In order to achieve your fitness goals, you must pay your dues. Long, slow cardio, light weights and going easy gets you nowhere and wastes your time. There is an intensity level in the 90% plus range of exertion that I call the Red Zone. To achieve the maximum benefit from your workouts, you must operate in this red zone. Many people want the results without doing the required work. There is no healthy, easy way.
Over the past 4 years, I have trained people who have worked hard and achieved amazing results following my program. And then I have trained people who did the bare minimum and broke even or even got worse off. It is easy to tell whether you have worked out hard or not. If oxygen is a priority, your arms and legs feel like heavy lead blocks, the puke bucket may be an option and moving at all, is challenging, then you probably worked out hard. If you feel fine and it wasn't so bad and you are ready to go tackle the day then you probably didn't do much.
Many advocate doing submaximal work. They say there are safety issues concerning maximal output. If you are worried about dying, if you push yourself hard, then you need to see your cardiologist instead of your Bootcamp trainer. If you are healthy and medically cleared to workout, you should be able to exert yourself.
So it's all relative. If you have medical concerns, then naturally you don't need to be doing HIIT and tabata drills. But if your good to go, then put out the effort and strive to excel. You only compete against yourself.
How many burpees did you get on the last tabata drill? How fast did you sprint? How much weight could you lift? If your not keeping track and trying to do better each day, you won't do better. I have seen people do full 20 minute tabata drills and be destroyed from maximal output and I have seen people walk away without looking like they did anything. Who do you think made progress at the end of the month?
To become lean, strong and fast, you must push yourself far outside your comfort zone and give maximal effort in all that you do. You earn results through hard work and with that -the satisfaction of knowing that you worked hard and gave it your all. High intensity interval training, targeted fat loss cardio, tabata drills, heavy resistance training and proper nutrition are the keys to your fitness success. If you skip away from your workouts, without breaking a sweat and exerting yourself, then you have missed an opportunity to excel and cheated yourself. You get out of it what you put into it. Push yourself and work hard, outside of your comfort zone and you'll achieve results. Lift heavy, run fast and push yourself to do better each day. The little green man,Yoda, says it best: "Do or Do Not - There Is No Try".