bootcamp

If boot camp is your only strength training…..you don’t have any strength training.
— Functional FitnessVA (@funcfitVA) April 2, 2012

I came across this Tweet back in April (hence the date!). I sat there and thunk about it for a bit.

I don’t think it’s correct to generalize boot camps as not effective strength training. I’ve been approached by many runners asking what the best form of cross training is, and some have mentioned doing boot camps.

Most people who join boot camps are looking for a good workout, in a group setting (which is usually cheaper) and tend to have minimal to no exercise experience (your first mistake!). Most of the runners I have trained don’t have a clue what a good squat looks like or how to hip hinge correctly – and that’s to be expected. Runners run, they don’t specialize in lifting weights.

Here’s a great article I wrote about being effective in the gym HERE.

Boot camps can have a great atmosphere, but if your form sucks, the guy leading the class of 30 isn’t going to have time to give you the attention you need. I would highly recommend being in tune with your exercise technique before joining a boot camp – this will reduce your injury risk and allow you to workout on a more consistent basis over a longer period of time. Sorry for the tangent…back to strength training.

Obviously everyone is at a different strength level. Some will actually develop strength while participating in boot camp workouts. The weight used isn’t normally high, but some people will actually get stronger with these loads.

If you have a descent level of strength – this Tweet applies 100%. There are many blog posts on here indicating that maximal strength training (loads greater than what you would use for sets of 5 reps) is the favoured form of weight lifting for runners. From this post HERE, you can also read that strength training and plyometrics (article HERE) are very important in helping you improve your running economy and running speed.

Bottom line: Boot camp training can be strength training, but it depends. It wouldn’t be my first choice when a runner asks me the best options for improving strength.

Will it help your running? Well, since it’s more like circuit training, then I would have to say no. Read this article HERE for more info.

Thanks for reading.

I hope you found this helpful.

Run strong,

-Jon

photo credit: The U.S. Army via photopin cc

I saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

Kathryn Sparrow

Nutritional Coaching by Julia Howard

From my initial consult with Julia, she was professional and knowledgeable as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and athlete. She was interested in my nutrition and fitness goals and the development of a plan that would set me up for success.

Julia designed weekly meal plans that were complete with recipes and shopping lists. The food choices were nutritious, easy to prepare, and ensured that I felt well nourished and energized throughout my training and non-training days. Not only do I feel leaner and more fit, but I have more energy and I feel much more in tune with my body and food choices. Julia really helped me put everything in place so I can continue this process going forward- I cannot thank her enough!

I had virtually no real experience using weights and felt intimidated going gyms. I avoided gym-goers using free weights, especially when hearing that loud crash, as they would drop weights to the floor. I thought this was to show everyone around them that they owned that area and that I shouldn’t go anywhere near! So I guess I just wanted to learn how to lift weights safely in a gym environment.

I spent over 18 years in the British Military, so I got to use some nice gyms. 99% of my time and experiences in those gyms was spent doing cardiovascular workouts, because I could just jump on a treadmill, plug in my head phones and do my own thing! JKC is different, because they have given me the confidence to use free weights and equipment that I had feared for years. Their demonstrations and knowledge is impeccable and I thank them for their continuous belief and support they show me at every session.

trap bar deadlift

A few of my wonderful friends and colleagues recommended JKC. I was told by one colleague that “It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself” and she was right! To be honest, I didn’t have much experience in any gym setting. And NO prior weight training experience. It was always so overwhelming! But from the first day, nothing was intimidating about JKC. Each workout is set up just for me, and with my specific skills and goals in mind. There are no stupid questions, you learn as you go, and what I really love, I always feel included and important, regardless of my skills/experience.

Tara Rector-Whelan

Personal Strength Training by Thomas King

I started at JKC after a good friend recommended it to me. She had been coming for about a year and I was envious of her great results. I felt sluggish after failing to motivate myself with various home workout routines. I love the fun and relaxed atmosphere at JKC. It’s such a comfortable gym space and I enjoy knowing so many of the people I work out with. Jon and Thomas make an effort to introduce everyone to each other and with all the joking around,  it starts to feel like a family. Not to mention the awesome results. I’ve always liked to run on a treadmill but I’ve never had the drive to lift weights on my own. Going to JKC makes me accountable which was what I really needed. I feel so much stronger and healthier than I did 4 years ago when I started.

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