Originally written for Women’s Weekly Magazine, December 2009.
Bootcamp Your Way to Fitness. Written by Sharm.
Q1. How long have you been running bootcamp classes?
I’ve been running bootcamps since 1998. Back then, they were simply called ‘Outdoor Group Fitness Training’. Essentially the workouts are similar – I employ both resistance, aerobic and anaerobic exercises in my workout programs to get to my clients’ results fast. To complement that, I also helped others achieve their fitness goals by designing and conducting individualised fitness programs such as personal training and fitness consultation – which includes diet monitoring, exercise prescription, managing motivation and adherence to their fitness programs. Partnering with other fitness professionals and sports scientists with diplomas, bachelors, masters and PhDs, our workouts for our clients have proven to be both efficient and effective.
Q2. Have you seen an increase in interest in bootcamp training, especially among women? Why do you think this is so?
The fitness goal for most ladies I meet is to lose weight and get toned. Physiologically speaking, they want to lose the stored fat in their body, and gain some lean muscle. Needless to say, the workouts also improve strength, cardiovascular ability, flexibility, confidence/mental well being, while reducing the incidence of depression, heart diseases (including stroke and high blood pressure) and high cholesterol. While gym training is good, more women are going outdoors to get their results faster. With more variety in the exercises and luxury of open space, working out has never been so fun!
Q3. What advantages has this sort of training have?
a) Working outdoors means fresh air and the feeling of freedom as compared to the claustrophobic nature of gyms and fitness studios.
b) You’ll get to workout as a group, get to know people, have fun and network!
c) It’s affordable! By working out as a group means you are able to share the cost of having a personal trainer. You’re getting an expert at only a fraction of the cost.
d) No huge equipment and no gym memberships required! You just need to bring water and a regular sized towel.
e) Start your day healthy! If you start working out the first things in the morning, your workout is done before you know it, and you have the whole day to do other important things.. such as shopping!
f) Start your day on a high as you allow a rush of endorphins through your body and thus helping you face the day ahead with a great smile and yes, body! Get outdoors and start your adrenaline pumping!
g) Knowing that you’ve burned at least 500-1000 calories the first thing in the morning, you’d think twice of eating those sinful stuff. Get results fast! With alternating intensities in the workouts, you’ll get excellent results in the shortest possible time. Just stick to the program, and watch the inches go! The 5 day program a week targets 2-4 kgs of fat loss and 2-3 inches off your waist!
h) Working out as a group brings out the best in us. The group itself provides healthy competition and motivation!
Q4. Why do you think women prefer this form of working out to going to the gym (usually men’s preference)?
In the US, ‘boot camp’ refers to our local context of ‘basic military training’ or BMT. As we all know, military boot camps are usually strenuous and tough – but they burn lots and lots of calories. Fitness boot camps, take on this idea and trainers modify these ‘military training’ type of activities and convert them to Fitness Boot Camps – which makes them safe for the general pupulation, but highly effective.
The gym can be quite intimidating to a lot of people, especially beginners. By being outdoors, the intimidation is reduced. Going to boot camp also ‘enlists’ you into a group that has the same goals – to get fit and lean. And as we know, working in a group allows us to synergize – in terms of motivation, discipline and energy levels during and after our workouts. We also share weekly reflections on our eating habits and physical activities – this keeps all of us in check.
Q5. How does bootcamp training work the body? Is it a complete body workout? Ie includes both cardio and strength training elements so you can boost cardiovascular strength as well as build/tone muscle?
Our bootcamp workouts work the entire body that results in a shapier you. It is definitely a complete body workout – includes cardiovascular, speed and endurance, partner resistance, strength training, stretching exercises, circuit training, running, power walking and agility activities – giving your mind and body the optimal fitness experience. The workouts will stretch your fitness horizons with fitness games, group challenges, wheelbarrow races, kickboxing, medicine ball drills, plyometrics, box drills, fartleks, obstacle course, guerilla drills, grass drills, and more than 15 versions of the military standard push-up and crunches! These exercises are modifiable and can be performed by anyone – from beginners to advanced fitness enthusiasts.
Q6. If women were to follow this workout that you have created, when will they start to see results?
Coupled with a balanced diet that produces a negative caloric intake (that means you burn more calories per day than what you consume) should result in a fat loss of about 2-4kgs a month. More importantly, you’ll be losing inches in 30 days. Do know that you need to eat smart and healthy too, in order to see results.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Heart Association (AHA) highly recommends that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary (Negative caloric intake of about 1500 calories per day). They also recommend that we do eight to ten strength-training exercises, 10-15 repetitions of each exercise twice to three times per week. We champion ACSM and AHA’s recommendation and they have been proven to work!
Remember that weight loss will occur if energy needs exceed energy intake. Assuming a resting energy expenditure (REE) of one calorie per gram and a 2000-calorie per day, a realistic weight loss of one to two pounds per week can be achieved by reducing energy intake to 1000 – 1500 calories per day. You can now achieve this by eating healthier/lesser and doing the workouts shown below.
For best results, perform these exercises three to four times a week (with a day break in between). And increase the intensity for each exercise as soon as you can. Oh yes, please remember to eat healthy.
Copyright Sharm (Hisham Musa), TeamFitnessGuru.com™ 2009
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 91090995
Sharm is a fitness consultant and personal trainer to many high profile clients since 1998. He is equipped with a Bachelor’s degree from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and postgraduate diploma in Physical Education and Sports Science from Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Currently he is in the midst of completing his Masters of Science (Exercise and Sports Studies) program in NTU. He also has international certifications, memberships and affiliations with the American College of Sports Medicine & National Academy of Sports Medicine.