Back to Boot Camp!
By Gary Picariello
Of all the Armed Services, the Army and Marine Corps, in particular, cannot afford to have men and women who are not in tip-top shape. Do new recruits know something the rest of us mere mortals don't? Not hardly. Exercise in basic training (boot camp) sticks to a simple format: running, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, and pull-ups. But it's the intensity of the workout that produces the best results.
A typical circuit training of four or five core exercises is accomplished with a minimum of time between sets. In fact, there's a lot of truth to the old saying “You may not be in good shape when you arrive at boot camp, but you'll be in good shape when you leave!"
YES, Drill Sergeant!
The Mayo Clinic, in a recent article, points out that “In essence, a boot camp workout is a type of interval training -- bursts of intense activity alternated with intervals of lighter activity.” Doing this type of workout as a group instead of alone may help even more, and the results speak volumes: Boot camp training is great for improving overall strength and conditioning while at the same time burns more calories in less time compared with moderate aerobic activities.
What You Do and How You Do It
You don't need to join a gym to achieve optimum boot camp results. What you DO need is to have a commitment to do the necessary exercises in the required time. Boot camp training does not allow for socializing. Performing exercises outside allows for sprints and running but variations can be accomplished indoors as well. There are very effective workout templates on sites such as Men's Health, and most have several things in common.
Choose your five favorite exercises. Let's say push-ups, crunches, lunges, jumping rope and dips. Each exercise is performed for one minute and the only rest you get is the time it takes to transition from one exercise to another. An entire circuit of five exercises is called a "round." A complete workout would be five rounds and can be performed in about 30 minutes.
The Sky's the Limit
You can modify your exercises as your strength and fitness improve. Many boot camp regimens even incorporate weights and sprints. Stay focused and before you know it you'll be as fit as any of our dedicated men and women in uniform. And you don't even need to enlist in the military to reap the benefits.