Pros and cons of joining a boot camp

If you like to keep up with the latest fitness trends, you’ll probably be aware that boot camps are currently all the rage. This high-intensity workout that combines calisthenics and army-style drills under the watchful eye of a trained instructor delivers an impressive raft of body benefits – but is it right for you? Here are the pros and cons of joining a boot camp.

boot camp

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All-body workout

There’s no denying that if you’re looking for an activity that gets the body in shape quickly, you can’t beat a boot camp. Participants claim boot camp exercises build strength, stamina, agility and endurance. Plus, a well-designed session ensures you get your recommended amount of physical activity.


Intense training

Many people join a boot camp if they want to switch up their training a gear or two, or if they no longer feel challenged by their normal gym/exercise routines.


Different exercises

If you like workouts that combine lots of different cardio and strength exercises, a boot camp could be for you. Typically, you’ll do a mix of calisthenics, like lunges, crunches and pushups, combined with sprints and drills. The emphasis is on interval training, where you perform intense activity followed by lighter exercises. Often stretching activities might be thrown in, as well as a few yoga or Pilates moves.


Weight loss

The intensity of boot camp sessions means that you get to burn calories fast – great news for those looking to lose weight. Researchers have concluded that a boot camp participant can burn around 9.8 calories per minute during the average workout.


Varied styles of classes

Bootcamps have their roots in the army, so if you feel motivated by a regimented style of exercise routine then they might suit you. However, classes vary considerably and there are more relaxed groups if you prefer something less formal or structured. Many classes also take place outside in the park or on the beach, which makes for a pleasant alternative to the gym.


Professional instructor

Sessions are guided by a professional instructor, who teaches you the moves and tells you what you need to do. The instructor will track your progress and might even provide advice on other aspects of fitness such as nutrition.



Gaining expertise from an instructor within a group can be cheaper than paying for one-on-one training. Plus, you don’t need to shell out for any equipment.




Many people like the camaraderie that comes with exercising within a group, where you can meet new people and motivate each other.



Hard work

Many people underestimate how intense and competitive a boot camp can be, where the quit rate is pretty high. Therefore, make sure you know what you’re getting into before you start, and choose a more relaxed session if you don’t want to commit to anything too strenuous.


Injury risk

There’s little room for rest between each boot camp exercise, so joining the wrong group for your fitness level could leave you sore or even sporting an injury. Even though boot camps provide a raft of body benefits, overdoing it and pushing yourself too far at the start won’t give you the results you crave.


No personal feedback

Because you’re exercising in a group setting, you won’t always be able to get personal feedback from the instructor. Mostly, the exercises are geared to every participant, so you won’t be able to tailor them to suit your own goals. That’s why it’s so important to choose a class that’s appropriate for your fitness level.



Unlike many other popular classes, you might not find a boot camp group that fits into your daily routines. For example, most sessions are held either first thing in the morning or in the early evening – come rain or shine!

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