When you think about fitness boot camp, do you imagine mud-covered, suffering people struggling to do one more pushup while a burly instructor shouts insults at the stragglers? Most fitness boot camps don't involve mud, but you can get an amazing workout. Boot camp workouts help you improve your cardiovascular health and muscle strength, and you'll also shed those unwanted pounds. There are hundreds of different types of fitness boot camps to choose from or you can design your own workout plan. Consult with your doctor before you try a fitness boot camp, especially if you have been sedentary for a long time or have heart or bone conditions.
Fitness boot camps are designed to be high energy and fast-paced. You can burn about 10 calories per minute as you move rapidly from one intense exercise to the next. You only rest for 30 seconds to one minute between exercises to keep your heart rate elevated and your metabolism humming. Cardio circuit training combined with strength training workouts condition your whole body. You work every muscle in your body and some muscles you didn't know you had.
Think about your favorite cardio exercises. Now think about doing your favorite cardio exercise at double speed. You perform cardio exercises at a fitness boot camp at a heart-pounding pace that produces maximum weight loss and cardio strength-building results. After a 10 minute warm-up doing some light to moderate exercise, such as jogging or calisthenics, you'll get right into the hard-core cardio. Some cardio exercises that might be included in a boot camp workout include sprinting, jumping, rapid lunging and other plyometric exercises.
Strength workouts at fitness boot camp might consist of body weight exercises using no equipment or resistance exercises using equipment, such as dumbbells. Most fitness boot camps involve a lot of pushups. You can expect to do pushups until your arms ache. You'll squat until your abs and thighs throb, but you'll build lean, strong muscles while blasting fat and flab. Crunches, situps, pullups and planks are body weight strength exercises often incorporated into a fitness boot camp.
You shouldn't try to do a boot camp workout at home on your own unless you are already fit and know the correct form for each exercise. You can join a fitness boot camp supervised by an expert trainer who can help you learn the exercises and adjust the level of intensity to match your level of fitness. If you're over age 40, pregnant or have any health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, arthritis or diabetes, see your doctor before you sign up. If you feel pain when exercising or have difficulty breathing, slow down or stop exercising. Stop exercising if you feel sharp pain in a muscle or joint. See a doctor immediately if the pain does not subside.
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.