For a Fun Fitness Experience, Try Boot Camps

Drill SargentBoot camps have started popping up all over the place and by the looks of it, they’re only growing in popularity. They are the fitness “it” thing right now and it’s easy to see why. Quite simply, they make fitness fun by providing a group setting that promotes camaraderie and fat loss together in one class. (That has ‘feel-good’ written all over it.) They’re based on the military style of training and focus on building strength, improving cardiovascular functioning and making you regret the day you signed up for it all! (Just kidding! But know that they will push you out of your comfort zone, making you work like never before.) So be prepared to work your bum off, which is something we all want… a smaller bum! 

A typical class consists of suicides (total throw back to high school gym class, just what you want first thing in the morning), running, side-stepping, push-ups, wall squats, squat thrusts; it’s non-stop madness. And for me, the group environment is great since I’m of the competitive sort, so I’ll pick out the most athletic girl and try to be better than her. (Childish? Slightly, I’ll admit. But do I get a better workout that way? You betcha!)

If you’ve never experienced a boot camp class, I came up with a sample workout you can try at home. This will give you a basic idea of how the classes are conducted; and feel free to make modifications depending on your space constraints. Usually boot camps are done in a large room (like a gymnasium) or outdoors so there is plenty of room to run, jump, frolic, whatever you fancy. Just have fun with it and you’ll quickly notice a stronger and firmer you.

Boot camp Workout


March in place, hands swinging alongside for about 30 seconds

Keep marching and cross arms in front of body for another 30 seconds

Side skaters (Jump left leg out to left side followed by right leg sweeping behind it while crossing right arm in front of body. Then swing right leg back to right side, followed by left leg sweeping behind right leg, left arm crossing in front of body. Keep moving back and forth 30 times.)

30 Jumping Jacks

30 Butt kicks


Explosive Squats (with or without holding a weight)

Squat down so thighs are parallel to the floor, knees above toes. When coming up, push through your legs and jump up as high as you can. Lower back down and repeat. Do this 10 times, followed by 30 butt kicks.

Rotational Push-Ups

Either in full push-up position or modified (with knees on floor), lower body as close to the floor as you can, then push back up and at the top, raise left hand out to the side and up towards to the ceiling while rotating torso for 1 repetition. Return to starting position, perform push-up and this time raise the right arm up and twist torso to the right. Do 10 times followed by 10 cross planks. (Cross plank – In full plank position or modified (forearms on floor), cross left leg up and over right leg and tap floor with left toes on far side of right leg, then bring left leg back to starting position for 1 repetition. Repeat with right leg for 10.)

Rotational Lunges

Start in standing position, feet together and lunge left foot about three feet in front of you. Bend forward at the torso and reach both arms down and to the left side of your left foot (hold weight or medicine ball to make it more difficult). Push through left foot to raise back to starting position, while rotating torso to the right and lifting arms up and over to the right side of your body (like you’re lifting up a box and placing it up on a high shelf). Repeat 10 times then switch sides. Follow with 30 side skaters.

Mountain Climbers

Get in full push-up position, hands directly under shoulders. Bring left knee up to left elbow, or as close as you can, tap floor with toes and then bring back to starting position for 1 repetition. Repeat with right leg, making one quick motion. From the side, it should look like you are “climbing” the floor. Do 20 repetitions followed by 15 plank jacks. (Plank Jacks – In full push-up position, jump both legs out to the sides, and then bring them back to center for 1 repetition.)

Bear Crawl

Get down on all fours. Back straight, abs tight, hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Lift knees slightly off the ground and then crawl forward on hands and the balls of your feet. Take 5 small steps forward, then 5 backward. Repeat 5 times followed by 3 modified push-ups.

Split Jumps

Stand in a lunge position with left leg about three feet in front, arms at your sides. Bend at the knees until your back leg almost touches the floor, then swing your arms forward and jump up as high as you can. While in the air, switch leg positions so that you can land softly with the right leg in front. Do 10 times, followed by 30 side skaters.


Lying on your back, straighten out both legs and hold a few inches above ground, back pressed into floor. Open legs wide then bring back to middle and then bend knees and bring up to chest for 1 repetition. Repeat 10 times followed by 10 reverse crunches. (Reverse crunch – with knees into your chest, lift up your tailbone off the ground, then slowly lower back to floor.)

Try to repeat circuit three times, and then move onto the cool down.

Cool Down

March in place for 30 seconds

Continue marching and cross arms in front of body for 30 seconds

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo