Phnom Penh fitness expert Andy Wenhlowskyj is our go to guy for how to get in shape in a healthy and effective way. This month Wenhlowskyj explains various exercises and techniques for a well-rounded bootcamp workout. Read below to hear what he has to say…
Bootcamps involve an intensive style training format, usually performed under strict and rigorous conditions, mainly seen in outdoor settings. They have been known to be lead by people who seem like military-style drill sergeants, with an intimidating look and attitude. Though nowadays, the fitness industry has evolved, and it has dropped the need for a person standing over you and barking orders like “drop and give me 20”, yet kept the theme for a short and intense workout. It has become a clear understanding that being yelled at to do your exercises will certainly result in a really tough session, and you generally would have pushed yourself farther than you normally do. Though the act of being yelled at, threatened, or humiliated into a form of fitness discipline, just really doesn’t work in the long-term. Think, how effective are you going to perform in the future, if you’re solely relying on someone to yell at you into shape?
You can, in fact, create and perform a bootcamp training session on your own.
Let’s take a look at a group of common bootcamp style exercises, performed in pairs and repeated over 5 sets.
There’s a great app from the App store called Tabata, downloading this to your phone is going to help manage the work and rest timings for you.
Now, first of all, give yourself a generous 5-minute dynamic warm-up. You’ll want to start moving your joints and then move onto your big muscle groups, leading up to some squats, star jumps, push-ups and then a jog to sprint on the spot. 15 seconds on each, start slow and speed up as you approach the end.
Set your Tabata clock to either 20 or 30 seconds, you’ll perform each pair together and then rest for 30 seconds after each 1 minute interval.
Push-up jacks & Squat Hold
Your push-up jack begins in plank position, shoulders above hands, and a straight line through your ankles, hips and head. Keep the core engaged as you bend at your elbows lowering your chest to the floor and kick your legs wider than hip width, then bring your legs back together as you push your body away from the floor, back to plank position.
Move into squat hold beginning with a wide leg stance, chest lifted and shoulders dropped. Squat back as though you are about to sit in a chair, keeping your knees tracking in line with your toes, hips out behind you and back flat. Aim to get your glutes in line with your knees and hold the position. Weight should be in your heels, check by wriggling your toes.
Side lunges & plank
Start standing upright, first take a large step out to the left, keeping chest lifted, feet both pointed forward, right leg remains straight and you drop your hips down and out behind you. Push back through that left leg to return your body back to standing position, and then repeat on the right leg.
Plank either on your hand or forearms, in a push-up position, so arms remain directly below the shoulders, and body remains flat, remembering to keep hips in a straight line between your heels and head, keep the core engaged and hold this position.
Alternate lunge jumps & forward/back dash
As a plyometric move, always perform these moves with total control, start slow and land softly. You’re going to keep a straight line between your hips, shoulder and ears, dropping your right leg back, drop your right knee directly towards the floor, both of your legs will be at right angles with each other. Drive through your left heel with this dynamic movement to lift and switch legs mid-air so your body weight lands on your right foot and lowering your left knee. If you are not comfortable with being able to control a landing, then simply step back into these lunges.
For your dash, you want to bend at the knees to touch the floor, though keeping the chest lifted and directed forward, like starting for a sprint race, power off in the legs and explode forward two or three steps and drop back to the floor same as your starting position. Then repeat by exploding up and backwards this time, two or three steps to the original spot.
Squat jumps & mountain climbers
Starting with feet shoulder-width apart or slightly more, bend down into the regular squat position. Now, keeping the core engaged, drive down through your heels and explode upwards for a jump into the air, always focusing on a soft landing, decelerating back towards the ground, keeping the knees soft landing deep back into that squat position again.
Starting with the plank position, you want to drive left knee up towards your chest aiming for in between your elbows, return it back to it’s original position and then repeat with your right. Keep your mid section engaged and protect your lower back by avoiding any bouncing in this area.
Lateral hurdle jumps & burpees
Similar to a squat jump, begin in a squat position, this time with an imaginary hurdle on your right. You want to explode up and over to your right, making both legs over your hurdle, Remember your soft landing on the other side, and keep it deep down into that squat position again. If it’s too challenging keeping both feet together, try leading with the right and following over with the left. Then repeat towards the left back over the hurdle.
Your burpee combines a bunch of these previous moves. Begin with your squat, place your hand on the floor and kick your legs out so you are now in the plank position. From here add in a push-up, chest to floor, when you’re back in plank position, thrust your legs back in between your elbows and stand back into a squat positon. Now drive through your heels and shoot up into the air, coming back down for a soft landing and repeating.
So for this session, remember you are aiming to do as many repetitions as you can or standing in a hold for 30 seconds. We’re in one of the hottest months of the year, so keep well hydrated, stay focused on your breathing and keep your core engaged as much as possible. You’ll walk away feeling great about your accomplishment and satisfied that you can complete your own bootcamp, anywhere, anytime.