How to Prepare for a Fitness Bootcamp

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When you think of boot camps, the concept of a training sergeant shouting in a recruit’s ear while sitting on this poor fellow’s back as the latter does pushups always comes to mind. It conveys terror and competition… and that’s because military boot camps are like that. You can’t blame them. After all, they’re in the business of training future soldiers to protect the country.

But there’s another kind of boot camp: one that’s fun, fast, and efficient in getting rid of those extra pounds. And it’s taking the fitness world by storm. These are boot camp workouts.

Boot camp workouts are intensive exercise sessions that give your body a full workout. Involving little or no rest in between the varied forms of exercise that includes push-ups, jumping jacks and calisthenics, among others, boot camp routines are not only aerobic but muscle toning workouts as well. Boot camps are the new rage in the fitness world because the challenging workouts are not only varied and fun to do, they’re also done in far less time than traditional exercise regimens but give better results.

Preparation Tip #1: Be Prepared to Really Sweat It Out!

A study conducted found that a typical 40-minute boot camp session burns 400 calories. It further reveals that bootcamp-style exercises increase the heart rate from 77% to as high as 91%, making it “cyclical” in nature where the high-intensity was kicking and punching interspersed with low-intensity lifting serve as both good aerobic and muscle strengthening workouts.

Preparation Tip #2: Put on Your Social Hat

Aside from these cardiovascular and muscular benefits, what attracts most people into boot camps is the sense of belongingness it creates among them. Unlike a gym setting where newcomers with all those extra fats often feel alienated at the well-sculpted bodies that surround them, boot campers have a strong sense of unity as they aim to “survive” the workouts together. Instead of getting shouted at, boot camp trainers and boot campers give struggling fellow campers much encouragement to get them through the whole session. It’s a great way to socialize too. Because boot campers feel that they’re in the same boat, friendships are also easily made. Best of all, it’s an affordable way to lose weight since the cost of paying the fitness expert is shouldered by the group as a whole.

Boot camp sessions need not necessarily be group sessions. Boot camp workouts are available on DVDs and the Internet. You can do boot camp style workouts right in the comfort of your very own home. You may not receive the benefits of group socialization and encouragement, but the cardiovascular and muscle strengthening and training benefits like muscular endurance, fat loss, agility, and flexibility are nevertheless the same. It certainly keeps the weight off with the least amount of time. The variation of exercises makes boot camp workouts exciting as well.

Preparation Tip #3: Prepare to Have Fun!

Boot camp workouts are more than just a passing fitness fad. Because it’s not tied to any fitness equipment, it’s a form of exercise that can be tailored to fit the varying fitness needs of different individuals. And because they’re never boring and can be accomplished in the least amount of time, boot camp workouts are here to stay.

Pros and Cons of Fitness Bootcamps

Fitness boot camps are increasingly becoming popular. In fact, many people are opting for this form of fitness training over traditional solo routines at a gym. The idea of exercising together with fellow fitness buffs under the watchful eye of a fit drill sergeant may sound appealing but the truth is that boot camps are not for everyone. So, before taking the plunge, here is a quick overview of the pros and cons of fitness bootcamps, which will give you a good understanding of what to expect.

Pros of Joining a Fitness Boot Camp

Add Excitement to Mundane Regimens

Fitness boot camps provide the perfect way to break up boredom or monotony of your usual workout regimen. These group exercises can take place anywhere, including outdoors, which could provide a change of scenery for regular gym goers.


Boot camps place an emphasis on interval trailing. Switching back and forth between intense and moderate workout routines is a great way to push yourself harder when it comes to fitness. What’s more, individuals who do not practice interval training can take what they learn during boot camp and emulate the same after resuming their normal workout routine.

Cost Effective

Boot camps are cheaper than hiring a personal trainer. Much of this has to do with the fact that the cost is shared by all members in the group.

Peer Motivation

If you are with the right group, exercising with other people can be motivational. If everyone else is working hard, this will inspire you to do the same.


Good boot camp instructors usually begin or end sessions by sharing some fitness or nutritional tips. This allows participants to learn as training goes on.

Cons of Fitness Boot Camp

No Personal Attention

During a fitness boot camp, the routine designed for a given day is what everyone will do. The problem with this “one-size-fits-all” approach is that the workouts are not tailored for everyone on an individual basis. The truth is workout requirements differ from one person to the next. For larger groups in particular, the instructor will not be able to provide everyone enough feedback regarding form, and technique.


Even though instructors organize boot camps base aspects such as gender, age and goals (e.g. routines designed for weight loss), participants have varying fitness levels. This means that if you are least fit person in the group, the whole experience could end up being intimidating.

Heavily Dependent on Nature of Instructor

The success of any boot camp will depend on the instructor’s personality, enthusiasm and knowledge. With the wrong instructor, the whole experience could end up being unsatisfactory.

Adjustment Issues

The initial days of a boot camp are the most challenging because you will be learning new routines and dealing with soreness that may result from trying new workouts. In order to reap the benefits, you will need to master up the will to follow through with the boot camp to the end.

With these pros and cons of fitness bootcamps in mind, it is important to know what you are getting yourself into before signing up for any program. Choose boot camp programs wisely and only join a group where the trainer takes into account the fitness level of each individual.

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