Boot Camp 101: Tips to Success

You  may have heard the boot camp horror stories or you may have one of your own.  A pulled muscle or ankle injury that sidelined you for weeks or months.  While there are plenty of stories about bad boot camp experiences you can have a positive one.  If you're thinking about joining a boot camp or still on the fence keep reading.  These tips will help you be successful in your next boot camp journey and get a great workout too!

Tip #1: Get the right shoes.  If you're new to boot camp the best thing to do is get the right footwear.  Walking shoes aren't the best since you need a shoes with lateral give so you can do moves like side-shuffles.  Get your feet measured and select a fitness shoe, not a running shoe. The best time to shop is in the afternoon or early evening.  Remember to test your shoes with proper fitting athletic socks.  

Tip #2: Start slow.  This is perhaps the biggest error folks make when starting a boot camp. Avoid going hard on day one.  Focus on the right form and doing the minimal number of exercises correctly first.  Once you've mastered the basics, you can add extra moves to increase the intensity.  Remember, you can always make an exercise harder but if you start too intense, you can injure yourself.

Tips #3: Recover properly. Recovery is key to success with any exercise program.  Recovery is best described as taking time in-between exercise sessions to allow for maximal muscle recovery and building.  If you do an intense boot camp session on Monday, a spin class the next day isn't a good idea.  A better idea would be a day off or a flexibility training session like Pilates or Yoga.  If you have to do cardio a low-intensity walk can work too.  Drink plenty of water and get consistent rest.  Maintain a regular sleep schedule especially on workout days to improve overall recovery and get better fitness results.

Boot camps are a way to add variation to your exercise routine.  Get the right gear, start slow, and recover daily and you'll be ready for summer in no time.