Fitness Boot Camps are the workout of the moment. These workouts build strength, endurance, and do wonders for weight loss. But if you are planning on joining a class, it pays to know a little more about what you’re signing up for.
Are you up to the challenge of sticking to a workout that is modeled after old-school military training?
What exactly is a boot camp workout?
A boot camp workout is a type of interval training (i.e. bursts of intense activity alternated with intervals of lighter activity or rest) usually involving a mix of intense strength training and cardio exercises. The cardio portion will most likely include running, hiking, jump rope, or obstacle course challenges. The strength training may involve the use of dumbbells, workout bands, or a bodyweight trainer such as The Human Trainer.
In pretty much all cases, you can expect to do calisthenics: pull-ups, push-ups, lunges and crunches, drills and sprints. Classes can be indoors or outdoors, and usually vary in style depending on the instructor. One boot camp workout might stress military-style drills, while others will focus on martial arts moves. There will also be a stretch portion of the class, which can involve elements of yoga or pilates.
Is a boot camp workout right for you?
Most fitness boot camps are geared towards fit individuals looking for a more intense workout, but there are classes that can be adapted to lower-intense fitness levels. So, before you join ask about the boot camp’s basic structure and prerequisites to assess if it will be a good fit for you. Skilled instructors can adapt exercises for you, so make sure to let your teacher know if you are have an injury, health issue, or if you are having difficulty with a particular exercise.
Pros of Boot-Camp Classes
The reasons why people love boot camp workouts so much is that it offers a more challenging and varied workout, requires little to no special equipment, and creates a sense of camaraderie among the participants. Plus it delivers! A nonprofit fitness organization that studied boot camp workouts found that the average partaker burns approximately 9.8 calories/minute during a typical boot camp workout, which makes it a good activity if you’re trying to lose weight. In addition, a well-structured boot camp workout schedule can help you meet the recommended physical activity level for healthy adults (75 – 150 minutes of aerobic activity/week and strength training exercises at least twice/week).
Convenience – The instructor plans the routines so the burden of figuring out how to create a well-balanced workout is done for you.
Variety – Because boot camp classes incorporate a wide range of different exercises, you aren’t as likely to become bored with your fitness routine.
Weight Loss — If you’ve got some stubborn pounds you’ve been trying to shed, a boot-camp class may be just what you need. You’ll burn a high number of calories in a relatively short period of time.
Accountability & Support – If you regularly attend a boot camp class, you’re likely to get to know the other participants. People who will hold you to your workout and cheer you on if you start getting lazy and need a bit of encouragement.
Cons of Boot-Camp Classes
High Intensity- Boot camp training can be very intense involving sprints, pushing heavy objects, and lots of jumping. If you have weak joints, injury or health problems this may not be the right routine for you. Because the intensity is so high you may get discouraged and stop going if have a hard time keeping up in the beginning, or get sore muscles.
Less Availability- Boot camp classes are usually on a set schedule that may not work with your schedule.
No Privacy – If you’re the type of person who gets uncomfortable when other people see you sweaty and red-faced, then a boot-camp class probably isn’t right for you.
Rain or Shine – The atmosphere of your boot camp depends mostly on the weather for outdoor boot camps. You will be happy and motivated if the weather is nice but probably not so much if it’s raining, cold or cloudy. The advantage to having it inside is that the atmosphere is constant and you don’t have to worry about what the weather will be. But indoor classes are a lot more limited as you can’t do things like hiking, etc.
Boot camp may not be for everyone. But if you’re looking for a high-energy workout that offers diversity in exercise and location options, boot camp may be just what you need.
Log into Astone Fitness for our next blog, where we’ll have a At-Home Boot Camp Workout you can do on your own!
Source: Mayo Clinic