I have been debating talking about this for a little while now. If you know anything about me and my thoughts on exercise, you should know that I am a fan of all sorts of fitness activities and am not the kind of person to throw negativity around, especially if it involves health and wellness. However, I thought that if I was injured during a bootcamp that there was probably a strong chance that it could happen to others. So for this reason I want to share what I believe should be apart of any fitness and exercise activities that you choose:
- It should be safe - You should never feel like you don't know what you are doing. New forms of exercise might take you out of your comfort zone but you should have a decent grasp on what you are doing and how to do it safely. If you don't have this grasp ask more questions. Its much better to ask questions than to hurt yourself.
- Warm Up and Cool Down - These do not have to be elaborate but they should happen. jumping right into a workout without preparing your body for activity is not wise. Additionally, finishing a brutal workout and then just walking out the gym without giving your body a moment to readjust is just silly. It can result in dizziness and possibly even fainting. It is also the best time to get in some stretching, as your body is warm and ready to stretch.
- Tell your coach/instructor/trainer about any injuries, aches, or pains. - The first question I ask my clients EVERY TIME I see them, is "How does your body feel?" If your not being asked this question, make sure you communicate so that your instructor can give you modifications. This is not "wimping out", this is listening to your body so that you can get the best workout on that day.
After looking back at my bootcamp experience, I realized that there were things that I could have done differently to protect my bum shoulder and there were things that should have been done differently by the instructor.
Not all bootcamps are unsafe, but when the groups start to get too big, the trainers are unable to watch your form throughout the entire workout. When they try to jam too much into the bootcamp time frame, they tend to leave out important things like warm ups, movement prep, cool downs, and stretches. As the trainer grabbed my weight and forced me into a position that was seriously straining my shoulder, I should have stopped immediately and informed them of my tricky shoulder. Instead I kept it to myself which resulted in a tweaked shoulder and left me unable to fully use it for the next 2 weeks. Silly me, I should know better.
If your BootCamp leaves these important things out, make sure you take it upon yourself to rectify the issues. If you're trainer makes you feel uncomfortable for addressing these issues, maybe give another trainer a shot. Who cares how many calories you burn in one workout, if you hurt yourself and can't workout for the next 2 weeks.