Fitness boot camps are a heart-pounding way to boost your fitness level. Boot camps are led by a fitness instructor and are based on the concept of military boot camps — intensive workout programs to get new recruits into shape, quickly. Fitness boot camps encourage camaraderie, and the group momentum helps participants get through fast-paced intervals of cardio, isometric training, strength training and endurance drills. Classes may range anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and usually meet multiple days per week. Boot camps often run a specific duration of time, say four to six weeks, which creates a team-like environment for class members. Other boot camps run year-round and students purchase package pricing for classes, similar to subscriptions that allow them a set amount of classes per week or per month.
Boot camps can be held indoors at a gym, outdoors in a park or on a beach, in a backyard — anywhere there’s room for running, jumping and sweating. Some instructors also provide DVD and online boot camps. You can also find boot camps tailored to your heart’s desire, such as bikini boot camp, or boot camps for new mothers. Boot camps offer an intense workout and are usually led by energetic instructors pushing you to do your best, but unlike military boot camp drill sergeants, fitness boot camp instructors typically don’t use intimidation or punishment to spur you on. Check with your doctor before starting a boot camp if you have health concerns, and always let your instructor know ahead of time if you have injuries.
The cost of fitness boot camps depends on how often you go, the package you are purchasing (or if you are paying a drop-in fee), the location of the bootcamp, the equipment the instructors provide, and the background and reputation of the instructor. Smaller towns and areas with a lower cost of living typically have lower rates for boot camp services than big cities and regions with a higher cost of living. If you’re paying per class on a drop-in basis, expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $25 or more, depending on the region and the instructor. When you purchase a package of classes, typically the more you buy at one time, the cheaper each class is. The same boot camp class might be $20 for a drop-in student, $15 for a student who pays for 10 classes per month, and $10 for a student who pays for 30 classes a month. Studio space can also affect costs, so if your boot camp takes place in a high-end gym with top-of-the-line equipment, the prices will likely be higher than a class that meets in an outdoor space with limited or no equipment. Shop around to find the right type of boot camp class and the right instructor for you.