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The Biggest Myths About Bootcamp-Style Workouts, Busted

Here’s what to expect in one of these popular classes.

By Alyssa Sybertz and Team PelotonSeptember 22, 2020

Have you tried Peloton Bootcamp yet? If you’ve been avoiding it due to preconceived notions about what a class entails, it’s time to think again. Here, all the ways that these classes—which combine cardio and strength—can be a motivating, energizing, and strengthening part of your exercise regimen.

Bootcamp isn’t…mentally grueling

When you picture a military-style bootcamp workout, there’s probably an instructor yelling in your ear to push harder and hold for longer. And while this style of motivation might work for some people, many find it discouraging and spirit-breaking.

Bootcamp is…mentally invigorating

The structure of Peloton’s Bootcamp classes—which go back and forth between cardio on the Peloton Tread or Peloton Bike and strength work on the floor—makes the workout more exciting than you might realize. "Bootcamps are a PARTY," says Peloton instructor Rebecca Kennedy. "You know you can get the one last minute of running in because you're going to have a break from it momentarily. Every time you finish a round, you hit another benchmark of success." The result is workout that is mentally challenging yet encouraging at the same time.

(Psst, don’t have a Peloton Bike or Peloton Tread? You can still take bootcamp classes.)

Bootcamp isn’t…only for the ultra-fit

The presumed pace and types of moves incorporated into a bootcamp class might make it seem like you need years of experience with different exercise styles and elite fitness levels to attend the class—and that if you don’t have those things, you’ll be in over your head and struggling to keep up. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Bootcamp is…perfect for newbies

If you're just getting into these classes, Rebecca suggests Beginner Bootcamps and Hiking Bootcamps. "Both of these include low impact options, move at a slower pace, and tailor speeds on the tread to the beginner level," she says. "The strength portion of the classes have exercises that focus on foundational strength using modified variations of exercises, appropriate weight ranges for dumbbells, and enough time for rest periods, all while getting a great total body workout in."

Bootcamp isn’t…designed to break you down

Pushing to your max can be an effective training strategy for some (like sprinters or powerlifters, for instance), but for most folks, pushing until you feel sick and weak won’t make you feel powerful—it’ll make you feel dejected and powerless instead.

Bootcamp is…designed to awaken your inner warrior

Instead of concentrating only on speed and max reps, Peloton Bootcamp classes incorporate bursts of power and compound moves designed to be challenging when completed carefully with proper form. The payoff: You’ll feel strong and capable without having worked yourself to exhaustion.

Bootcamp isn’t…mindless repetition

Ever been in a class where you end up doing the same exercise over and over again until you’re no longer focused? When you’re busy wondering when the workout will be over, you’re not focusing on your form or how hard you’re working.

Bootcamp is…a boredom buster

During a Peloton Bootcamp class, you won’t be watching the clock. "If you’ve never tried bootcamp, its a great way to see what it sparks inside of you," Rebecca says. "Often times, we get into workout ruts or routines that leave us feeling a little bored or too familiar with physically, and we crave change. The constant flow of movement in bootcamps may very well be what you need to feel that spike of motivation again."

Bootcamp isn’t…all push-ups and burpees

When you think of a military-style workout, the first thing that comes to mind is probably “drop and give me 50!” So it stands to reason that lots of folks picture bootcamp as an endless stream of push-ups, burpees, and other exercises that will leave your muscles feeling like mush.

Bootcamp is…a total body workout

"Simply put, bootcamp is a workout that includes both cardio and strengthnothing scary!" Rebecca says. "We need both cardio and strength for a well-rounded fitness routine, so bootcamps give you both in one. You can get incredibly fit, strong, powerful, and fast, become more coordinated, mentally more tenacious, and feel more connected with your body than ever before." With classes offered at beginner, intermediate, and advanced difficulty, as well as options with and without weights, bootcamp can form the basis for a challenging, invigorating, and well-rounded exercise regimen.

Ready to get started? Check out bootcamp classes in the Peloton App!

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