Welcome to Boot Camp
The New Era of Aerobic Fitness
By Editorial Staff
Long gone are the days of reaching in your closet for a French-cut leotard and dance shoes before a heart-pumping workout. In fact, even traditional fat-burning strategies like running, swimming and conventional aerobics classes seem outdated compared to the latest craze: boot camp-style workouts. "Boot camps" have become increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts in search of a more rugged approach to their exercise routines. These challenging workouts incorporate a series of high-intensity aerobic and strength-training exercises performed one after the other. And we do mean one after the other!
How effective are boot camps? A recent study from the American Council of Exercise (ACE) and conducted by the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, suggests that boot camp-style workouts compare favorably to other rigorous activities such as spin classes or cardio-kickboxing classes. According to the study, boot camp cardio enhances aerobic capacity, improves muscle fitness and promotes significant calorie burning - sometimes up to 30 percent of your daily calorie intake.
According to Cedric Bryant, ACE's chief science officer, enlisting in a boot camp class can do more than just help you fit back into your clothes after too many holiday treats. "During a boot camp workout, you can burn up to 600 calories per hour, which is obviously going to help with weight loss. But in addition to a great cardiovascular workout, you are also getting the muscular fitness benefit from exercises such as pushups, squats and lunges that you wouldn't get from a typical aerobic exercise." Boot camp-style workouts provide a full-body workout without having to stock your closet with fancy gizmos. Most of the routines include military-style moves that only require balance, endurance and a good pair of shoes. So if you're looking for a fun new workout (or if you're feeling guilty about those extra servings of sweet-potato pie this holiday season), sign up for a boot camp class in your area or pick up an instructional video for at-home use.
Sample Boot Camp Exercises
For an idea of what you might expect during a boot camp workout, do these fat-burning, muscle-toning exercises one after the other. Start easy; after only a few repetitions you might find it hard to get out of bed in the morning!
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