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’ve always been a gym rat, but was getting tired of the same ol’ routine. My better half was attending JKC and encouraged me to try it out. My favourite part of JKC is that is isn’t a gym – it’s a community. Jon and Thomas are awesome, and I love that every time I go I know who’s working out with me and we can socialize while working on our health. Everyone is supportive, encouraging and genuinely looks out for one another. It’s an upbeat and positive experience and I can honestly say that I look forward to each and every workout.

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.

I had been struggling with work-life balance resulting in not exercising or playing hockey as much as I had been doing in the past. In addition to being out of shape, I was starting to experience some back/shoulder issues and realized I needed to make some changes. Around this time, a friend (who was also a client) recommended JKC and that’s when I started!

You really feel part of a community where everyone is welcoming and supportive. You get a program that is designed specifically to achieve your goals, with the ongoing coaching, progress tracking and support required to achieve them. The JKC team are very knowledgeable about fitness and conditioning, and very engaging with everyone to answer questions or discuss anything and everything training related. I also like the flexible scheduling and gym times that work for my schedule (I like early mornings and evenings).

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.

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