Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cardio Boot Camp

Exercise Military-Style

The latest trend in fitness today is the Cardio Boot Camp. People all over the country are taking their workouts outdoors and pushing themselves to the limit. If you’re a devoted fitness enthusiast and you’re bored with your stationary workout, Cardio Boot Camp may be the boost your workout needs. Many health clubs offer Boot Camp style classes under names such as circuit slam or interval. They all follow the same concept as a Cardio Boot Camp, but they are often taught indoors. These classes offer the same level of exercise as the outdoor classes, but you may be using resistance equipment as opposed to the best resistance money can’t buy – your own body weight. The Boot Camp workout is a fast-paced military style interval training class that incorporates calisthenics such as, push-ups, jumping jacks, sit-ups, running in place and football style-drills. Alternating quickly between movements helps to burn calories and fat faster. This method is the most efficient way to increase the intensity of your workouts and still have fun doing it. Boot Camp instructors and students claim that this form of exercise offers the quickest results. The tons of repetitions will tone your muscles quickly and the full-body workout is a welcome relief from the tired old routines of spinning, step and the Stairmaster. Depending on the instructor, Boot Camp classes can be taught anywhere from the beach to a forest preserve. This is one of the best things about it! The environment is designed to keep you going even when you’re ready to give up. Instructors are like drill sergeants yelling over loud pumping music to a room full of devotees. Under these conditions, I guarantee you’ll push yourself to the max. Once you decide to try a Boot Camp class, there are a few important things to remember. Boot Camp is not advisable for beginners or those with high or low blood pressure. The risk of injury is high, especially since there is pressure to complete all the drills. Not all Boot Camp instructors are certified, well trained or safe. The best thing to do is to research the Boot Camp you’re joining. Observe a class or two before participating. Check out the moves, the instructor and the students. Keep observing until you find the right class to fit for your level. Once you find the right Camp, inform the instructor that it’s your first class. Move at your own pace if the exercises are too difficult or you are too tired. Give your body a chance to adjust to this new experience. Don’t succumb to pressure and don’t expect to do all the moves your first time out. Simply put, pace yourself and listen to your body. Because classes are intense and you may be pushing yourself beyond what you normally do, don’t take Boot Camp more than twice a week. If you stick with it, Boot Camp can become one of the most rewarding and efficient ways to workout. If you’d like to prepare for a Boot Camp class on your own, there are tons of videos on the market that can be done at home or even in your own backyard! A great video to start with is, “The Method: Cardio Boot Camp” with Tracey Mallett or Billy Blanks Boot Camp. Log onto to order. Also, if you want to find a Boot Camp near you, a great place to start is your local health club. Most Boot Camps cost anywhere from $300-400 dollars for a 4-6 week session. Health club Boot Camps, taught indoors, can be as little as the monthly membership fee. Good Luck!