Fitness Boot Camp Bust: Weighing the Worth of Whipping Workouts

Fitness Boot Camp Bust: Weighing the Worth of Whipping Workouts


fitness boot camps

In the realm of training, a fitness boot camp or boot camp training is a popular methodology of working out that people partake in to achieve their desired health goals. Boot camp training places an emphasis on high intensity workouts for weight loss, being in a group atmosphere for community and social connection and efficiency with time to make it both accessible to people and a stress relieving way to work out. 

There are various style of boot camp training, such as marine boot camps, army boot camps and body boot camps, and while the intent of these camps is to build strong and fit people, there are many shortcomings to this training approach as it often leaves people, burnt out, injured or in pain and unable to meet their health and fitness goals.

This article will delve into the pitfalls of boot camp training, and why looking at the approach Functional Patterns proposes when it comes to training is a much more sustainable option to achieve all your health and fitness goals. 


fitness boot camps

To understand why fitness boot camps can be detrimental, let's look into the origins of where they started. Fitness boot camps can be traced back to military training army boot camps. Army boot camps were initially designed as rigorous, disciplined training programs for military recruits. The goal was to improve physical fitness, instill discipline, and foster camaraderie among soldiers. 

If we look at the term itself ‘’boot camp’’ it’s believed to have originated from the military practice of ‘’booting’’, which referred to the act of breaking in new recruits and molding them into disciplined soldiers. Now we can appreciate that being disciplined is important, but it's important to understand the context of what you’re being disciplined towards. We know that the body requires stimulus or ‘’stress’’ to be placed upon it for it to be changed, this would apply for the brain too. But we must consider if that stimulus placed on the body is going to create a net positive for the body or net negative. 

Also importantly, soldiers are preparing to go into battle, potentially life-threatening situations and need to adjust to the stress of threatening death. The workouts are not designed to make them pain free, they are designed to weed out the people who are weak-willed. Therefore, using them as part of a fitness regime for general health upkeep is unnecessary as we are not going into battle so the objectives of this training style are very different to what most of society would be training for.

fitness boot camps

As mentioned above, army boot camps are rigorous and this frame of thinking has been applied into your average fitness boot camp. The mentality of ‘’don't quit, till you break’’ or ‘’no pain, no gain’’ is commonly applied and becomes a problem when its application is towards a framework of thinking that doesn’t respect our evolutionary characteristics when it comes to training. What does this mean? As humans, our bodies have evolved over time in a particular way that prioritizes certain movements. These movements are known as the FP First 4 and they are standing, walking, running and throwing. At Functional patterns we believe focusing on these movements will give you the most sustainable outcome for your body to be pain free. 

fitness boot camps


In society, there is a misconception that unless you workout ‘’hard’’ then you’re not going to be strong, lean and fit. Not that this idea is totally wrong, but people are getting ahead of themselves as the movements often performed in these boot camp workouts are too advanced for most people’s bodies to execute properly. This ends up causing more problems rather than preventing them as people don’t understand fundamental principles of human movement, such as learning how to stand with proper structural integrity. If we look at the person on the right, we can see a good example of this. 

fitness boot camps

If a person was to start boot camp training whilst exhibiting the posture on the left photo, they would be compounding on their pre-existing dysfunctions and causing many more issues for their body. People who partake in boot camps are trying to achieve a lean and physique appearance, and whilst those who are more genetically inclined to look that way may achieve that, many people are left injured or in pain, sometimes chronically. 

If we look at the most common exercises that are performed in fitness boot camps they include, push-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, russian twists, box jumps and many more. These exercises are often done and instructed in a way that does not respect our biology in terms of movement, compounded with the mentality of training hard and it leads to many people’s bodies being hurt.  


This confounded idea of training hard and pushing yourself to get your desired health and fitness goals crosses over into weight loss as well. People think workouts that involve HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a necessary component to burn calories in a short period of time. 

Unless you have the blueprint of human movement as the framework of thinking in regards to your training, you will miss the benefits you are looking for and most likely will cause stress to your body whether it be your joints or your nervous system. For a more in-depth look into the science, Intentional vs Intense: Is HIIT Training Sustainable takes a look at HIIT training and weighs up the negative benefits against the supposed benefits. 

Losing weight and building muscle can be done in a way that doesn’t require high frequency or volume of training. There’s a common saying in Functional Patterns that ‘’less is more’’ and the FP approach focuses on efficiency of movement. By training the body as an interconnected system, balance and harmony are created within the body and it doesn’t require a lot of input to get the desired output. 

The Functional Patterns 10 week online course is an introductory course designed to address your biomechanical imbalances and the fundamental reasons you might be feeling pain. The course contains myofascial release techniques, posture training and integrative corrective exercises to restore motions to restricted areas, create better hydration and balance in your body. By doing so, your body will be more apt to build muscle and lose weight as it lays down the proper foundations for human movement. Many clients of the 10 week course have reported reduced inflammation and weight loss just from the myofascial release component of the course, as it is redistributing tensions within the body and creating better balance. 


While fitness boot camps are alluring in the results they promise, they often fall short and even more often cause great damage to the people who partake in these training methods. The retention rates for these training methods are often quite low, data suggests between 20-50%, as the training methods leave people injured or overly stressing people's nervous systems due to the intensity of the training.  

Functional Patterns offers an all-encompassing approach to training that understands the first principles of human movement and health. There are thousands of client results online that showcase the effectiveness of the training system. These are not just testimonials, but visual results that you can see of people’s postures and movement drastically improving. Significantly, it’s not just the genetically gifted who get amazing results but people with conditions like cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy as well, because the training can be scaled down to the most basic level with its underpinning purpose to understand the foundations of human health. By taking on this approach when it comes to your training and health, you will achieve all the health goals that you desire. 

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