Bootcamp Exercise Ideas 17
There are always a few workouts and exercises that stand out during the week. Below are ours. Once you read through the article, think of way that you can alter the workouts and/or exercises to your liking in terms of equipment, client capability and so on.
5 MINUTE DUMBBELL DRILL
Perform the following 3 exercises back to back with no rest.
Dumbbell Hang Clean x 1 (We used 40lbs, adjust as needed)
Dumbbell Front Squat x 1 (40lbs)
Dumbbell Press x 1 (40lbs)
= 1 Round
Perform as many rounds as you can in 60 seconds.
Rest for 60 seconds.
Continue in this manner for 5 minutes.
Work 60 seconds/Rest 60 seconds.
Watch for not going down to parallel on the Dumbbell Front Squat, not pushing the Dumbbells all of the way up on the Dumbbell Press.
How many rounds did you get? Our goal was 30 rounds in 5 minutes.
We did this drill after having done Bench presses, ring push ups, parallel bar push ups and medicine ball push ups. I considered this an “active rest” drill. Headstands require balance, coordination, athleticism, flexibility and strength. Our shoulders were already toast from all of the upper body work.
The goal was to hold the headstand for up to a minute. None of my clients could do it (high school football players). I’ve been practicing headstands for a while and have worked up to a minute plus. It feels great to be flexible, feel more athletic and try new things. If you choose to try this in your bootcamp, emphasize the importance of CONCENTRATION and FOCUS. Give yourself LOTS of room, close your eyes and focus. Ultimately, my goal this summer is to walk on my hands.
Make sure that everyone feels comfortable – some peoples shirts or jackets may reveal too much skin. You can have people partner up and help keep their clothes on (!) and spot them if need be.
KNEES TO FEET AND FEET TO BOX
This is pure brutal athleticism. I’ve done this exercise (knees to feet) in my bootcamps many, many times BUT I added the extra goal of a 20″ box to jump up onto. I’ve never done this double move.
Do 6 of these, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Rest as needed in between sets. Do step ups if needed as you or your clients become fatigued. If you’re at the park, you can do knees to feet followed by feet to park bench (make sure it’s solid – we have concrete benches). This is a VERY advanced move so if your bootcampers are not ready for this, they can do knees to feet, followed by a squat jump. Work up to the advanced movement. Once it becomes easy, increase the height of the box up to 30″ and/or add dumbbells in each hand or wear a weighted vest.
90 POUND DUMBBELL PICKUP ONTO 30″ BOX
How many can you get in 30 seconds? The record was 9 reps.
Pick up a heavy dumbbell with your right hand (we used 90lbs) and place it on top of the box. With your left hand unload the dumbbell and place it on the ground. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds.
Focus on leg strength, grip strength and beware of overusing the lower back. The weight should be heavy enough to make it challenging. No 20lb dumbbells allowed! For women, a 50lb dumbbell or 53lb kettlebell should work nicely. For men, a 90lb dumbbell was medium heavy but honestly, I’d like to use a 110lb dumbbell next time. I want my guys to be really straining, grunting and groaning to get that weight up onto that box.
The other idea that I’ll play with is to raise the height of the box by placing a couple of 45lb bumper plates on top of the box to make it several inches taller.
Marching/Skipping With Straight Arm Hold x 30/30 seconds
Kick Overs x 30/30 seconds
Triceps Kickbacks x 30/30 seconds
Mountain Climbers x 30/30 seconds
Sledgehammer Plank x 30 seconds
= 1 Round
Repeat x 3 rounds for a 13 1/2 minute killer workout.
With this workout, you’ll work your shoulders, triceps, and core. You’ll need flexibility for the kick overs and tons of cardio endurance for the marching/skipping combo and the mountain climbers. Using a sledgehammer for mountain climbers presents an odd angle that will hit your core in a different way.
If there was any skepticism before hand about getting a great workout with a sledgehammer, there is absolutely no skepticism afterwords. Most people find it too difficult to compete 3 rounds of the above without having to stop and rest. The triceps kickbacks and sledgehammer plank exercises are non cardio exercises which are designed to be built in rest stations. But apparently, it’s not enough rest. And this is only level 1 of the sledgehammer workout.
Have a great week!
Leon Melnicenko told me about fellow bootcamp trainer, Karen Rogers of Bootcamp Cheshire who has applied for some funding to launch a local exercise AND nutrition combo after-school club…targeting key-stage 2 children (age 7-11).
In Karen’s words “We’ll launch this into schools with my business anyway but the funding is to provide it to schools in poor socio-economic areas, where families couldn’t afford for their children to attend.”
Karen says “I need VOTES!!! The application has been accepted but we’re now up against 11 other applications and while it’s not only decided on votes, it has an impact.
Any help or other suggestions hugely appreciated -thanks in advance!”
There’s lots of Summer left here in Texas and it’s a perfect time to kick back and relax under the sun.
For anyone who’s serious about getting in shape, staying in shape or taking it to the next level, 90 % of the time your thoughts are probably focused on results, staying motivated and trying new workouts. Whether you are a general fitness enthusiast, a football player, a golfer, a bootcamper or a weekend warrior – this you take your workouts seriously. Right?
If you have an athletic mindset, high expectations, and self respect then you do not want to be walking around with a soft, smooth and flabby body, and you are always looking for ways to challenge yourself in a fun, unique way.
TRY “TRIPLANAR MOVEMENT”
In the image above, you can get a good idea of what triplanar motion is all about.
This guy has no idea what direction he’s going to be pulled in next. It could be up, down, left, right, angles, twists, etc. This is what triplanar means. Do you currently train in an aggressive triplanar manner when you do:
- Barbell squats?
- Bench Press?
- Sit Ups?
- Playing Golf?
- Playing Football?
- Using Suspension Trainers?
Answer – you do not use “aggressive” triplanar movement in any of the above on a consistent or thorough enough basis.
Golf, football and suspension trainers come close – the golf swing is not performed for enough volume nor is it done on both sides of the body. Depending on what position in football you’re playing, triplanar movement is limited. A receiver going up for the football and twisting back over the defensive back comes close. But he’s not doing this motion consistently on all sides of the body or with resistance.
Suspension trainers also come close. But same thing as above – the weight (your body weight) is usually centered and you’re working one side of the body as in a twisting side plank with leg lift. The body “knows” what’s coming. With the wake boarder above, you’re hitting the abs and core in a highly effective way but there is no resistance.
BRING IN THE SLEDGEHAMMER
This is where things get interesting. I’ve been training with a sledgehammer A LOT more recently. Sure, I still do my bodybuilding workouts, Nexersys, powerlifting and a little crossfit. But since I’ve added in the sledgehammer, I find that I’m more conditioned, leaner, balanced, and stronger. Why? Because of the sledgehammer.
Let me explain.
Training with a sledgehammer is no more dangerous than kettlebells, barbells or dumbbells. I’ve been using the sledgehammer in my fitness bootcamp since 2005 and in my personal training business. I’ve been creatively experimenting with it for over a year and I’m not talking about striking a tractor tire with it. In fact, that may be one of the most dangerous exercises that can be done with a sledgehammer due to the potential of hitting your foot or having the sledgehammer bounce off of the tire and hitting you in the face.
As mentioned, the sledgehammer is a powerful fat loss weapon due in part to the unusual “triplanar offcentered mass effect” which results in the most effective ab and core workout that I’ve ever tried and… I’m done in half the time. And it’s not just for abs/core. Training your whole body with the sledgehammer is a new and fun experience.
In the image above, the woman is lifting, twisting, lunging, and maybe even statically holding the barbell.
The problem, though, that makes this exercise “easier” and less effective is that the weight is balanced or centered. Now, imagine a sledgehammer weighing 12lbs, 20lbs or 35lbs. The weight is shifted constantly through the various motions which MAKES the body have to constantly adjust, compensate and fire different muscles in order to keep the weight up.
THE UNKNOWING IS THE DIFFERENCE
Remember our wake boarder? He’s bumping up and down, pulled left and right, twisting. BUT…other than “maybe” a little body weight, there’s no resistance. Not compared to holding a 20lb sledgehammer.
Not even close.
In the image above, the guy holding the kettlebell is keeping the weight centered. Sure the kettlebell is swinging around but because of the centered weight, there’s no “unknown”. The length of the sledgehammer handle makes this exercise much harder. Let’s say the kettlebell in the image above weighs 35lbs. Now get a sledgehammer that also weighs 35lbs. Which is going to be more challenging to take through this movement pattern? If you’re experienced with kettlebells, common sense will tell you that the sledgehammer is going to be much more challenging due to the extra distance of the off centered mass of the sledgehammer.
Every single time you wrap your hands around a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell, your goal is to stimulate as much muscle growth as you possibly can. But there are limitations. There’s no triplanar movement with an off centered mass as in training with a sledgehammer.
Some may ask, “Why do I need to add a sledgehammer to my workout routine?” My answer would be “Why not?” If you know of a better way to train that will improve coordination, flexibility, agility, hand/eye coordination, burn fat and build muscle why would you ignore it?
Especially since most of you already have a sledgehammer in your garage or tool shed. If not, you probably know you can get one at the local hardware store, Lowes or Home Depot. Next time, I’ll have a quick sledgehammer routine that you can use at home or anywhere. Rest up! It’s going to burn and keep those muscles guessing.
I can guarantee you it will work your abs and core unlike anything you’ve ever tried. I performed this workout myself last week and I’m still amazed at how sore my abs got during the following days. What does this new soreness mean to a guy who’s used to training abs regularly? It means that I haven’t been training with a tool that has an off-centered mass and that works in an almost constant triplanar motion.
More next time.
I’ll see you at the lake!
But right now I’m in the gym,
DRESSED in camouflage pants and combat boots, Johnathan Dang barks out orders into the crisp night air like the soldier he is during the day.
At his command his troops snap to attention and spring into action, breathing hard and spilling sweat and tears without complaint.
But this is no military exercise. This is a fitness boot camp at Parramatta’s Robin Thomas Reserve at 7.30pm on a Friday.
It’s unusual because it’s free and open to anyone.
And because Dang’s “militia” includes volunteers who previously possessed neither the will nor the money to set foot in a gym – students, stay-at-home mums and the unemployed.
They have a common goal: to change their lives. And they have put their faith in Dang and his volunteer trainers, who give up their time for nothing, to show them how.
“Team on one jog forward,” Dang shouts. “One.” The group marches forwards. Then follow barking instructions for sidesteps, press ups, planks, lunges and squats. Each order is punctuated by a shrill rasp of his drill whistle.
Dang often does not have time to change after leaving his day job at Holsworthy Base (?) to pursue his passion to help the unfit, unhealthy and unmotivated turn their lives around
Drinkers at the neighbouring pub do a double take at the sight of him and his soldiers. They can hear him over the sound of live music and clinking glasses. His voice is a bullhorn.
He emphasises each word, his motivational speeches sounding like the staccato of machine gun fire. “Whatever you do in life you have to pay attention. Whether you are a shop owner or a customer or just at home. You have one job to do so get it right. Now start again.”
From a humble start with a single Facebook post, the Parramatta boot camp has grown organically. People walking past the park have become participants. There are no joining fees or contracts.
Tonight 50 “soldiers” have turned up. Sometimes more than 70 arrive. Each session brings new faces and soon he may be pushing 100 in number.
“What we’re trying to do is start a ripple effect,” Dang says. “It starts here and will grow and spread until it affects the whole community. Everyone can live a healthier and better life.”
Growing up in postcode 2150, the heart of Western Sydney, Dang has seen too many excuses from people. Excuses about work. About life. And always lots of excuses about exercising.
“If you don’t know how to exercise, we can show you,” Dang says. “You don’t have enough money to go to the gym, it’s free. You don’t know what to eat, we will show you and write up a diet. There are no excuses left at boot camp. Just your own mindset.”
Perhaps the best example of this change from within Dang’s ranks is told through Elise Sing
a young, now single, mother of two children.
She was in a rut before she found boot camp through a friend. A troubling relationship, few employment prospects and an expanding waistline took its toll.
“I was going downhill,” Elise says. “I just had the attitude that I couldn’t do things.” Training with Dang has given her renewed confidence and turned her life around.
On the outside, Elise has also lost 20kg and lost three dress sizes but it is her mental change of which she is most proud of.
“Now I’m a proud single mum, I’ve got my own place and I’ve started studying business and business management. My change started when I started to look after myself.”
As a studying, single mother Elise doesn’t have the funds available to take up a gym membership let alone a personal trainer. “I’m very thankful that they started this program,” she said. “Every day I think of ways to repay them for what they have given me.”
But Dang and his trainers Jerry, Anthony, Chris and Dhwani are not looking for money. Or recognition. A fact that often leaves many people scratching their heads at why they would spend three hours a night for three nights a week doing this.
Dang says: “People always ask me, ‘Why it’s free,’ and I tell them, ‘It just is’. I think that you are able to help people, you should.”
The halfway mark for the training has been and gone and now the muscles really start to ache. Even the gym buffs and super-fit are complaining as lactic acid builds up.
People start to falter into wheezing wrecks, but they don’t stop. They draw on the support of their trainers and fellow “soldiers” to keep going.
Dang has memorised the story of each and every participant. He brings it out with surprising accuracy whenever needed. He reminds Joanne Nguyen of her upcoming wedding.
“You’ve got to fit into that wedding dress! Move it Joanne.”
Joanne is an account manager at LJ Hooker Parramatta. She heard about the boot camp through her Facebook feed and decided to give it a go but struggled at first.
“They kept assuring me that it was ok and not to be hard on myself. They said, ‘See it this way. You’re out here training while others are watching TV.”
Now she has noticed how the sessions have not just improved her physical appearance but her attitude to life.
“It’s not only my physical appearance that’s changed. I value not only the confidence I have gained from attending these sessions, but the constant positivity and ongoing support. Johnny (Dang) is always a phone call or message away.”
Back at training, after what seems an eternity, finally a long whistle signals the end.
A round of applause starts up and hands gather in the centre around Dang. Together they chant the motto of the Parramatta Free Bootcamp. “20 percent fitness. 80 per cent nutrition. 100 per cent mindset.”
When Dang started the boot camp, he didn’t know what he would achieve. “I just thought what am I doing,” Dang said. “But then I saw the change I was making on peoples’ lives and I knew I had to keep going.”
Parramatta Free Bootcamp runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Robin Thomas Reserve in Parramatta. Everyone wanting to change their lives is welcome.
- Professional Speed Bag
- Exercise demonstration poster
- Exercise Reference DVD
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I received a box in the mail last week from Jonathan C. Smith. Jonathan is a industrial designer and fitness enthusiast from Tennessee. Inside the box was a set of Spyder 360 prototypes. Watch the video to see how cool these are!
They can be used in your training, training clients and training groups. You’ll definitely want to experiment with them and come up with your own unique exercises in addition to the dozens and dozens of exercises that are already “invented”.
If you like what you see, you might want to jump over to The Spyder 360 kickstarter campaign and support them. Here is the link -> Spyder 360 Kickstarter