Fitness boot camps are intensive classes that comprise exercises like push-ups, lunges, squats and sprinting, with minimal bouts of rest between exercises. While the name itself may transport you straight to an army outpost, this military-style workout is far from boring. These high-intensity workouts that generally last for an hour, cover cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and endurance exercises. So what’s the magic behind this highly effective fitness trend and why are so many people addicted to it?
Why go the fitness boot camp way?
Fitness boot camps may be one of the fastest ways to go from zero to hero. The setup is simple. A trainer leads a group of people through an intense hour of cardio and functionalstrength training. The secret lies in the circuit-style workout that toggles between cardio and muscle building. This leaves little if any down time, while the shuffling of routines prevents boredom. Boot camps enable exercisers to get quicker results and is thus a better exercise option to stay motivated. Most join a boot camp to lose a few good kilos; but there are also many who participate to keep their fitness levels at an all-time high. Hosted by gyms across the world, these programmes note down your measurements at the start and end of the camp that in turn allows you to chart your progress along the way.
According to Zarine Watson, celebrity fitness trainer and owner of Watson Fitness, “Boot camp training was initially an outdoor activity that began as a military exercise to improve the fitness levels of soldiers. It was found to be so effective that it soon became a mainstream fitness method in the West. The only difference was that it made its way indoors due to seasonal changes like snow. Today, it is really popular in India too.”
Drop and give me 50 pushups!
The boot camp trainer motivates each participant to give it all they have. The environment is charged with positivity and you are sure to enjoy this entire exercise routine. Further, one doesn’t experience the same isolation that tends to be the norm during a solo gym workout.
Boot camp workouts offer a host of benefits. It is perfect for those who are time-strapped. Each power-filled, calorie-blasting workout lasts for an hour, perfect for the modern person who is most often short on time.
A boot camp session begins with a short warm-up of a jog and goes on to different exercises that range from sit-ups, pushups, walking lunges, squat thrusts, spot jogging, tricep dips, ski jumps and side planks.
“Bootcamp training is always a high-intensity class. Watson Fitness hosts personalised indoor boot camp training sessions that comprise a class of just four people, as against a group class, which tends to be more impersonalised and could result in injuries,” explains Watson.
No more exercise ruts
Physical trainers are always looking for ways to inject more fun into their boot camp programmes. Each session promises something new, ensuring that participants never get bored. “Group camaraderie also ensures that participants go that extra mile. You don’t stop quite as easily as you would when you work out alone,” says Watson.
Fitness gyms have gone one step ahead and are now offering tailormade boot camps that cater to different people. For instance, bridal boot camps have become all the rage with brides-to-be who pursue such sessions for three or four months before their wedding to get a fit and toned body for their big day.
Top reasons to sign up for fitness boot camps
- Since it’s a group activity, you’ll have a lot of fun while improving your fitness levels.
- Boot camps are competitive, so you’ll always be challenging yourself to go that extra mile.
- Boot camps comprise a variety of exercises. You’ll never be bored!
- A fitness boot camp is all about simplicity. There’s not much exercise equipment involved.
- You can improve your stamina, fitness levels and work towards a toned body in a short span of time.
The feel-good factor
If you participate in fitness boot camps regularly, you are likely to gain longterm benefits. The feel-good factor is yet another reason why people get drawn to boot camps. However, you do need to prepare yourself before you embark on this intense set of exercises. It is, without a doubt, the simplest way to get active and remain fit.
“I’ve managed to lose oodles of weight. The best part is that I also managed to get really toned! I feel much stronger, and I can’t wait to go in for the next session,” says Mumbai-based Karen Fernandes. She feels it’s really addictive and competitive. “That’s what makes me want to go back. The energy is just so motivating!” she says.
Graphic designer Zoe D’souza had never felt as comfortable in sneakers as she did in front of her computer. When a friend recommended a fitness boot camp, she motivated herself to do it. This faithful boot camper has never looked back and it’s been over two years now! “No other workout makes me feel this good. It’s as if I have really worked out every single muscle in my body. This kind of exercise is exactly what I needed to get rid of my lethargy, especially since I have a desk job,” says D’souza.
“Bootcamp training is suitable for just about everyone. With modifications, people who are conditioned as well as deconditioned to workouts can effectively benefit from it,” concludes Watson. If you, like many people, are worried about boot camps being a tad strenuous for your liking, don’t be. Participate in one session and you are sure to be hooked for life!
Specialised boot camps
Bridal boot camp: Perfect for brides-to-be who want to get into shape before their big day.
Weight loss boot camp: For people who need to decrease body fat and lose weight, it comprises challenging training plus nutrition advice.
Children’s boot camp: A fun combination of exercises to keep children on their feet.
Post-pregnancy boot camp: Has tailor-made exercises for those who want to shed post-pregnancy weight.
Sports boot camp: A training process to improve stamina and speed and focuses on a specific sport like football, basketball or running.
Volume 1 Issue 7