What are the Disadvantages of Boot Camps?

Although there are many advantages to fitness boot camp physical training programmes, there are also some potential disadvantages, as highlighted below:

  • Limited Personal Instruction: depending upon how many are in your group, the instructor may not be able to provide enough feedback regarding your form and technique.
  • One Size Fits All: a boot camp workout is designed with some basic exercises that should accommodate a variety of different fitness levels.  However, you may have to adjust your workout to fit your personal fitness level and goals, although instructors should be applying the principles of adaptation and progression (see adaptation & progression section).
  • Steep Learning Curve: the first session will probably be a bit frustrating as you learn the exercises and terminology, and deal with soreness from starting a new training regimen.  In order for these sessions to get results, you will need to stick with it for at least a month or more (although this can be said for any training programme).
  • Scheduling: most boot camp workouts are scheduled for early evening during the week and early morning at weekends.
  • The Instructor Matters: a successful boot camp workout depends largely on the instructor’s knowledge and training, as well as their enthusiasm and personality.
  • Individual Ability Level: classes structured towards group ability levels may not be able to cater for an individual’s ability level as well as a one-to-one session.
  • Specialist Qualifications: instructors may not have appropriate training or qualifications to deal effectively with adolescents, older adults and specialist populations (e.g. obesity and lower back pain).
  • Lost in the Crowd: in larger groups individuals may feel ‘lost’.
  • Instructor/Member Ratios: groups can vary in size (i.e. ratio of participants per instructor) which can impact on command, control and safety.
  • Lighting: outdoor workouts may rely on ambient or local lighting, although responsible training providers require their instructors to equip themselves with appropriate portable lighting and encourage their members to wear appropriate clothing and lighting.
  • Environmental: Outdoors workouts are at the mercy of local weather conditions and training providers should be aware of the potential for both hot and cold weather injuries.
  • Concept of No Typical Session: one of the reasons for the warm-up is to allow the individual a period of psychological preparation for the coming exercise.  However, if an individual does not know what is coming, this can be problematic.

Utopic Ideation

The reader may have noticed that most, if not all, other fitness programmes will delight in informing the reader of the benefits, advantages and fitness gains they will receive from following that particular training programme.

However, these training programmes seldom, if ever, report any of the potential disadvantages one might witness from following said training programme.


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