At first glance, bootcamp classes seem, well, terrifying — and rightfully so. These military-inspired workouts are packed with strength training, cardio and whistleblowing. While this style of exercise is known for being intense, it’s also one of the best ways (if not the best) to give your entire body a workout without relying on machines to do the work for you. Even though you might not be carrying heavy military equipment in your studio class (there’s always a possibility!) to test your strength, you still put your core, leg and arm muscles to work. Beyond the exercise itself, you’ll also benefit mentally, emotionally and socially because bootcamp classes are known to perfectly balance community and motivation with serious sweat.
Your entire body feels the burn.
Similar to HIIT or rock climbing, bootcamp classes are full-body workouts. In a proper 45 or 60-minute workout, you’ll exercise just about every muscle in your body. Okay, but how exactly? You’ll work your legs in squat jumps, side lunges and basic squats. You’ll work your core in mountain climbers and timed sprints. You’ll work your arms in push-ups and pull-ups. And that’s not even half of it. Just a reminder: All full-body exercises should start out with a proper warm-up and end with a thorough stretch, so make sure that you make time for both.
You push yourself in new ways.
Bootcamp workouts force you to think outside the box. Most classes take place outside the gym, for example. Because these workouts are often done without equipment (Psst, that means you can do your own version at home, too!), you’re encouraged to push yourself to new (safe) limits. And no, we’re not talking about dumbbells or bench presses. Through bootcamp classes, you’ll try out different exercises that fully rely on your own body weight (along with a resistance band or ropes). In return, you’ll learn just how strong your body is without comparing it to numbers or scales; just sheer strength. When paired with the nonstop cardio, you’ll increase your body’s overall strength, power and endurance, a.k.a. the exercise trifecta.
You build a team (while building your body).
Generally speaking, most bootcamp-style classes are formatted just like basic training, which means you’ll have a squad pushing you through the toughest moments. If you attend the class regularly, your squad (an army, so to speak) may become your biggest supporters, motivating you to get to class, push yourself and most importantly, have a good time. And hey, there’s nothing better than having your new fitness BFF cheer you on while you’re nearing the end of your four-minute sprints. You know it’s true.