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Gym Fitness

Try Your Hand at Fitness Boot Camp

Published: 5/26/14

If you go to the gym or know someone who does, odds are you’ve heard of fitness boot camp. This is certainly not an exercise class for the weak – rather, boot camp is a military-inspired workout that will get your blood pumping and have you in shape in no time. For the fit, boot camp might seem boring. For the out-of-shape, it may seem scary. Fortunately, it’s none of those things. No matter your current level of activity, you should give boot camp a try.

Benefits of Boot Camp

If you joined the armed forces, your first stop would be basic training, or boot camp. There, you would learn how to be a soldier, and the drill sergeants would get you into shape. In the health and fitness world, boot camp fitness is inspired by these military trainings. The first piece of good news is that there aren’t any drill sergeants. Second, boot camp is designed to take people who haven’t had much experience with fitness and exercise and help them get active and healthy in a relatively short period of time. Boot camp might be one of the hardest group fitness classes available, but it’s also one of the best for those who are really looking for a total transformation. If you’re already fit, you can still take advantage of boot camp. The exercises contain the basics that you need to maintain or boost your fitness level.

Boot Camp Basics

The types of activities you’ll do in boot camp are designed and combined to help your whole body get in shape. You’ll stretch, run, use weights, do pushups and squats, and participate in aerobic exercise. Many boot camp classes also include elements of yoga, so taking yoga classes is a great way to gear up for boot camp. Not only will yoga help you get used to some of what boot camp offers, but it will also give you stronger muscles and greater endurance – making boot camp a bit easier.

Different Boot Camps for Different Needs

No two boot camp programs are alike, which is a good thing – because everyone is a little different. Some boot camp classes focus heavily on improvement, with frequent tests to assess how your physical fitness has changed. Others are more support oriented; they build group talkback time into the class, so members can share their goals and encourage one another. Still other boot camp classes blend fitness with nutrition information and goals. Many boot camps also feature slightly different exercises, though most share the basics. If you’re limited in the amount of activity you can do because of an injury or health condition, don’t immediately rule out boot camp. While following along with an exercise DVD or television program isn’t recommended, going to a gym and talking with an instructor is. With the help of your doctor, the instructor can modify his or her workout for you, so you can reap the benefits of boot camp without exacerbating your health condition.

Boot Camp for the Whole Family

You don’t often think of boot camp as one of the best suited family exercise classes, and you shouldn’t. Boot camp can actually be dangerous for younger and older family members who might not have the endurance or strength to accommodate the fast pace. However, many of the exercises that make up boot camp are perfect for the whole family. Stretching, running, and aerobics offer a great workout for people of all ages when done at the correct fitness level. In addition to trying a boot camp class, you might start your own modified mini boot camp with your family – odds are your little ones would love to play soldier!