By Lera George
A fitness boot camp is type of outdoor group exercise class which combines traditional callisthenic and body weight exercises with interval and strength training. By providing a mixture of these, a good session will work the heart and lungs and give almost every muscle in your body a workout. There is a large variety of styles of fitness boot camps, however most of them are designed in a way that pushes the participants harder than they’d normally push themselves and achieve results.
The classes can involve weights, balls and various other pieces of equipment-but they are not essential. In fact, many classes are run without the equipment and push people to use their own body weight as a form of resistance.
Boot camp classes have grown in popularity over the last few years, primarily because they offer a new way to get a low-cost, efficient and challenging workout. They definitely aren’t for every exerciser, but with the right instructor, these fitness classes get fast results and create a supportive and motivational community of like-minded people.
So, what does the session consist of?
Well, firstly, each session should start off with a 10 minute warm up. Having a warm up is VERY important, as this can prevent any injuries happening during the workout. The warm up mainly involves dynamic stretches and movements to increase the heart rate, they also allow you to warm up/lubricate your muscles prior to any form of exercise.
The workout itself will typically last between 30-40 minutes, and the exercises can be done repeatedly for up to one minute followed by a short rest period in between each set of exercise. A Boot camp session offers most of the following:
- Interval training
- Core strengthening
- Press ups
- Obstacle courses
- Partner exercises
- Squat thrusts or burpees
- Speed training with sprints
After this, it is essential to cool down and stretch. The cool down period of an exercise session is just as important as the warm up. The aim is to decrease the intensity of the aerobic session and to return the body to a state of rest, which will in turn reduce any risk of injury and prevent fainting by ensuring that the brain continues to receive a sufficient supply of blood and oxygen.
What are some the benefits of Boot camp sessions?
- High calorie burn– Boot Camp weight loss programs have the potential to burn a high number of calories per workout session. A study by the University of Wisconsin found that on average, a participant can burn up to 600 calories per hour by taking part in these kind of sessions. This level of caloric expenditure is fairly high when compared to other exercise types.
- Concentrated focus – If you already keep active and fit with regular exercise then your attention is already geared towards health and fitness. However, at times, if you want to make big changes, such as to lose weight and tone up quickly and effectively, you may need to up the ante and focus in on your goal. Boot Camp is an ideal way to help you reach your target by offering intense exercise sessions to make sure you get there.
- Creates healthy expectations – Fitness classes which you can easily dip in and out of might offer a relaxed way of keeping in shape, but they don’t necessarily generate a sense of personal responsibility. A Boot Camp where you’re expected to show effort and determination, as well as commitment, can really inspire you to put healthy pressure on yourself. This in turn means that you’re more involved and more motivated to not let down your trainer, the others around you and most importantly, yourself.
- Dynamic workout – Many people lose focus and motivation because they get bored. The whole point of Boot Camp is that it is as diverse as it is intense. If you add in the fact that you will be progressing and changing along the way, then you have an interesting exercise mix that should keep you engaged enough to realize your exercise goals.
- Like-minded exercisers – Some people take up activities for the social scene, others because they are firmly fixed on a goal. A real positive about Boot Camp is that because of what it stands for, you are going to meet other people similar to yourself who want to seriously improve their lives.
- Faster results – Boot Camp is effective at identifying ways of reaching health and fitness goals in a faster way. Left to your own devices you might struggle to get there at all and classes or sessions which repeat one style of exercise might not deliver the right results on time either.