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Guest Post: Enlisting in a Boot Camp Class

Posted Jul 23 2012 6:35pm

What to Expect:

Boot Camp fitness class is the term being used right now in the industry to describe those group fitness classes that promote fat loss, camaraderie and team effort. They have typically been based on a military style of training, although that has started changing over the last few years. A growing trend in fitness Boot Camps is to move the class indoors which provides protection from the elements and gives the participant a better workout environment. These classes are designed in a way that pushes the participant harder than they would normally push themselves in the gym alone.

The classes incorporate drills that enhance agility, speed, power, and strength. Most classes are designed in such a way that you move around the room to a number of different stations that are each designed for a specific exercise.

The Workout:

Boot Camp classes are generally 1 hour in duration. They aren’t for every exerciser as they are intense. But because of that intensity, you can expect to get fast results. A Boot Camp class can help you burn an average of 500 calories per class. Plus, because of the high intensity of the class, you will burn even more calories after the class due to the increase in your post-exercise oxygen consumption.

Your class might begin with a dynamic warm up before you get into the heart of the workout. Typical exercises you may see in a Boot Camp class are push-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats, lunges, burpees, squat thrusts, core work, plyometrics, jumping jacks, ladder drills, and obstacle courses. The classes may be designed in a station format where each station is designated for a particular exercise. They may also be set up in such a way that you are supersetting cardio and strength exercises to get an intense high-intensity interval style workout. Each class ends with a cool down and some stretching. Some instructors might even add some yoga poses in during the cool down.


While there are still some instructors who act like drill sergeants, most fitness Boot Camp instructors offer encouragement rather than intimidation. Boot Camp classes provide social support for those taking part. This provides a different environment for those exercisers who get bored in a gym and so find it hard to develop a habit of exercise. Once you begin, you will notice that certain bonds start to form with the other participants… there forms a common bond in adversity. You will find yourself buddying up and helping each other to do more.

The Health Benefits:

Those who participate in a Boot Camp on a regular basis find themselves having more energy and getting a better night’s sleep. Exercise encourages the production of endorphins, which elevate moods and gives us a great sense of well being and happiness. It is also known that regular exercise can help reduce symptoms of depression, bi-polar disorder and attention deficit disorders, improving own ability to think clearly.

Motivation and lack of support tend to be the most common issues with adhering to a fitness program. The benefit of a group fitness class is that you have others helping to keep you accountable. They notice when you are not showing up!

These fitness classes have grown in popularity over the years primarily because they offer a new way to get a low-cost, efficient and challenging workout. Get out there and give one a try!

Jennifer Bayliss, MSEd, ATC, CSCS, Manager of Fitness for Everyday Health


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