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I’m skeptical. If I hear Glee is a hilarious television show, I will not believe until I’ve seen the football team dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” on the field. If you tell me Special K bars will make me lose weight, I won’t believe until I read the nutrition facts for myself. So when my co-worker raved about the benefits of fitness boot camps, I obviously did not believe her until I tried it myself.
Working out is hard enough already – do you really need someone yelling in your face the entire time? If I want to workout, I can do it entirely on my own. I’m just fine pounding the treadmill alone. With my iPod. And without any camouflage, baggy pants, and whistles! After 7th grade, I resigned myself to the fact that I cannot do a pull-up, and I am more than fine with that. Plus, boot camp sounded so manly – I felt like I would get Jersey Shore style-jacked.
But my very persistent co-worker convinced me to try out a mini boot camp. Her friend, a certified instructor, was running it for free, which sealed the deal. And because I never suffer alone, I dragged two of my friends along.
We met in the gardens of a nearby private school. Yes, in the good old outdoors. The boot-campers arrived with their hands all taped up like kickboxers, dressed in serious sports bras that can double as shirts. Needless to say, I was a little intimidated.
We stretched, ran a bit, and were paired with partners for the rest of camp. Suddenly I found myself lunging, army crawling, jumping rope, and more with this partner of mine. Going from station to station kept me active and interested – and not counting down the minutes until I could stop working out. Goodbye, treadmill monotony! As the LA Times puts it, “The secret lies in the circuit-style workout that toggles between cardio and muscle building. This leaves little if any down time, and the shuffling of routines prevents boredom and exercise ruts.”
And as cheesy as this may sound, I loved having a partner cheer me on the entire time. Can you imagine having someone telling you how great you are, and how you just need to go a little bit farther, a little bit faster all the time? Let’s talk really effective motivation! The LA Times says that since “people are often paired or grouped for friendly competitions,” it can foster “a camaraderie and support not usually found in regular fitness classes. That camaraderie strengthens with time, establishing accountability, something fitness experts say is essential for sticking with a program”.
My skepticism was nowhere to be found as I punched, jumped, sprinted… and loved every minute of it. I’m not starved for attention, but I was really living up the group support. No matter who I found myself holding up, whose butt was near my face, or who I happened to be carrying up a hill (no joke), everyone believes in you and thinks you’re strong. Just working out with my girlfriends never results in that kind of motivation!
So maybe the skeptic is a believer now. And I’m not the only one. The LA Times article agrees that “for people willing to put in the work, boot camps enable exercisers to see results quickly, the better to stay motivated.”
Basically, Boot Camp Benefits include:
• being in the great outdoors
• having an always-changing workout
• constant motivation
• feeling that you’re always challenging your body in new ways
Would you sign up for boot camp?