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Lots of people cringe when they hear the words "boot camp." These words can conjure images of a drill sergeant barking out orders to sleep-deprived cadets, working themselves to exhaustion. But the reality of a fitness boot camp is much different. Boot Camps can vary from one to the other, but generally include a fairly intense mix of strength training and aerobic elements. Some boot camp workouts stress calisthenics while others stress "military"-style drills. Some even incorporate martial arts. Fitness boot camps may take place outdoors, in a park or on a playground, or indoors, in a gym. Despite variations in style, everyone that attends a fitness boot camp agrees:it really works.
Fitness boot camps offer an opportunity to build strength, endurance and agility to help lose weight, get toned and conquer daily activities with ever-increasing ease. Boot camps include a high-energy, total body workout that engages the mind, challenges the spirit, and transforms the body. Boot Camp classes are a great way to take fitness to a new level. Boot camps can be adapted to suit more sedentary individuals, too. Before joining a boot camp, be sure to ask about the boot camp’s basic structure, goals and prerequisites to assess whether it will be a good fit for you.
What Can I Expect at a Fitness Boot Camp?
In most cases, be prepared to do exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, squats, crunches, drills and sprints. Boot camp participants are often expected to perform exercises in rapid succession to maximize cardiac benefits and calorie burning. In essence, a boot camp workout is a type of interval training – bursts of intense activity alternated with intervals of lighter activity. Expect to burn 600+ calories at a fitness boot camp, which will definitely help if you’re trying to lose weight.
The Benefits of a Boot Camp Workout
*Efficient – you can get a total body strength and cardio workout in each one-hour session
*Motivational – Exercising with a group of people creates built-in motivation and camaraderie
*Low Cost – By sharing the personal trainer you get a reduced rate and "more bang for your buck"
*Variation - Boot camp workouts break up the boredom and monotony of the same old gym or cardio workouts.
*Educational – Most boot camp instructors include fitness, health and nutritional education so you learn as you train
*Portable – The exercises you learn at boot camp can be done nearly anywhere with minimal equipment, so you can learn new ways to exercise anywhere.
If you’re older than 40, pregnant, haven’t exercised for some time or have any health condition, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a fitness boot camp class, or any new exercise program. It’s also very important to let your instructor know if you have any health issues or special needs. Be sure to tell your instructor if you have difficulty with a particular exercise. Skilled instructors are attentive to proper form and technique and can adapt exercises for you.
Fitness boot camp programs have rapidly gained popularity in a short amount of time. They’re great for those seeking motivation or those who thrive in a team environment. As many people are just now finding out, fitness boot camps are a fun, energizing, and rewarding way to get in shape – and fast.
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