Coming from a martial arts background and now teaching bootcamps for Anytime Fitness, I have found that the recipe for success in both venues is very similar. Here are a few tips I think are important for maximizing your time spent in bootcamp so you can continue to improve in each and every class you attend.
Do the Drills to the Best of Your Ability
“Do it to the best of your own ability,” was a mantra repeated by my martial arts instructor Karl Sanders during every workout we suffered through. Occasionally it can be discouraging to watch “Mr. I Am Really Good At This” do an exercise, while we struggle. But we must remind ourselves that those people struggled just the same as us at one point, and had the same doubts. You should instead focus your energy on your own workout. Besides it’s not a contest.
What’s truly awesome about bootcamp is that everyone shares a common goal: of improving one’s self. And if we have determination, then we will all find success, both individually, and as a team. The only exception to watching at “Mr. I Am Really Good At This,” is if you are confused about whether you’re doing an exercise correctly and look at him to get the proper form.
So before each class, take your ego, and leave it in your car (don’t worry, it will still be there after class).
Be a Sponge
Listen to the instructor’s instructions verbatim, and focus on consuming each word with the efficiency of eating a fine Parisian pastry, i.e. nothing wasted. Try not to let even a crumb of knowledge escape your attention while listening to the instructions for exercises, especially when something is repeated or emphasized. Make sure you are listening closely and then later reflect on how you can improve on your current technique. Whether it is getting lower on a movement, higher on a jump, focusing on your breathing more, or just giving more effort overall. The better your form during the exercise, the more you will engage your targeted muscles, and the more you push yourself, the more success you will have, thus leading to the maximization of your workout.
There is always one more repetition, if we try hard enough.
Reach a New Goal For Yourself Every Class
Let’s not try to be the kid in gym class that only gives 100% effort when the teacher is watching. After all, you are doing this for self-improvement. And if you are giving less than 100% effort, a majority of the time, then you are only hurting yourself. Which almost guarantees that a new phase will not be reached. Trust me, you don’t want to create a mental environment of just going through the motions. Because once you do that, then that mindset will start to infect other areas of your life, and soon it may become your philosophy.
I have never been good at math, but I have found an algorithm that I know to be sound for bootcamp success and it is:
Cheesy, yes, but the truth is, if you are consistently showing up, and putting up great effort every time, then there can only be one answer to that equation, and that is success.
So for your next bootcamp class, try and reach a new level! And, of course, please share what it was in the comment section below! Because we might just find out how similar many of our struggles are.