What are the Advantages of Boot Camps?
Fitness boot camps combine the traditional, proven elements of military training with a focus of key areas like core training to produce a tough, fun workout that will get you in shape fast. As such, there are many advantages and benefits to be gained from attending boot camp physical training programmes, and these include:
- Motivation and Pushing You to Gain Better Results: have you done a gym session lately? How hard did you really push yourself, or were you more worried about looking too unfit in front of the obvious gym junkies you saw. The situation is that most of us get a gym membership and pay an expensive monthly sum, go once or twice and then the enthusiasm tails off. It is hard to motivate yourself to go again, especially if you are on your own and you still end up paying for the whole year. However, when you are in a group of likeminded individuals you tend to push yourself a lot harder, you will also do more and achieve your goals earlier. This means a leaner, fitter you in double quick time.
- Target Fat Reduction Faster: a good boot camp workout routine will be tailored to your goals (in the sense of losing weight and getting fit). This means that you can get a clear and fast start that will make big impressions, and target your body exactly where it is needed. This intensity burns calories faster and more efficiently. The whole range of fitness camp exercises such as kick boxing, ball exercises, straight out aerobic routines such as sprinting, running, resistance training and a myriad of others give that flexibility with qualified instructors that no gym or personal trainer can. This intensity has been shown in various studies to rapidly burn away that fat and improve your muscle definition and tonal quality.
- Build Your Own Support and Commitment Group: at a boot camp you are not on your own. You all want pretty much the same things and I can bet that you will all be self-conscious and nervous as hell. Once you start there forms a common bond in adversity. Your will find yourself buddying up and helping each other to do more. In fact, very often long term friendships can form over time. This group siege mentality is a great motivator and pier group accountability that you just do not get anywhere else. Any sense of embarrassment or that you might be viewed as inferior just does not exist. The benefits of boot camp sessions are that they are a great leveller. You can motivate, encourage and celebrate together each goal achieved. There is finally an accountability that applies across the spectrum to your group. In many boot camps this is used as an incentive so that if one of you eases off or fails to turn up, everyone else gets extra or is chastised.
- Lots of Fun: if you choose to commit yourself and put everything you have into the session, boot camps can be the best fun you will have in your life. The variety of exercises to prevent the boredom of typical gym or other training sessions will keep you fired up to succeed. This coupled with the group ethos and camaraderie and you have the perfect recipe for enjoyment and success.
- Mental Well-being Benefits: the mental benefits of fitness boot camp workouts are far too often overlooked. A lot of exercisers find themselves having more energy and sleeping better at night. Those who do the morning sessions have more energy and are less likely to suffer the effects of stress in their daily lives. Research demonstrates that exercise encourages the production of hormones called endorphins, which can elevate mood 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, borderline personality disorder and attention deficit disorders, improving one’s own ability to think clearly.
- Green Exercise: one suggested way to obtain both physical and mental health improvements is through ‘green exercise’ (Phillips, 2000) – taking part in physical activities ‘whilst at the same time being directly exposed to nature’. Increasing access to high-quality public spaces where green exercise can take place produces substantial public health benefits and so reduces healthcare costs.
- Health Benefits of Weight Loss and a ‘Fit’ Body: there are significant health benefits to fitness boot camp workouts. Regular intense physical exercise reduces weight, increases aerobic capacity and brings cardiovascular benefits that lead to a healthier body, heart and mind. Heart disease and coronary episodes are one of the biggest killers in this country, so who wants to be the next statistic?
- Group Ability Level: classes are customised to the group’s ability level.
- Exposure to Natural Light: natural light is much healthier than the fluorescent lights many of us stare at all day.
- Exposure to the Sun: regular exposure to the sun helps produce Vitamin D, required for the absorption of calcium and so vital for healthy bones, a healthy immune system and muscle function.
- Working on Uneven Ground: improves core stability and peripheral muscles, improving overall fitness.
- Breathing Fresh Air: good for your lungs and overall health.
- Concept of No Typical Session: training can plateau due to repeating the same exercises. Boot camps provide exercisers with a wide variety of different exercises and forms of training.
- Workout Efficiently: you can often get a whole body strength and cardio workout in each one hour session.
- Motivational: when you exercise with a group of people there is built-in motivation.
- Sticking Together: individual groups stay together therefore no one gets left behind.
- Low Cost: by sharing an instructor the overall cost to the consumer is reduced.
- Something Different: boot camp workouts break up the boredom and monotony of the same old gym or cardio workouts.
- Educational: your fitness instructor may start, or end, the session with some fitness, health or nutrition education so you learn as you train.
- Portable: the exercises you learn at the sessions can be done almost anywhere with minimal, or no, equipment, so you can learn new ways to exercise anywhere.
- Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation: see the Prevention & Rehabilitation section under the main heading page ‘Injury’.
There are also some disadvantages to boot camps.
- Keep Yourself Fit with Boot Camp Holidays (coolintl.com)
- Strength in numbers at fitness boot camps (seattletimes.com)