Are Fitness Bootcamps Worth It?

man and woman working out in bootcampFitness boot camps have become quite popular over the years. Whether you’re talking about a boot camp at your local gym or in your local park, they’re everywhere. 

If you have never seen one, they are quite easy to spot. It usually involves a small group all doing pushups, jogging on the spot, jumping, and even doing drills.  The idea is to build strength by doing a variety of different exercises.

The idea originated in the US with the Army and Marines when they started running boot camps for their soldiers. Seeing how effective they were, a lot of gyms and personal trainers around the world began producing their boot camps.

The Pros

Efficient - If you’re a person who is stuck for time (who isn’t), then doing a quick workout like these are ideal. You’re also able to get a full-body workout at the same time.

Motivational - Working out isn’t easy at the best of times. However, it’s so much when you work out as part of a team instead of on your own. Instead of motivating yourself, you have the full support of others in the boot camp to encourage and egg you on.

Calories Burned - These boot camps tend to be quite fast-paced, and you end up using a lot of energy in a short period. Since this is the fact, you end up burning quite a few calories per session.

Lower Cost -  If you have ever tried to book a personal trainer, you will know that it’s not that cheap. That’s why it makes sense to share a personal trainer as a group. In essence, you are getting them at a reduced rate without paying the full price.

Something Different - If you are looking for a bit of a change from the norm, then a boot camp is perfect. It’s unlike anything you have ever done before, and it will stop you from getting bored with exercising.

Educational - Even though we’re not advocating getting an education while you are training. The fact of the matter is, by having a qualified fitness structure carrying out the boot camp, you can tap into a world of knowledge they have with regards to different fitness exercises, health, and nutrition. In essence, you can learn while you train.

Portable - The vast majority of the exercises you do can be done anywhere. That’s the benefit of doing the exercises outside. In fact, in most cases, you don’t even need equipment. So, not only are you educating yourself cheaply, but you are also saving money by not having to purchase equipment.


Geared to Advanced Exercises - Bootcamps by their nature are intense and won’t be ideal for everyone. So if you are a beginner, I wouldn’t advise partaking in a boot camp just yet.

One Size Fits All - Even though the boot camps have been designed for many different fitness levels, you sometimes need to adjust how you do the exercises as they may not be as intense as you need. Often people have different goals and targets they want to reach.

Limited Personal Instruction - Getting individual feedback is not always easy. Especially if your class is a large one and the instructor hasn’t spent that much time with you. If you do need that individual attention, then a boot camp is not for you.

Steep Learning Curve - If you are starting a new boot camp, expect it to be fast and furious, and it may take you a while to get up to speed. For a lot of people, this could be frustrating, especially if you are not used to this level of fitness training.

Risk of Injury - If you are not used to this level of intensity and have never done some of the exercises before, then the chances of sustaining an injury are quite high. It’s not unusual for people to pick up muscle strains and other muscle-related injuries.

Scheduling - The vast majority of the boot camps are help quite early in the morning so people can partake before they go to work. Alternatively, they happen in the evening after people have been to work. Depending on your schedule, this may or may not fit.

Signs of a Good Fitness Boot Camp

Before you sign up to participate in any group exercise. Ensure you are enlisting with at least one good quality:

Safety - Ensure they insist on requiring a fitness assessment before you join. Having people join and get started on a full workout is not acceptable and leads to my previous point of getting injured.

Medical Clearance - No matter who the instructor is, they should ask you if you have any medical conditions, limitations, or injuries before they sign you up. If they ask this question and you answer yes, then they should be referring you to your doctor first.

Education and Certification - This isn’t an absolute must, but it would help. Training with an instructor that is experienced certified and has a formal education on fitness training in order to hold a fitness boot camp. If they are not qualified, then I would think twice about registering.

Warm-up and Cool Down - Your boot camp should always start with both a warmup and cool down session. Again, this is to ensure that you don’t sustain unnecessary injuries.

Exercise Modification - As you are now probably aware, there are many different types of boot camps, and for this reason, they need to offer modifications to make each exercise either harder or easier for the class. If they are really good, they should be able to accommodate beginners to the more advanced.

So are boot camps worth it?

That all depends on what you are trying to achieve, what your goals are, and whether you can fit it into your schedule or not. 

For most people, squeezing this into their schedule is difficult, especially if it is done early in the morning. That’s because you also need to factor in travel and have a shower before getting ready for work.

It depends on the individual. Everyone is different, with varying fitness levels and expertise. What’s right for you may not be right for someone else.

Bootcamps fit strict criteria, and all depends on whether you can make it fit into your lifestyle.

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