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.