Apr 032010

Working out is one thing, but then there’s the option of pushing yourself to your absolute extremes. Few ever decide to go there – for most people, training under normal circumstances is usually more than enough to maintain their health on a high level. But what if you need some extra challenge, something which will really help you develop your body – and your mind as well? The answer lies in fitness boot camps.

A fitness boot camp basically takes what constitutes a good, high-quality training, and ups the ante on all of its aspects. It’s normally performed outdoors, for example at an obstacle course. You’ll regularly even see ex-military personnel running fitness boot camps, and it’s not uncommon for them to be quite strict in giving you “tips” on how to progress.

Additionally, to increase the challenge even further, some fitness boot camps perform their exercises in harsh conditions, such as heavy rain and/or storm. On the other hand, you get to work alongside other people, and you can very easily socialize and make new friends. That’s actually one of the goals of a fitness boot camp – letting you pick your own pace while trying to fit into the team’s general goal.

You’ll normally have to train for about 4-6 weeks at most fitness boot camps, and the difficulty of the exercises may vary. Some companies go as far as to provide an authentic military experience, with instructors screaming loudly and pushing you to go harder.

One of the best things about fitness boot camps is that you get to go lots of cardio exercises there – that’s why they hold a reputation of being very useful for weight loss. Cardio can help you lose weight, as well as increase your overall body strength and ability, so performing it on a regular basis under extreme conditions can be very useful for your health, even if done for just short periods of time such as a few weeks.

So in the end, is it the right choice for you? It depends on what you want to achieve, really – if you need to get the most out of your weight loss in the least amount of time, then yes, a fitness boot camp can do you lots of good. On the other hand, if you simply want to get in shape but don’t want to dedicate all that time and effort to the process, perhaps you’d be better off looking at a gym with a personal trainer or something similar, as a boot camp may turn out to be too challenging for you.

It can never hurt to try though – you never know, you may find something you greatly enjoy in boot camps which will hold you and motivate you to go on! Many seem to get this effect from all the socializing they do at a boot camp, and it’s very likely that you’ll enjoy it as well – so why not give it a go?

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