Over the last few months, I’ve shifted almost exclusively to bootcamp-style workouts. Inevitably, I get two questions:

– What the heck does that mean?
– Why?

First, the former. Every bootcamp is different, but they all generally utilize the principles of High Intensity Interval Training. And I’m not an expert, but I can tell you that “intense” is the key word. Compared to a traditional athletic workout, there’s much less down time.

Here’s a sample workout from my trainer, Adam Farrell, with Pinnacle Fitness.

Now, the why.

Mostly, it’s just fun. I got started on these type of workouts from Weapons at Hand, an MMA studio. I had been taking kickboxing classes and learned that MMA style workouts focus heavily on your core and hips, my weakest areas.

In fact, when I ran my first half-marathon in San Diego, it was very painful. My legs and cardio were fine, but my hips and core locked up at mile nine. Walking and jogging, I finished, but I couldn’t walk comfortably for nearly a week. And this was after sticking very closely to my training plan, logging well over 25 miles a week.

Two months later, I ran the Harbor Half with zero pain, running the entire way. It was pure joy, one of the best runs of my life. To prepare for it, I ran one or two days per week (never more than five miles) and kept up my bootcamp workouts three days per week.

That’s when I realized how beneficial this style of exercise is. I even went back through Spark, the book that changed my perspective on fitness. The high intensity workout is exactly the style recommended by the author for the biggest brain boost as well.

Better for my body. Better for my mind. I’ll take that.

Care to join me? Give Adam a shout.