What is boot camp fitness, and is it right for me? That's a question thousands of health-minded people are asking these days. Fitness boot camps have skyrocketed in popularity since its humble beginnings in 2005. But what's it all about, and will it work for you?
About Fitness Boot Camps
“Fitness boot camps” are called such because of the military-like environment these training sessions are built around. As a member of a fitness boot camp, you join a group of 6-10 individuals or more, under the command of a “drill sergeant” who barks out exercises and orders for a whole hour. It can get pretty insane if you're not used to it.
An hour-long session usually includes the usual stretching, cardio, and strength training exercises. But what sets fitness boot camps apart from many other exercise routines is the “team factor” -- many of the exercises require a team effort to do correctly and effectively.
Fitness boot camps are wildly popular because of the fun factor, the camaraderie you build with your teammates, and the sheer novelty of being in a military environment. Another thing going for fitness boot camps is that it also builds mental toughness and discipline in its followers.
May Be Outdoors, May Be Military
Most fitness boot camps are held outdoors, to really bring about a true military atmosphere. That's beside the fact that team exercises are always best done in the outdoors, in the elements where you can really get down and dirty if you have to.
Many fitness boot camp trainers are ex-military, which only adds to the novelty. Sometimes a healthy dose of intimidation is exactly what it takes to make an unmotivated individual move -- and you can't get much more intimidating than someone who's served as a drill sergeant for years!
But of course, not all fitness boot camp trainers use intimidation. Some use encouragement, which, while perhaps not as effective as intimidation, can be more effective for an individual's long-term love for exercise and the outdoors.
Is Boot Camp Fitness For You?
No matter what your fitness level is, boot camp fitness is definitely a try. There are hundreds of different fitness boot camps out there -- it's likely you'll find a program that suits your needs and expectations. If you're tired of gyms, or if motivation has always been a problem for you, then sign up for a camp this spring.
But as always, check with your doctor and fitness trainer if you're good to go on boot camp. It's also a good idea to find a boot camp that continues the coaching and advice after the camp has concluded, so that the benefits stay with you for life.
Have you ever tried joining a fitness boot camp? How did it go? Share your stories with us below!