How to Maximize Boot Camp Fat Loss: 4 Foundations for Success / by Stephen Cooper

Morning at Boot Camp, Altadena,CA

Today we begin a new boot camp session.  Most of you are here to lose fat, so I'd like to give you 4 foundations which I believe will help you to get the most from your boot camp workouts.

Foundation 1 - Sleep and Recovery

These days getting enough sleep is harder and harder.  With our "always on" society we often don't power off and get the proper amount of rest and recovery.

So how much is "enough"?  In general somewhere between 7-9 hours.  You have slept enough when you wake up feeling rested.

I used a Sleep Cycle application from iTunes to track my sleeping and it was very interesting.  It senses your movement during your nights sleep and reads your different phases from deep to light sleep.  It may be helpful for you to track your sleeping for a few weeks to see just how much sleep you are really getting. 


Recovery is critical in order for you to lose the fat you are hoping for.  Recovery may consist of:

  • Foam rolling (video)
  • Massage
  • Time spent away from training 

Foam rolling.  I've posted a video about this before, but to keep it simple, think of foam rolling as a way of self massage.  You'll likely be sore from your boot camp workouts so by having an inexpensive foam roller you'll be able to massage out those sore points.  If the rolling is new to you, start slowly and be careful when putting your whole body weight on the roller.  Certain points on your body will be tender, so proceed slowly.

Massage.  Massage will be extremely helpful in clearing your body from the stresses of the training session. Ideally once a week would be perfect...but do is as often as you can afford.  Don't think of it as a luxury, consider an important part of you reaching your fat loss goal.

Time spent away from training.  You are probably anxious to get the fat off, but you should be aware that "more is not always better".  I have designed your workouts to not only burn fat during your workout, but they are designed to cause an "after burn" effect.  We are training with resistance such as the kettlebells which will challenge your muscles and support a fat burning effect after your workout.

If you are just beginning, these three session per week may be all you need to lose a considerable amount of fat, so don't think that you should be supplementing your workout with extra stuff outside of our sessions. Ask me first.

Foundation 2 - Train Smart

I am now assuming that you have gotten enough sleep and you are ready to show up to our training session well rested and focused to work out.

This is something that is somewhat difficult to describe, but you can see it in the faces of people who are focused or not.

Imagine an Olympic athlete as she is getting ready to get into the blocks before a sprint.  There may be smiles just before she steps in but when those feet are in place there is a certain heightened level of awareness and determination that enters her.

Now of course we aren't training for the Olympics and we can joke around a little more than a professional athlete, but I challenge you to focus and dig deep.  We only have forty five minutes during our session, so get the most from you can during the exercise part of our workout.

Arriving on time, and not skipping sessions should be a given here...but this is just a remeinder.  You can't train smart unless you first show up.

Foundation 3 - Eat Well

I will try to keep this section as simple as possible.  People can nit pic and argue about diet, being a vegan and so forth, but I want to lay out what works for me and many other professional coaches. 

Base your eating on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, some fruit, healthy fats, and no sugar.

Having said that  I know already that the comments will start to fly.  (You are welcome to enter your comments below, but please realize that this is what works for me and many others.  If you are lean, fit, and happy doing your own thing, then have at it :) )

With the addition of our special consultant and Registered Dietician, Amy Kubal, we'll be getting into more specifics very soon.

(Here's my breakfast for this morning which I ate right after boot camp.)

3 whole eggs with salsa, one sausage, papaya, banana, and coffee. 

Foundation 4 - Interact and Support

Lastly but also very important is to interact with the rest of the other boot campers.  You'll soon discover that we have a great group of people here who are very supportive of each other.

You may want to make comments or ask your questions here on the site, or you may want to interact on our Facebook page.  I encourage you to share your questions with me and the group, you are definitely not alone, and by asking here, you will be helping the entire group.

The more often you interact and ask questions, the faster you will see results.

I purposely keep the classes small so that you can get the support you need.  Contact me with your questions. 

Concentrate on these foundations.  Don't let your mind wander or search for a too good to be true solution. Right here and right now, you have what you need to achieve incredible results.  I've seen it with so many clients...and you could be next.