So, you registered for boot camp classes and now you are little unsure about what to expect. Don’t worry, that’s normal. In fact, many people aren’t entirely sure what takes place during a boot camp class, especially if they have not real knowledge of the military drills that inspire this style of fitness. For many, boot camp conjures an image of being out in a field and fatigues with a drill sergeant yelling in their face. In reality, however, boot camp classes are far more fun and inclusive than this. Yes, they are made to push your limits and feel a bit of pressure, much like the military boot camps that inspire them, but the goal is to provide a full body workout that keeps your muscles in a state of muscle confusion (which is good for overall toning) and keeps you coming back for more.
Jump rope: An excellent for of cardio, jumping rope is a great way to get your heart rate up at the beginning of a workout. In many classes, this might be a warm up activity or even something peppered in throughout the entire class to keep participants heart rates up throughout.
Jumping jacks: This classic military move is another great cardio activity that can be done both as a warm-up and as an activity between other exercises. There is no denying that jumping jacks feel particularly appropriate for a military style boot camp class, and quite honestly, they are a largely underrated form of cardio. They are easy to do, require no materials or equipment and can provide quite a bit of fitness benefits.
Sit ups: The ultimate ab sculptor, sit ups are often thought to be a bit more difficult than its cousin, the crunch. While crunches may also be included in the workout, they focus more heavily on the upper abs, whereas the full range of motion required in a sit up engages the lower abs and the back as well.
Sprints: Often used in high intensity interval training, or HIIT, sprints are good for both heart health and overall toning. While the quick stops can be a non-starter for those with knee problems, many have found that sprints are a great way to increase endurance and amp up calorie burn during a workout.
Push-ups: Another somewhat stereotypical military drill, push-ups are used because they are so effective. They not only provide core strengthening, but also tone shoulders, arms and back.
Planks: Planks are the ultimate total body workout because a plank engages every part of the body from back to core to arms to quads and glutes. With a few modifications such as transitioning to side planks or mountain climbers, the plank is a near-perfect workout.
If this all sounds good to you, you should be prepared to take your first group fitness classes with a boot camp style. Now that you know a bit about what to expect, you can go to class with confidence and motivation.