It is funny how things play out. I had not envisioned myself giving group classes but I have learned to go where I am guided. I have had a few different variations of classes and the Boot Camp structure has been the most successful and consistent. Committing to 8-12 weeks of workouts is what leads to gains from feeling more confident to noticing clothes fit looser to seeing new muscle definition.
And it does not just happen because I haphazardly give classes. There is a methodology behind everything I do and it is based on 6 fundamentals.
- Form and technique first!
I am a stickler for doing movements correctly. For one, it’s a safety thing. And two, we can only get stronger if we first master the basics.
For example, if someone is not able to get full depth on an air squats or maybe their knees turn in, then we focus first on good form even if that means not as low in depth. Slowly, we can progress to full depth and once that is there, THEN and only then will we add weight to advance the air squat.
2. We are the keeper of our own body.
I can sometimes gauge if someone is tight or in pain often by how they move, but that is not all the time. Some people can be in pain and push through it and I am none the wiser. So please, do not do that!
I want people to feel comfortable in my Boot Camp, to speak up when something does not feel right. There are a million exercises to do so there is no reason to do anything that hurts and can lead to injury. I of course program for the entire class and expect everyone to follow it. However, we all have lives and do things outside of Boot Camp that can leave us tired, fatigued or sore. Perhaps someone ran a lot of miles the days before class and squats do not feel good. That’s totally fine! We can adjust the workout to make it appropriate for everyone.
3. The workouts are for all levels!
Truly! They are. There are so many ways to progress and modify a workout to make it appropriate for all levels. We can play around with the rep scheme or the movements themselves so that everyone feels challenged and leaves feeling accomplished. I have trained people of all levels, ages, varied backgrounds, different lingering injuries. The one thing everyone has in common is their energy! Everyone brings it every single time and does the best they can do. It is how we have built such a great supportive community.
4. Warming up is essential.
Jumping right into a workout with a dynamic warm-up is a big no-no. I like to mix it up and have some running, agility ladder work, walking stretches, and some team warm-ups like circling up and passing a weighted ball (and other variances) to get our bodies warm and ready for the real work that is coming.
I also make sure to demo every single movement we are doing and give everyone a chance to practice them before doing them in the workout. It is a good opportunity for me to assess form and make suggestions on how to improve. If the workout has plank jacks, push press and skaters, we will warm up with those exact movements.
5. Workouts are simple.
Which simple is NOT to be confused with easy!
Boot Camp classes are structured in two parts where we spend time on the first part working on strength, stability and core work with typically 3-4 movements. Once that is completed, we move onto the Cardio Conditioning piece and spend time warming up those movements, also about 3-4.
I want people to feel confident and comfortable with the movements and by minimizing the number of exercise, it accomplishes that. I am able to program full body workouts with minimal movements that I promise you, you will never be bored. Or not challenged.
It can be overwhelming when classes have 10-15 movements and remembering how to do each of them correctly. That is why I do not program with that many in one go.
And also, every workout is different. There is so much variety in how I program that it keeps everyone excited to see what comes next!
6. Boot Camp is more than fitness.
Fitness really is a lifestyle and everything we do will affect how much we get out of our workouts. Getting adequate sleep and recovery are key just as much as nutrition is. So I love being able to introduce other aspects of a healthy lifestyle into the Boot Camp with special events. I have scheduled experts come join us, like Registered Dietitians and Certified Massage Therapists.
I also have incorporated different baselines like measurements and benchmark workouts.
There was also a strong interest in wanting to be able to do an honest push-up and so I have built in specific bi-weekly programming for them. Because getting a push-up is not just about strength but it is about empowerment!
I want everyone who comes to any of my classes to get the most out of it. I also want them to be excited about living healthy lifestyles and see it can be fun and rewarding.
I am not one of those high energy trainers yelling, “Go go go! Faster faster faster!” I am more of keeping a watchful eye, correcting form as needed and encouraging people to keep moving but also to pace themselves. I am very much about moving well and living a healthy life.
I am grateful for everyone who is a part of my Boot Camp and I genuinely get as much joy out of seeing people reach new goals as they do. It’s the most gratifying job I ever could have.