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 recently visited Newfoundland for one month, and was looking for a good place to train while I was there. Jon and the team at JK conditioning really took the time to assess what I already knew, and set achievable goals for the time that I had with them. The gym was such a great place to push yourself. It had everything you needed, but more importantly it had a well organized, very knowledgeable, and really motivating group of trainers to push you at each workout. Not to mention a really nice group of other members who also motivated me to go that little bit further. I would highly recommend the gym to anyone who has a goal and wants to find a place to help them achieve it.

I had signed up for other gyms in the past and never went or rarely went. Something always got in the way or I was just too tired and lacked motivation to go. This way I’ve made a commitment to Jon or Thomas and I try very hard to keep my sessions once I’ve booked in. JKC is different from other gyms that I’ve tried in the past because no one is there to be “seen”. We are all there to get a good workout in and go on with our lives. And it’s a small gym so you get to know everyone and it’s like a big family. When I joined JKC, I couldn’t do a chin up with an elastic band, but I’ve slowly worked up to 10 free hanging chin ups. That was big because I hate chin ups.

My original reason for joining JKC was to get some sage advice to help with my running. I had been looking for awhile, came across Jon, met for an assessment, and was quite happy with how that all went. Apart from the running specific strengthening and conditioning approaches, JKC is different from other gyms as I am a fan of the small group sessions where everyone has their own goals and individualized programs. As well, the run coaching is super. All the coaches go the extra mile to make sure you get the best out each training session. They are fantastic motivators! My favourite memory is deadlifting 330lbs. Making a lot of great friends and meeting some really cool people is pretty high up on that list, too.

I am turning 67 next month and I started my journey with JKC in 2018. Seven years ago I experienced significant foot pain which had a negative impact on my day to day activities. I learned that issues in other parts of the body need to be addressed to achieve a positive result. My doctor (Dr. Jessica Wade) suggested, along with some other therapies, that I could  benefit from the conditioning JKC had to offer. I previously had not trained in any gym. I observed how many gyms operated and had a sense that JKC would be more my style: training in a small group setting, having such personal attention, and a program meeting my specific needs is fantastic! I love the atmosphere at the gym. Everyone is accepted and you feel supported and comfortable.

I’ve been weight training on and off for years but never really had a specific goal or target in mind so routinely stalled out, plateaued or stopped training all together. Before I joined JKC I was definitely in a fitness slump and needed something to motivate me and get me back on track. I did a bit of digging online, looking at various personal training options and gyms around town but JKC seemed like the best option by far. I’ve tried big box gyms and other personal trainers in the past but none of them have had the perfect combination of goal specific fitness programming, welcoming and supportive environment, and the knowledge and passion to back it all up that you’ll find at JKC. Jon and Thomas are great to work with, they know how to motivate you if you’re having an off day and are well versed in all the different ways to make your muscles burn! I also have noticed some major improvements in my deadlifts since I started with JKC and was really happy with the result.

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