The other day, I read an article, “Bootcamps Don’t Work” that I found much to disagree with. The cynical side of me surmised that this trainer is losing business to bootcamps, so naturally had to rip on the effectiveness of bootcamps. Curiously, the author did acknowledge that people DO lose weight with them and they improve your cardiovascular conditioning, ( a good thing) and they are affordable. Those are all excellent outcomes, in my opinion. The premise offered is you should stay away from bootcamps because they don’t focus on weight training or nutrition. Some don’t and some do yet people get excellent results from them. Actually, real military bootcamps do not use dumbbells, they do bodyweight exercises and those are fantastic strength builders.
The Real Bootcamp in Costa Mesa, California combines bodyweight exercises with dumbells, barbells, tires, prowler sleds, sledgehamemers, bands, a climbing wall, medicine balls and more. There is no set routine to the training, so the athlete is always challenged. The results from this style of training are quickly obvious.
Seems to me, if you are overweight, out of shape and not doing any training at all, bootcamps can be an excellent place to start. Does this mean you are going to do bootcamps for the rest of your life? Of course not.
Life is an evolution. What you are doing today will affect what you will do tomorrow. I used to run, then I did mountain bike riding and later I did inline skating and racing. During all these periods of my life, I did some sort of weight training and changed up the diet as needed. I discovered Crossfit and did their varying types of workouts and liked it and benefitted from them…up to a point. I took the best of what I learned doing Crossfit and evolved into the training I do today. Last night, I trained my weaknesses and I have to tell you, it wasn’t all that fun!
You can’t keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results, right?
Everything works…for a while as Dan John would say. The body is highly adaptive and if you do the same routine over and over and over time, your body will get accustomed to it and the training effect ends. Then it is time to do something different. Jolt the body and the mind to stimulate new growth and change.
If you are currently doing nothing, do something, anything. It will work since your body isn’t used to the new activity. Do what is fun for you and then challenge yourself from there. Do bootcamps, do Crossfit, run, swim, ride a bike, box, take a spin class, hire a personal trainer or better yet, a strength and conditioning coach to add athleticism to your training. They all work. Just be ready and willing to do something different down the road and enjoy your evolution and improved fitness and well-being.