Too Afraid to Try Bootcamp? Read This First.

Let’s be real: Bootcamp sounds scary AF. Just the word alone conjures up images of military camo and phrases like “Drop and give me a hundred!” That’s probably because the term bootcamp did technically spur from military training; in the late 1800s, recruits for the Spanish-American War wore boots while in training — now known as “boot camps.” Nowadays, bootcamp is used to describe a type of workout class that combines high-intensity intervals with strength training and is an extremely popular full-body exercise for building muscle, burning fat and improving endurance.

While bootcamp workouts have been around for quite a while now, many still misconceive them to be intimidating and even somewhat scary—but it’s not, we promise! It’s an extremely effective workout that’ll get you so high on endorphins, you’ll be booking your next spot immediately.  If you’ve ever been afraid to try this type of class, keep scrolling as we bust 5 common myths about bootcamp.

1. You should already be in good shape before trying bootcamp.

Many people are intimidated by bootcamps because they feel they aren’t strong enough to handle the workout and believe they need to reach a certain level of physique before trying them. That’s simply not true! Any class you attend as a first-timer is going to be difficult, sure, but your body will adapt and get stronger each and every time you attend. If the instructor didn’t believe you could handle it, why would they even let you in the door? Don’t let your fears hold you back from trying this highly effective class. 

2. This workout can make you look bulky.

A common misconception about strength training, this fear often applies to bootcamp as well. You will likely be utilizing some weights during bootcamp, although this isn’t always the case, but — one more time for the people in the back — strength training doesn’t make you bulky! Building muscle will boost your metabolism and help sculpt and tone, but you will not get bulky simply from taking bootcamp. 

3. Your instructor will bark feedback and commands at you the entire time.

Again, this isn’t the military… it’s a workout class! Your instructor will never yell and scream at you; they are only there to motivate you and ensure you’re using correct form to prevent injury. Maybe they’ll speak a bit more loudly so you can hear them over their bumping, motivating playlist but… who wouldn’t want that?

4. You’re more likely to get injured in a bootcamp class.

There is some potential to get injured in any type of workout class, not just bootcamp. Every exercise (and body!) is different, so make sure you listen to your instructor and speak up if you have any pre-existing injuries or need specific modifications. 

5. You should treat post-bootcamp recovery like any other class.

Bootcamp is an intense class, and it’s important you allow your body to recover properly. You’ll sweat a ton, perhaps more so than barre or yoga, so you’ll want to keep yourself hydrated before, during and after class. Since you’ll be working towards building muscle during your workout, you’ll also want to fuel up on protein post-class to aid in muscle recovery. Give yourself plenty of rest days, especially if you’re just starting out, and feel proud of any muscle soreness!

Stephanie Limiti is a born and raised New Yorker living out her dreams of palm trees and sunshine in Los Angeles. When she's not zenned out in yoga class, she's reading biographies and volunteering at dog rescue shelter. Follow her on Instagram.