Keen to make the most of these warmer days? Need a different kind of workout that gets you out in the fresh air? Boot camp sessions could be just the job.
‘Boot camp’ originally referred to the first stage of military training, which transforms raw recruits into lean and fit fighting machines. These concepts of team effort and camaraderie have been carried over to fitness classes. Some are military-style, some deliberately less so – but all the classes will feature strong encouragement and motivation from the leader.
If you have a basic level of fitness, yes. The classes are tailored for different fitness levels, generally by splitting the participants into different groups. The groups usually start and finish the workout together, so friends can meet up before and after.
Classes are held in parks or on sports fields. The session is led by an instructor who will escort you round the workout route. The sessions usually last an hour, with a warm up, a run, a strength and cardio section and a cool down. The workout can involve a mini-adventure, leading you round the locality and stopping for separate exercises.
Instructor styles vary, but it is all about encouragement and team effort. The instructor wants you to enjoy the class, not to scare you off!
You’re definitely going to get sweaty and quite possibly muddy!
Boot camps are perfect for this time of year as they are held outside. You get fresh air, sunshine and all the morale boosts of being outdoors. You get companionship and to meet new people.
The workout is great for motivation – you have to keep up or the workout will leave without you! The running elements get the scenery changing, while the strength and cardio parts work on all round fitness.
As the session is held outside, you need to turn up changed and ready to go. Try to bring the minimum of other kit, although most boot camps have arrangements to store bags. If the session will finish somewhere different, items are usually left in a van which will meet you at the end. There is usually a system for small valuables which the instructor may carry with them. Again, try to bring the minimum.
There’s plenty of choice; try these in London or tweak the search for your area.
Trevor, in retrospect it wasn't a high level bootcamp, but they did say they would cater for all abilities, and there were some very fit women then (in both senses of the word!!). I guess I just felt embarrassed being the one of the only blokes.
Craig - I wonder if this was one of those that offers different levels of sessions, but didn't tell you? I had the opposite problem, ended up in something way beyond me. Plenty of blokes about though.
I turned up at a bootcamp earlier this year and it was almost all women! I only stayed the one session cos it was a but too easy too. Not sure if they're all usually just women?
I've found a really good bootcamp locally to me that runs throughout summer and I've been once and can't wait to go back. It's really motivational and pushes you to do your best.
Boot camp is great! And I would definitely vouch for the comradeship and making friends. It's one of the best things about it since I started a local fit camp in the New Year.