Give Boot Camp Fitness Your Atten-TION
|By Michael Angelo, Senior Editor on Sunday, July 24, 2011|
|Forget the gym and all of the glitter and glam. Take your physical training to the next level by enlisting in the ranks of boot a camp class.||
You don’t need an expensive gym membership or tons of complicated exercise equipment to burn fat, build muscle and look fit. In fact, it turns out the military has had it right all along. All you need is your own body, some simple calisthenics and a few small accessories. Whether in a class of 25 or solo outside in the yard, boot camp fitness and exercises are an excellent way to hit several muscle groups in a high-intensity workout. These principals, along with the idea of working hard, are behind the latest fitness craze – fitness boot camps.
Fitness boot camps are becoming quite the rage throughout the country, and for good reason - they actually work. In a boot camp style workout, participants are challenged to work hard and push their personal limits. As a result, many report noticeable improvement in inches lost, fat burned and endurance increased. Unlike conventional workouts that focus on one muscle group or activity, a boot camp style workout presses the entire body into service to achieve whole body fitness.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that boot camp exercise programs are only for the young and the lean, either. The truth is you don’t have to be an Adonis to join a fitness boot camp class. Boot camp programs are great for people of all ages, sizes and fitness levels. Whether you are very overweight or only have a few pounds of flab, you can benefit from the mix of cardiovascular, strengthening and flexibility exercises that are the center of most boot camp programs.
When you start looking for a boot camp program, remember less is more. Don’t be influenced by fancy equipment or pristine surroundings. Look for a program that places greater emphasis on basic, traditional exercises like pushups, planks, jumping jacks and jogging. Basic equipment for a boot camp may include simple items like jump ropes, kettle bells, light dumbbells and medicine balls, but don’t be surprised if you notice some non-traditional equipment, like tractor trailer tires or sledge hammers.
Though challenging and often difficult, boot camp exercises are not complicated. Expect some old standards such as pushups, sit ups, lunges, squats and step ups. You might also use resistance bands or small dumbbells to work the upper body. More intense workouts could incorporate a combination of running intermixed with a variety of other activities.
Many boot camp programs step outside the studio and are hosted in the great outdoors. They may occur at a local park and use park benches and playground equipment in the routines. They may be conducted at a local college or high school track and incorporate running on the track and climbing the bleachers, or they may occur in remote, wooded areas where trees and rocks are part of the program. The freedoms and possibilities are up to the instructor and yourself, and your choices won't be constrained to the interior of the gym.
Prices for boot camp programs range; however, some gyms will include them in the cost of membership. Of course, conducting your own PT session made up of different boot camp style exercises is free and easy to start. A typical session will last one hour and take place three to five times a week. Some prefer to run their sessions early morning but evening is still an option for those who can't do it in the mornings. Don't be afraid to try it out before you commit either. It's completely acceptable to break the workout down into individual exercises to focus on the areas you want to hit, and before enrolling in a boot camp, ask for an opportunity to participate in a trial class to see whether the program is right for you.
Getting fit doesn’t have to be dull. Boot camp fitness can provide a variety of exercises to work your whole body. Not only will it help you shed the pounds, but you’ll build muscle, increase your strength and enhance your endurance.
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