Boot camp workout: Is it right for you?

Fitness boot camps offer an opportunity to build your strength and endurance. But make sure you know what to expect before marching into boot camp. By Mayo Clinic Staff

Just as the armed forces are experimenting with changes to boot camp, such as adding yoga and Pilates, fitness buffs are signing up for boot camp workouts modeled on old-school military training. What's the appeal of a boot camp workout? Building strength, endurance and agility to conquer your daily routine. But are you up to the challenge?

Just what is a boot camp workout?

Boot camp workouts can vary but generally include a fairly intense mix of strength training and aerobic elements. One boot camp workout might stress calisthenics while another stresses military-style drills. Some even incorporate martial arts moves.

In pretty much all cases, however, you can expect to do calisthenics, such as pullups, pushups, lunges and crunches, as well as drills and sprints. In essence, a boot camp workout is a type of interval training — bursts of intense activity alternated with intervals of lighter activity.

What are the benefits of a boot camp workout?

The goal of a fitness boot camp is to provide a whole-body workout that builds strength and endurance. Boot camp workouts also attract many people because they:

  • Offer a more challenging and varied workout
  • Require little or no special equipment
  • Create a sense of camaraderie among the participants
Apr. 16, 2013 See more In-depth