Bootcamp fitness classes are great for people who love to push themselves and get in a solid workout in a short period of time. However, they are not always accessible.
Whether you can not afford a regular gym membership, do not have anyone to watch your kids while you exercise, or are on the road a lot and cannot make it to classes on a consistent basis, there are still ways to make your workouts happen.
It is actually quite easy to put together a boot camp-style workout that you can do at home or on the road. Listed below are some top tips that will help you structure the perfect workout no matter where you are.
What You Need
You do not need a ton of equipment to do boot camp-style workouts from home or on the road. In fact, you can probably get away with doing strictly bodyweight exercises if you really want to.
That being said, it can be nice to have some equipment on hand for when you want to switch things up. If you are setting up a home gym, consider investing in a set of adjustable dumbbells and a pull-up bar. If you are going to be working out on the road, pieces of portable exercise equipment like resistance bands are great options if you want an extra challenge.
You will also need to make sure you have enough space to work out. You do not need tons of room, but make sure your workout space is at least big enough for you to do exercises like lunges and squats without crashing into anything.
Structuring Your Workout
Once you have found a good workout space and bought your equipment, it is time to start putting together your boot camp-style workout. With these basic guidelines in mind, you can structure an effective workout that meets your needs and helps you reach your goals.
A good warm-up is essential for any workout, including an intense, boot camp-style workout.
Your warm-up should consist of some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, jumping jacks, etc.) for 5-10 minutes to raise your core body temperature. Then, you should include some dynamic stretches (stretches that move the joint through a continuous, full range of motion). Leg and arm swings are good examples of dynamic stretches.
Once you are warm, you can move on to power moves. Plyometric exercises like squat jumps and burpees are good to include at the beginning of the workout when you’re still fresh and can perform them with good form.
Pick 3-5 power moves and perform them for 30 seconds each, resting for 30 seconds in between each movement.
Next, move on to speed drills. Sprints are the easiest type of speedwork to do on your own. They can be done on a treadmill or exercise bike, or you can simply run outside if you are in an area where it is safe to do so.
A good sprint structure to follow is to do five sets of 20-second sprints with 40 seconds of rest in between each set.
Finally, move on to some strength exercises. These are good to do with resistance bands or weights if possible, but you can also do bodyweight exercises if that is your only option.
The following are good exercises to include in this portion of your workout:
- Dumbbell or banded squats to overhead press.
- Push-ups (aka press-ups).
- Walking lunges.
- Bent over rows.
A good rule of thumb is to pick at least one exercise for each large muscle group. For example, squats for the quadriceps, deadlifts for the glutes and hamstrings, overhead press for the chest, triceps, and shoulders, pull-ups for the back and biceps, and planks for the core.
Tips for Sticking to At-Home Workouts
If you are going to be doing a boot camp-style workout from home, these tips can help you stick with it long-term:
- Write down your goals;
- Schedule your workout for the same time each day;
- Find an accountability partner, either in-person or online; and
- Track your progress (aesthetic and performance-related).
Tips for Working Out While Travelling
For people who need help sticking to workouts while on the road, these tips are good to keep in mind:
- Plan ahead and try to find a hotel with a space for your workouts;
- Schedule your workouts ahead of time;
- Get plenty of sleep so that you have enough energy for exercise;
- Do not let your nutrition go just because you’re travelling; and
- Find a friend or co-worker who will exercise with you.