What is a Boot Camp?

The term “boot camp” is currently used in the fitness industry to describe group fitness classes that promote fat loss, camaraderie and team effort. They are designed to push people a little bit further than they would normally push themselves in the gym alone. Boot camps are often organized outside in parks using body weight exercises like push-ups, squats, suspension training and burpees, interspersed with running and competitive games. The idea is that everyone involved works at their own pace as they team up and work towards one goal, either in pairs, small teams of three or four, or even two teams head on.

Usually held outside, the activities include jogging, sprinting, plyometrix, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, suspension training and a variety of other calisthenic exercises. An advantage of boot camps are that the large group dynamic will often help motivate their participants.

Boot camps provide social support for those taking part. Bryan Alper, founder of USA Boot Camps, explains, “These programs provide a different environment for those exercisers who get bored in a gym and find it hard to develop a habit of regular exercise.  Participants make friends and socialize as they train. As a former competitive soccer player, I thrived from a team-oriented environment. On and off the field, I had soccer friends and we impacted each others’ lives physically, emotionally and socially. There was a real sense of identity with soccer that I took for granted. Leading groups of people and taking part in these programs gives me a chance to feel like a part of that kind of team again. I know that I have a similar group of people to rely upon for those same attributes I was getting when I was playing ball.”

Why the Boot Camp Format?

The outdoor, early morning activities enable members to enjoy nature while promoting habitual exercise designed to keep mind and body healthy on a continual basis to ward off obesity, disease and unhealthy living practices. The boot camp format is more effective and results-oriented than traditional exercise, and enables members to build endurance, strength and flexibility.

What is a habit? It is a pattern of behavior which we have learned. (The definition differentiates habits from “instincts,” which were acquired without learning.)

Habits exist in the various realms of our life: physical (as a repeated action), mental (as a way of thinking) and emotional (as a tendency to respond with the same emotion when a situation recurs).

What do I Get Out of Brookhaven Boot Camps?

Brookhaven Boot Camps outside combine running, interval training, and many other exercises using body weight to lose body fat, increase cardiovascular efficiency, increase strength and help participants get into a routine of regular exercise. There are many other benefits of boot camp sessions, as well, including mental health management. It has long been known that regularly aerobic exercise can help to reduce high blood pressure, hypertension and combat stress. Part of this is because of the release of endorphins, which act as a mood elevator.

What Have Others Said?

“This program seemed appealing to me because I knew that I needed a good kick in the pants. I am 46 now and decided that I really need to get some skin in the game. I had been somewhat unmotivated and it seemed that this kind of program would give me the chance to get a jump start and it certainly has done that. At this point in my life, a gym membership is just something I am not interested in. This provides a cost-effective alternative to the gym. Sessions start and finish while the day is still peaceful and not yet busy. I loved the first six-week program and the variety of exercises. I’m now pushing my body to do things it hasn’t done before.”

Teresa Wilder