Have you ever been to an Orange Theory, Barrys, F45, or other bootcamp circuit style class?
Many people love the high they get from pushing themselves really hard and love the competitive energy that keeps them coming back for more. Now, the last thing I want to do is tell you to stop doing a workout you love, so if you love these kinds of classes and they get you moving your body, keep doing them!
OR if you’re doing these kinds of classes a few times a month for some cardio and a social aspect and you’re being mindful of your recovery, that is completely fine.
BUT if you’re feeling frustrated that you’re doing these intense classes and just aren’t seeing the results you want (or even negative results, like unwanted weight gain and lack of energy), keep reading.
Here are 3 reasons why boot camp style classes like Orange Theory won’t get you toned (and remember, getting “toned” means you’re building muscle and losing body fat. Building muscle does NOT mean you’re getting bulky!):
1. The style
I completely get the draw to these kinds of workouts–different exercises, rest periods, and circuits keep these classes fun and engaging.
However, in order to build muscle, we need to be following a strategic strength training program that implements progressive overload, which means each week you’re increasing the amount of reps, weight, or tension with the same exercises and rep schemes.
These boot camp style classes typically have random workouts each week that make you feel like you’ve really worked hard, but aren’t actually helping you gain muscle because of their lack of periodization and structure.
2. Higher rates of injury
Because these classes move so quickly and there are so many people and just 1 instructor, you’re not learning how to properly execute the movement patterns. It’s also really hard to focus on your form when you’re primarily focused on getting to the next station and/or not dying, which makes it really easy to get injured.
3. The stress
High-intensity classes are very stressful on your body. If you’re already experiencing high amounts of stress from work, relationships, a restrictive diet, etc., adding 4-5 classes into the mix could be a recipe for disaster and can lead to further health problems like excessive fatigue, increased irritability, down-regulated thyroid and metabolism, poor sleep, and more.
Again, if you enjoy these kinds of classes and your biofeedback is on point, keep doing them!
But if you have been doing them and are wondering why you’re not getting the results you want and are feeling like 💩, it might be time to reconsider what workouts to be doing and switch to a progressive overload strength training program instead.