Saturday, February 7, 2009


Today we seem to be over-stressed, have less time, and obesity and diabetes are on the rise. Most of us spend a great deal of time hunched over a computer, in a vehicle or slumped on the sofa. Prolonged sitting results in tight hamstrings, stiffness in the lower back and weak muscles.

Most people say they do not have time to spend working out. Being extremely active with a career and family life is enough - you may feel that strenuous exercise would push you over the edge. Or, you may think that you’re too old to start exercising. Those who do commit time mistakenly believe that hours of cardio are the best way to lose weight while others believe that training muscles with heavy weights are the way to go – both can stress vulnerable joints more than necessary. So then what?

What’s the best way to help you get in shape, burn fat and get those six-pack abs?


- You can hire a personal trainer for $50plus and hour and meet with them and add up a hefty bill (Gee….pick me…pick me…)

- You can do it yourself spending time and money either online or on fitness magazines

- Buy your own home gym and hope to keep the space available without collecting dust

- Spend money on a gym membership and hope to get “good” advise from the regulars.

- My choice – a fitness "bootcamp". This is why I teach and practice what I preach.

A fitness bootcamp is great for all. It is not gender or age specific. No matter what fitness level you are at you, will benefit from such training. This type of vigorous, strenuous, regular activity is mentally and physically exhilarating.

Dynabody Fitness Classes does not use machines or long cardio but rather functional and body weight exercises along with interval training - which is best for conditioning the body, burning fat and improving your heart health. You can’t ask for a better way to refresh your body, restore your energy and beat stress!

Functional training stresses movement over muscle and relies on neurological adaptation to strength and mobility. The key to functional training is integration - it teaches your muscles to work together. This is different from your conventional weight training routines which isolate muscle groups. Functional training bridges the gap between strength, power and speed to achieve peak performance. By using unsteady surfaces, agility drills and quick stop and start drills you are not only improving your skill with exercise but your muscles continue to learn and improve while reducing the chance of injury.

One of the most important parts of a bootcamp is the emphasis on training the core. Your heavy upper body is only joined together by your thin spine (vertebral column) and is supported by the small band-like muscles (erector spinae) and your abdominals. Most exercises ignore the transverse plane of motion, or rotational movements. People have no problem working other planes of motion, while omitting twisting and rotation -which is used constantly in everyday life and sport. Training functional core movements works the whole body and incorporates all planes of motion.

Mostly overlooked is the importance of your stabilizer muscles. By recruiting your stabilizer muscles along with your prime muscles it will result in better posture and control, both in your daily life and sports. Most injuries aren’t from your major muscles but rather the smaller hidden ones. Your lower back, rotator cuff, knees or ankles are more acceptable to injury. A properly run fitness class helps to work these muscles, which in turn reduces the chance of injury.

Another advantage of my fitness classes is that you don’t do the same exercises over and over again. Your body is very good at adapting to workouts. This way it is highly unlikely that you will plateau. If you do the same type of workout all the time, you’re going to get the body you’ve always gotten. By adding variety, you keep things fresh and challenging, you shock your muscles into improving and you never get bored. Because of this, the chances are that you will continue to exercise.

Isn’t looking forward to your next workout sound great?

What’s involved in a Fitness Bootcamp?

Any fitness routine should be hould be intelligently designed. A training program includes the following components or parts; (1) Warm Up The warm up is necessary to increase body temperature, blood flow & oxygen exchange. This involves an aerobic component along with bodyweight exercises.

(2) Cardiovascular training (aerobic)

Regular aerobic exercise is important for both the circulatory (heart) & respiratory (lungs) systems. Not only does aerobic exercise improve your body’s ability to take in and use oxygen to produce energy but it improves your stamina as well.

(3) Muscle Conditioning/Resistance Training

In order to get stronger and tone or reshape your body, resistance training is a must. Something that cardio alone can’t do. This not only keeps your bones healthy but burns fat after a workout.

(4) Cool-down

A cool-down decreases body temperature & remove waste products from working muscles.

(5) Flexibility.

Included as part of a cool-down, stretching helps to decrease body temperature, remove waste products from muscles and increase range of movement. Performing static stretches at the end of a workout helps to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.

A proper bootcamp will involve all of the above mentioned components of fitness.

The emphasis is on coordination and timing using speed and agility drills and power exercises through circuit training. A set number of circuits are involved, incorporating resistance training (Dumbells, Kettlebells, etc) and core exercises (Medicine ball, exercise ball, etc) for muscular conditioning. This type of training burns more fat and has a larger cardiovascular effect than the longer hum-drum steady-state cardio.

Plus you don’t feel like a hamster running on a wheel.

What to look for

Most fitness classes last an hour. Unfortunately, with limited time one or more of the fitness components become compromised. Each are as important as the other. This is why I prefer to run 1 ½ hour programs. This way you are not rushed. It also gives enough time to incorporate team games and my favorite – martial arts.

Any bootcamp that you get involved in should focus on proper form, posture and control.

Exercises should be adaptable to each participants fitness level. Ideally intensity rules, however safety should come first.

Take Action!

Remember, your body adjusts to lower levels of physical activity the same way it adapts to higher levels. This is the REAL reason why people “get old” or out of shape. USE promotes function. DISUSE promotes deterioration. You choose…..

Don’t fool yourself that a once a week workout routine will get you in shape. According to Canada’s Physical Activity Guide, you should accumulate 60 minutes of activity per day. Plus, you will never get the wash board abs without proper nutrition.

If you want improve your fitness level you must exert yourself – BUT KNOW YOUR LIMITS. Staying fits takes more than one or two workouts a week. If you want to maximize your time and get the best out of your workouts incorporate a fitness bootcamp once or twice a week. Add in two resistance/weight training workouts and round it out with participating in an aerobic or sports activity.

A Fitness Bootcamp is an economical way to workout with a trainer while getting the motivational and social support you may need. Research shows that if you work out with a partner you stand a better chance of sticking to a fitness lifestyle. It’s not only one of the best ways to get and stay in shape but it’s fun too!

If you always thought about it, join in on the camaraderie, challenge yourself for the ultimate in fitness conditioning and fat loss! Join a Bootcamp – take action to change your life!