A-Team Boot Camp

ateambcA-Team Boot Camp is a cardio + strength circuit workout by Amy Bento. I have had this DVD for a long time. I keep meaning to do it but it would get swapped with other workouts–usually Cathe Live. But I finally decided today to do it. On the back of the DVD it is rated as advanced. That is questionable. I don’t want to say it isn’t advanced since at times I was challenged, but this boot camp workout also had a slower pace than other boot camp/circuit/cardio + strength workouts I’ve done. Even The Firm cardio + strength workouts have a faster pace. But many of the exercises are challenging. Overall, I did like this workout a lot and am glad I finally did it. I think it was Cathe‘s Boot Camp Body Blast that finally prompted me to do it. I really like boot camp workouts and want to start incorporating them more frequently into my rotations.

This workout has 6 drills. Each drill is made up of 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of lower body strength, 1 minute of upper body strength and 1 minute of core work. In Drill 3 she combines the upper body and core into one compound move that you do 1 minute of rather than 1 minute of each separately. Other than the first cardio drill, the 2 minutes of cardio is plyometric. It isn’t done at a crazy pace, so when you start it, you think it is doable. But 2 minutes is a long time–longer than it seemed in my mind–and it starts getting really tough by the end of the 2 minutes! The first 2 minute cardio drill isn’t too tough tho and seems kind of like an extension of the warm up. Now, here is what makes this boot camp workout different (and easier) than boot camp workouts by other trainers. After every single drill, you get a cool down or stretch. So she takes a good 40-60 seconds after the 2 minutes of cardio to lower your heart rate. Then after every other segment (lower body, upper body and core) you stretch and sometimes between drills you get a drink of water. I’m just not accustomed to a boot camp workout having such a relaxed pace. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it–but it seemed to lower the level of the workout. Maybe more high intermediate? I don’t know. I do know Cathe, Michelle Dozois and Patrick Goudeau all do advanced boot camp/cardio + strength workouts that give you little to no time to breath. In fact, your recoveries generally consist of moving on to a different exercise, not actually cooling down and stretching! But not Amy Bento. She takes this workout at a much more leisurely pace. Again, not a bad thing, just very different.

This is an equipment heavy workout. You need a step at 8 inches, a barbell @ 40 pounds, dumbbells (Amy used 10 and 5 pound dumbbells; I used 5, 10, 12 and 15 pound dumbbells), a resistance band w/ handles, a stability ball, a mat and, depending on the type of floor you are working out on, you need either a sliding disk or a washcloth. I think this was another reason I put this workout off–I was intimidated by all the equipment and assumed this would be super-fast paced. Well, do not let the amount of equipment deter you–she gives you plenty of time to get your equipment ready before each exercise.

Now, after doing this workout once, there are a few equipment substitutions I will be making in the future and I will be noting that in the break down below. Also, this is not a total body workout. You do work your upper and lower body + your core, but she completely neglects your chest and back. In fact, your lower body and shoulders get the bulk of the work in this workout. There are no premixes but it is chaptered by drill. Finally, for some of the moves Amy shows an easier modification but not for every move.

A-Team Boot Camp is 61 minutes long; 6 minute warm up and 3:30 minute stretch. Remember, the structure of each drill is 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of lower body, 1 minute of upper body and 1 minute of core. When an exercises focuses on one side of the body, you work each side for 30 seconds.

Drill 1:

Cardio (on step): start at edge of step; step knee, stepping to other side and raising other knee, step off step and do a jumping jack; keep doing that for 2 minutes, alternating sides

Lower Body: side lunge w/ stability ball, tapping the ball on the floor on the outside of your working leg (30 seconds each leg)

Upper Body: one arm tricep push ups lying on your side (30 seconds each side)

Core: get into plank w/ hands on step and alternate bringing knees to elbow–so slow mountain climbers

Drill 2:

Cardio: fast feet for 8 counts + 4 plyo/power lunges each leg; continue to alternate these moves for 2 minutes

Lower Body: one leg squats w/ 40# BB on shoulders (30 seconds each leg)

Upper Body: bicep curls using band

Core: slow torso twists w/ knee raise holding one 10# DB in both hands (30 seconds each side)

Drill 3:

Cardio: alternating curtsy leaps (these are like lateral skaters but you actually do a curtsy lunge, touching fingertips to floor)

Lower Body: bouncing squats sitting on stability ball

Upper Body + Core: sit on end of step w/ legs straight out in front of you and holding a 5# DB in each hand; start w/ torso leaning back and arms/DBs held straight out in front of you, as you raise torso to sitting, raise DBs overhead (do this move for 1 minute)

Drill 4:

Cardio: step touch 3x then rocket jump (air jack)

Lower Body: static lunges holding one DB; as you lower into lunge you will bring the DB from your side, all the way around to the other side of your knee (30 seconds each leg) (Amy uses one 10# DB, I used one 15# DB)

Upper Body: shoulder press up to count of two, lower to count of one, at the bottom of the move (goal post arms) bringing elbows together but about shoulder width apart and do an overhead press to count of two in that position, lower arms to count of one and return to goal post position; alternate these moves for one minute (Amy used 10# DBs, I used 12# DBs)

Core: get into side elbow plank w/ feet on step and elbow on ground (mat under elbow); raise and lower hips (30 seconds each side)

Drill 5:

Cardio: 4 “River dance” jumps (criss-cross jumps) + 4 double jacks (alternate these two moves for 2 minutes)

Lower Body: side slide lunges using a towel (or sliding disk) under one foot; Amy uses the barbell pole for balance but next time I do this workout I will do it Cathe-style–substituting  one 20# DB for barbell pole and lowering it to the floor and picking it up (30 seconds each leg)

Upper Body: sit on step and do side lateral straight arm raises (5# DBs)

Core: holding 5# DBs in each hand, bend arms and hold them slightly away from sides; twist arms in this position, keeping hips facing forward and working core

Drill 6:

Cardio: 4 wide leg plyo jumps onto step + 3 knee ups on side of step each leg (alternate these 2 moves for 2 minutes)

Lower Body: single leg deadlifts w/ 40# BB (30 seconds each leg)

Upper Body: overhead tricep extension keeping palm forward and lowering DB in front of face rather than behind head (Amy uses one 10# DB, I used one 12# DB)

Core: pike ups w/ feet on stability ball




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