When you get multiple leaflets through your front door advertising bootcamps, it is safe to say that bootcamp training is everywhere. Yet something doesn't quite sit right with me. Earlier in the year, I downloaded Marc Kent's Commando Fitness, bootcamp blueprint book. As Marc used to be a commando it seemed a pretty good place to start get to the bottom of this bootcamp phenomena. Also hearing from Patrick Dale about the disparity between actual military style bootcamps and the one done in the park with friends, has led me to this post.
The original bootcamps were long (32 weeks), hard endurance runs in full gear and life changing. They were designed to hone people into elite commandos so they could earn the right to wear a green beret. Not everyone will make it but those who pass the test have done well. X factor have bootcamps in which good singers are brought up to scratch to see if they can make it as world-class performers. Again, many don't make it. I recently saw an add for an investors bootcamp which was a full weekend learning how to become an investor. The end result is to earn money. All these bootcamps have in common is a STANDARD OF PRACTICE. They challenge you to be different. If you don't like it, see you later. Even though fitness bootcamps today don't need to be military based, they still need to incorporate some of the original functions. If they don't you are doing an average to good circuit class. There is nothing wrong with it, you are just kidding yourself that you are doing a bootcamp.
So here is my checklist to see if you are doing a bootcamp or if you are simply doing a circuit class. You are doing a circuit class.....
1. If you say, "i'm going to my weekly bootcamp class." 'Weekly' and 'bootcamp' shouldn't be in the same sentence. The only exception is if you are doing technique work for hours at a time. I used to attend these for sports. I expect fitness bootcamps to be 3 times a week at least as well as take home material, homework and a strict nutrition plan to follow.
2. If you enjoy it. Bootcamp shouldn't be fun. Why? Because you are trying to change yourself and you will meet resistance. The results and the destination are the fun part. You shouldn't base your decision to do bootcamp on whether you enjoy it. Some people do though.
3. If you have to miss bootcamp because it clashes with something else. The result you are trying to achieve in bootcamp training should take priority over everything else (withing reason).
4. If you go out the night before knowing that you will be OK in the morning for bootcamp.
5. If you stop doing bootcamp because it is getting cold. You haven't bought into bootcamp training. You were doing a circuit class.
6. If you tell the instructor what you can and can't do. You should have been screened before so when you turn up, you get on with it. No excuses.
7. If it is easy. Getting in shape, mentally and physically is hard work and if you are going to change your mind and body, and you find it is easy, you aren't being challenged in the way bootcamp is designed. You're circuit training i'm afraid.
8. If you stop doing your bootcamp because you don't like being told what to do. Most likely you are going to bootcamp because doing it your way over the years hasn't worked. If you don't hand over control to the instructor, you are doing a circuit class because it is all done on your terms. Eventually, something will get on your nerves and you will leave.
I'm sure there are more but I hear these a lot.
Feel free to add to them.