Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: You input 30 minutes onto the treadmill timer, but hop off after 20 (hey, you broke a sweat, right?). Then you complete two sets of curls instead of three. And those lunge exercises? Well, they can wait until tomorrow. The point is, even with a set workout schedule, it’s easy to cut corners—especially if you're going it alone.
Enter the boot camp workout, designed to get you in shape with rigorous workouts you can't quit (unless you want to get yelled at drill-sergeant style... just kidding, it's not that scary). Laura Miranda, owner of Miranda Fitness Concepts and Strong-Healthy Woman Boot Camp in New York City filled us in on what to expect, how to prep and why this workout might be more your style than you think.
Finding the Right Camp
Camouflage and combat boots not your thing? Ditto. So do your research. Start by checking out the websites of different boot camps in your area, checking out the photos of the instructors and participants. Do they look like you? Are they wearing face paint (if yes, run)? Also check to see if there are any starting requirements—like being able to run a 10-minute mile or do a certain number of push-ups in a minute, and what level classes are offered. Another tip: If you’re nervous about adding a boot camp fitness program to your workout schedule, see if you can pay for one trial class instead of buying a whole package, since many camps run for four weeks or more.
Doing the Prep Work
You don't have to be in peak condition for a boot camp workout, but you should have at least a base—so do some homework beforehand. Get your heart going by running either outside or on the treadmill three days a week, and gear up different muscle groups with squats, lunges and push-ups. If you're strapped for time, throw in an exercise DVD and break a sweat right in your living room. The point here is to build the groundwork so you're able to keep up with a boot camp fitness program.