Boot Camp Workouts: Measuring Your Progress
Be patient with yourself during your initial boot camp workouts. It takes a few months to condition your ligaments and supporting tissues to perform at a high level. So keep in mind when doing exercises like pushups that, while your chest and back (large muscles) may be able to handle the work load, the smaller stabilizing muscles around the shoulder may not be as strong yet. Doing too much too fast is a quick road to injury. As you work on your fitness and health program, I’d rather you progress slowly and achieve your goals at a moderate rate than blow a shoulder and be on the bench, serving the rest of us water for a few months. 🙂
Assess Your Beginning Level
I’ve developed several different progression levels (see below) to accommodate most fitness and health program levels. For best results, start your boot camp workouts in your appropriate level; stay there for the minimum recommended time length and then progress when you’re ready. I can help you determine your appropriate fitness level, then during your first few sessions increase or decrease the intensity of your boot camp workouts depending on how your body responds.
- Level 1: You haven’t strength trained in more than three months — You will work to approximately 70% of what you think your maximum effort would be. Work for 4-8 weeks in level one.
- Level 2: 70-80 % of your maximum effort. Stay at this level for 4-8 weeks.
- Level 3: 80-100 %. Remain at level three for 4-8 weeks.
Continuing Workout level
Once you’ve worked through the three beginning levels (it may take you three to six months), you’re free to work to your max. Keep in mind that working to your max effort level is not sustainable over the long run. Every eight weeks or so, cycle back through a level 1 or 2 for a week or two, as needed. Again, whether you choose a level 1 or 2 to cycle through will be up to how your body is feeling. This down-cycle will allow your body to fully recover from the hard work you’ve been doing.
Trying to sustain 100% effort for an extended period puts you on the fast track to a broken body. This is a process of learning your body better than ever, and listening to it. When your body asks for rest, take it. Remember, however, when your mind asks for rest, keep going. Your mind will offer up plenty of reasons to take a day off or not work as hard, but most of the time, it’s just the mind’s desire to take the path of least resistance.
I’m sure you can understand now that EVERYbody in my boot camp workouts is at a different level. Even if two people started a fitness and health program on the same day, who’ve been inactive for the same amount of time, both of these people will progress at a different rate. Hence the importance of building a relationship with your body through the training levels I’ve mentioned above.
If you’re prepping for the first of your boot camp workouts, be sure to drink plenty of water the day before, day of, and day after. Show up early. Bring a positive attitude. Be ready to work and have fun.
Ready to get started? Click here to see the schedule.