Boot camp or military fitness


Named after the military training style, "boot camp" or military fitness is a physical training programme for groups. Sessions involve an intensive work-out, strictly guided by an instructor. Military fitness sessions usually take place outdoors, rain or shine, and are sometimes led by former military personnel (and sometimes by over-zealous gym instructors!)

What is boot camp good for?

What to expect from boot camp

A typical boot-camp routine

What is boot camp good for?

Lack of motivation. A boot-camp instructor is there to push you further than you may push yourself if working-out alone. The group sessions are also designed to encourage team spirit and provide social support.

If you want to push your body to the limit in a supportive and challenging environment, then boot camp is for you.

Boot camp training can:

  • raise your heart rate and improve your level of fitness
  • burn calories and aid fat loss
  • increase your strength
  • encourage discipline and help you stick to an exercise routine
  • provide a challenging but supportive environment
  • keep you interested.

What to expect from boot camp

You can usually sign up for a taster class or one-off boot-camp session before you commit. If you want to know what it's like, find out when your local boot-camp convenes and head to the location. As most boot-camp sessions are held outdoors, you can watch the class before you decide if it's for you.

As you'll be working hard and getting pretty hot and sweaty, trainers and cool, comfortable clothing are the best attire. Take a change of clothes along with you, though – you'll need to put on something warm after your class, and if the British weather doesn't hold out, you may need something dry to change into!

Check with your doctor before taking part in a boot-camp session if you have not taken part in exercise for some time, have any existing medical conditions or physical ailments, are taking any medication, or are (or think you may be) pregnant.

Boot-camp sessions are varied, interesting and motivational in style. However, they do differ in intensity, discipline and attitude. Whilst some may be very militant, Sergeant Major-style, others will be more gently motivating, offering encouragement from both your instructor and your fellow participants.

A typical boot-camp routine

Exercises included in a typical boot-camp session include:

  • running
  • interval training
  • squats
  • suspension training
  • weights
  • competitive games
  • push-ups
  • sit-ups
  • crunches
  • lunges
  • warning -- you may get shouted at!

Follow the cool-down routine carefully to avoid strains or other injuries. Take some time after each session to talk to your fellow campers – you make find new friends and new motivation!

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