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Class Act: Boot Camps

It is always interesting to watch fitness trends - remember the high-impact aerobics craze of the 80's? Well, boot camps are all the rage these days and I must say I think they are a great product of the trickle down theory and reappropriation of something from the industrial-military complex.

There are many variations out there on the boot camp theme. There are camps for: new mothers, ladies only, marathoners, ones that focus on survival and self defense skills, and even ones dedicated to fitness and spiritual growth.

Even with these variations, boot camps tend to have a couple of things in common. They are generally outside, and they combine elements of cardio with strength training. Every minute of the hour session is packed with multi-tasking exercises. You don't just hold a plank, you also perform a one arm row in that challenging position. Resting in between lunge sets - never!!! Try some relaxing jumping jacks. Talk about an efficient work out.

Some gyms offer boot camp classes, that are either inside or outside, but many boot camps are independent operations, created and run by individuals dedicated to getting the participants fit. Many programs offer a discount on class packages for returning students, and that just might be incentive enough to keep you going. Do expect to be lectured about nutrition too since these folks want to make you healthy from the inside out.

Fit's Tip: If you are looking to start a boot camp find out about the class size and instructor to student ratio. Make sure the camp does a fitness assessment of you before you get into the thick of it. This way they can appropriately set goals for you.

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