As a personal trainer, I’ve advised clients on how to design a boot camp right in their home for workouts. But you need to also know how to make the most of the equipment and exercises.
A boot camp workout can go for 30-60 minutes. Choose some exercises, then blast them out to exhaustion or near exhaustion (depending on the intensity level you thrive on and/or your goals).
Exercises can be done one at a time (brief rests in between), or doubled or tripled up consecutively: a series of doubles or triples with short rests (e.g., 45-60 seconds) in between.
Any given exercise should not exceed 30-60 seconds. If you can go longer, then a modification must be made, such as an increase in speed, height, depth or resistance.
If you want exercise failure to be based on fatigue or repetitions, make sure that you reach your desired level of failure (exhaustion) within 30-60 seconds. Going longer means you’ll be entering into more of a pacing mode rather than performing all-out or near-all-out effort.
If you can execute an exercise for only 15 seconds, that’s fine too; as long as it’s your hardest effort. Fifteen seconds of your best scissor jumps or weighted burpees are a real killer.
You can also line up, say, 10 exercises for consecutive work and execute each one with your fiercest effort for 30-60 seconds, immediately moving into the next exercise. When the round is completed, march in place or pace slowly for 2-4 minutes, then repeat the round several more times.
The reasoning behind the brief rests (relative to the effort), is that this maximizes fat burning. Plus, it will generate tremendous cardiovascular benefits.
Maximizing Fat Burning
Short bursts of high intensity exercise create a stunning “after-burn,” or elevated resting metabolic rate-leading to fat loss that can’t be matched by long duration, pace-based cardio!
This after-burn has been shown by numerous studies to last anywhere from several hours to 48 hours after the training session has ended. For example, Schuenke et al, in the European Journal of Applied Physiology (March 2002), reports on a study in which the after-burn lasted 48 hours.
If maximizing fat loss is your chief goal, then engage in the schemes outlined here. If you want a less strenuous workout but love the boot camp philosophy, increase the rest periods, modify the exercises so that they don’t leave you breathless, and/or extend the duration of some exercises.
Never underestimate what you can do with your bodyweight and a handful of simple tools!