Can You Go Overboard With Your Workout Program?

Here at Boot Camp San Francisco, we’re all about celebrating hardcore workouts and the energizing feeling of accomplishment that comes from getting fit and healthy. However, as with anything in life, there’s also a balance needed. Keeping in balance is tough. Going “overboard” can mean straying too far to the left or to the right. On one hand, you can be too easy on yourself and fail to make the progress you could have made. On the other hand, you can be too hard on yourself and end up with an injury that you could have avoided. It depends on your personality which side you’re likely to stray to. However in this article, we’d like to address the people who are likely to push themselves too hard.

If you’re naturally hard on yourself, you probably simply tough it out no matter what amount of pain or discomfort you’re experiencing. You exercise your insane willpower in pursuit of your goals, and you usually reach them. You get such a thrill out of reaching a difficult goal that it makes the journey worth it. You say to yourself, “Pain is just weakness leaving the body,” and then you make your body do what you tell it to do, no matter how much it protests.

Up to a certain point, this is an awesome mentality to have. However, it’s also possible to take just one step beyond that point and stray too far. So here are a few well-intentioned cautions if you’re always hearing your friends and family beg you to take it just a little easier.

1. Listen to your body.

It’s one thing to push through a bit of pain and fatigue. It’s another thing to have your body screaming at you to stop because something is seriously wrong. The trick lies in knowing the difference. If you’ve been out of shape for years and you’re just starting to get back into working out, a much milder level of physical exertion could seriously hurt you. More seasoned athletes are typically much more aware of the level of exertion that they can—and can’t—handle. Either way, listen to your body.

2. Listen to your instructor.

One of the great things about a boot camp workout is that you have instructors and fellow athletes who are all joining forces to motivate each other and press one another to new heights. There are days when you need that voice from outside yourself telling you in confident tones, “YES, you CAN do one more rep.” (Let’s face it, more people are on the other side of the continuum, where they don’t know what they can accomplish because they stop when it hurts and therefore fall short of tapping into that last five or ten percent of their full potential.) However, if you ever hear an instructor asking you to do less, you should pay attention to their request. It would be a rare thing to hear, but if an instructor feels strongly enough that you are going to do damage to yourself that they ask you to lighten up, you should realize it is a serious request.

Push Yourself Appropriately With a Boot Camp Workout at BCSF

Join us for our outdoor workout sessions and enjoy yourself while making big strides toward the fit and toned body that you want. Sign up today.

Are Boot Camp Workouts for Kids?

More and more kids are at risk of obesity, lower muscle strength, poorer coordination, and shakier balance than kids in generations gone past, because fewer and fewer kids are getting enough exercise. Children used to spend more time outside, and they seemed to naturally stay fit through the fun and games that they played with their friends. After all, they were so full of energy, they were almost always running, jumping, climbing trees, and pursuing adventures that built their balance and coordination.

Now, though, many kids stay indoors almost all the time. They spend a huge portion of their day sitting rather than moving around. They fill their free time with activities that don’t involve much physical movement, like video games, texting, or using the internet. In a way, it’s hard to find a way to do anything different, because parents don’t feel safe letting their kids go outside unsupervised. Unless your children are in an organized sport, like soccer or gymnastics, they may not be getting the exercise they need.

If you’re a fan of boot camp yourself, you may have wondered if something like that would be good for your kids. Here are some of our ideas for how you can encourage your kids to build their muscle tone, core strength, balance, and agility through a boot camp-style workout at home.

1. Make it fun.

Any interaction you have with your kids is a potential for them to have either a positive or a negative experience. If you are dishing out “drill instructor” commands to your kids with a huge dose of love and a twinkle in your eye, they’ll eat it up and probably play right along with a “Yes, sir, right away, sir!” Stay far away from the territory of showing frustration at them or belittling them for poor performance. Remember that they’re just kids. Praise and laughter will go a long way towards encouraging your kids to want to participate every time.

2. Take inspiration from your Boot Camp San Francisco workout

When you attend one of our workouts, you’ll notice how our instructors use ingenuity and creativity to turn every piece of grass and concrete into unique workout equipment. Do the same things with the items in your backyard. Let your kids invent moves, too.

3. Incorporate lots of tried-and-true moves

Your kids need cardio, bicep strength, and core muscle development just as much as you do, so don’t skimp on classic things like jumping jacks, pushups, and crunches. It can be simple and still be effective.

4. Gamify your kids’ workout

Any time you introduce an element of competition, it makes the workout a lot more fun. However, don’t make your kids compete against each other, because unless you have twins, the age difference will create an unfair rivalry. (And even if your kids were the same age, competing against each other can create unhealthy animosity. You don’t want that.) Instead, try creating a system where they earn points that count towards a reward like getting ice cream or going to the zoo.

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We hope these tips have been helpful. Join us at Boot Camp San Francisco for hardcore workouts that will leave you energized and motivated to come back for more.

Are Boot Camp Workouts For Seniors?

People love the boot camp workouts we do in San Francisco, and with good reason. There’s simply no substitute for arising in the freshness of an early morning dawn to meet with a group of motivated people and work out in the beautiful outdoors. If you’ve never done a boot camp workout before and you’re thinking of trying it out, you should! However, what if you’re getting up there in years? Would this still be a good workout for you?

The answer is a resounding YES. There is absolutely no age limit on our boot camp classes, and we welcome you to come whether you’re 19 or 119. However, it’s one thing to know you would be welcomed, and it’s quite another thing to know whether you would be able to keep up with the class. Therefore, we’ve put together a couple of points that you can consider in determining whether a boot camp class would be right for you.

Energy Expenditure

It’s no secret that boot camp will tax your energy. This will be a workout that’s completely different from spending 20 minutes on the elliptical. Only you can gauge your energy level and know for sure if you’ll have it in you to try boot camp, but here are some points to consider.

  • If you’re in reasonably good health, you can do boot camp just as much as anyone else.
  • If that 20-minute workout on the elliptical is more your style, boot camp is a way to kick up your fitness to a whole new level.
  • Everyone struggles to adjust to the workouts at first. Yes, you will be sore after the first few times. Stick with it!
  • Do the reps that you can do and you’ll get a lot of benefit, even if you don’t do the full set. We have no doubt that if you can do a few reps, you’ll work up to being able to do all of them in no time.
  • You don’t have to be older to doubt your ability to do boot camp. We hear questions from just as many people in their 20s and 30s who are struggling with obesity, health problems, and fatigue, and we tell them what we’ll tell you: The only way to find out for sure is to try it. Come join us!

Flexibility and Balance

Do you think of stiff joints and being prone to falling as an inevitable part of getting older? We don’t want that to be the verdict for you! When you do boot camp, you’ll move your body in ways that you might not have done for years, but that will sharpen up your brain’s ability to coordinate your movements. Who wouldn’t want increased flexibility, coordination, and balance? Going outside is one of the best methods to improve your strength and ability. For instance, when you walk on grass, your brain has to work a tiny bit harder to keep your balance than when you walk on perfectly flat floors indoors. Doing boot camp when you’re older is an investment into your ability to maintain independence longer.

Heart and Lungs

The more you work your heart and lungs, the stronger they will become, and the more you can do this now, the more resilient you’ll be if you ever do run into a major health issue. Boot camp workouts are designed to stimulate healthy cardiopulmonary function, though it might feel like you’re gasping for breath the first few times. All that said, please do check with your doctor to be sure that this is a form of exercise that’s ok for you, especially if you have ever had a heart attack or other health issue that compromised the strength of your heart and lungs.

Strong, Toned Muscles

Who says that you have to get flabby and out of shape with the passage of the years? We know of a lot of examples of older people who had been out of shape for years before deciding to turn their fitness around–and they succeeded. For instance, Don was 75 and hadn’t worked out for years when he decided that he wanted to build his strength and fitness back up. In just 90 days, he went from being overweight and out of shape to having a level of fitness and strength that people half his age would be envious of. He even got off all his medications.

There’s nothing about aging that intrinsically requires you to lose your strength, so why not keep it? It’s great for both your looks and your well-being. You’ll not only increase the strength of your arms and legs, you’ll also build core strength, which is a huge factor in contributing to good balance.

Social Interaction

Social isolation is one of the big factors that causes it to be difficult for seniors to get the exercise that they need. Let’s face it–it’s simply boring and unmotivating to work out by yourself. However, when you join one of the classes at Boot Camp San Francisco, you’ll have a friendly, solid group of people to work out with at every class. You’ll get to know them, laugh together, help each other with buddy workouts, and share a huge dose of contagious enthusiasm. It’s a win-win situation all around, and you’ll love it.

Don’t Be Daunted

Only you know yourself, your abilities, and your limitations, but if you have any inkling at all that you’d enjoy a boot camp workout, you should definitely come and check out a class. Sign up today!

Should Your Workout Program Require You To Have a Lot of Equipment?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of getting an expensive set of exercise equipment, only to have it gather dust and sit unused in your basement, garage, or office.

It happens to the best of us.

You want to lose weight and get in shape, so you resolve to work out.

Then you discover that despite your best intentions, it just isn’t happening. So you look for a way to gain leverage over yourself, coerce yourself to do what you know in your head you really want.

“Aha!” you think. “I was going to go jogging because it’s free, but I just never get around to it. I know what I’ll do. If I spend money on a gym membership, then I’ll have to go, because I won’t want to lose my money.”

But you spend your money and the gym keeps charging you a monthly fee and you keep not going.

And then you get even more creative. “OK, I didn’t go to the gym because I had to get in my car, make sure I had my gym bag and a clean change of clothes, and have time for a workout and a shower. BUT–if I could do it at home, it would be different. I’ll get this piece of equipment and I’ll put it in the house where I’ll see it every day. Then I can’t fail to work out consistently.”

Nope. As soon as the novelty wears off, your elliptical or treadmill becomes nothing more than an expensive clothes drying rack.

So what’s the solution?

Why is it that even when we spend good money on an exercise program, treadmill, elliptical, or set of gym equipment, we can’t seem to make ourselves do what we really want to do?

The answer is not in finding the “perfect” equipment or the “right” time of day to do it.

The reason it’s hard to work out consistently is because working out takes discipline, and unless you have something built into your workout that charges up your discipline muscle at the same time that it’s building your athleticism, you’re likely to come up short.

They say it takes an average of 66 days to build a habit. That’s a lot longer than the longevity of most people’s discipline. And if your discipline runs out before you get through the sore stage of beginning a workout program, you’re doomed to just keep running laps around the same track: You start a workout, you quit, you beat yourself up, you start again, you quit again, and around and around it goes.

That’s where Boot Camp San Francisco comes in.

Believe it or not, the discipline factor is one of the things that comes with the workouts.

You have an instructor who keeps you motivated.

You have workout buddies who miss you when you’re not there.

You have a consistent workout schedule that happens, rain or shine.

And you actually enjoy yourself when you work out.

It’s like magic. All of a sudden, you break through that wall of discipline running out and sabotaging your workout habit. Don’t spend money on expensive equipment. Spend money on acquiring the most elusive thing of all that you can’t buy in any store: discipline.

Boot Camp San Francisco has got you covered. Sign up for our workout package today.
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Why You Should Do A Variety of Movements When You Exercise

If you’ve spent any time trying to build your strength, flexibility, and overall fitness, you might have run into a problem. Your exercises seem to stop working after a given amount of time. Whereas your fitness routine helped you tremendously at the beginning, after a short time you stop seeing the gains in athleticism that you enjoyed at first. While there may be several factors involved in contributing to this effect, one of the main reasons is that when your body gets used to a certain set of movements, they stop benefiting you as much as they used to.

Humans were not built to do repetitive movements. Think of our hunter-gatherer forbearers. They lived outside. And when you live outside, you do the widest possible variety of movements as the elements and the terrain constantly tax your agility, strength, flexibility, and resourcefulness. You’re climbing a tree one minute to get honey from a bees’ nest. The next minute, you’re sprinting for your life to get away from the bees. And the minute after that, you’ve dived into the nearest lake and you’re suddenly using your swimming muscles and lung power to stay underwater as long as possible until the swarm gives up waiting for you to come back.

We do the exact opposite in our society. It’s as if we’ve tried to make exercise into an assembly line production just like everything else. But repetitive motion not only stops working after a given amount of time, it can actually lead to injury.

That’s why you should change things up in your exercise routine. Get closer to the way our forefathers exercised. Go outside and do it. That’s the way our bodies want us to use them.

At boot camp workouts, you’ll get exactly that.

  • Rather than walking on perfectly flat floors at the gym, your brain and your muscles will get to do some extra micro-movements to keep you in balance on the ever-changing ground surfaces, from grass to sand to San Francisco sidewalks and stairs.
  • Rather than doing rote repetition of the same old boring movements that your body is desensitized to, you’ll go through a constantly-changing, dynamic workout that will stimulate your body’s creation of bigger muscles and more coordinated nerve signals.
  • Rather than getting bored and struggling to work up the willpower to work out, you’ll leave each workout charged up and eager for the next one.
  • Rather than being the one to come up with ways to challenge yourself, you’ll get the benefit of an instructor and workout buddies who will keep you motivated.

Our instructors specialize in making sure that each member of Boot Camp San Francisco gets the maximum benefit out of their outdoor workout. The results speak for themselves. Show up at one of our workouts and you’ll find an enthusiastic crowd of people who aren’t just stagnating in their repetitive gym routine. You’ll quickly find yourself part of a movement that’s more than just fitness–it’s a lifestyle of camaraderie, motivation, and benefit to your whole body.

Join us today! Start by picking a location and registering for a class. We look forward to seeing you outside!
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A Workout Program That Will Speed Up Your Body’s Response to Training

Have you ever wished that as you worked out, your body would respond faster, get stronger quicker, and just overall adjust more rapidly to the new style of fitness training you’re doing? Believe it or not, with boot camp workouts, you actually get this effect. Here are some tips from our workout program in San Francisco for how to get your body’s maximum response to your workout.

Balancing What You Can Handle

If you work out in a way that’s slow to moderate, your body is going to adjust and be able to deliver slow-to-moderate outcomes. For instance, if you are used to an hour of brisk walking, you could conceivably do that for a year and never feel like jogging. In other words, your body’s natural tendency is not necessarily geared up to attain ever-increasing feats of athleticism. This is especially true once you’ve passed your prime: If you don’t watch out, your body will begin to decline even faster, trying to tell you that you can’t do the things you used to do, and luring you ever-so-gently into a sedentary life.

So what secret weapon do you have at your disposal to fight against this tendency?
Continue reading A Workout Program That Will Speed Up Your Body’s Response to Training

How Your Boot Camp Workout Also Builds Your Mental Toughness

One of the attractions to boot camp fitness is the element of drill that is built into the very name “boot camp.” People love the fact that this is not some namby-pamby, fluffy, “follow your dreams”-style workout. It’s a workout that kicks serious butt in a way that may leave you gasping for air and sore, but that also builds that empowering, transformative attitude that only comes when you’ve pushed yourself past the limit that you previously thought you could go.

Turns out that this is the same recipe that helps to build your mental toughness. In a world of people who are increasingly soft on themselves, mental toughness is increasingly rare. But it’s the kind of people who show up to boot camp who are raising their hand and saying, “Bring it on. Make me mentally tough. I intend to be built into a winner. And I do not intend to look back, fail, give up, or chicken out. I’m in this because I want this. I want this because it will do me good. And I will reap the benefits of the investment I’m making NOW all the way up into my old age.”

There’s just something about having another person to force you (encourage you) to perform above what you would have naturally done that brings this sense of empowerment. By ourselves, we would have stopped at the last rep and not gone any further, but when someone calls out, “One more! You have it in you! Come on!” you suddenly gain grit to try.

It’s when you win at a string of these small tries that a very subtle shift takes place in your mind. No longer do you think, “I’m dying. I’m going to be so sore. I can’t believe I got myself into this.” Suddenly, you find yourself saying to yourself, almost with wonder and admiration, “I’m ALIVE! I’m going to be so STRONG! And getting myself into this was the best thing I have ever done.” Breaking through that wall happens to all our long-term boot-campers, and that feeling is so addicting, you’ll never want to let go of it.

However, it takes someone who sees your potential, who knows how to take you there, and who is trained how to tread the fine line between motivation and defeat, to bring people to that place of transformation. This is where our trainers at Boot Camp San Francisco come in. All our trainers at BCSF have their own unique style, approach, and interpersonal communication methods. No, you won’t necessarily be yelled at like a new recruit in army boot camp, but yes, you will be pushed. You’ll be pushed with expertise and skill, and your achievements will taste all the sweeter when you know how much you overcame to get to that point.

The fitness you gain from Boot Camp will have effects for years, making you age more gracefully and retain more muscle and bone mass as you get older. But the mental toughness that you developed will also stay with you for years. Furthermore, it can overlap into other areas of your life, giving you an edge in your studies or at work. The attitude of pushing yourself one more step beyond what you thought was your capacity can easily set you apart from your peers, who are still measuring their strength by what they currently perceive.

Join BCSF today to become physically—and mentally—tough.