Better than Boot Camp

Over the past couple of years, Boot Camp style workouts have been chipping away at health club profits.

And for good reason.

  • They generally cost less than health clubs
  • Unlike health clubs, they don’t require a 12 month commitment
  • The high intensity workouts burn a ton of calories
  • In good weather, exercising outdoors is awesome.
  • Group fitness is fun
  • Group fitness participants are more consistent with their exercise routine
  • Consistency improves the odds of achieving your goals

And, when you consider that two of the major issues facing our society are…

  1. the economy – recession, unemployment, etc
  2. systemic obesity and related diseases like diabetes and heart disease

…boot camp workouts seem like a sure bet for the fitness industry.

The problem is…

Most boot camp workouts kinda suck.

Strong words, I know. But not without reason. You see, over the past few months, I tried out a variety of boot camp workouts up here in Toronto….and they all sucked. Some more than others, but none of them were great.

And here’s my problem with boot camps workouts.

  • They are a “one size fits all” type of workout. Regardless of experience, weight, injuries, strength, endurance, flexibility,etc…everybody is doing the exact same workout. If I did that with my personal training clients, I would be out of business.
  • They are great at helping beginner trainees progress to an intermediate level of fitness, but that’s it. There is no progression.
  • They focus on anaerobic & muscular endurance while ignoring all of the other aspects of physical fitness
  • They offer no help with nutrition, emotional eating, injury recovery, etc….
  • They are run by inexperienced trainers

In essence, the boot camps of today are just like the aerobic classes of the 80s, except

  1. we have replaced aerobic endurance with anaerobic endurance, and
  2. we have replaced Jane Fonda with this guy

So, how do we make a better boot camp?

Well, I’m gonna tell ya.

My Imaginary Health Habits Better than Boot Camp would…

  • Be led by more experienced trainers to start with
  • Have varying levels of difficulty to accommodate beginners & elite level trainees
  • Address the numerous aspects of physical fitness
  • Help trainees correct muscular imbalances and joint mobility issues (neck & back pain, tight hips & shoulders, etc)
  • Offer regular Q & A sessions with various health & fitness experts – naturopaths, dietitians, physical therapists, obesity experts, etc…
  • Periodize workouts so that trainees progressed from beginner to elite and not just stay at intermediate
  • Offer an online community as well as organize face to face meetups.
  • while still charging $20 per session
  • and allowing the trainees to soak up their Vitamin D


  1. You need to come to Naples, FL or better yet Estero and set this up so you can whip me into shape! I love the workouts, but i have no one to push me and call me on skipping a workout.

  2. you are from Toronto? Me too. Sorry to appear to be stalking you , but I am going through all your posts! I totally agree with the statement you are making, but bootcamps still appeal to the masses because of all the benefits you state. They dont see that their progress eventually stops do to the lack of variation and progression in the programs. I have a fitness colleague over at Urbanfitt called Jane Clapp, you should check her out and her philosophies. If you are in Toronto, go and see her facilities!

Comments are closed.