Bootcamp vs CrossFit – What is the Difference?

Jeff Baldelli
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What is Bootcamp?

A bootcamp consists of two parts. First, the training portion. It contains a variety of workouts that are designed to gradually build up your fitness level. These usually involve a series of interval based cardio routines and strength training.

After the training portion comes the second part of the bootcamp, the accountability call. This is where the trainer provides you with tips on how to continue doing what you did in the training session. The accountability is very important, especially when working out because it allows you to share your progress with others who are trying to reach their fitness goals as well.

This is different than Crossfit, because it doesn’t focus on endurance, strength, and power, which are three of the most important fitness components.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a brand of fitness that includes a combination of weightlifting, aerobic exercise, gymnastics, and competitive sports. Not all members of the CrossFit community have the same idea of what the program should entail, but there are a number of universal characteristics, including:

  • Various fitness activities practiced at high intensity and with high repetitions
  • The intense effort required to succeed at these various fitness activities
  • An emphasis on functional exercise movements instead of machines
  • A method of regularly adding more challenge to the various workouts through the addition of more weight, more repetitions, different partners, or different movements
  • Competitions that are held in the community where members of the CrossFit community can regularly compete against each other on a variety of different fitness activities

Another important difference between a standard fitness program and CrossFit is the scaling methodology that is used by CrossFit to ensure that workout routines can be adjusted for everyone.

Bootcamp vs CrossFit: Two of These Things are Kind of the Same

The two names “CrossFit” and “Bootcamp” have caused a fair share of confusion in the fitness world. And this confusion is completely understandable. Both names are used with the specific goal of getting you fit in the quickest way possible.

So if both have the same outcome, why use one when you can just use the other?

The answer has more to do with your preferences than it does anything else. Both of these programs use functional movements in a group fitness environment. So if you’re looking to receive a high level of education in the form of a good tracking program and support in a group setting, you will find satisfaction either way.

But, if you’re the type that prefers to be left alone with your head phones on, working out on your own, you may not find the same value in a CrossFit class as you do from a bootcamp workout.

Unique To CrossFit

CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements. It doesn’t matter if you are working out to lose weight, gain muscle or improve your cardiovascular health; these exercises are going to help you to do it in better ways.

Success through a Broad Range of Activities

If you ever want to play sports, you are going to have to move your body. How can you really expect to play at your best if you do not have the mobility, power and endurance you need?

Play sports, but need more help with your coordination? True fitness involves body-eye-mind coordination. So CrossFit exercises are going to give you an edge in all of these parts of fitness, improving your performance.

Even your personal life will be affected. This is because CrossFit is a fitness program that is constantly varied. The workout includes many different styles and is never repetitive.

The only reason that you are likely to get bored is that you need to take a break from doing certain exercises. This keeps you from adapting to a specific routine and helps you to avoid overtraining.

Training for a sport is going to involve a new challenge every day. CrossFit helps to give you a boost as you work out and teach you the full application to all types of programs you will encounter throughout your regular day.

Unique to Bootcamp

Much like a Bootcamp, the military drills soldiers physically and mentally to get them ready for battle. Bootcamps usually last 8 to 14 days. They usually involve running and obstacle courses, as well as carrying heavy loads in various situations. Bootcamp fitness incorporates many of these elements, as well as calisthenics. They take the elements of a bootcamp and incorporate them into other exercise classes. The name even suggests that it is a combination of the words boot and camp. These workouts help you to increase your overall fitness level while keeping your muscles toned. If you are not looking for extreme workouts, then bootcamp is the way to go.

Bootcamps tend to emphasize the following areas:

  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Mental Toughness
  • Self Discipline
  • Cardio

The exercises in bootcamp are best suited for an intermediate to advanced level fitness program. Bootcamps can be as intense as your body will allow.

However, bootcamp workouts can be best suited for beginners who are looking to start a program with a goal in mind. This is because there is a bootcamp philosophy and the classes are as varied as there are trainers. Bootcamps are also one of the only fitness activities out there that don’t cost a lot. And they tend to focus on the social aspect of working out.

So There You Have It

Whether your contact with sports and physical fitness began at an early age, or later in life, or never at all, a personal trainer can be a very helpful tool in achieving goals in a safe and customized way. This guide points out a few ways in which hiring a personal trainer can build a better relationship with your client, improve your own training methods, and better your own business, but ultimately it is up to you as the trainer to take those courses, read those articles and most of all actually apply the information!

With that said, I could not have attempted to write an article like this without first honing my skills and learning from others. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a fitness trainer, you have to make sure to start off your training education as early as possible.

As a whole, the industry can be a difficult one to break into. Getting certified with the American Council on Exercise is a solid start, but there are many more considerations you will have to make if you intend to become a trainer. You can, of course, go back to school and get a degree and be better equipped to tackle this full-time. If you are interested in doing this, the American Council on Exercise lists accredited schools with programs for a degree in fitness management.