Bootcamp workouts are great for people who want to lose weight, get in shape, and feel strong and empowered in the gym. But, lots of people are hesitant to try these types of workouts because they are not sure how they should dress or what equipment they need.
Do not let this confusion hold you back, though. Read on to learn about the clothing and accessories that will help you make the most of your boot camp workouts.
What to Wear for Bootcamp Workouts?
Generally speaking, you can wear whatever you want to boot camp workouts. But, there are certain types of clothing and shoes that will allow you to get in a slightly better workout and avoid injury.
It tends to get hot during any type of boot camp workout, so keep the temperature in mind when you are choosing your outfit. Shorts and a T-shirt or tank top are great options (for men and women).
In the winter, you may want to dress in layers (a sweatshirt over your T-shirt, for example) so that you do not overheat. This is especially helpful if part of your workout is going to take place outside (lots of boot camp workouts involve outdoor running).
The way you dress is pretty flexible when it comes to boot camp workouts, but you should pay a little more attention to your footwear. Wearing the wrong shoes during a workout can lead to serious injuries such as dislocated knees.
Bootcamp workouts do often involve a lot of running, but running shoes are not actually the best shoes to wear. This is because, in addition to running, you will also be doing strength moves like squats and deadlifts. For these exercises, running shoes can be too cushioned and can throw off your balance.
Look for a good pair of cross training shoes instead, and try to find a pair that has minimal padding. That way, you will have some of the cushion and stability you need for running, but you will not be thrown off balance when you are trying to squat and do other resistance moves.
Accessories are totally optional for boot camp workouts, but they can complement your training. Some that you might want to consider include:
- Wrist wraps for extra support while lifting weights;
- Workout gloves to protect your hands from blisters and calluses;
- A weighted vest for added resistance if you’re more advanced; and
- A heart rate monitor to track your vitals and make sure you are not overexerting yourself.
You may also want to invest in a foam roller and/or massage ball. Bootcamp workouts are notorious for leaving your muscles feeling sore and tight, and these tools can come in handy when you need to work out muscle knots and get rid of tension.
Tips for Your First Bootcamp Workout
Even after you have purchased all the gear you need for your first boot camp class, you might still feel a little apprehensive. It is okay to be nervous, but do not let your nerves keep you from your workout.
These tips will help you walk into your first class with confidence:
- Prepare to be pushed: Bootcamp classes are known for being difficult, and you should expect to be challenged. Of course, you should not push yourself beyond your abilities, but remember that the class is not supposed to be a walk in the park.
- Show up early: This is one of the best things you can do if you are nervous on the first day. You will have to time to mentally prepare and ask the instructor questions.
- Stay hydrated: Bring a water bottle and get drinks often – you are going to sweat and you do not want to get dehydrated.
- Eat a good pre-workout meal: About an hour before your class, eat a snack with some carbohydrates and protein (toast with peanut butter, fat-free Greek yogurt with fruit, etc.)
- Do not skip stretching: Make sure you stretch and cool down properly at the end of the class. This will help minimise soreness and prevent injuries.
- Refuel post-workout: Eat some carbohydrates and protein post-workout, too, to help your muscles repair themselves.
Bootcamp workouts can be intimidating at first, but, if you follow these guidelines, you will be as prepared as possible for your first class.
Also, remember that, no matter how confident they may seem, everyone there has been a beginner at some point and they know how it feels to be nervous. Just do your best and do not be afraid to ask questions – you will start feeling like a regular in class before you know it.