Boot Camp Baby!
By: Karen Mullarkey
If you are not training like an athlete and making boot camp a weekly routine, you need to rethink your training regimen! I have been an athlete since I was a child and have always trained like an athlete, but once I decided to start competing I got sucked into just weight training. When I realized I wasn’t getting the results I had hoped for, I restructured my training program and went back to the basics. If I wanted the results I needed to train like the athlete I am!
One change I made was to do a boot camp style workout twice a week. As a WBFF pro competitor I have had to do my share of cardio to lean out to compete. I get so bored with cardio so doing a boot camp workout is a great way to change things up. Not only do I spike my heart rate at boot camp, but I am burning anywhere from 600-800 calories in 45 minutes to an hour! You don’t get those numbers doing steady cardio on the treadmill.
If you are bored with your training and need a change, try these exercises and do three rounds in a super set fashion to blast those calories! This boot camp workout is sure to put your stamina to the test. Take it from a pro – if you want results, TRAIN LIKE THE ATHLETE YOU ARE! BOOT CAMP BABY!
Sled Drag: Load up your sled with the appropriate weight, take an athletic stance with feet shoulder width apart and stand in a seated position. Back peddle for 40 yards while gripping the straps connected to the sled and go at your fastest pace. Stay in a seated position to get the ultimate quad burn! Once you hit the 40-yard mark, turn around and go back. Are you breathing hard yet?
Prowler Push: If you don’t have access to a prowler you need to get access! Load it with the appropriate weight, grip the poles, lean into it and push. Start at a running pace and try and keep that pace for 40 yards. Once you reach the 40-yard mark, grip the lower handles and push it back. You will soon realize this side is much harder and you are really going to have to dig in to keep your momentum going! Hello glutes and hammies!
Sledgehammer: This exercise makes me think of the Peter Gabriel song from back in the 90’s! Ha! You can start by using a lighter sledgehammer and then go heavier as you get your form and strength down. Form is very important on this exercise to avoid back injuries. Stand in a split stance, grip the sledgehammer with both hands, swing it towards the tire and let your right hand slide to your left hand as you lower it to the tire. Once you hit, use the momentum from the bounce off the tire to go back to your starting grip and repeat 20 times! You should feel this in your shoulders, obliques and legs! Not to mention you can take out some serious frustration! YEEHAW!
Jump Ups on Tire: Begin this exercise with feet shoulder width apart and start in a squat position. Jump up onto the tire, using your arms to help you jump and land in a squat position. Jump off, land with bent knees and repeat 20 times. The lower you are on your start and finish the more you are working your quads and glutes. This is a great way to prevent gravity from taking over your booty!
Tire Flips: This is one of my ultimate favorites! Pick your tire appropriately according to weight. Make sure you don’t go too heavy because you can easily injure your lower back. Stand feet shoulder width apart, squat as low as you can, grip underneath the tire, stand up using your legs and flip it as you get to the top. Repeat for 20 yards and go back. If you aren’t feeling this one then get a tractor tire!
Slide Board: I tried the slide board about three months ago for the first time and I am hooked! Make sure your surface is buffed, put the booties on, start at one end and push off the wood stop with the side of your foot while using your arms to help with momentum. Once you reach the other side, push off the wood stop with your other foot. Make sure you are staying in a seated position to get the biggest burn and continue for one minute. Your inner thighs will be feeling this one!
Upright Rows with a Kettlebell: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, grip the kettlebell with both hands, squat with arms extended, power through your legs to stand up while doing an upright row with the kettlebell. Remember to keep your elbows high and good posture when raising the weight. Repeat for 20 repetitions. Hello shoulders!
Ladder Agility: Now this is how you train like an athlete! This brings me back to my Kent State days of playing Division 1 field hockey! Do various agility movements through a ladder and repeat for 1 minute. This will not only help you on the field, but will also get your heart pumping! You can throw in some pushups through the ladder to work your chest.
Ball Slams: Stand with feet shoulder width apart holding a weighted no bounce ball. Begin with the ball over your head with arms long, use momentum to slam the ball to the floor while going into a squat position. Make sure you squat low so you can catch the ball when it bounces. Remember this is not a ball that bounces so you are going to have to use some force to get it to bounce. You should feel this in your lats, abs and legs. Talk about a way to relieve the stress of the day!
Weighted Pull-Ups: This exercise is no joke and you need to work your way up to using weight as you build strength. Place the appropriate weight in the belt for your strength level. Begin hanging with arms long, slowly pull yourself up to the top and then lower with control. Make sure when you lower that your arms are fully extended before starting your next repetition and lead with your chest as you pull up. If your lats aren’t screaming you are cheating!
Rope Slams: Lastly, try flipping ropes for a finisher! Stand in an athletic stance, grip the ropes and slam them by alternating your arms. Be sure to keep your lower body in a squat position while using your shoulders to power through the movement. You can also slam both sides at the same time. Try for 20 seconds and then switch movements. I can guarantee you that your shoulders will be fried and you heart rate will be through the roof!
Now that my friends is how to train like an athlete! BOOT CAMP BABY! It is not for the faint of heart! If you want to crush calories you can try doing all the above exercises for 3 supersets. Whether you are a competitor or a sports player, you will surely get benefits from doing a boot camp twice a week. Remember: "No Excuses and that’s No Mullarkey!” MS&F
*Photo by James Patrick.