Boot Camp Workouts

To make it in the military, you’ve got to be tough. Recruits go through grueling workouts to get their bodies into top shape, doing drill after drill of push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, pull-ups, and squats.

The boot camp workout takes the military workout out of basic training and into gyms and homes everywhere. This program strings together circuits of intense exercises, which you do for about 30 to 60 seconds each, pausing for only a few seconds between exercises. The idea is to build strength and endurance.

Boot camp programs may be so popular because they work every muscle group, you can do them anywhere, and they don’t require any equipment.

Intensity Level: High

Because the boot camp workout involves a rapid-fire sequence of moves, it’s fast-paced and pretty intense.

Areas It Targets

Core: Yes. The cardio portion of the workout burns fat, while exercises like planks, mountain climbers, and sit-ups work the abs and other core muscles.

Arms: Yes. This workout includes many different arm exercises. Some, like bicep curls and tricep kickbacks, can be done with hand weights or weighted balls. Others, like push-ups and walking planks, use your body weight to strengthen muscles.

Legs: Yes. Many boot camp programs include squats, lunges, and other leg moves.

Glutes: Yes. This program includes several exercises for the glute muscles, including squats and lunges.

Back: Yes. Boot camp targets every major muscle group in the body, including those in your back.


Flexibility: Yes. Boot camp programs typically include stretching. Some also include exercises borrowed from yoga.

Aerobic: Yes. Boot camp involves a lot of high-impact exercises, like jumping jacks and mountain climbers. And because you move through the sequence very quickly, you breathe hard — and sweat hard.

Strength: Yes. The exercises are designed to strengthen muscles all over the body.

Sport: No. This is a fitness program, not a sport.

Low-Impact: No. Many of the exercises involve running and jumping.

What Else Should I Know?

Cost. Unless you’re doing boot camp at home on your own, you will have to pay for a DVD to follow along with, or invest in a class.

Good for beginners? Yes, if your instructor shows you how to do the moves and lets you set your own pace.

Outdoors. Yes. You can do boot camp anywhere there’s space, including the park, a playground, or your own backyard.

At home. Yes. Boot camp moves are basic enough to do yourself, or along with a workout video.

Equipment required? No. The exercises mainly use your own body weight for resistance.Some boot camp programs may use hand weights, medicine balls, or other types of fitness equipment.

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