What is a Boot Camp Style Workout?
With so many different ways to work out, the method you choose really comes down to your fitness goals.
If strength is what you’re after, lifting heavy weights is the best way to get you closer to your goal. If endurance is your style, trail running could be a great option. Maybe flexibility is your goal, in which case yoga and pilates are going to be the activity for you. If you don’t know where to begin or if your fitness goal is improving overall functionality in your body, we recommend you take a look at boot camp-style workouts.
Boot Camp Workouts: Explained
Boot camp workouts are reminiscent of military boot camp. Boot camp is another term for basic training, which is a required 7-10-week (depending on the military branch) program designed to get new servicemembers into peak physical and mental health so they can perform their duties during their time in the military. Boot camp is notoriously grueling; if you’re a fan of military movies, you’ve probably seen plenty of scenes depicting recruits crawling under barbed wire in the mud and running obstacle courses in basic training.
Boot camp-style workouts are inspired by this type of strength training, which is characterized by extreme bouts of energy expenditure and exercises that require minimal equipment (in boot camp style workouts, calisthenics is often the name of the game)—push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, etc. are all components of both real boot camps and boot camp-style workouts.
A typical boot camp-style strength workout consists of a circuit: a series of exercises done in order and repeated for a certain number of reps. Just as a drill sergeant leads recruits through basic training, an instructor leads boot camp trainees through the thick of it; some instructors even take the aggressive tone of those drill sergeants as an effort to keep participants motivated.
When it comes down to it, most boot camp-style workouts are highly functional, low-equipment High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) group workouts.
What are the Benefits of Boot Camp Style Workouts?
Boot camp-style workouts have a wide range of benefits, including:
Workouts that support your life outside of the gym are fantastic, and boot camp-style workouts do just that. They utilize full-body movements that support strength, balance, and coordination, which can translate into tasks like picking up a moving box or climbing a ladder.
Working out with a group keeps people feeling motivated and accounted for. Joining an exercise group that meets consistently over a period of time allows members to build trust with one another and often establishes a safe and supportive group that pushes each other to work hard and celebrate long-term growth and success as a team. Groups encourage individuals to show up consistently, which can be a huge help when you don’t necessarily feel like working your body through a boot camp session.
Boot camp-style workouts (this goes for HIIT workouts in general) are super-efficient forms of exercise. They force you to work strength, cardio, and endurance in that highly functional way. If you want to get stronger, boost your heart rate, and burn calories, boot camp-style workouts are a surefire way to get you there.
Hiring a personal trainer can cost upwards of $100 per hour. Boot camp-style training gyms cost about $200 per month. So, if you do 3 days a week for an hour per workout, you’re looking at about $22 per hour for an intense workout under the guidance of a professional. And if you’re in the area of one of our facilities and want to try our group training classes here at Chuze, it’s only $39.99 for the whole month. (That’s about $3.33 per workout comparatively—talk about a deal!)
Who Are Boot Camp Style Workouts Good For?
Now that we’ve gone over the benefits of boot camp-style workouts, the only real drawback is that the demographic for these boot camp exercises is a little bit limited than with other workout styles.
Boot camp-style workouts are geared toward people with intermediate to advanced levels of fitness. Since the workouts are circuits with lots of participants, you have to pick up the moves pretty quickly in order to keep up with the group. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t consider a bootcamp workout or bootcamp group exercise classes if you’re early in your fitness journey, it’s just important to find a boot camp that has entry-level accommodations or even classes for beginners. If you’re a fan of being thrown into the deep end and being forced to swim, this is going to be a good workout no matter your ability level. At Chuze, our instructors are there to help beginners feel safe and confident as they try each movement. But, be prepared to s-w-e-a-t, because these workouts are not easy.
The only groups that we discourage from participating in bootcamp workouts are injured individuals or those who have not been cleared by a doctor. These are intense workouts with lots of explosive movement. If this sounds risky, consult a professional first or stick with more restorative forms of exercise until you feel physically and mentally ready to rock a circuit.