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How to Find the Right Boot Camp and Training Program in Austin, Texas

How to Find the Right Boot Camp and Training Program in Austin, Texas

At Austin-based RedBird we know that “Boot Camps” are a fitness trend that has grown in popularity over the past few years, but we also know that these quick fix, high-intensity workouts raise many concerns people should be aware of. As a former Boot Camp instructors, we understand the benefits of Boot Camps – fresh air, camaraderie and the endorphin rush of a challenging workout. As Pilates instructors, however, we’ve also seen the downsides – many former Boot Camp clients who come to RedBird with Boot Camp-caused injuries or who are frustrated with muscle bulk and weight gain. Both injuries and bulk result from workout programs that encourage improper form and over-training. If you’re considering a Boot Camp, here are some things to think about first and advice for finding the right program for you.

First of all, before joining a boot camp in Austin, make sure a Boot Camp-style program will help you achieve your fitness goals. For many people, Boot Camps are a short-lived experience that can provide quick, but often not lasting, results. If you are someone who tends to commit whole heartedly to a grueling workout routine for a month or two and then fall off the exercise wagon completely for another few months, this may not be a good fit. Consider finding something that you actually enjoy, rather than 6 a.m. torture session, and do it moderation – two to three times a week. This way, you are not setting yourself up for failure and can achieve lasting results.

       Action: Ask other participants how long they have been with the Boot Camp you are looking into and see if it is the type of program and community that supports long-term membership and sustainable results.

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RedBird Pilates-Cardio Circuit Class
Secondly, does your body type tend to gain mass quickly but your actual aim is to slim down? If so, you should also consider bucking the Boot Camp trend. More often than not, when we do extremely high intensity workouts with lots of heavy weightlifting, we are famished afterwords and increase our caloric intake throughout the rest of the day. While this may create muscle mass, it often will not reduce body fat or size.  A large part of lasting health and fitness is to develop correct breath patterns, postural alignment and the tools that take your exercise program into the rest of your life. Programs that are well-designed fit your goals and your lifestyle. They energize and replenish, rather than deplete and exhaust the body. Remember, it isn’t so much what you do, but how you do it and how often. Think about the results you want and try to find a fitness program that will deliver those so that you don’t get discouraged.

·      Action: Look at the instructors and participants: do they represent the end goals you want to see in yourself? If not, you might consider another program. If you want a dancer’s body, dance. If you want a runner’s legs, run.  If you want a long lean body, do Yoga or Pilates.

Finally, if you are set on a Boot Camp, the most important thing to remember is to find one where the instructor is nationally-certified and knowledgeable about body mechanics and alignment. Look for a program that will educate you about proper form and technique, and not just overload your body with heavy weightlifting and challenging anaerobic work that simply can’t be executed properly by someone just starting their fitness program.

·      Action: Ask instructors where their certification came from. Ask them a few questions about how they integrate alignment awareness into the program. Try to get a sense if they are accustomed to suggesting modifications for different levels. If you’re not sure what this kind of instruction looks/sounds like, check out our video on the perfect pushup!


At RedBird in Austin, we offer a Boot Camp-style training programs, such as our Pilates-Cardio circuit-training program. However, we also require that all participants also attend our Pilates mat classes so that they have a deep understanding of form, alignment and posture, as well as the necessary core strength to execute challenging anaerobic and plyometric exercises without injury. If you go through a Boot Camp program where you are not taught about exercise technique and proper body alignment you will simply continue to develop the muscles of the body that are already over-developed and fail to strengthen the weaker, tighter muscles – resulting in a highly imbalanced body. Worst of all you are likely to injure yourself and cause permanent damage to your body – especially your back and spine.

Our RedBird philosophy is to educate clients on correct exercise technique, postural alignment and breath patterns, as well as the purpose for each movement, the intention of the work, and the objectives of program. With this knowledge, practitioners become stronger, more self-aware movers and thinkers, throughout all aspects of their lives. We encourage you to seek a program that delivers the same commitment to education and precision of movement – not only for your results but also for your safety and health.

For more videos on how to perform exercises with proper alignment and technique, check out our Youtube channel.