D.I.Y. Bootcamp

11.29.2011 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

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What better way to burn off those Thanksgiving calories than a do it yourself boot camp routine? WOW's contributing personal trainer  and boot camp afficionado, Becky Johnson, breaks down the fundamentals and provides a routine that you can try out anywhere. Enjoy!

Fitness boot camps never go out of style - and for good reason! The military inspired workouts burn serious calories. Boot camps are usually built on three fundamentals of training – cardio, strength and agility. They require little more than your body weight to get results. Fitness boot camp workouts can be more intense than other fitness classes and more fun than traditional gym workouts.

The boot camp that I teach is different each week and challenging for my “campers.” For our exercises, I vary the equipment or sometimes use no equipment at all. Short rest periods and cardio blasting moves add to the fun! I like to push participants to do a little more than they thought they could. This is where strength and fitness gains happen. I enjoy my class because they work so hard and their hard work shows in their sweat!

Not everyone has access to boot camp classes however, but luckily it’s very easy to create an at home boot camp of your own. Follow these simple guidelines and you will become your own drill sergeant:


Put aside your dumbbells and stability balls; boot camps are all about the bare essentials, starting with the moves. By stringing together exercises - jumping jacks, pushups and squats - into circuits with little or no rest in between, these workouts turn your body into a super-efficient resistance machine. The moves target muscles throughout your entire body. They’re much more effective than equipment-based exercises that isolate one single muscle group at a time.


Set a time limit for each exercise, maybe 20-60 seconds. It keeps you from pushing too hard and also from slacking off. Also, since you won’t have an instructor telling you when to stop, this gives you a time frame where you can work your hardest and give 100%. Adjust the time according to your fitness level.


Without fancy equipment or complicated moves, you can do a boot camp workout anywhere; a park, playground or even a parking lot. Taking your sweat session outside has some serious perks: plenty of room to move, sunshine (an instant mood lifter) and fresh air. Also take advantage of benches, playground equipment or trees and hills to expand your workouts.


One key to success is camaraderie. A group makes you accountable to show up and the support helps push you through an intense workout. When it comes to fitness, peer pressure can be a good thing. Enlist a small group of friends who have similar fitness goals and pick a time and place. If you’re a no-show, next time they’ll make you drop and do 20!


Start with the first exercise in ‘Round 1.’ Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds; rest 10 seconds, then continue until you’ve done each move in that round. Rest for a minute; and then do the exercises in ‘Round 2.’ Rest for another minute, and then repeat the entire sequence so that you’ve done two complete sets of each round.

Round 1

Bicycle crunches
Jumping Jacks
Back extensions

Round 2

Walking lunges
Squat jumps
Bent-over rows
Standing high knees
Mountain climbers

Remember last week I talked about fitting in short interval style workouts during the holidays? This is a perfect example to get the most out of your time. So bring out that inner drill sergeant and put yourself through your own fat burning, power-building, boot camp workout!

Stay Healthy and Fit,
- Becky

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