It’s no surprise when bootcamps burst onto the fitness scene in recent years, they quickly grew in popularity. A quick drive around any big city at 6 a.m. and you’ll come across groups of people in various parks or parking lots freezing their balls off pretending to workout, as a drill sergeant-like instructor yells at them to work harder.
Truth is, though, there’s a lot to love about the bootcamp culture: They get you sweating in the early hours of the morning and make you feel accomplished by 7 am. They tax your cardiovascular system and make you feel like you’ve had a hardcore workout. Factor in the fun group environment and you have the perfect environment to motivate the masses to workout.
But for all they offer, bootcamps have many shortcomings, especially when we consider long-term fitness.
5 fitness prerequisites a 45-minute cardio bootcamp doesn’t help:
One of the most important aspects of fitness, especially as you age, is strength training.
Bootcamps, especially the ones held outside in parks or other public places, are primary based on simple bodyweight movements and “cardio,” and seriously lack any kind of systematic and progressive strength training.
One of the often overlooked aspects of fitness has to do with HOW WELL YOU MOVE. How well you move is largely connected to your flexibility—the range of motion around a joint—and mobility. If either is lacking, you are more likely to get injured. Not only that, if you have range of motion limitations, you just won’t be able to move efficiently in life, in sports, or when working out, which seriously hinders your ability to get work done.
Improving your flexibility and mobility takes a lot of time and effort and focus, which is just not addressed in a 45-60 minute sweat fest with 20 other people in the freezing cold mornings.
Two other things many people overlook is the importance of prepping your joints and activating the right muscles for whatever movements are in store for you that day, as well as recovery after a session.
Prehab and rehab simply aren’t addressed during a bootcamp, where you usually show up and start sweating within five minutes of getting out of bed.
A great fitness program is designed to help you improve. In other words, as you get stronger, faster, fitter, the program—the movements you perform, the weight you lift, the speed and efficiency with which you move—increase.
Such is not the case with a bootcamp. Of course, you can always push a little harder as you become more fit, but generally you show up with people of all experience and fitness levels and do whatever random workout the instructor has in store for you that day. There is usually absolutely no thought put into progressive program design.
Another important aspect of an effective fitness program is that it takes into consideration your individual strengths weaknesses, goals, experience and injury history. In other words, at least some of what you do at the gym should be individual to you.
When was the last time you sat down with your bootcamp instructor and chatted about your goals, your weaknesses and how to fix that lingering pain in your shoulder?
Didn’t think so…
If you’re looking to improve your fitness for your sport, or just so life becomes more enjoyable, our programs offer what bootcamps do, as well as a whole lot more.