Boot camp for beginners

January has slipped through your fingers with the blink of an eye and you’re all set to embark on the fitness campaign you should have taken up at the start of the year is 100%, no doubt about it, happening!

Even in a sweaty boot camp class, most instructors won’t make you drop and give ‘them 20 for making a mistake but it is totally natural to feel a little anxious about joining a new class. To help you get the most out of your soon-to-be fitness regime we have listed a few common slipups which sometimes lead people to a less effective workout and potentially harmful results. So, before you attend your UK boot camp have a read of these tips:

Pay attention
People often say they like boot camp classes because someone tells them what to do.  But if being in the zone borders on zoning you out during a class, then you could miss corrections that can protect you—or others—from injury. It’s essential to stay present and aware, both of your own body and of your surroundings, rather than going on some kind of exercise-induced autopilot. That means both hearing the instructor’s cues and observing your own form (hello, mirrors!) and being super aware of your fellow classmates. No one likes a space hog—or being smacked or kicked by a flailing limb.

Take your time
There is a temptation to rush when you attend a boot camp class. Part of you just wants to get it out the way so you can finish and go home and refuel, and part of you might think that by doing the instructed exercises at double speed you will get more out of the class. The goal with timed workouts is to do every movement properly first and foremost—remembering that it isn’t a race to cram in as many exercises in the dedicated slot as possible. If you slow down and take your time you will ensure you stay on form and avoid hurting yourself by straining a muscle or worse.

Playing it Too Safe
If you’re new to a particular boot camp class but you know you have done them before and that your relativity fit then use the new session to gradually challenge yourself. Good instructors will notice if you’re ready for the next step, but if you’re feeling up for it, grab an extra set of heavier weights (ahem, you won’t get bulky), or attempt those on-your-toes push-ups—worst case, you can slip back into your comfort zone for the last set.

Considerations

Every boot camp is run in a unique way, and your boot camp instructor will define exactly which exercises you will perform and how. Because boot camps are group activities, the instructor has little leeway to tailor the exercises or the workout intensity to your individual needs. Boot camp training is about always keeping in motion, even during rest periods. Keep your heart rate up to stoke your metabolic fire.

Stretching is key
ok so you have finished your first boot camp session and you’re dying to race out of the class, get home eat and rest but you must make time to stretch!  But not only is it bad form to blast out of class before it’s over, it’s bad for your form literally. Boot camp, like any high-intensity interval class, pushes up your heart rate and taxes every muscle. Your body worked hard for the preceding 40 minutes, now reward it with some much-needed recovery. And if you’re still aching afterward why not take advantage of some at-home stretching to compliment your new found exercise regime?