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.

Get More Sunlight With Outdoor Fitness

American culture has gone through certain dramatic swings in our preference for sun exposure, from the obsession with lily-white skin in the 1800s to a tanning culture in the 1960s to a real awareness today of the dangers of getting too much UV light exposure. So should you get outside and let the sun see you, or not? We think the answer is a resounding yes, though we would advocate wearing your sunscreen. Here are some of the ways that our boot camp workout will boost your well-being by giving you some sun exposure.

Sunlight Gives You Vitamin D

Skin can’t conduct photosynthesis (wouldn’t that be cool?), but it can produce vitamin D just from being exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is present in very few foods and has many beneficial effects on our bodies. In particular, it promotes your ability to absorb calcium and build healthy bones. Vitamin D deficiency not only contributes to weak, soft, or brittle bones, it also comes with other health risks, including cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, asthma, and cancer. Vitamin D fights disease, boosts weight loss, and reduces depression, making it a robust nutrient that you simply can’t do without.

Sunlight Boosts Your Alertness

Just like darkness triggers your body to release the hormone melatonin, which puts you to sleep, bright sunshine causes your body to release the hormone serotonin, which helps you to be alert, calm, and focused.

Sunlight Improves Your Mood

Bright sunlight has both a psychological and a physiological effect on your body. While sunlight striking your skin promotes Vitamin D production, sunlight striking your eye promotes your body to improve your mood. It’s strange but true that bright light can induce positive effects on your state of mind and mental health. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition that happens to people who don’t see enough bright, full-spectrum light, particularly in the winter when the days tend to be shorter and cloudier and people tend to stay indoors more.

The same hormone, serotonin, which we mentioned in the previous section, also acts as a natural antidepressant in the brain, boosting your mood and improving your emotional outlook. Add to that the beneficial, mood-boosting effects of the exercise itself, and you’ve got a double whammy when you do a boot camp workout outside.

Sunlight Is Good For Certain Skin Conditions

Don’t think that exposure to sunshine is pure skin cancer waiting to happen. While you certainly want to limit your sun exposure, avoid sunburns, and wear sunscreen while you’re outside, the sun actually has beneficial effects on your skin when you get a balanced amount of it. If you’re suffering from skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, jaundice, or acne, sun exposure can do you a lot of good.

Boot Camp San Francisco Happens in the Early Morning

Before the sun is too high, you’ll get all the benefits of sun exposure without suffering and suffocating under the blazing hot sun while you work out. Join us for an early morning workout and benefit your body. 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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How Building Back Strength Can Improve Your Performance

If you are like most of our customers here at Boot Camp San Francisco, you’re dedicated to optimizing your fitness, well-being, and overall health. You’re committed to getting shredded, so you show up to your outdoor workout rain or shine, and you’re not going to just sit down and make excuses for why you can’t work out. Here at BCSF, we applaud that commitment, diligence, and dedication, and we look forward to joining forces with you in that quest for your best, fittest body. In this article, we’ll look at just one part of your body that your fitness exercises can focus on, your back.

Don’t Neglect Your Back!

Many people in our workouts are very conscious of their abs and core strength, and they are constantly including ab exercises, crunches, and planks to their workouts to make that happen. It’s great to have toned abs and a strong core, but if you stop there, you’ll be stopping short of the best results. So don’t neglect your back muscles in your fitness routine!

The Benefits of Back Strength Exercises

Strengthening your back brings with it a number of key benefits. Just because it’s behind you and you rarely see it doesn’t mean you won’t feel the benefits when you incorporate back exercises on a regular basis.

  • Enjoy better posture. If you have a weak back, you won’t have the support to prevent your shoulders from tending to become rounded and hunched forward. Proper back strength will also help you to keep your spine in the proper curvature and alignment. Stand taller, look more confident, and enjoy better overall balance when you have perfect posture.
  • Improve your core strength. It seems counter-intuitive that this could happen, but you can actually do too much core exercise if it’s not balanced with back exercise. When you do both, you’ll have an even more stable core along with the spinal support that your back is supposed to provide.
  • Reduce your chances of injury. Lower back pain is a debilitating and difficult thing to live with, and your back exercises are an important part of a regimen that helps to protect you from injury to your spine, or rehabilitate you from past injuries that have occurred.
  • Look sculpted from behind. Upper back exercises can help you train your traps, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi. One of the factors that contributes to the classic tapered physique with broad shoulders and a narrow waist is having your back properly toned.

Great Back Exercises to Try

Having a toned and fit back is a matter of incorporating the right exercises into your fitness routine. These are just a small sampling of upper-back and lower-back exercises that you can try.

  • Pullups and chinups: There are many variations on the classic pullup and chinup, but in their most basic essence, in pullups, you grab the bar with an overhand grip, while in chinups you grab the bar with an underhand grip.
  • Lat Pulldowns: This is almost the opposite of a pullup in that you pull a bar down to you rather than pulling yourself up to the bar.
  • The Cobra: Lie facedown on the ground and lift your head, arms, and legs off the ground simultaneously. Hold, release, and repeat.
  • We hope you’ll join us for our outdoor workouts here at Boot Camp San Francisco, where you’ll enjoy fun and challenging whole-body workouts. Sign up today!

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

Indoor vs. Outdoor Fitness: Why You Should Try Boot Camp


If you have heard of boot camp workouts but have never given them a try, you may be wondering if outdoor workouts are for you. It’s a fact that most people live an increasingly indoor lifestyle, making outdoor fitness seem a bit foreign. We tend to avoid what is foreign and stick with what is familiar, but we’d like to encourage everyone not to let the great outdoors be a stranger. In this blog post, we will look at just a few of the advantages that outdoor fitness has over indoor fitness.

1. Increase your balance and proprioception

Proprioception is the understanding of where your body is in space. It’s how you can raise food to your mouth without looking, walk with your eyes closed, or avoid inadvertently whacking hard objects when you swing your hand. However, when we are indoors, we always walk on perfectly level surfaces and encounter perfectly-placed objects. Therefore, our brains don’t have to work as hard to make the micro-adjustments in our poise and balance when we navigate these safe, predictable objects. When you walk on sand or grass, your brain is constantly telling your feet and core muscles to making extra mini-adjustments to keep you from tripping, and these things improve your overall stability as well as boosting your proprioception.

2. Breathe phytoncides and negative ions

There’s a concept in Japan called “forest bathing” that has caught on in recent years and involves taking trips to the forest to be around the trees. Trees emit oils called phytoncides, and breathing in these particles has antimicrobial health benefits. And it has been well known for centuries that there are benefits from breathing in sea air. This air is charged with negative ions that actually help to increase our oxygen consumption.

3. Let the sun shine on you

While it’s true that too much sun exposure can have negative effects on our skin, a balanced amount of exposure to the sun builds Vitamin D and has a beneficial effect on skin disorders like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and fungal infections. Exposure to bright sunlight can also reduce your chances of having Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

4. Reduce your stress and sleep better

Going outside comes with many benefits, from reducing stress to sleeping better. The complexities of the outdoors affect us in ways we don’t even realize, in all our senses. We’ve already looked briefly at the benefits of the smell of the forest. Our hearing and sight play a role as well. The sounds of the sea and the wind in the trees is relaxing and soothing, and studies have even looked at the way the color green helps exercise to feel easier.

All these benefits of going outside point to the logic of making Boot Camp your regular workout. Why confine yourself to the sterile indoors when the great outdoors is waiting for you? Join us today at Boot Camp San Francisco and you’ll see why so many people are raving mad fans for this style of workout. We look forward to having you join us!