Boot Camp is a fun, high-energy, group exercise that concentrates on cardiovascular and strength training. It's for the marathon runner, the casual trainer or Moms (like we were) that are out of shape and in need of a kick in the rear.
Boot camp classes aren't taught by yelling drill-sergeant instructors. Don't be scared to step forward and learn about boot camp basics.
The popularity of boot camp classes has exploded in the past few years, and they are now a mainstay in many gyms. Fitness boot camps became famous after they were featured on weight-loss reality shows, but because of their effectiveness they have become popular with the general public. Not sure if boot camp classes are for you? Read on.
Getting back to basics
Both indoor and outdoor boot camp classes include old-fashioned calisthenics such as jumping jacks and sit-ups, exercises that use more than one muscle group. Generally, you aren’t required to bring your own equipment.
If the class is outdoors, the instructor makes use of the environment, such as park benches or steps. An indoor class likely involves equipment provided by the gym, such as exercise mats or weights.
Unlike other kinds of fitness classes, boot camps combine muscle building with aerobic exercise to give you a full-body workout. According to YMCA group fitness director Christopher Rumary: “This killer combination means one thing: well-rounded functional fitness.”
Functional exercises work several muscle groups. They make you stronger overall so you can do everyday things such as carrying the groceries or bending down to pick something up without hurting your back.
Although they’re tough, boot camp workouts can still be fun. Rumary says, “One of the great things about a boot camp class is the variety of exercises, movements, and drills you can experience.”
Another great thing for many people is the camaraderie and support offered by fellow participants. Working out with a group can keep you accountable and motivated.
Most importantly, boot camps work. They provide interval training, which involves doing a full-body exercise in a short intense burst and then recovering at a lower intensity. The benefits of this kind of training include burning more calories and improving respiratory function, which translate into greater weight loss and better performance.
A 2008 study found that a boot camp class burns 9.8 calories per minute. That adds up to 588 calories in a 60-minute class.
Whether you want to lose that extra 10 pounds or get your body in tip-top shape, a fitness boot camp can help you get fit while keeping you so busy you forget how hard you’re working.