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2 At-Home Bootcamp Workouts That Don’t Require Any Running

While trying a bootcamp workout at a new studio in Los Angeles called KAMPS Fitness recently, the trainer genuinely surprised me. We were in the cardio segment when KAMPS founder (and Barry’s Bootcamp alum) Sam Karl told the class that he really hated running. It’s a view he stuck to when I spoke with him later.

“I always had this mental block when it came to running,” Karl says. “It just never clicked for me; it never happened. Which is really ironic because I teach running every day.”

Like all bootcamp classes, Karl’s incorporate both strength training and cardio. And yes, at KAMPS, there are some treadmill drills. But it’s not just sprinting. You also walk backwards and sideways, up a hill, and can turn the treadmill into “sled mode,” so you’re pushing with your legs like you would a sled in a gym. “There are definitely ways to make the treadmill and running more exciting,” Karl says.

I was inspired by his creativity to get that cardio in without solely focusing on running. Even if you don’t have a treadmill, or don’t have the luxury of going outside for a run or a walk—hello, heatwave—there are plenty of ways to get to that elevated heart rate without the use of equipment.

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“If someone doesn’t have equipment, bodyweight is my favorite type of workout,” Karl says. “So anything from bodyweight squats to burpees to mountain climbers, to even push-ups if you’re constantly going from move to move, while keeping your heart rate up, there’s definitely a way to get cardio.”

Again, the idea of a bootcamp workout is that it combines cardio and strength training, so you get an efficient workout that keeps you burning calories long after a workout is done, a phenomenon called afterburn. But consider this your permission to do so, sans sprints. Below, Karl clues us in on how to get this one-two punch—no running, equipment, or going outside in the sweltering heat required—with two workout options.

2 no-running bootcamp workouts

Circuit workout (33 minutes)

3 Rounds

Perform each move for 45 seconds with a 15–30 second rest between exercises, depending on what you need, and a 60-second break between rounds. The ultimate goal for advanced exercisers would be to go straight into each move one after another. You can always shorten each move to make it easier or work for one full minute to make it harder.

  1. Bodyweight squat
  2. Alternating reverse lunge
  3. Jumping jacks
  4. High knees
  5. Butt kicks
  6. Push-ups
  7. Forearm plank
  8. High plank
  9. Mountain climbers
  10. Bicycles

Tabata Workout (20 minutes)

For this one, there are two workouts, each four minutes long in true Tabata style. Start with workout 1, perform each move for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise. At the end of the workout, rest for one to two minutes, then start workout 2. Rest for another one to two minutes, then start over from the top of workout 1. Once you’ve completed both workouts twice, you’re finisihed. 

Workout 1

  1. Squat
  2. Jump squat
  3. Lunge
  4. Lunge jump
  5. 2 push-ups, 4 mountain climbers
  6. 2 push-ups, 6 mountain climbers
  7. Burpee
  8. Burpee

Workout 2

  1. Side shuffles (quickly side stepping 3 steps right, 3 steps left)
  2. Alternating side lunges
  3. Bear walk (hold low squat and walk forward/back)
  4. Lateral bear crawl
  5. Side shuffles (quickly side stepping 3 steps right, 3 steps left)
  6. Alternating side lunges
  7. Bear walk (hold low squat and walk forward/back)
  8. Lateral bear crawl

Karl’s tips for making the most of these routines

Take it slow, aim for good form, and modify movements to suit your personal energy and fitness needs. “These workouts can be done with high intensity, or you can always take away the impact and step out to the side for jumping jacks, or just march for the high knees and butt kicks,” Karl says. Anywhere it calls for jumping, feel free to swap in stepping your legs out and in (jump squat) or forward and back (lunge jump). With those burpees, you can opt to step your feet forward and back, rather than hop between a high plank and low squat, and you can just stand up or take a calf raise at the top.

Alternatively, “if you want to challenge yourself,” Karl says, “you can always do jump squats or lunge jumps [instead of standing ones].” Essentially, you do you!

Here’s how to do a lunge jump the right way in case you could use a refresher: