Bootcamp classes are exactly what you think they are: intense workouts inspired by military training. There might be whistles. There might be a Drill Sergeant. There will definitely be some squats, box jumps or ropes to give your body a full workout. While bootcamp classes typically include a mix of strength training and HIIT, workouts vary from studio to studio (or Sergeant to Sergeant). One thing’s for sure: The terminology will be the same no matter where you go. And while your instructor might not use these terms in the middle of class (“It’s time for our compound exercise” doesn’t exactly have a nice ring to it), read up to better understand what your body is going through as you jump, sprint and strengthen.
Aerobic exercise: When exercising at longer intervals (like walking), your body uses oxygen for energy.
Anaerobic exercise: When doing high-intensity workouts with a higher heart rate, your muscles break down glucose (sugar) to use as energy.
Circuit: A series of exercises done one right after another, completed in a set time or number of repetitions.
Compound exercise: An exercise that incorporates several muscle groups at once like lunges or squats.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training): Quick, intense bursts of exercise that increase heart rate, followed by short recovery periods.
Interval training: A period of activity or a period of rest.
Plyometrics: Types of explosive exercise (think box jumps and burpees) that increase your overall power.
Reps: Shorthand for repetitions, a.k.a. the number of times you do an exercise.
Sets: How many times you repeat a given number of reps.
Super set: Pairing two exercises together and doing them back-to-back.
Tabata: A type of interval training, which consists of 8 sets of 20-second intervals at maximum effort and 10 seconds of rest for a total of 4 minutes.