Thinking about signing up for a fitness bootcamp but not sure if it’ll be the right fit for you? You’re not alone. Between gym memberships, cross fit, spin classes, running clubs, bootcamps and more, it can feel impossible to know which type will help you best reach your fitness goals. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about fitness bootcamps below, so you can decide if an outdoor bootcamp workout is a perfect fit for you.
What’s the difference between bootcamp training and gym classes?
The majority of gyms offer classes as part of their membership.
You can sign up to as many or as few as you’d like, and as each class is designed to cater to newcomers and experts, you don’t have to start coming at the beginning of a six-week course. You’ll also find there’s a slightly different group of people each time.
On the other hand, bootcamps are separate from gym memberships and are designed to take you on a fitness journey. You’ll sign up for a six-week course and see continuous progression in your fitness goals as the weeks go on – whether that’s weight loss, muscle toning, increased cardio or a mix of all three. You’ll also be with the same group of people and have the same trainer throughout, which allows a much more personalised approach.
Why choose an outdoor bootcamp workout over an indoor bootcamp?
With bootcamps becoming more and more popular, you may have to decide between an indoor and an outdoor bootcamp, each with its own advantages.
By choosing an outdoor bootcamp, you’ll get the benefits of increased levels of Vitamin D, a variety in terrain that will constantly challenge your body, improved sleep, fresh air and sunshine.
Of course, with these benefits, you’ll also get the unknown of weather. Unless extreme weather rolls around, you’ll be working out in rain, wind and sunshine.
With an indoor bootcamp, you’ll miss out on the sunshine and fresh air, but you’ll know exactly the environment you’re walking into every day. For some, this is better. However, for others, enjoying the many benefits of working outside is a must.
Invest in a session with a personal trainer before your first fitness bootcamp
Whether you’re new to bootcamps or a seasoned pro, a session with a personal trainer before jumping into a new session has huge benefits.
Firstly, your personal trainer will take you through, step by step, many of the exercises you’ll be doing in the bootcamp. You’ll ensure your form is correct to prevent any injuries, and you’ll begin your first session with confidence.
Your personal trainer can perform a body composition assessment and help you set fitness goals for your bootcamp journey. You can also chat about nutrition and create a target calorie count to ensure you’ll be seeing results from all your effort.
Don’t worry about special equipment for your bootcamp, but do prepare for the weather
Your trainer will bring along any special gear, and you’ll also use the environment around you, including stairs, hills, benches and so forth. All you need to bring is your workout clothes, a water bottle, a towel and any other personal items you like to have on hand.
It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast before leaving the house, and even if rain isn’t in the forecast, it never hurts to bring a light raincoat with you. You’ll also want plenty of layers. As you warm up, even if it’s a chillier day outside, you’ll want to shed some layers.
Remember, unless severe wind, rain or thunderstorms rolls in, it’s unlikely your workout will be cancelled or moved inside. A bit of rain never hurt anybody, and if you’re wearing the right gear, you’ll be able to embrace the unknown and enjoy whatever mother nature decides to do.
Fuel and hydrate yourself before your bootcamp workout
The last thing you want to do is show up for your bootcamp dehydrated and hungry. Not only will you find it harder to give the bootcamp your best, but you’ll also see less benefit from the session. Of course, you don’t want to have water slouching around in your stomach or be overfull, so we recommend:
- Drink two cups of water at least an hour before bootcamp, then drink one more glass of water 15 minutes before the session.
- If your session is later in the day, ensure your last meal is at least two hours before bootcamp.
- If your session is in the morning, or you want a snack before the session, good options include a hard-boiled egg, nuts, a granola bar or an apple with peanut butter.
- Bring a full water bottle to the session with you.
- Bring some healthy snacks, similar to the options above, for after your workout. When hunger strikes, the last thing you want is to be tempted to grab yourself a candy bar or other unhealthy snack.
Arrive early to your outdoor fitness bootcamp
For your first session, we recommend arriving at least 15 minutes early so you can meet your fellow group members, your personal trainer (if you haven’t already met) and get familiar with your surroundings. Then for the rest of the sessions, aim to arrive 10 minutes early.
It’s always nice to be able to find your spot, limber up and say your hellos without being rushed. Plus, there’s nothing worse than starting your workout already feeling flustered.
It’s good to feel awkward and sweaty during your bootcamp workout
No matter what Instagram videos show, it’s impossible to look good while giving a workout your all. Even after warm-ups, you should feel your sweat building up, which is a telltale sign you’re burning calories and working hard.
It’s easy to compare yourself to others, and while friendly competition is good, you shouldn’t worry if there’s something you can’t do or if others in the session are doing more rounds than you.
Everyone is on a different part of their fitness journey, and just because you may not be lifting as much as others today doesn’t mean you won’t get there.
If it’s your first bootcamp, follow along as best you can and don’t worry if there’s something you can’t do. It’s always better to do ten burpees in the correct form than 20 burpees in bad form. Focus on yourself and listen to your body.
Find an outdoor bootcamp near me
If an outdoor bootcamp sounds like just the thing you’re looking for, and you live in Beach Haven, Auckland, you’re in luck. Join Shane from Body Fit for a fun yet challenging outdoor bootcamp where you’ll see results fast, conquer your goals and make new friends along the way.
With 18 years in the fitness industry and a former Commonwealth Games and World Championships competitor, Shane creates fun, and effective body weighted exercise workouts so you can see results fast.