While some boot camp workout plans are defined by specific time frames, like summer boot camps, holiday boot camps or six-week boot camps, other plans are an integral part of gyms' and fitness studios' weekly group instruction class schedules. Regardless of whether you participate in a boot camp limited to a specific period of time or engage in an ongoing one as part of your weekly workout plan, the commonalities of calisthenics, cardiovascular exercise, team atmosphere and accountability will be driving forces that improve your current fitness level.
Athletes, law enforcement and the military use body-weight exercises called calisthenics as part of their physical strength training. Pushups, pullups, punches, kicks and squat thrusts are all examples of calisthenics exercises they use, which you will likely see in any boot camp workout plan you choose to try. These exercises build muscle, stamina, strength and flexibility, and are often alternated with cardiovascular exercises in interval-style boot camp workouts.
While many of the strengthening calisthenics will increase your heart rate, other cardiovascular exercises such as running, jumping rope, jumping jacks and stair climbing are strategically woven into boot camp workout plans with that specific intention. In fact, a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise found that boot camp participants worked, on average, at 77 percent of their heart rate max during any given workout. This means you can expect to work at an average moderate intensity level while burning an average 10 calories each minute.
If you find it challenging to motivate yourself to work out or give 100 percent effort, boot camp workouts can prove to be a rewarding remedy. The team-oriented atmosphere often helps participants healthfully push each other to achieve fitness accomplishments they may not have realized on their own. Many boot camp workout plans incorporate team-driven activities, such as tunnel crawls where participants create a human tunnel holding a pushup position while each person takes a turn to crawl from one end to the other. These activities require everyone's joint participation to successfully complete the exercise.
For any participant who might not be motivated by fellow boot camp attendees, the drill sergeant-resembling instructors of these workouts will ensure that you stay motivated and accountable. Loudly articulated orders for exercise completion and even whistle blows are common elements of instruction techniques in boot camp workouts. In the tradition of true drill sergeant coaching, instructors sometimes keep participants accountable by telling them to drop and give them 20 pushups when their performance is less than what they are capable of delivering. When participants finish their workout successfully, instructors often give them the nod of approval that motivates them to come back for more.