Thinking of adding a military-style precision to your workout routine? Know the drill before enlisting in a fitness boot camp because it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Inspired by army physical training, a fitness boot camp uses your own body weight to create resistance to training your body. The high-energy fitness routine mixes strength training and aerobic exercises to enhance your strength and endurance. With minimal rest time between moves, it gets the heart rate up and burns calories fast. Participants in a one hour camp can burn up from 600-900 cal, but running on a treadmill comes a close second at 500 cal.
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Who should go for it
People who find gym routines boring and are looking for new challenges? Camps held outdoors usually start with warm-up stretches and running and then graduate to high-intensity jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, squats and lifting weights. You get to punch, kick, swim, jump, lift and leap. There are obstacle courses where you have to jump over hurdles, climb a rope, swing across monkey bars or lift truck tyres and run. Camps held indoors involve jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, pull-ups, squats, skipping rope, plank, lunges, spot jogging, punches, kicks etc.
Boot camps are usually conducted in groups which are divided into smaller teams that compete with each other. So in addition to burning calories and pushing your endurance, they also instil a sense of camaraderie.
Who should stay away
If you haven’t exercised in a very long time then boot camps are not the right way to start. Also, if you are over 40, are pregnant or have existing health issues like a heart condition, joint or muscle injury then it’s advisable to first check with your doctor before signing up for a camp.