What is it?
A boot camp workout is a type of interval training (i.e. bursts of intense activity alternated with intervals of lighter activity or rest) usually involving a mix of high-intensity cardio exercises and strength training. Bootcamps offer a challenging and varied workout, require little-to-no special equipment, and create a sense of camaraderie among participants. Classes can be indoors or outdoors, and usually vary in style depending on the instructor.
One bootcamp workout might use military-style drills, while others will focus on martial arts moves. The cardio portion usually includes running, jump rope, or obstacle course challenges. The strength training may involve the use of dumbbells, workout bands, or a bodyweight training. You can also expect to do some calisthenics: pull-ups, push-ups, lunges and crunches, drills and sprints, and there will be a stretch portion of the class, which can involve elements of yoga or pilates.
Different bootcamps are offered for different levels of fitness and experience, so before you join, make sure you ask about the boot camp’s basic structure and prerequisites to assess if it will be a good fit for you. You may be best to participate in a beginners bootcamp for your first few sessions.
Why is it good for me?
Boot camp programs are popular because they work every muscle group, you can do them anywhere, and you don’t need any specific equipment.
• Challenging – a whole-body workout designed to improve speed, agility, strength and stamina.
• Teamwork – bootcamps often use team games, paired exercises, and group activities. Not ‘going it alone’ can really help when it comes to staying motivated to achieve your fitness goals
• Variety – every session is different to the last.
• Inclusive – classes are available for participants of all levels of fitness and experience.
How much does it cost?
Unless you’re doing boot camp at home on your own, you will have to pay for a DVD to follow along with, or invest in a class.
Many bootcamp operators will offer free taster sessions or beginner classes for first-timers. Class prices range between £8-£15 per session or you can buy packs or monthly passes for a discounted price.
Boot camp DVDs range between £5-10.
What equipment do I need?
You don’t need special kit to attend a bootcamp class. A good pair of trainers, comfortable workout clothes, a water bottle and towel are recommended.