There are a lot of traditional boot camp exercises out there (running, sit ups, mountain climbers, etc.). Unfortunately, most of them will not get you great fat loss results. Most of them are hard to do if you are injured or managing a chronic injury and cause a lot of frustration with your weight loss results. With that said, a boot camp must provide a dynamic, periodical program with progressive overload so clients can build more muscle, raise their metabolism, and thus burn more fat. With a focus on intensity and a collection of full body exercises, the results will be impressive.
Here are my 5 favorite boot camp exercises:
- Sled push - it's like sprinting up a steep hill, with weights easily adjustable for difficulty level. Just make sure your calves are nice and flexible, as it can be hard on the Achilles.
- Pull ups - my personal favorite exercise, these should be a must on everyone's bucket list of accomplishments. They're great to do, even with beginners, as you can attach a super band for assistance, using different thicknesses as progressions until you can manage your own bodyweight.
- Heavy split squat - to the laymen, this one is a stationary lunge. It's a fantastic exercise for loading the lower body in a safe and effective manner and a great exercise for finding out imbalances in the lower body. Hint: always start with your weaker leg!
- Plank - building a strong core is paramount to staving off back pain (coupled with stretching of course!) The plank works the transverse abdominus (the body's natural weight belt), so keeping this strong and engaged will aid in the functionality of all movements.
- Box squat - most people are too inflexible to perform a squat safely and effectively. Making them shift all their weight to their back foot and sitting down on a box reinforces good form and mechanics. Once they understand how to perform the movement correctly, you can load the exercise by adding a dumbbell in their hands (aka goblet squat), and really start to see the training effect!
That's the list! All exercises were chosen for their functionality and ability for clients to execute easily in a group setting. There are a lot of great exercises out there but when working with groups you want exercises where the risk of injury is low if the exercise is done incorrectly. In a 21st century world where everyone sits down at a car, chair, couch or computer all day, you have to consider the mobility limitations of your clientele. Nothing will halt a fat loss objective faster than injury.... oh wait, fast food will!
The Bootcamp Effect