How To Build Your Own Bootcamp

At Mirafit, we love a bootcamp session.

They push you to your limits and get results – fast.

Typically, bootcamp style is HIIT with more grit. It follows the same pattern of short, intense bursts of both cardio and strength-endurance style exercises.

However, there's less focus on precision and form, and more emphasis on power and explosivity. And it's not just about physical strength either. When you're outside and working against the elements, bootcamp gets you tapping into any remaining willpower and determination, so you really are giving it all you got.

And when you're designing your own workout, you can base it on what you want to improve. Whether that means piling on the weight plates, focusing your cardio, or setting yourself new challenges so you can smash your targets and take your fitness levels one step further each time.

Building your own bootcamp: starting out

image of mirafit model doing toe taps with a mirafit slam ball

When it comes to choosing the right exercises for your bootcamp, there are three main things to consider first:

  • Old injuries – if you have an old, niggling injury, the likelihood is that you'll need to take care of it and rehabilitate properly and carefully. If this is the case, make sure you don't put unnecessary pressure on it and choose exercises that don't aggravate it.
  • Your current fitness levels – pushing yourself hard means pushing yourself by your standards. Each set should wear you out, so you really need that recovery break. It doesn't matter how fit you are, no one should be finding it easy. If you're new to exercise or are just getting back into the swing of things, find your limit and then work from that. You may mind short bursts works for you or you might need longer to recover – either way, find what works best for you and go from there.
  • Timing – bootcamp classes are often held once or twice a week. They work the full body and usually go on for a good hour and a half. Training more regularly than that is not only more beneficial in terms of your strength and fitness levels, but it will also give you a chance to shorten your sessions and split your training. This gives you a much more thorough workout for each area of the body and is ideal if you're working to a tight schedule. It also makes it much more approachable too – four to five 30-minute sessions every week is much more inviting than one gruelling session every Saturday morning.

Building your own bootcamp: the exercises

image of mirafit model doing a kettlebell swing close up

There are no hard and fast rules as to what exercises you should be doing at your bootcamp. The general idea is that it's as hard as you make it, with minimal equipment, that's suitable for outside. There are no mirrors, no bars and there's nothing holding you back.

In general, however, you will want to include:

  • A warm up – loosen up your joints, get your heart rate up, get your muscles warm and do some dynamic stretches to help prevent any injuries. You can read more about how to warm up here. Compound exercises – squats, deadlifts, push ups, burpees – anything where you work more than one muscle in the same exercise. These are great for helping you to burn fat, build muscle and get your heart rate up. They also allow you to get more out of the time you spend training.
  • Cardio – typically, cardio often refers to things like running and stepping. But it's less about the specific exercises that you're doing and much more about how high your heart rate is. There's nothing stopping you from adding in a few weights to your cardio exercises. And you'll be much better off for it. If your heart rate is up and you're breathing heavily, you're doing it right. These sorts of exercises can include things like jumping squats with a sand bag, battle rope waves with a sideways gallop or split squat jumps while holding a slam ball.
  • A warm down – with your muscles warm from working out, it's a great opportunity to improve your mobility as well as aid recovery with some stretching. As opposed to dynamic stretching (which you do when warming up and is a movement-based stretch), here you'll want to do deeper stretches for longer. You can read more on stretching routines here.

Our conditioning section is packed full of exercises, workout routines and training tips, so you're never without training inspiration. Read our blogs to find what suits you best.

When it comes to timing, it really is about finding a balance. You want each set to be long enough so that it pushes you, and each break to be long enough for your muscles to recover.

This should fall into a one minute on, one minute off type structure. As you get fitter, you will be able to shorten your recovery time.

If you're not worn out by the end of the minute, up the intensity of the exercise. If you can't make the full minute – try – and do as many as you can. And then as soon as you start to really slow down, you can drop the intensity for the last few seconds. But by trying each time, you'll soon get there. If you're too low intensity, improvements will happen very slowly which can be frustrating.

Building your own bootcamp: what you need

imga eof mirafit model stretching his triceps

To help you build your own bootcamp, we've stripped back the kit list to the bare minimum.

Our exercises are mainly centred around the following:

Mirafit Slam Ball

Mirafit Sandbag

Mirafit Kettlebell

Mirafit Battle Rope (and battle rope anchor)

Or you can buy a complete Bootcamp Kit here.

Essentially, any bootcamp session should leave you feeling worn out. Aid your recovery with protein from natural sources as well as plenty of water, fruit and vegetables.

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