So you’ve decided to bite the bullet and sign up for bootcamp.  There are a few things you should know first, that will make it a much easier prospect for you.

Related Post: Is Boot Camp for you?

Boot Camp 101

Boot camp workouts are intensive exercise sessions that give your body a full workout. Involving little or no rest in between the varied forms of exercise that includes push-ups, jumping jacks and calisthenics, among others, boot camp routines are not only aerobic but muscle toning workouts as well. Bootcamps are very popular in the fitness world because the challenging workouts are not only varied and fun to do, they’re also done in far less time than traditional exercise regimens but give better results.

Preparation Tip #1: Be Prepared to Really Sweat It Out!

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A study conducted found that a typical 40-minute bootcamp session burns 400 calories. It further reveals that bootcamp-style exercises increase the heart rate from 77% to as high as 91%, making it “cyclical” in nature where the high-intensity was kicking and punching interspersed with low-intensity lifting serve as both good aerobic and muscle strengthening workouts.

Preparation Tip #2: Put on Your Social Hat

Aside from these cardiovascular and muscular benefits, what attracts most people into boot camps is the sense of belongingness it creates among them. Unlike a gym setting where newcomers with all those extra fats often feel alienated at the well-sculpted bodies that surround them, bootcampers have a strong sense of unity as they aim to “survive” the workouts together. Instead of getting shouted at, boot amp trainers and boot campers give struggling fellow campers much encouragement to get them through the whole session. It’s a great way to socialize too. Because bootcampers feel that they’re in the same boat, friendships are also easily made. Best of all, it’s an affordable way to lose weight since the cost of paying the fitness expert is shouldered by the group as a whole.

Bootcamp sessions need not necessarily be group sessions. Bootcamp workouts are available on DVDs and the Internet. You can do bootcamp style workouts right in the comfort of your very own home. You may not receive the benefits of group socialization and encouragement, but the cardiovascular and muscle strengthening and training benefits like muscular endurance, fat loss, agility, and flexibility are nevertheless the same. It certainly keeps the weight off with the least amount of time. The variation of exercises makes boot camp workouts exciting as well.

Preparation Tip #3: Prepare to Have Fun!

Bootcamp workouts are more than just a passing fitness fad. Because it’s not tied to any fitness equipment, it’s a form of exercise that can be tailored to fit the varying fitness needs of different individuals. And because they’re never boring and can be accomplished in the least amount of time, bootcamp workouts are here to stay.

Preparation Tip #4: Hydrate Well.

Make sure that you hydrate an hour or so before bootcamp. It can be pretty hard to start bouncing around with a full stomach of water.  Have water available during your session, but you’ll find you probably only take a mouthful here and there during the actual workout.  Then replenish upon finishing.

Preparation Tip #5: Replace Those Electrolytes

As well as hydrating well after bootcamp don’t forget to replenish those essential electrolytes after exercise.  I’m not talking about loading up on sugar filled post work out energy drinks.  There are many natural alternatives for getting your potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium.

  • Coconut Water
  • Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Fresh juices

Check out FoodBabe for some great recipes to get your electrolytes in.

Preparation Tip #6: Have a Good Attitude

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Go in to bootcamp with a can do attitude.  Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, focus on the instructor and be in the moment.  Don’t give up at the first sign of pain or muscle fatigue – it’s supposed to hurt (within reason).  Give every exercise a proper effort and if something is really a struggle, speak to the instructor about modifications