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State-of-the-art fitness camps no longer subscribe to military-themed drill sergeant-style training. That’s a good thing because the very term “bootcamp” has intimidated far more than it has inspired.

The name “boot camp” itself represents a hostile, uncompromising, competitive, life-and-death attitude that would alienate the faint of heart. These are groups in which participants get caught up in the competitive spirit and push themselves to the point of vomiting or worse. The bottom line is that you have passed a pain tolerance test and have done little in proper exercise progression. The risk outweighs the benefit.

As the trend for group exercise evolves, there are more alternatives that make a lot more sense. While it is good for the boot range operator to offer all bodyweight exercises so that equipment and setup expenses are not required, the topic is limited. Participants appreciate variety and appreciate being presented with different fitness accessories or “toys” that can motivate them.

My groups of all ages and fitness levels particularly enjoy the overhead anchored TRX suspension training straps that allow the difficulty to advance or rewind depending on posture position. Obstacle courses with mini hurdles, agility ladders, Bosu balance trainers, and cone exercises can be performed not only by the most conditioned athletes, but also by the older adult population looking to improve balance and gait.

While the first boot camps had an outdoor theme, some are offered indoors with the same variety. Many people enjoy comfort and continuity, while the outdoors offers an unpredictable element with the weather. In contrast, I know there is an outdoor training camp in Minnesota that runs year-round and in the snow. Almost like the “Polar Bear” cold water swimmers club, the extreme weather makes it an elite distinction for those who pride themselves on being able to “resist” it.

The term “fitness camp” is being used not only for group training boot camps, but also for Biggest Loser’s new themed residential weight loss programs. Most of these live fitness programs also offer walk-in services.

Regardless of the topic, the group atmosphere generates a level of enthusiasm for the nature of various people in a group. The magic number according to the bootcamp operators is a minimum of 8 people to feel that electricity. Support and camaraderie will carry the group with very little from the instructor. Adherence is high due to the responsibility one feels towards the group. Nobody wants to skip a class and if you do, you will be missed and you will find out. Everyone hopes to be there and be recognized as part of the group and that means you are likely to do more workouts.

Live fitness camps offer one-on-one personal training and group workouts. In this way, the client receives focused technical instruction for weight training and personal assessment. Group training allows the client to develop a sense of being able to stand up for himself and the confidence of knowing that he can control his pace to overcome it. The proverbial bar always rises a little higher.

So there you have it in a nutshell. A training ground and a training ground are the same. However, no two are alike. Even with the same instructor and location, the variety is endless. So you can exercise more by spreading more work to more parts of your body and changing it. That’s why Biggest Loser customers who are obese and out of shape can continue to be active and burn more calories for longer.

Fitness Camps are here to stay, so find one that works for you and welcome to the group!

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