Boot Camps

Fitness boot camps were designed to whip you into shape over course of several hour-long sessions that incorporate strength, cardio, and agility exercises. The camp is usually run by a gym, personal trainers, or even former military personnel who oversee a small group’s workout in an outdoor space. There are different camps you can sign up for depending on what your goals are, such as general fitness, sport-specific fitness, weight loss, etc. The “boot camp” reflects the intensity of the workouts, which usually warm up with dynamic stretching and running and are followed by exercises that focus on cardio and losing body fat.

The Routine

The exact workout routine will vary depending on what type of fitness boot camp you sign up for, and who runs it. But you can expect a rigorous routine of pushups, lunges, crunches, sprints, and drills that are a step up from a regular fitness class. The aim is to exercise your whole body, mainly without the use of workout equipment. If you’re not already used to regular exercise, the rapid movements could prove too challenging. Before signing up, you can look into the class’s structure and see if you have a compatible background of strength and aerobic training. If you have health concerns, your instructor can adapt the routines for you.

Why It Works

Fitness boot camps are great for people who need social support when working out, because participants can motivate each other through the military-esque style of training. Training with others can also help boost your mental health, along with the endorphins you’ll get from exercising. The workouts push people beyond their regular limit, which can be a welcome change from working out by yourself at the gym. And the 4-8 week boot camp will help you meet the recommended weekly exercise activity for adults, which is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, or 75 vigorous minutes a week. If you are looking for a way to keep fit that combines variety with camaraderie, then consider signing up for a fitness boot camp.

How To Prepare

Showing up is half the battle, but it doesn’t guarantee a great workout. If you want to perform well, you’ll need to prepare beforehand. Hydrating one to two hours before a class is a great habit to get into. Most people don’t get enough water daily, and most people aren’t even working out…so they’re not sweating half as much as you will in a fitness boot camp. The more water you lose, the more you’ll need to replenish, so it’s also a good idea to bring water or a sports drink to class with you to hydrate between sets of exercises. During class, don’t lose touch with your breathing and core. Breathe through tough exercises and keep your core tight to protect your back when you lift anything heavy, and you’ll find yourself physically prepared to take on any boot camp challenge thrown at you.

As important as physically preparing is mentally doing so as well. So you’ll want to enter class with a positive attitude, and you want to be paying full attention to the instructor. Half-paying attention will ensure you don’t fully understand the exercises in the fitness boot camp routine, which probably means you’ll injure yourself as a result of doing them incorrectly. During class, push yourself! If you have trouble staying motivated, pair up with someone who you think is the same fitness level as you. That way, when one of you slips, the other can motivate, and vice versa. Challenging each other is a great way to stay motivated and to get fit fast.

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