Bootcamps are becoming a popular way to train and keep in great physical condition.

Bootcamps are becoming a popular way to train and keep in great physical condition.  These high-energy classes generally follow a circuit styleworkout with intense bursts of exercise and short recovery periods.  The bootcamp form of training allows participants to blast calories while building muscle.  The low recovery periods keep the heart rate high allowing one to strength train while working aerobically.  Most people would agree that this beats hours spent in the gym doing cardio and weightlifting.

Fat Burning Zone

People often ask if they need to exercise in the fat burning zone that they noticed on the stepper machine at the gym?  The answer comes down to two main principles, energy in versus energy out, AND challenging the body’s different energy systems.  Bootcamp is a great way to achieve both of these fitness concepts.  Allow me to explain…

Energy In vs. Energy Out

The basic weight loss or fat loss principal has been the same for centuries.  The energy that we expend (with exercise or physical activity) has to be greater than the energy that we consume (the food that we eat).

Training All of the Body’s Energy Systems

The body has 3 main energy systems: aerobic (2minutes-hours of lower intensity activity), anaerobic (10 second bursts of high intensity exercise), anaerobic glycolytic(10 seconds-2min of moderate to high intensity activity). The aerobic system uses oxygen to fuel the body (going for a run or a bike ride).   The anaerobic systems rely on the body’s stored energy supply to provide energy (short bursts like in spinning, hockey or bootcamp).  In order to maximize your training and fitness levels it is imperative to challenge all 3 of the body’s energy systems.

Variety is Key in Exercise

Basically, variety is the spice of life! Train with long steady cardio, bursts of activity with short recovery, dumbbells, bodyweights, and don’t forget balance and flexibility.   The moral of the story is, get out there and try it all, and don’t do the same thing day in, day out…change it up!

Injury Prevention

A word of warning!  With all the new classes available people can become injured because they are overdoing it.  As mentioned previously, balance is key.  As a chiropractor I treat many injuries because people are overdoing one particular type of activity…Runners run every day, hockey players only playing hockey, bootcampers only doing bootcamp, and even yogis only practicing yoga, etc.  A balanced workout plan including cardiovascular training, anaerobic training, strength, flexibility and rest are key (Don’t forget one day of rest and recovery per week).

A Sample Balanced Exercise Plan

I recommend that participants of my bootcamp perform a weight training session once per week, incorporate cardio training 2-3 days per week, yoga/stretching/core at least once a week and participate in my Form Fitness Training Camp (Bootcamp) twice a week.  A sample plan would be; Sundays off; Monday, Wednesday, Saturday running; yoga and weights Friday and; Bootcamp Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Live well.  Love life.

Dr. Meredith Hodges

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