Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How To Get The Best Results From Boot Camp (Or Any Exercise Program)

I recently wrote an email to my boot campers about getting the best results. This applied to anyone working out who wants to get the most bang for their buck so I'm passing the info along with a few modifications.

* You can out-train a bad diet. If fat loss is your goal, good nutrition and proper portion size are a must.

* If slimming down is your goal, don't focus on the scale. Go by inches and how your clothes feel. You can actually drop a clothing size or two and lose little or no weight. Isn't your real goal to be smaller? Then forget about the sale and focus on reducing inches and body fat.

* There are 168 hours in a week. Just doing boot camp (or any exercise) for 3 of those hours will not magically transform your body. If you want faster fat loss results, you need to be active most days of the week. Ideally, you would come to boot camp 3 days a week and 3 other days you would do some type of moderate activity for 30 minutes- walking, biking, dancing, playing with your kids/grandkids, hiking, bodyweight circuits, etc.

* Although I often ask if your weights are challenging enough, I also tell people when their weights are too heavy. Please remember that good form should always be your primary goal. Don't try to do more challenging exercises until you have mastered the easier versions. Performing an "easier" exercise or using lighter weights with good form is far more productive (and safer) than using sloppy form on a more advanced exercise or with heavier weights. If you can't do an exercise with proper form then it's not easy for you, which means it's challenging your body and that's all that matters.

* Celebrate your improvements. I realize the majority of boot campers (and most everyone) want to lose fat and that's important but don't minimize or ignore your progress in other areas. Have you doubled the time you can hold a plank? Increased your weights? Mastered exercises you could barely do when you started? Lowered your blood pressure or cholesterol? Can you now do household chores with ease that you used to struggle with? Take the stairs without getting winded?

You may not be seeing your outer body change as fast as you'd like but your fitness level and overall health are definitely improving. Give yourself a pat on the back for sticking with it and pushing yourself enough to achieve those results. Be grateful for the improvements you've made so far and you'll see more of them. Fat loss is important but it shouldn't be your only measure of success.


No comments: