“Where am I supposed to feel this exercise?” she asked me as she performed squats. I wanted to say, “In your legs” but that might have come across as a little too unprofessional and unsympathetic. When you’re a bootcamp coach, not only are you a coach but you are also (in no particular order): A […]
- A doctor
- A marriage counselor
- A friend
- A drinking buddy
- A psychiatrist
- A shoulder to cry on
- A massage therapist
- A guidance counselor
So you have to be a lot of things and wear a lot of hats in order to be a well rounded, effective, likeable bootcamp coach. I explained to “Sue” that she should feel the squats in her quads (thighs), hamstrings (back thighs) and glutes (booty). With proper stance, depth, and muscle engagement she’ll feel all of those muscles firing pronto.
Some folks need extra help. I know it, you know it and now Athos knows it.
“If wristbands such as Jawbone, Fitbit, and Nike’s FuelBand represent the first wave in fitness wearables, Dhananja Jayalath (and his partner Christopher Wiebe) envision the company, now called Athos, leading the next wave. Wristbands and similar strap-on sensors are great at measuring how far you run and the changes in your elevation, but that’s about it. Athos’s exercise clothing promises to measure how your body moves and how hard your muscles are working. Do you favor your right arm over your left in a bench press (or push up)? The electrodes built into the fabric will find out because they track the electrical activity of muscles using electromyography (EMG), the same technology doctors use to measure nerve and muscle function in the body.
A long-sleeve compression shirt is packed with 14 EMG sensors, two heart rate sensors, and two breathing sensors. (A pair of bike shorts or leggings comes with eight EMG sensors and four heart rate sensors.) Those sensors then wirelessly transmit the electrical activity to a thin, flexible “core” embedded in the clothing that syncs with Athos’s smartphone app. The core costs $199 and each item of clothing (shirt, bike shorts, and capris) is $99 (see below for an exclusive $30 OFF promo code).
The app automatically logs your workouts and measures your performance against desired muscle output, heart rate, and more. So, in theory, you have the information to correct your form and the motivation to work harder than you did the last time.” (1)
10 MO Questions
I asked my colleague, Maurice (Mo) Harris, of Coach Mo’s Elite Fitness in Austin, Texas the following 10 questions about Athos. Maurice has been hand selected by Athos as an Ambassador for the company with the exciting task of spreading the word.
- Conform seamlessly to the contours of your body
- Are non-adhesive and built directly into the fabric
- Do not need to be wet prior to use
- Do not chafe
- Do not need to be replaced
The Athos gear has not been designed or tested for use underwater. All the clothes are sweat proof, and rain isn’t going to be a problem, but because the sensors need to be in constant contact with the skin for data collection, it cannot be used underwater. The more water you have between you and the sensors, the greater the chance of erratic data. It will still be safe though! We also have a 90 day warranty on the apparel, and 1 year for the hardware that protects you against any defects: http://liveathos.com/legal/warranty
Finally, your bootcamp is going to be fine! However, if you are doing a lot of upper/body movements at the same time, and want to measure both regions simultaneously, you’ll want to get two cores. If you are okay with measuring one at a time, then one core will be fine.
Have you noticed them?
Fitness magazines, social media, in the gyms, and in the parks. Hammers are showing up all over the place with different names such as Slammer Hammers, Mace Bells, Core Hammers, Thor Hammers, and Sledgehammers.
Hammer workouts are dynamic, fun, and safe. Sledgehammer training engages all of your muscles and challenges your cardiovascular system. It’s great for athletes, fitness savvy folks, and even casual exercisers. www.most-fit.com
I’ve done a fair amount of sledgehammer work in the past and this is easily the most fun I’ve had swinging a hammer or mace. Truly, I feel as though the power of the vikings runs in my blood. – Matt Z.
WHERE DID HAMMERS COME FROM?
In my book, “The Sledgehammer Workout”, I traced heavy use of hammers back to the Viking era which occurred after the demise of the Roman Empire. Axes and hammers were used by the Vikings to deal with the growing use of body armor amongst their enemies. Knives, swords, spears and arrows were not nearly as effective as heavily swung axes and hammers. And in order to be effective with their weapons, the Vikings had to practice with their weapons. No doubt they had strong cores and dynamic power.
note – Around 1000 – 500 BC, the ancient Indian warriors used maces or mace bells in close battle which were lighter versions of their cousin, the War Hammer.
Whether or not, you find the history of hammers and mace bells interesting, you may have noticed that athletes as well as the general public are awakening to a heck of a fun full body workout to burn calories and to become better athletes.
WHAT MAKES SLEDGEHAMMER TRAINING MORE EFFECTIVE THAN BODY WEIGHT TRAINING?
Sledgehammers are asymmetrical which lends itself to a unique blend of balance (and imbalance) when used in exercise. There’s a big gravitational pull on the heavy side of the sledgehammer which is a totally different feel unlike anything else. The Sledgehammer forces your core and the muscles on the other side of the body to compensate by working harder and unknowingly.
This extra length changes the workout significantly. More engagement of the core and shoulders to swing and control the extra weight. -on7heway, Fort Bragg, NC, United States
The unknowing is what makes sledgehammer training so effective. Your muscles MUST engage in order to compensate for these imbalances. If done intensely enough this cuts down on the need for long abdominal workouts as the core muscles will be completely “hammered”. I’ve incorporated the sledgehammer in my own training for the past few years. As I get ready to compete in “Austin’s Fittest” competition in 6 weeks, I can tell the difference when I run the mile (which is one of the 10 fitness tests that I will undergo). I’m now running the mile in the 7′s as opposed to the 9′s (9 minutes). I firmly believe that a stronger core is the biggest difference related to my sledgehammer training. I’m a more efficient runner.
Another thing that makes lower body power and running truly efficient is the ability to achieve triple flexion and extension of the ankle, knee, and hip with good stability (i.e. motor control) to drive that movement and those generated forces in the intended direction. The following exercise will help enhance your running mechanics and add to your ability to generate faster, stronger steps in the most streamline direction needed. – Diane Vives, C.S.C.S.
Lunge and Overhead Press with Steel Mace
Purpose: This movement combines a lower body movement in a narrow base with mechanics and strength needed in running. An additional benefit: using the steel mace with an asymmetrical, one-sided load challenges the stability laterally in the frontal plane. Controlling the offset weight will translate into better and more efficient forward movement.
- Start by standing tall with the steel mace at the chest.
- Step out into the lunge with feet hip-width apart while maintaining an upright torso. Simultaneously press the weight directly overhead using full extension of the arms.
- Make sure to establish a stable base of support with the feet while in the lunge position, and then push off the heel of the front foot to return to the start position.
- Be sure not to let the offset weight pull you out of balance or create a lateral shift in the torso or upper body. The objective is to feel the lateral force but maintain control to resist it.
MORE EXERCISES TO TRY
3 EXERCISE CHALLENGE
Sledgehammer training is much,much more than just striking a tractor tire. This thinking would be similar to using a barbell for just squats. There are hundreds and thousands of different ways to incorporate a sledgehammer into your training. If you are running a bootcamp, it’s important to start with a cardio drill to get the heart rate up (check out the sledgehammer mountain climbers in the video above as an example). My suggestion for beginners is 1-2 ratio. One all out cardio exercise (sledgehammer mountain climbers) for each two semi-strength based sledgehammer exercises (grave diggers, barbarian squat – see the pics above for these 2 exercises).
The Slammer Hammer is by far the most incredible beast workout tool I have ever held in my hand. Don’t think about getting one, like others have said, get one! -Clyde, South Dakota, United States
If you want to try Sledgehammer Training, NOW is a great time!
HERE’S WHAT YOU GET!
- The Sledgehammer Workout Manual (why you should use a sledgehammer, benefits of sledgehammer training, filled with descriptions, photos, exercises, workouts and more)!
- The Sledgehammer Workout “Quick Start Guide” so you can get started today!
- The Sledgehammer Workout “Reference Guides” – step by step guides with photos, descriptions of the workouts, duration of each exercise, total average calories burned, time to complete workout – these handy guides will remove any questions that you may have!
- Over 100 photos of exercises and warm ups!
- 34 high definition videos of warm ups, exercises and workouts!
- ORDER RIGHT NOW AND GET 12 DONE FOR YOU FULL BODY SLEDGEHAMMER WORKOUTS FREE!
Only $47 for a done for you new component to your training!
Take all of the guess work out of your Sledgehammer Training. Whether you set up stations in your bootcamp using just one sledgehammer, issue partner challenges or have full blown workouts using multiple sledgehammers, I’ve got you covered!
I did my first workout on Sunday using a 6 kg and a 10 kg hammer. It was a blast! Thanks for putting these together. Stephen Johnson / www.EternallyFit.com.au
By now we all know that fun plays a big role in keeping our bootcampers motivated and enthusiastic. But before we jump right in here are several tips to consider when implementing bootcamp fitness games into our workouts.
- One of the most important ingredients to running a successful “general” fitness bootcamp is to keep an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable with their own current level of fitness and ability. Nothing wrong with friendly competition just try to keep it fun and fair.
- Take safety precautions to prevent injuries and accidents. I heard a loud “pop” once during a routine warm up in my own bootcamp. Next I saw a lady writhing in pain on the ground as she had popped something in her ankle. As an instructor or coach, it’s important to be a “broken record” and tell people over and over to start off slow – even during warm ups.
- Establish a regular routine. Warm up, dynamic activity, game, workout, cool down is my routine. I try to steadily build intensity, raise heart rates and then slowly bring them down again during the cool down. Mixing it up is important, but this is my basic workout formula.
- Keep directions simple. Use cues and keywords in your verbal descriptions.
- Provide visual demonstrations as a lot of people are visual learners – particularly in the early morning hours when your clients may still be waking up..
- Make sure everyone is participating. There’s no benefit to just standing around watching. Have them do jumping jacks, squats, planks or wall sits while they are waiting their turn.
- Avoid activities that are too advanced or complicated. If your bootcamper feels confident about her abilities, she’s more likely to keep actively participating in your program.
- Balance your fitness game activities. Switch up partners, teams, running, strength, and length of time regularly.
- Offer praise and reward for teamwork, positive attitudes, good sportsmanship and effort. Winning is cool, but it’s not the main focus.
- Bootcamp training should be a positive experience for your bootcampers, the bootcamp instructor should be enthusiastic about what they are doing. This is a great opportunity for your bootcampers to fall in love with fitness and get them on the path to lifelong exercise!
Don’t be afraid to play very basic games with your clients as a lot of them are de-conditioned, have less than average hand-eye coordination, space awareness, body coordination, balance, listening skills, and participation skills. Bootcamp fitness games don’t always have to be of the highest intensity. Have fun with the basic games as well.
Here’s a video of a very basic boxing drill that you can use in your bootcamps. The owner instructor, Julia Feighner is an undefeated amateur boxer with a record of 10-0. She has the class do 2 minutes of this drill which is fun and is a great warm up. Check out the more experienced ladies in the background. Watch their footwork – this drill will definitely get your heart rate up. Also, pay attention to how much laughing you can hear during the drill!
Above all, take a deep breath, have fun, laugh and create a fun workout program that gets results!
P.S. Avoid the “Boring Bootcamp” mistake in your fitness boot camps and watch your clients have fun, get great results and tell all of their friends about your bootcamp! Ready to use boot camp games for trainers and coaches! 60 day money back guarantee! Go to http://www.bootcampfitnessgames.com to see all that you get!
If you’re ever in need of fresh motivation or inspiration for your fitness business, watch the quick video below.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of fitness workout ideas and fitness related magazines all yours to browse through for free.