Exercise spotlight: Boot camp

One of the most common reasons we give for not exercising is that, with work and family responsibilities, we simply don’t have the time. Boot camp class makes it a little tougher to make that argument.

A powerful and fun group workout, inspired by military training, boot camp has taken the country by storm. Great for firming and toning muscles and burning calories, it includes an intense mix of aerobics and strength training in a short period of time, usually within an hour or less, with little rest between exercises. It’s serious conditioning that can include jumping, weight lifting, crunches and running but varies depending on the instructor, location and your fitness level.

Just as important as the physical benefits, boot camp can increase your self-esteem it’s a concentrated dose of “Yeah, I did it!”. If you’d like to give boot camp a try, here a few things to consider before you do:

  • If it’s been a while since you’ve done strenuous exercise, speak to your doctor about whether boot camp is a good idea for you.
  • Once you’ve found boot camp sessions in your area, think about whether you prefer something conveniently close to work or home and if you’re a morning or after work person.
  • Contact the boot camp instructor and ask for details about the sessions and whether there’s something for beginners or your fitness level.
  • Ask about the types of activities included different classes include kickboxing or yoga and everything in between, and cater to people who want to primarily burn fat or build muscle, or both, fast.
  • Ask about who attends classes may cater to men or women or co-ed, old or young, and you want to feel somewhat comfortable in your surroundings.
  • After you’ve tried it out a few times, decide if it’s something you prefer to do a few times a week or just once a week to supplement other activities.
  • Can’t find a boot camp near you? Organize one with a group of friends and take turns leading each session.

Here are some more tips you may find useful. And as always please share your own experiences with boot camp and other great workouts in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!

Did you know: Boot camp burns calories

It’s one of the most energetic activities, burning about 588 calories/hr, comparable to spinning and aerobic dance. By comparison, Pilates burns 336 calories/hr while house cleaning and gardening burn 200-300 calories/hr. (Source)

24 thoughts on “Exercise spotlight: Boot camp

  1. I am interested in this exercise plan. I’m 68 and would also like to know if you accept silver sneakers. I live in the Sandy Area

  2. Reading all the comments I guess there’s really no excuse for me not to exercise is there? Well I’ll just get my 65(66 in July!)year old self a going!!!

  3. I feel your pain, Mary. While attending college I delivered the newspaper daily and for some reason, I used to get home made cookies from this retirement home I delivered to. I’d fill up one of the newspaper sleeves with these damned cookies and most times I’d eat all or most of the cookies before I ever made it home, though I would get the whole bag with the intention of saving half for my boyfriend. Point is, I gained 40 lbs driving for a living so I completely understand. I put the cookies down and started walking my dogs and working out a little and lost the 40 lbs. That being gone, I quit working out, started snacking and stressing over a few things and pow! Gained back 20lbs, This time I realize that I can either make working out part of my life forever (and quitting smoking), or just say to hell with it, eat whatever I want and get some huge stretch pants to grow into, right? Now I am back to working out 3 – 5 times a week and walking a mile to mile and a half each morning and that seems to be perfect for me. I would love to look like the woman on the cover of my bodybuilding.com magazine, but just feeling good and being comfortable in my clothing is great for now. When and if I finally get to retire, I will have more time and energy to dedicate to that dream. Yea, driving careers are very hard on the waistline!

  4. Last time I was enrolled at a Boot Camp, which was very expensive, I broke my elbow in 4 different areas. In fact the radial head came off. The Boot Camp tried to charge me for the month I broke my elbow, even after the owner said he wasn’t going to charge. Finally, it was worked out after proving to my bank what happened, they reversed the funds back to my account. This cost me another $1500 even though I had medical insurance.

  5. I am 76 years young and still ride the bicycle everyday for over 20 miles a day and still average 19 and above, you have to make the time, do not slack off, the most important thing is to make the time, eat right and get plenty of fluid inside hydrate, and sleep is very important as well, your life will be better if you do this routine.
    Good Luck

  6. Being a female semi driver , I have gained 20 lbs in 11 years that I have been driving . I try to eat right , grilled foods , salads , fruits , vegi and drink lots of water . I will say at the end of my day I’m literally exhausted . I know I should get out and walk , but don’t have the energy . Is there anything else I can do to get some of this weight off ? I’m 58 and a smoker ( want to kick that bad habit too ).

  7. Ther lots of talk about normal people not having time in their deal life not to exercise what about those that has physical and limited ability to exercise how do we help those who wants to lose weight and exercise walk,run and do yoga myself with an disabled learn to lose weigh walking and only strength yoga to the best of my ablity

  8. I agree with boot camp

    I am 84 work out 45 minutes a day and weigh 180 lbs

    Keep up the good work America sure needs it

  9. I concentrate on eating right, drinking lots of water and walking daily. These functions keep my body in shape.

  10. I’m 80 years old and had bypass surgery 5 years ago. I have been working out 2 hours at a time 3 days per week and plan to do it the rest of my life. On my 2 days off I volunteer at the Stewart Marchman Act facility at least 6 hours each day. I really don’t need boot camp!

  11. This site is encouraging to me. I have always had trouble focusing on my own best self. Boot Camp seems a lot easier to tske advantage of because the programs are geared toward my specific ifssues. Thank you for yhis posting.

  12. That seem just what I like, BUT WITH A PLATE SND 11 SCREES IN my left hip.
    I think I will have to find another way to exerise !

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