Boot Camps

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What are Boot Camps? Modern boot camps are physical fitness training programs which became popular in the new millennium. Designed to increase fitness and build strength, the intense group sessions include movements such as sit-ups, squats, sprints, push-ups, bodyweight exercises, interval training, kicking and punching, calisthenics, and other military style exercises. Fitness boot camps push people beyond what they would do in the gym alone. They can take place indoors or outdoors and with small or large groups.

History of Boot Camps

The first boot camps in the United States were aimed at reforming – reforming prisoners, soldiers, teenagers, adults, and even celebrities. The approach in all boot camps can best be described as ‘tough love.’ Since 2009, boot camp training has been listed as one of the top exercise trends by the American Council on Exercise.

Fitness Boot Camp Objectives

Typical objectives a fitness boot camp include:

  • Improving fitness
  • Pushing people beyond their normal limits
  • Using the group dynamic to motivate participants
  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Working as a team

Some boot camps include nutritional guidance and/or extracurricular activities off-site.

Types of Boot Camps

Boot camps may also vary in specialties and themes. Boot camp varieties include:

  • Holistic boot camps
  • Correctional boot camps
  • Boxing boot camps
  • Private boot camps
  • Behavior modification boot camps
  • Boarding school boot camps

Boot Camp Benefits

Benefits of boot camps include:

  • Achieving maximum personal physical fitness
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved mental health
  • Greater self-discipline
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced hypertension/high blood pressure
  • Elevated mood
  • Increased motivation
  • Quicker achievement of goals
  • Gaining control over one’s life or behaviors
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Sense of empowerment
  • Social skill development
  • Supportive, motivating group dynamic

How to Choose a Boot Camp

To select a boot camp, do some research into the various programs, philosophies, and approaches, choosing the one with the most compelling characteristics.