Boot camp-style workouts are effective for weight loss and toning because they offer both cardiovascular and strength training benefits, provide a flexible workout that prevents boredom from setting in, and are rigorous enough to provide visible results in a relatively short period of time. While the workouts are tough, positive peer pressure from working out with others provides encouragement and helps you power through workouts.
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Gyms and personal trainers first began offering boot camp-style classes in the late 1990s. The original classes were often bare bones and modeled after the workouts used in the U.S. Army for its basic training program. The workouts were effective, didn’t require specialized equipment and people found them fun, so boot camp workouts grew in popularity. These workouts are similar in that they typically have a firm start and end date, mix cardiovascular and strength training through intervals and circuit workouts, and are developed to be fun as well as challenging.
Boot camp workouts were originally considered trendy, but their continued popularity shows that these workouts are here to stay. Boot camp workouts are an effective tool for weight loss, particularly for people with little free time, because they mix strength training and cardiovascular exercise into one short, intense workout.
Each boot camp workout is different, even when given by the same instructor. A well-trained instructor will lead you through some warm-up activities before beginning the intense section of the workout. Some instructors emphasize different body parts on different days, while others make each workout a full body program. The workout typically involves body weight exercises, as well as quick-moving activities, such as walking lunges, with light weights.
Quick weight loss is a benefit of boot camp workouts. Losing weight decreases your risk of developing certain types of cancer, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Another benefit of boot camp is the increase in energy you develop as your fitness improves. The camaraderie of boot camp-style workouts increases enjoyment and motivation as well.
Some people may be put off by the term “boot camp,” believing it will be too rigorous for their current fitness level. If you are not currently exercising, ask the instructor how intense the class is, if he provides modifications and if you can take a trial class before committing to the program. As boot camp workouts have become more popular, class offerings have expanded, resulting in available classes for nearly all fitness levels.
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