When it comes to basic workouts, bootcamp-style exercises are one of the best ways to get in shape quickly. That’s why the military created this type of exercise as a form of conditioning for the troops, that’s where the name came from. But you don’t have to be a soldier to benefit from bootcamp training. They are ideal for those looking to increase endurance (muscle and cardio).
What’s more, learning how to create a bootcamp workout is easy, because everyone follows a simple pattern of alternating circuits that consist of a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training. For this reason, bootcamp-style exercises are easy to modify or customize according to your fitness level and time, based on how many rounds of circuits you do.
What is a bootcamp workout and how does it work
The most important thing to remember when you are creating a bootcamp workout at home is safety. Even endurance athletes get tired after doing something for 45 minutes to an hour, so it’s important to take it easy, use lighter weights and trust to keep in good shape. Remember: The goal is to create resistance from where you are now. If you are new to the fitness world or bootcamp workouts, take a break and get hydrated.
I recommend doing this type of exercise at most twice a week, with other activities, such as strength and mobility training. Two or more times a week for best results. If your goal is fitness, you can practice bootcamp training more than twice a week. But don’t forget to extend the break times between exercises, which are usually short, during the circuits. If at any time your goals become more specific, you may want to consult a trainer on how to fill that gap-
I designed the bootcamp workout below, which works the entire body, to be done using body weight or a pair of dumbbells, if you have them.
Time: 30-60 minutes
Equipment: mat, dumbbells
Good for: total body conditioning
Instructions: This bootcamp workout has seven circuits, which you will complete a total of 3 to 6 times, performing 10 to 15 repetitions of each movement. Rest for a minute between rounds.
7 circuits for a bootcamp workout
Squat with body weight
How: Begin standing with your feet slightly more apart than your hips. Squat, lower yourself, focusing on keeping your heels away from each other. Go up by contracting the glutes, returning to the starting position. This is a repetition.
How: Put your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and extend your legs behind you with your feet hip-width apart. Your body should form a straight line from the head to the heels. Keeping the abdominal core firm, bend your elbows to lower your body toward the mat. Your elbows should be pointing 45 degrees from your body. Extend your arms back to start. This is a repetition.
Bootcamp training: Circuit 3
How: Begin standing with your feet farther apart, off the mat and your arms at your sides. Put your hands on the floor or jump back to stay in a plank position as quickly as possible, without losing control. Then, jump your feet forward out of your hands. Get up in a crouched position, placing your arms above your head. Get back on your feet. This is a representative.
How: With your feet at your hips, lower your torso under your hips with your knees slightly bent and your arms straight, right in front of your legs. Focus on keeping your back straight, your torso parallel to the floor or at a 45 degree angle, and your abdomen contracted. Pull your elbow toward your hips with weights in your hand, feeling your shoulder blades tighten and then slowly lower them. This is a repetition. (You can also do this arm exercise with water bottles.)
How: Lie on your back and place your hands on your sides. Bring your left knee towards your chest while extending your right leg directly in front of you, but without touching the floor. Then switch sides. Make sure your lower back is flat on the floor. This is a repetition.
Bootcamp training: Circuit 6
How: Start by standing with your feet towards your hips and your hands at your sides. Jump to the right side, pulling your navel to your spine and landing with your right foot and extending your left hand in front of you while reaching your left leg behind your right. Repeat the same thing using your left leg. This is a repetition.
How: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bring the weight up by extending your arms straight so that the dumbbell is above your head. Keeping everything from shoulders to elbows still, slowly flex your elbows, lowering the weight behind your head until your arms are just below 90 degrees. The elbows should point forward, not to the side. Pause and raise your arms again to the straight position. This is a repetition.