8 Surprising Benefits of the Bootcamp Workout
The Bootcamp Workout has become very popular in recent years, and with very good reason. Some of the most impressive benefits of the Bootcamp Workout include burning calories, increasing strength, boosting confidence, improving aerobic endurance, aid coordination, increasing balance, changing lifestyle outlook, and motivating long-term health.
The term “boot camp” is most commonly associated with the military, namely a period of time before active service that new recruits are shaped and molded into ideal soldiers through encouraging physical fitness and mental toughness to a desired standard. Similarly, bootcamp workouts are the name given to a group of highly disciplined fitness programs, typically one hour in length, that use high-intensity interval training to lose weight and increase strength. The workouts are typically run by personal trainers, specialized gyms, or even military personnel, and while the techniques began in the United States, they have since spread to the UK and beyond, due to their popularity and proven results.
Beginning with stretching, the bootcamp workouts typically include weight lifting, interval training, pushups/sit-ups, resistance straps, and other high-intensity workouts, and usually conclude with yoga or additional stretching. The workout regimen is intended to promote regular workouts, nutritional awareness, mental toughness, and cardiovascular improvement through the use of team-based accountability and competition. By promoting a social atmosphere and a “group effort”, bootcamp workouts are meant to be taken at an individual’s own pace, with the goal of rapid improvement and discipline. Some bootcamp workouts are held outside, and the instructors can be intense, dedicated to driving improvement through motivation. There are many varieties of bootcamp workouts – including those with a focus on mental toughness, nutrition, and even other sports, such as boxing or powerlifting. The benefits are undeniable, however, and have made bootcamp workouts widely praised and popular. Now, let’s dig in a bit deeper to the many benefits of the bootcamp workout.
Benefits of the Bootcamp Workout
Mental Toughness: One of the most unique aspects to the bootcamp workout is the instructor’s role in driving practitioners to achieve challenging goals, and keeping them accountable to themselves. The instructors may not be as brutal as drill sergeants in the military, but they are also not going to let people off the hook with a half-effort in the workout. While people aren’t pushed beyond their physical capabilities, the intensity of the instructors and the underlying goal of rapid improvement help people truly believe they can change and improve, making them tougher and more self-confident as they see measurable results.
Long-term Fitness: Many people have commented on the addictive quality of bootcamp workouts, and the comprehensive nature of these workouts also drives long-term change and lifestyle adaptation. By including nutritional elements with regular, intense workouts, bootcamp workouts represent not only a full-body workout, but also a whole-life attitude shift, which helps to make fitness and wellness a permanent part of practitioner’s worldview.
Strength Improvement: The high-intensity interval training of bootcamp workouts means that your entire body is being pushed to its limits, not just one muscle group. The goal of bootcamp workouts is not an improvement in one area, but a full-body reformation. If you only participate in cardio, or only choose weights, you are doing a disservice to yourself. However, the combination of intense resistance training and weight training helps you tone and grow your muscles, while also providing the endurance to maximize your workouts.
Social Engagement: Exercising can take a great deal of self-motivation, and the reason so many people stop going to the gym after a month or two, or fall off their diet, is because no one is keeping them accountable. On the other hand, bootcamp workouts are large group workouts, and interaction and engagement is promoted, even through dividing people into 2-3 person teams, and encouraging competition against others in the class to achieve daily goals. This social aspect keeps individuals accountable, and also promotes friendships with like-minded people who want to get healthy together!
Aerobic Endurance: The cardiovascular elements of bootcamp workouts, which often come in the form of treadmills or outdoor sprints and high-intensity cardio activities, go a long way towards improving your aerobic endurance and cardiovascular strength. When this is combined with the strength training elements of bootcamp workouts, it results in a full-body boost of energy and confidence.
Weight Loss: Losing weight is what many people go to the gym for, and the conditions in bootcamp workouts promote that calorie burning and weight loss. For example, some indoor bootcamp classes are indoors, with the heat cranked up, increasing calorie burning and sweating. Also, the switching between strength and cardiovascular elements keeps your metabolism highly responsive and engaged long after the workout is over, helping you burn calories even hours after you leave the gym.
Nutritional Advice: As mentioned, bootcamp workouts are comprehensive approaches to health and fitness, and thus include nutritional aspects, such as printed guides or consistent nutritional advice from the instructors. You can optimize your diet to make the workouts even more effective and efficient, and use those dietary guidelines on your days outside the gym to keep your body from backsliding or undoing all the good work you’ve already accomplished.
Boosted Mood and Mental Health: As with any workout, the release of endorphins can be a true energy booster. After you finish an intense hour-long workout, covered in sweat, with your blood pumping hard through every inch of your body, those endorphins will improve mood and dispel stress hormones from your body, leaving you energized, ready to face the day, and excited for your next workout. This sort of mental clarity and elevated mood comes as a result of many workout programs, but the intensity of bootcamp workouts makes this effect even stronger!