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

cas dyke

I started training at JKC in 2016 because I had built up a number of muscle imbalances from old injuries and activities like rock climbing which had led to some really bad posture and mobility issues. On top of that some friends had convinced me to sign up for a half-ironman. Working with Jon and Thomas was a way to pull my body back into alignment and make sure it wouldn’t fall apart during my race. The staff at JKC pride themselves on continuously advancing their knowledge, which leads to new and inventive way to address problems, old and new. I got my Dad to start training here and recommended JKC to all looking to improve their strength and fitness.

log overhead press

I had tried JKC based on the recommendation of a parent of one of my students. I originally started by attending Saturday drop in classes. I was hooked. I decided to join full time when I I had taken a year off from teaching and it was the best thing I have done for myself.

First and foremost the trainers at JKC are extremely knowledgeable. I feel like they are as dedicated to my success as I am. The workouts are tailored to me, my skills and my goals. This is important. Jon and Thomas truly want the best for their clients no matter what level of fitness they are starting from. I also like being able to book a session at a time that suits my schedule. This also helps keep me accountable. Once the session is booked I am not likely to cancel!

JKC was recommended to me by my good friend Casidhe Dyke. Cas had been training with JKC for a while, and both he and his father had seen great results from the personal training that Jon and Thomas were giving them. I was and still am primarily a triathlete and I’ve always struggled with injuries. I was talking to Cas about incorporating more strength training in my program to try and prevent injuries going forward and Cas suggested that I give JKC a try. I reached out to Jon not long after, and the rest is history! After working with Jon and Thomas for a few months, I was getting stronger, faster, and most importantly, I was staying injury-free. I ended up being able to train the whole season without significant injury and posted a personal best at Ironman Copenhagen in 2018. A big part of that was due to the strength training and coaching I received at JKC.

I started at JKC because my colleagues that go to JKC all look and felt fit and healthy thanks to Jon and Thomas – if JKC helped them, I knew they could do the same for me! I think JKC stands out from other gyms because of their personal touch! They listen to you and help motivate and support. They always believe in my ability progress and learn new exercises. I’ve been training at JKC since January of 2019 and recommend them to anyone looking to learn how to lift weight properly, feel stronger, and improve their health.

lisa jumping onto a box

JKC was recommended to me by a fellow runner. I was experiencing injuries, and feeling weak and fragile. When I started with JKC, Jon asked me about my goals and my focus. I wanted to concentrate specifically on running, and preventing injury. Jon developed a program for me that has enabled me to focus on my form and strength and has been flexible enough to enable me to train for many different races. I have been training with JKC for six years, and during that time I have enjoyed Jon and Thomas’s expertise in a very warm and supportive atmosphere.

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