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Build Your Own Boot Camp Workout

Studio 5 Health and Fitness Contributor Melanie Douglass, R.D., NASM, AFAA, says you can save time and money by building your own Boot Camp program at home.


Bootcamp programs have been gaining popularity across America over the last few years. For good reason… they work! Fitness bootcamps are designed to be intense, "jump-in-and-go-for-it", training programs that require a time and financial commitment. Most programs are done in a small group (6 - 10 people), require a 3-week to 3-month time commitment, and cost anywhere from $200 to $600, on average.

Bootcamp programs are GREAT! The motivation and the intensity of a new workout program can truly help you succeed in making more positive changes for your health. Bootcamp personal trainers are knowledgeable and provide essential motivation for you to get through a tough program.

However, if you don't have access, time or money to a try a coordinated-bootcamp program, then recruit a couple friends and start your own! It's totally doable, and frankly, pretty fun when you get to choose your program, pick the training days and spur a few close friends on! Give it a try!

A few tips to remember:

- Bootcamp is as much a mental makeover as a    physical makeover. Put equal time into building    yourself (or friends) up mentally. YOU CAN DO THIS!

- Bootcamp is supposed to be dramatic… a shock for    your body. The basic bottom line: take what you    think you can do AND DOUBLE IT! If you think you    can only do 10 jumping jacks, then go for 20.

- Recruit a couple friends. Sure, you can do this on    your own, but with a couple friends you can take    turns choosing/directing the workout and compete    with each other to make the workout more    enjoyable.

- Set a date to start and a date to finish… then    commit and go for it!

- Take turns being the "motivator". If you have a    partner or small circle of friends, then take turns    being the drill sergeant. They can yell at you, tell    you to go harder, tell you to be strong… etc. This    role is an essential part of any bootcamp program!

Here's how to build your own bootcamp workout:

1) Warm-up: 5 minutes
(choose one activity, perform for 5 minutes)
   •march in place/outdoor walk
   •knee lifts
   •step up/down on first stair
   •jog in place
   •side taps

2) Cardio: ~ 5 minutes
(choose three activities, rotate them every 30 seconds, repeat 3 times)
   •jump rope
   •tire jogs
   •jumping jacks
   •high knee jogs
   •side shuffles
   • back tap lunges
   • kickbox kicks
   • boxing arms
   • karoke feet

3) Strength: ~ 5 minutes
(choose three activities, rotate them every 30 seconds, repeat 3 times)
   • push ups
   • triceps dips
   • slow motion squats
   • squat with overhead press*
   • bicep curl with lunge*
   • bentover row with squat*
   • straight-leg dead lift to calf raise*
   • side arm raise with side squat*
   • elevated biceps curls with sumo squat*
   • triceps kickback with reverse lunge*
*need dumbbells or a resistance tube or a stability ball

4) Power: ~ 5 minutes
(choose three activities, rotate them every 30 seconds, repeat 3 times)
   • plyometric scissor jumps
   • repeater knees
   • jump squats with 180 degree turn
   • prisoner jumping jacks
   • squat pulses
   • burpees
   • mountain climbers
   • ski jumps
   • low lunge to kick
   • dorothy kicks

5) Core: ~ 5 minutes
(choose three activities, rotate them every 30 seconds, repeat 3 times)
   • v crunches
   • power planks
   • triple twist
   • full sit ups
   • 3-count crunches (raise up 1-2-3, down 1)
   • scissor kicks
   • glute bridge
   • dead bugs
   • straight-arm crunches

6) Cool-down
(choose one activity, perform for 3 - 5 minutes)
KEEP HEAD ABOVE YOUR HEART
   1. lotus pose with deep breathing and meditation
   2. seated stretching
   3. outdoor walk or light march in place
   4. partner stretching
   5. a few of your favorite yoga poses

The bottom line is to perform at least one activity from each of the main bootcamp categories: warm-up, cardio, strength, power, core, cooldown. Pick your favorite moves from past workouts, ask a trainer for new ideas, or use activities from this list.

Consult a trainer if you have any questions on form, it's a one-time expense that will benefit you for the rest of your life!


If you would like a complete list of the descriptions for these exercises, email Melanie @ melaniedouglass@gmail.com.

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