What To Expect From An Outdoor Bootcamp
Summer is just around the corner, making the idea of outdoor workouts tempting. Whilst the sun is shining and mornings (and evenings) are light, you might be tempted to sign up to an outdoor bootcamp class. But what do bootcamp classes really entail, and are they right for you?
What Kind Of Workouts Are Bootcamp Classes?
As the name suggests, bootcamp classes originated as military-style workouts. But these days, bootcamps aren't necessarily hardcore, and certainly aren't intimidating. In fact, there's a bootcamp for everything these days, from Bootcamp on the Beach to Buggy Bootcamps for new Mums. Don't let the "bootcamp" label fool you into thinking it's going to be burpees in the mud!
What Can You Expect?
With so many styles of bootcamp class available, it's best to ask the instructor, bootcamp owner, or someone who already attends the class. But there are a few things you can expect from any bootcamp class.
Common Themes In Bootcamp Classes
Almost every bootcamp class is held outside, even when the weather turns bad. That's part of the appeal. Most are held in local parks, playing fields or beaches to give participants the space they need, and to make the most of the natural terrain. As a result, you can expect to be using hills, sand, benches and tree trunks as workout tools!
Interval training is one of the best ways to get fit, burn calories, and blast body fat - fast. Bootcamp classes make good use of interval training, so expect to be running or sprinting (to your own ability level), and doing exercises like skipping, boxing, jumping, and plyometrics with rest periods.
Bootcamp classes tend to be low on kit, so you'll be using your own bodyweight as resistance. Expect to do exercises like bodyweight squats, walking lunges, press ups, planks and sit ups. You'll always be given options to scale movements up or down, and be encouraged to work at your own level (whilst getting better every week, of course!).
Weight training is important if you want to tone up and lose fat, and bootcamp classes know this. Even though you won't be using gym machines or barbells, you should expect to do resistance training in a bootcamp class. Bodyweight exercises will be key, but you might also use resistance bands or light hand-weights to add weight to the exercises.
Most bootcamps work on a partner or small group basis, so expect to buddy up with one or two other people as you perform the exercises. Maybe you'd like to encourage a friend, sibling or work colleague to go along with you so you have a ready-made partnership? Or find a partner on the day and make a new friend. One thing's for sure, you'll need to be the kind of person who doesn't mind getting sweaty in front of a group!
Whatever the Weather
Only the very worst weather will drive a bootcamp class inside! Remember to dress for the weather (layers which you can add or remove are a good idea) and to take water with you. Early morning bootcamps might mean thin gloves and a hat, at least until you've warmed up. And it's a good idea to have an extra layer to put on after class. The instructor will usually provide a safe place for layers of clothing that you might remove after the warm up, as well as your keys and phone.
So don’t be afraid of bootcamps. They’re fun, sociable, and a great way to keep fit.