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March 21, 2016 by
Jay Medley
So you’ve decided to try a boot camp… but now you must decide on the right one. Not all boot camps are created equal: there are different types of exercises, different settings, different times, and different instruction styles. The trick is to find the one that fits you, your lifestyle, and your fitness goals best. Here are a few important factors to consider when looking at boot camps.

Timing – If you’re not a morning person, you’ll tire of going to workout sessions at the crack of dawn and you’ll soon be sleeping through early boot camps. Consider what times are most convenient for your schedule and when you’ll be most motivated to go. Are you OK with getting sweaty first thing in the morning? Or would you be more likely to head straight from work to a boot camp session? There’s a camp out there that will fit your schedule.

Setting – Being outside has its perks, as multiple studies have shown that those who exercise outdoors report feeling more energized and revitalized. Of course, being outside leaves you subject to the elements. Summer heat can leave you more susceptible to heat exhaustion, dehydration, and sunburn. Bad weather can cause a session to be canceled.

It’s also important to think about pollution and allergens that can trigger asthma and allergic reactions. Indoor spaces offer protection from the elements, but heat exhaustion can also happen if your gym is not climate controlled. You may want to look for an indoor gym with air conditioning to stay comfortable so that you can give your all to the work out.

Type of Exercise – The type of exercise needs to be something that will keep you interested and motivated. Can you picture yourself attending Navy SEAL workouts regularly? What if the routine never changes? How does all Crossfit, all the time sound?

Look for a boot camp that incorporates different work outs and changes regularly to keep things interesting and to keep your body from plateauing. Ask about the format of the class; you’ll want to make sure that there is time for a warm up, stretching, and mobility exercises to prevent injury.

Instruction Style: Do you need a drill sergeant or a supportive coach? Many boot camps offer drop-in pricing so that you can test out the sessions before signing up for unlimited classes (or so that you can stay flexible while attending classes that fit your budget as well as your schedule.) Drop into a class to test it out!

Promised Results – Everyone has a fitness goal, so it’s important to keep yours in mind when you look for a boot camp program. Find out how long it takes most participants to see results (for example, many of Primal Fitness’ boot camp attendees see results in about 30 days.) Also, ask how often the boot camp’s routine is changed to avoid plateauing and staying stuck at a certain weight or ability level.

Finding the right boot camp may be the key to your future fitness. If you don’t like the boot camp you’ve signed up for, you won’t go. If the type of exercise is a bad fit for you, you could get injured. So put in a little legwork (the figurative, researching kind) before signing up to do leg-work (the literal, exercising kind) along with the core-work, arm-work, and full-body work of the right boot camp!

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