How to Prepare for a Fitness Boot Camp
1. Do Your Research
Boot camps differ by design. They can differ in style and intensity, all based on the instructor. If you’re hesitant to sign up for a boot camp, check different ones out. Go watch a session. Get a feel for the instructor. Talk to friends who have tried boot camps and gather their opinions. It’s important to find a program you’re willing to try. The right fit for you is key to staying committed to the 4-6 weeks of your program. Who knows, you may enjoy it enough to make it a part of your permanent exercise routine.
2. Bring a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude at boot camp is just as important as having the courage to sign up for boot camp. The words “I Can’t” are not welcome at boot camp. Don’t show up and then rule out every exercise because it feels too strenuous. “I Can’t” fosters negativity and discouragement. “I Can’t” pushes you farther away from your fitness goals.
Trust your instructor. Trust that he or she knows what is necessary to build a stronger and leaner body. Your body will be challenged, but be open to the challenge and do not psych yourself out. Boot camp is a lot easier than it looks as long as you’re willing to put in the sweat.
Keep your body well hydrated throughout the day. This is important general advice to keep a healthy body, but it is ten times more important when doing boot camp exercise. Boot camp programs run successfully on a strict exercise schedule. There are no breaks, just 30-45 minutes of high intensity, non-stop exercise. This doesn’t leave you ample time to stop in between sets to sip from your water bottle. You will ruin the flow of your exercise and the flow of the group. To keep your body hydrated enough to get through boot camp, be sure to drink enough water all day, making 64 ounces a minimum. Hydration will become essential to your lifestyle.
My fitness boot camp instructor always said, “It is never a lack of strength, but a lack of oxygen.” So focus on your breathing. Control your heart rate. Practice inhaling and exhaling deep, long breathes through your nose during weight lifting sets, or between wind sprints. You’ll see that supplying your body with an adequate amount of oxygen will get you through the toughest exercise circuits.