. Strength training is about finding failure between rep sessions between 1-25. If you pick a weight up and carry out 8 exercises with a weight you can achieve 10, all you are doing if maintaining your current ability. If you want to improve your strength you need to lift a weight that you can lift 10 times, 11 times. When you get to the failure point you pull on it hard for 3 seconds ensuring good form is maintained. You are asking your body to achieve something it can’t and when this process is repeated your body gets stronger. It is important to mix up reps to continually shock the body, 1 week you so sets of 8, next week 18, next week 12 and so on.
4. You need to decide why you are training. Hopefully your boot camp training goal is to improve health and increase your longevity.
At Reboot Dorset UK Fitness Boot Camp we encourage clients to protect their body and work towards longterm health and fitness for the future.