Get Boot Camp Ready

Get Boot Camp Ready!

If you are out of shape, here is a crash eight week workout program to make you fit as fast as possible. This is a great program for those who have enlisted in the Navy, Army, Marines or Air Force and need to get in shape to survive boot camp. This workout program is also great for civilians who want to jumpstart their fitness programs.

Who this pre-boot camp is appropriate for

  1. Those who can’t run two miles without walking or stopping
  2. Those who can’t do 10 pullups
  3. Those who can’t do 20 pushups

If you can do the above things then this boot camp workout program is too easy for you and you can find a more appropriate workout here: The best workout program.

Military Physical Fitness Tests (PTF)

Virtually every branch of the military in every country has their version of a Physical Fitness Test (PFT). This is a test that recruits are required to pass to graduate from boot camp and also to pass on a recurring basis once they are in the military. The Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force all have different PFTs and differing countries have differing requirements but they are all very similar. Virtually all the physical fitness tests require running, pullups, pushups, and situps. If you show up to boot camp fat and out of shape, not only will boot camp be a miserable experience for you but there is a good chance that you will not graduate either. The physica fitness test requiremets are quite complicated but here is a very rough idea of a minimum passing score and a perfect score:

Perfect Score Minimum Requirement
pullups 20 pullups 3 pullups
pushups in 2 minutes 92 pushups 42 pushups
3 mile run 18 minutes 28 minutes
situps 109 situps 50 situps

If you can achieve the minimum levels listed above before showing up to boot camp, you will most likely be able to graduate although it might be living hell. If you can achieve the perfect score levels above, the physical aspect of boot camp will be easy for you and you can focus on your leadership skills rather than gasping for breath 🙂

Getting Ready For Boot Camp

So you have enlisted and you look at the above requirements for the PFT and you are a bit apprehensive. Your goal should be to get a perfect score on the PFT *before* you show up at bootcamp. Boot camp is stressful enough without having every day be a physical struggle. First some general words of warning are in order. If you wait to the last minute you are doomed. If you are 100 pounds overweight and have never done anything athletic in your life and are trying to get ready for bootcamp that starts in 3 weeks, you are doomed – period. Getting in shape takes time and the worse shape you are in the longer it takes. There is only so much you can exercise in a day. You cant wait till the last minute then workout 8hrs a day to make up for it! “Nine women can’t make a baby in a month” as I always say. The below workout program pushes the overtraining limits to the maximum. Working out more than these very aggressive schedules will get you injured, not in better shape. Similarly, if you are really fat, losing weight takes time. If you wait till the last minute and have to do a crash diet then you are going to lose as much muscle as fat and that muscle loss will hurt you rather than help your PFT scores. Don’t wait till the last minute unless you want to be drill-sargent fodder!!!

#1 easiest way to improve your PFT score

When it comes to PFT scores, bodyfat is enemy number one. When you are doing pullups, that bodyfat is a useless anchor yanking you towards the floor. For many people, lowering their bodyfat from 30% down to 10% can make the difference between only being able to do one pullup and being able to do 20. Bodyfat kills your running times as well. The rule of thumb runners use is that for every 10 pounds of fat you lose, your 3 mile time improves by 1 minute. If you are 30 pounds overweight, thats 3 minutes you can improve your 3 mile run without a single lap around the track!!! You get the idea, losing weight is your #1 task. Start early.

Nutrition Plan To Get Boot Camp Ready

As mentioned, losing bodyfat is the #1 best way to improve your PFT scores. You will be getting plenty of exercise with this pre-bootcamp workout program but you need to set your caloric intake properly or your efforts will be wasted. Eat too little and you wont gain the strength you need to do the pullups and pushups. Eat too much and you wont lose the weight necessary to run fast and make pullups easier. This is going to be the hardest part of the program for many of you, for at least two days you need to count calories. Every single thing you eat or drink needs to be tallied to make sure you intake is on track. Using an application like or myfitnesspal makes totaling your calories easy. My calorie calculator will tell you how many calories to consume, in step 6 set your goal to be “20% calorie reduction” and in step 5 set your activity level to be “3-5 hours of moderate exercise”. Remember more exercise is not better and starving yourself is not better either. What to eat? Without getting complicated, eat lean meats, nonfat dairy products, lots of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and some fruit. Be very sparing of sweets, fried foods, chips, fries, cakes, cookies, and all alcohol including beer. After the first week of calorie counting you should have a very good idea of how much to eat so you can stop the calorie counting. Every time you lose another 10 pounds, use my calculator to re-calculate your target calories and count calories again for two days to make sure your eating has been re-calibrated properly.

If you are one of the few recruits who is see-your-ribs-skinny, rather than fat, then your will have a much easier time getting in shape for boot camp. Your focus is on building strength, adding muscle, and increasing endurance and to do that you need proper nutrition. For you, eating at a caloric surplus is called for – I would recommend setting my calorie calculator to a “clean bulk”. You will also need to count your calories for two days but in your case, its to make sure you are getting enough calories and enough protein. To build your muscle mass and strength, it is imperitive that you get enough protein. Make sure that you get 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight per day.

Weeks 1&2 of 8 week pre-boot camp program

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Workouts A & C B A & C B A & C B rest

A Workout: Five minute fast walk. Alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 60 seconds of walking for a total of 25 minutes.

B Workout: 45 minutes of cycling, swimming, or elliptical machine at 70%-90% of your maximum heart rate – intense!

C Workout: Do as many knee pushups as you can, then rest 2 minutes and do another set. Repeat this until you have done 5 sets. If you are not sure how to do knee pushups, please watch this video on pushups for the complete beginner. Rest 3 minutes then do 5 sets of chin-up (palms facing your face) walk-the-plank’s, 8 reps per set, one minute rest between sets. (note: this is same as phase 1 in my pullup program).

Weeks 3&4 of 8 week pre-boot camp program

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Workouts A & C B A & C B A & C B rest

A Workout: Five minute fast walk.
Alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 30 seconds of walking for a total of 30 minutes.
Follow with 5min of fast walking

B Workout: 45 minutes of cycling, swimming, or elliptical machine at 70%-90% of your maximum heart rate – intense! Sit-ups, one set of as many as you can do.

C Workout: Do 5 sets of 20 pushups. You will do as many real pushups as you can, then drop to your knees to finish the rest of the 20 reps with knee pushups. Rest 2 minutes, and do another set. Do 5 sets of chin-ups (palms facing face) with 20 reps in each set. Do as many real chin-ups as you can, even if its only one, then finish the rest of the 20 reps with walk the planks.

Weeks 5&6 of 8 week pre-boot camp program

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Workouts A & C B A & C B A & C B rest

A Workout: Five minute fast walk.
Alternate 2 minutes of jogging and 20 seconds of walking for a total of 30 minutes.
Follow with 5min of fast walking

B Workout: 45 minutes of cycling, swimming, or elliptical machine at 70%-90% of your maximum heart rate – intense! Sit-ups, one set of as many as you can do.

C Workout: Do 5 sets of as many pushups as you can with 2 minutes rest between sets. Do 5 sets of pull-ups (palms facing away from your face) with 20 reps in each set. Do as many real pull-ups as you can, even if its only one, then finish the rest of the 20 reps with walk the planks.

Weeks 7&8 of 8 week pre-boot camp program

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Workouts A & C B B B A & C B rest

A Workout: Five minute fast walk for a warm up then jog for 45 minutes.

B Workout: 45 minutes of cycling, swimming, or elliptical machine at 70%-90% of your maximum heart rate – intense! Sit-ups, one set of as many as you can do.

C Workout: Do 6 sets of as many pushups as you can with 3 minutes rest between sets. Do 6 sets of pull-ups (palms facing away from your face) and do as many reps as you can with 3 minutes rest between sets.

WARNING: This is a very aggressive, accelerated program. If you notice any joint pain or any signs of overuse injuries – STOP and take a few days off. The last thing you want is to get overuse injuries! Make sure you consult your physician before starting this exercise program.

Get Fit Boot Camp PULBOROUGH, West Sussex

We’re a results driven Group Personal Training company with over fifteen years experience and we’re looking for sociable, hard working and motivated members who will follow and benefit from our proven programme and not hide behind excuses.

No one gets muddy and there’s no military style shouting. Just people of all ages and abilities who have taken the challenge of changing their health, fitness and lifestyle for the better by training outdoors in the fresh air and having fun at the same time.

All sessions are run by fully qualified and insured personal trainers and we will make sure that you’re doing the most effective exercises to maximise your training time no matter what your goal is – weight loss, fat loss, body toning or improving your strength/stamina/posture etc…

Our workouts are a fun mixture of circuit training, boxercise, kettlebells, yoga… and they’re more beneficial than going to the gym for the same old boring workout or going out for a jog on your own. Your first 60 mins boot camp session is half price, click here > Trial Session

Race Bookings

Sunday 12 May & 29 September – 10.45am

PULBOROUGH VINEYARD RUN – 5km 10km 15km 20km HM

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The Scientific Reason Boot Camp Workouts Are So Good For You

Boot camp-style workouts have been around for decades. But now they come in many shapes and flavors—from bridal boot camps designed to tone people up for their nuptials to “prison-style workouts” taught by people who were formerly incarcerated.

Yet most boot camps share a few important things in common. They combine a series of calisthenics, like pushups, lunges and squats, with running, jumps and other high-intensity aerobic movements that are modeled loosely on military methods for whipping new recruits into shape. Most use forms of body-weight training, but some incorporate equipment—whether real-world items like tires or park benches, or traditional gym gear like kettlebells.

The exercises that comprise boot camps “are designed to work the upper and lower body and core, so it’s a comprehensive workout,” says Dr. Edward Laskowski, a professor and co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine who is currently conducting research on boot camp workouts. “They’re similar to CrossFit workouts but with less equipment,” adds John Porcari, a professor of exercise and sport science and program director of the clinical exercise physiology program at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.

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What makes boot camp workouts so unique is that they emphasize total-body functional training, Porcari says. While traditional gym workouts using weights and machines may improve strength, he says that functional training better prepares the body for real-world activities like climbing stairs and lifting groceries. “You’re learning to carry your body around, not a bunch of weights, which I think is a great thing,” he says.

These workouts also burn calories and improve fitness. One of Porcari’s studies found that the average boot-camper expended about 10 calories per minute during the training—not quite as much as someone would burn running at a fast pace, but about as much as one would while cycling or swimming.

Another benefit of boot camp workouts: Most mix periods of very vigorous activity with short rest breaks, and so are considered forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), Porcari says. HIIT workouts maximize fitness gains in the shortest period of time. Porcari’s study found that during bootcamp workouts, people’s average heart rate hit 77% of maximum, which is within the range needed to improve physical fitness, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. But their heart rates ranged as high as 91% of max—well above the 80% level needed to qualify as HIIT.

It’s important to note that all of these numbers are variable. While some boot camp workouts emphasize cardio and aerobic fitness, others focus on strength training or weight loss. Some are indoors and use rowing machines and other equipment, while some take place in empty parking lots, woods and parks, relying only on a person’s body weight for resistance. But nearly all boot camp workouts incorporate the elements and provide the benefits listed above. And like other group fitness classes, the camaraderie people experience during boot camp workouts can keep people engaged and motivated, Laskowski says.

Neither age nor weight are disqualifiers when it comes to boot camp workouts. “If you stay within yourself and have a good instructor who can modify the training to your ability, I think anyone can do them,” Porcari says.

But he also warns that some programs don’t put much emphasis on proper form or supervision. “I’ve seen some with 30 or 40 participants and just one instructor,” he says. With so little oversight and one-on-one coaching, a person’s form may break down and injuries may occur.

Laskowski adds that people with joint problems or those who haven’t exercised in a while may want to build up a foundation of strength and physical fitness before attempting an intense boot camp program.

But if you’re in shape and confident that a class is within your training abilities, boot camp workouts are a fun, effective way to train your entire body.

Contact us at [email protected]

The boot camp where you can say goodbye to a stone in a week

Fancy a pre-summer reboot? Marissa Montgomery braves a no-frills ‘next level’ boot camp in Ibiza and sees bodies transform before her eyes

I’d taken part in No1 Boot Camp in Norfolk last summer and I thought I knew what I was in for. I was wrong. The Ibiza summer popup of this camp, where military-style group training merges with the best modern fitness techniques, is ‘next level’.

It’s a camp for people who really want to get in shape quick and are passionate about fitness and self-improvement. Nothing is easy and you push yourself to the max. Leave your egos at the door and be prepared to get dirty, dusty and very sweaty.

Sixteen of us embarked on a transformational week of laughter, sweat and tears at the No 1 Bootcamp villa located around 40 minutes from the airport up lots and lots of windy Ibizan dirt roads.

The military-style workouts

The day is made up of six hours of exercise taken in one-hour sessions with breaks in between for healthy snacks, meals or rest. The workouts are high energy and high impact – think cardio, sprinting, boxing, squats, press-ups burpees and star jumps. This is interspersed with weight classes, yoga, HIIT training and four-hour hikes.

I was surprised to find the group fitness levels much higher than I’d experienced in the UK. Exercising in the Spanish heat was even harder but on the plus side, you do get a really great tan while you tone. Remember to take shorts for a full leg tan, as you spend all day outdoors.

You pour sweat from every pore, but what keeps you going is the camaraderie – there’s a lot of teamwork and encouragement from the group and the trainers.

One of the best features of No1 Boot Camp is how highly trained and expert the teachers are. Liam, our trainer, had more than 13 years’ experience in the PT world, was ex-RAF and had trained Princes William and Harry. You feel like you are in safe hands and he has a killer play list that helps motivate you – especially when you are on squat number 100.

Liam’s aim is to show you how to use the body as a tool – no gym or fancy equipment is necessary – so there’s no excuse not to work out. He uses basic movements, from a weighted squat to a squat jump burpee, to teach you about the five major muscle groups and show you how to work them effectively during weights classes. Thes are techniques you can take with you to make any workout more effective.

The fresh portion-controlled food

There are three meals and three snacks a day. Meals are high in protein and local vegetables. Everything is portion-controlled but delicious – from grilled salmon, to chicken cooked on the barbecue, meatballs and quinoa. There’s also lots of avocado and salads. You won’t find any refined sugars or salt. Men and women are put on different size portions and you can request extra protein (this costs extra).

The morning snack is always almonds. Other snacks are super healthy too – hummus and veggies, protein balls or occasionally fruit on the hikes.

We were allowed one cup of coffee in the morning and then only herbal tea and water the rest of the day.


As you’re challenging your body to the max, there are two masseuses on hand in the evening to help you unwind. Everyone is so exhausted that half the camp is in bed by 8pm.

The comfortable, no-frills acommodation

The villa is comfortable but basic. All the exercise, apart from the hikes, takes place outside there is always a shady area should you need it whether under a gazebo or trees. I always took a spot in the shade but many people chose to be in the sun. I went early in the season I’m not sure I could have done it in the August heat. All meals are eaten in the shade outside in a cushioned outdoor dining area.

There is air conditioning in most rooms, there’s a communal TV with Sky – and the all-important wifi throughout. Towels are provided but bring your own soap, shampoo and conditioner.

The emphasis is on the health and fitness aspect more than the luxury. If you are looking to be pampered and spoiled this isn’t for you. A cleaner comes in every other day. Some people choose to stay at a hotel nearby and drive to the villa daily to take part Ibiza is dusty and your covered in the stuff by the end of the day.

I went with a friend which really helped especially on the down days (which everyone has) when you feel exhausted, emotional and too tired to even talk. Most people come alone and make friends quickly as there is a really good atmosphere and support among the group.

The body sculpting results

After a week, not only does your fitness level improve, but your skin glows from the healthy diet. You lose weight on the scales and inches from waist, arms and thighs. I lost two inches from my waist and one inch from my arms and thighs.

I actually didn’t loose any weight as I toned up and gained muscle, but the jeans I travelled in felt loose and everything fitted better. My girlfriend who came with me lost just under a stone, which is what most people lose in the week.

I can see why people return yearly for a reboot before summer. At least half my camp were return customers. I saw people’s bodies transform in front of me. It’s tough and gruelling and no-frills.

If you are looking for a challenge and to push your self to the max and want quick results in a week then this is the place for you. It showed me that I was a lot stronger and more able than I thought.

At least four members of my group lost a stone each in a week. Their self-confidence soared and they left the camp feeling proud of what I had achieved and in a better headspace than when I had arrived. I was much calmer but ready to go home to some luxuries.

At the end, we had half a day of free time on the beach with the group for relaxing. Most of the team celebrated with an alcoholic drink as a treat – I had paella which was my indulgence.

How to book

No 1 Boot Camp Norfolk is open all year round. The Ibiza pop runs from March to October and costs around £2,500 for a week in a shared room with en suite bathroom and includes all meals. Prices vary depending room type and don’t include flights and transfers.

What to pack for a bootcamp

  1. More workout clothes than you think. You are working out all day, every day and need many changes. My favorite leggings are from Sweaty Betty as I think they are the most flattering. I also took these Sweaty Betty Contour Workout Shorts, £35 to help me achieve maximum tan!

  2. Shades to work out in as well as a cap. When you’re outside all day a good pair of sunnies are essential for eye health and comfort. I took these by Hadid, the LA based brand started by Gigi Hadid’s father.

  3. Factor 50. You need strong SPF even in the shade – so pile on that high factor. Try Bioderma Photoderm Mineral Spray SPF 50+ £16

  4. Home comforts. Recovery time is super important. I took one of my favorite candles the Blink Indian Rose Candle, £32 to burn in the evenings in my room. You really appreciate home comforts like this at the end of an exhausting day.

  5. A good cleanser. It’s dusty and dirty working out outdoors all day. Taking my own body and face products from Fresh – especially their Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner, £34 instantly makes you feel human and hydrated again.

  6. A good book. Especially at night, a good book is key to distract you from the cravings. I took ‘Party girls die in Pearls’ by Plum Sykes, £12.18’ It’s very funny I can highly recommend.

  7. Your own pillow and pillow spray. Sleep is so important to give you energy for the following day. I take my own pillow wherever I go and douse it in This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, £18.

  8. Clothes for chilling. After all day in tight workout wear, there’s nothing better than slipping into a loose airy kaftan. All Things Mochi do great ones that are perfect for Ibiza evenings.

  9. Self tan. It’s amazing what a bit of bronze can do for your self-esteem. I picked up this tip from one of my fellow bootcampers, tanning maestro James Read. His Coconut Melting Tanning Balm Face & Body, £30 was our fave at camp.

  10. 111 Skin Cryo serum. Just like the 111 Skin’s Cryo Chamber at Harvey Nichols but less cold – the Cryo Energising Body Serum, £90 soothes tired limbs and tones at the same time.

Top 10 Fitness Boot Camps around the world

BOSTON (Reuters) – The military-style fitness “boot camps” which originated in the United States have invaded nearly every corner of the earth.

Climbers walk up the steep gravel and scree slope leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the world’s largest volcanoes and the highest free-standing mountain, shortly before sunrise in Tanzania January 4, 2006. TREUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

If you’re looking to combine travel with hardcore fitness in a team environment to jumpstart your exercise regime this year, you may enjoy online travel advisor’s Top 10 Fitness Boot Camps around the world. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. St. Vincent, Caribbean

The volcanic St. Vincent Island is located in the Caribbean Sea, between Saint Lucia and Grenada, and served as a filming location for Pirates of the Caribbean.

Buccament Bay Resort and Fitness 4 Boot Camps are offering guests the chance to reach (and sustain) their weight and fitness goals with a special holiday exercise camp.

Led by ex-Royal Marines, guests can choose between five, six, 10 or 12-day courses offering a variety of daily exercises, including circuit training, obstacle courses, swimming, team games, boxing and yoga.

2. Algarve, Portugal

The most popular tourist destination in Portugal – and one of the most popular in Europe – the Algarve attracts around seven million travellers each year. They are drawn to the region’s year-round sunshine, golden beaches and fabulous food.

With this welcoming location as your backdrop, Luxury Algarve Bootcamp offers training and nutrition courses to take your fitness to the next level.

The program includes health and fitness assessments and consultation with a nutritionist, twice daily boot camp classes featuring yoga, Pilates, beach boxing, jogging, running, mountain biking, swimming, circuit training and resistance training.

3. Kent, England

In the rolling hills of the lush Kent farmland the female-only G.I. Jane Bootcamp puts women from all over the world through their paces.

Over the course of three or seven days, women take part in intensive physical training, supported by a professional team with the aim of getting fit, losing weight and gaining mental strength.

Working in small, close-knit groups, everyone receives equal attention and the varied workouts keep guests on their toes. Meditation, nutritional advice and life-coaching also help guests kick start a new way of living.

4. St. Petersburg, Florida

In the sunshine state of Florida, St. Pete Beach is home to Getaway Fitness’ boot camp at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort.

Travellers come to St. Pete to take in the pristine white sand coastline, enjoy the clear gulf waters and soak up the sun. All this makes St. Pete Beach the ideal location for a butt-kicking workout.

A typical day begins with a beach boot camp session and is followed by five to six hours of structured, intensive fitness activities until about 2:30 p.m. when guests are free to make the most of the beach, enjoy spa services or just relax.

5. Ibiza, Spain

Healthy living might not spring to mind when you think of the beautiful party island of Ibiza, but it’s the setting for No 1 Boot Camp’s Luxury Fitness Retreat.

This peaceful retreat is the perfect place to detox and exercise with a week’s worth of tough military-style fitness and yoga. A typical day includes challenging, but breathtaking hikes to the Goddess Island, core stability exercises and team activities.

6. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Taking the concept of boot camp to new heights, why not kick off a year of health and fitness with a climb up Kilimanjaro?

Run by British Military Fitness, two experienced military mountain leaders will take a group of 30 on a seven-day trek up and down Africa’s highest peak.

The package includes training days as well as assistance in the run-up to the challenge, and the crew will give you a great chance of getting as high up the mountain as you are able.

Plus, you’ll be tackling this life-changing feat with a group of like-minded, adventurous people.

7. Tulum, Mexico

With ancient Mayan ruins and untouched beaches as your setting, a Bikini Boot Camp in Mexico will have you looking summer-ready in no time.

Classes include circuit training, body sculpting, beach cardio, kickboxing, Pilates and cardio dance. Plus, there are guided bike tours to the Mayan ruins of Tulum and the Sian K’aan reserve.

But Bikini Boot Camp is more than just a fitness vacation. It’s a combination of exercise, healthy eating, adventure, relaxing and pampering, giving guests a break from routine and a chance for some ‘me time.’

8. Phuket, Thailand

Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, is a partygoer’s paradise and one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

Surrounded by tropical forest, the Raw Fitness Boot Camp is not only empowering and fun, but aims to transform guests on all levels – body, mind and spirit. There is no competition, judgment or pressure; just support and encouragement every step of the way.

Intensive fitness sessions run from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily and include beach training, group training sessions, martial arts classes and an optional healthy detox program.

9. Queensland, Australia

Within the rainforests, waterfalls and mountain views of Lamington National Park Queensland, the Commando is ready to whip you into shape.

A highly qualified coach famous for his appearance on TV’s The Biggest Loser, the Commando (aka Steve Willis) is hosting five ‘no excuses’ three-day camps at Binna Burra Lodge.

The atmosphere in the camps is one of support and camaraderie to anyone who puts in the effort.

Based on the CrossFit system, the programme also aims to improve endurance, strength, mental toughness and adaptability.

10. Watamu, Kenya

On the white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean, Watamu is the perfect destination for chilling out, watching the sun set, meeting friendly monkeys, snorkelling and getting into shape.

Wildfitness is based at Baraka House on the north coast of Kenya, and boasts panoramic rooftops, beautiful balconies overlooking the sea and easy access to the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve.

The sleepy fishing village of Watamu is a designated UN area of outstanding natural beauty. It is said to be one of the top 10 beaches in the world and its waters are teeming with coral reefs. Wildfitness is designed for people of all ages and fitness levels. Courses run for nine days, two weeks or three and a half weeks and are packed with workshops, movement classes and adventurous training.

Editing by Paul Casciato

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Boot Camp for Beginners: 7 Things You Should Know

A few weeks ago, I decided to try out my gym’s boot camp class. Thinking “boot camp” would consist of a bunch of girls doing some squats and jogging around the room, I figured I could handle it no problem. You can imagine my shock when I entered a room full of beefy men and started sweating profusely within the first five minutes of class as the tough instructor with a buzz cut barked a series of training exercises that had me gasping for breath.

For the next hour, I felt as humiliated and weak as a middle school football player, and even a few classmates gave me supportive high fives as I consecutively came in last place on the relays, outside sprints, and mat sequences. For the next week, my entire body ached, and I could have given up all together. However, I decided to persevere and attend the next class better prepared. The second class, I felt a million times stronger and more resilient, and now I’m on a total bootcamp kick. If you are considering taking your first bootcamp class, feel prepared and confident to dominate this intense workout by following my tips.

•Hydrate one or two hours before class. Definitely bring water or a sports drink to class, but it’s difficult to bounce around when your belly is full of liquid.

•Enter with a good, can-do attitude. The workout will be challenging, but it’s so important to continue to motivate yourself and keep your mind calm when your heart is racing and your muscles are burning. I try to smile and laugh to help release tension in my face.

•Stay present, and listen to the instructor. If you concentrate on how much it hurts and how much you want to quit, you might forget the next sequence or next relay move. Actively focus your attention on the instructor, and you will distract yourself from the pain.

•Remember your breath and your abs. Breathe through tough exercises, and simultaneously, be sure to contract your abs to protect your back. It may seem awkward and uncomfortable at first, but you will eventually train your body to breathe deeper while your abs are engaged.

•Push yourself to stay up front. Be the first person in the relay race line; stand in the front of the room; and run towards the front of the jog line. Being last will make you feel lethargic and more prone to giving up.

•Don’t stop moving. If DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) usually gets you down, challenge yourself to move around rather than take mini breaks. My bootcamp instructor kept yelling at us to jog in place throughout the entire hour to prevent muscle soreness by sending fresh blood to the muscles.

•Load up on electrolytes after class. Intense workouts and sweating cause you to lose essential electrolytes. Be sure to replenish them with an electrolyte-filled snack.

More from FitSugar:

Class Review: Boot Camp

What to Expect From a Pilates Boot Camp Class

  • By FitSugar

Is Fitness Boot Camp For You?

If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself to exercise but want to start burning serious calories fast, a fitness boot camp may be the right place to start.

A fitness boot camp is a type of group exercise program that focuses on boosting stamina, endurance, fitness, and weight loss over a period of several weeks. It’s called a “boot camp” because of the team training environment, and because participants are pushed and challenged beyond what they think they can do. Teams of exercisers train together regularly during the classes, which may be run by a fitness instructor at a health club, a personal trainer, or even a former military instructor.

Fitness Boot Camp: Team Support

The team environment offers supportive benefits for fitness boot camp participants. “You’re with a number of people who have similar fitness goals,” says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise who has studied and taught fitness boot camps. “Fitness boot camps will group people according to skill level, working with people with similar size bodies and similar experience, and it becomes very supportive.”

Fitness Boot Camp: Exercise Benefits and Risks

There are many benefits of a fitness boot camp, but that doesn’t mean you should run out and sign up for the first one you find.

  • Check out the instructor. As with any exercise class or fitness program, you want to make sure you’re working with an accredited professional. Ask about their certification status and check with the organization that certified them to ensure they are in good standing.
  • Get ready for a real workout. “It’s extremely dynamic, aerobic-based and muscle-based exercise. You’re getting all three components of a workout at the same time: cardio, flexibility, and strength training,” says McCall. The American Council on Exercise did research on boot camps, and found that in a fitness boot camp class, a participant can burn up to 600 calories an hour — 10 calories a minute, he says.
  • Check with your doctor. Tell your doctor that you’re joining a fitness boot camp class, and consider getting a checkup. The best candidates? “Any apparently healthy adult, without any major issues or injuries; anybody who really wants to exercise and push themselves a little bit harder than they’re used to,” says McCall.
  • Don’t overdo it. Even for avid exercisers who are fit, fitness boot camp classes should typically be taken once a week and definitely not more than twice a week, with at least two days in between, according to McCall. “Boot camp class can be extremely stressful, so if somebody is doing that two times a week and their body is not used to that stress, they can have a negative reaction to it and get that overstressed effect.”
  • Consider your condition. McCall also says that anyone with musculoskeletal issues or severe health issues such as heart problems should not try a fitness boot camp, because of the level of intensity and the exercises performed. But people with a well-managed chronic condition, even diabetes or asthma, can participate, provided they tell their instructor about the condition, he says.
  • Fit the camp to your level. It’s also important to find a boot camp suited for your level of fitness. “If you’re brand new to exercise, I would recommend against it,” says McCall. The exception is a fitness boot camp class designed for exercise beginners: “If somebody is brand new, they should look for a class that breaks up the groups into different skill levels. A good instructor will divide up the boot camp into various levels.” The same cautions apply if you’re overweight: Look for a fitness boot camp geared toward beginners who want to get in shape and lose weight.
  • Enjoy the variety. Boot camp classes are also good for regular exercisers as a way to mix up their workout routine. “It’s great if they’ve been working out for at least a year, but are looking for a way to challenge themselves, and maybe increase the intensity a little bit. If you have been exercising about a year, it’s an excellent way to kick-start a program because it can be extremely intense,” says McCall.

If you’re up to the challenge of a tough workout that gets you in great shape fast, head to your local gym to find out what types of fitness boot camp classes they offer. Meet the instructors and find out the specifics of the classes, and make sure it’s a good fit for you.

5 Simple Strategies to Grow Your Fitness Bootcamp

Fitness fads come and go, but one popular type of fitness class that has stood the test of time is outdoor fitness boot camps.

There’s something about getting outside with a group of other people and pushing each other to the limit that keeps clients coming back for more. Boot camps take people way out of their comfort zone(and out of the warmth) and are great for helping them reach their fitness goals.

As a business model, boot camps have a relatively low barrier to entry. In fact, many famous fitness pros began building their empires from the humble local park. One such example is British fitness entrepreneur Joe Wicks, who began his business in Richmond Park, London.

Unable to afford a van, he hitched a small trailer full of gear to the back of his bicycle and cycled across London to set up class every morning at 6 am. Slowly but surely he grew through hard work and dedication. The days of half-empty early morning classes now seem a distant memory for the Body Coach.

However, a lower barrier to enter the market doesn’t mean a smooth road to success. Every type of fitness business, from the boot camp in the park to the shiny new chain of a big franchise, will face intense local competition. For that reason, you need to have a marketing plan in place as early as possible.

In our main guide on building an outdoor fitness business, we gave an overview of fitness boot camp marketing. So in this article, we want to go more in-depth into the actual strategies you can use to get members and scale your fledgling boot camp business.

Skip ahead to:

  • What Is an Outdoor Bootcamp?
  • 3 Awesome Outdoor Fitness Bootcamps
  • 5 Ways To Boost Your Outdoor Fitness Bootcamp Marketing.

What Is an Outdoor Bootcamp?

Outdoor boot camps come in many shapes and sizes, but almost all share similar characteristics.

Typically, boot camps combine a series of calisthenics such as push-ups and lunges, with running, crawling, jumping, and other high-intensity aerobic movements that are loosely based on methods used for preparing new recruits for the physical demands of service.

While bodyweight exercises make up the majority of the training, many boot camps will make use of minimalist equipment too – often using sandbags, lump hammers, kettlebells, and tractor tires to train different movements.

Usually, the workouts are set-up in a circuit format with trainees alternating between periods of high-intensity work and rest as they move between exercise stations.

Boot camp workouts are designed to work the upper body, lower body, and core simultaneously. They emphasize total body training and combine mobility, strength, aerobic, and anaerobic training into a single session.

The science says they’re very effective too. A study published by the American Council on Exercise found that the average boot-camper expends about 10kcal per minute. According to the ACSM, the average heart rate during a boot camp session is about 77% of the maximum, which means they’re perfect for promoting both aerobic and anaerobic gains.

While that’s not quite as intense as some other forms of training such as spinning, boot camps have some other killer benefits too.

We all know that exercise is great for our mental health. But research has shown that green exercise, aka training outdoors improves mental health outcomes such as depression and anxiety at a greater rate when compared with indoor exercise. So, boot campers are likely getting an extra mental boost over their indoor gym counterparts.

What’s more, there’s solid evidence to support the group fitness approach to increase exercise adherence – i.e. getting more people to stick with a training plan. It becomes a lot harder to skip your training if your buddy is going to know about it.

In one study, over 90% of people who started a weight loss program stuck with it to completion when they had a partner to keep them accountable. Moreover, they were almost three times as likely to keep the weight off at follow up 10 months later when compared with people going the distance alone.

3 Awesome Outdoor Fitness Bootcamps

When planning your boot camp marketing, it’s a great idea to check out what the leaders in the outdoor exercise space are doing. So, before you do anything else, feast your eyes on these top outdoor boot camps.

Examine their websites, sign-up to their email newsletters and follow them across social media. Pretty soon, you’ll have a good idea about what they’re doing to engage their audience, attract new clients, and increase their overall revenue.

1. Holly Ringer’s Training, New York City]


Holly Ringer is a Nike master trainer, and her inspirational attitude attracts swarms of folks to her spring and fall training camps in Central Park. She’s a former collegiate athlete who has an unshakeable belief in teamwork.

She kicks people’s butts with suicide relays and partner drills, and each session starts with the mantra, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

2. BodyCore, San Francisco

Website: ining.html

BodyCore provides exciting, adventurous, and fun daily outdoor workout in San Francisco for people who want to make health and fitness a priority in their lives.

What sets them apart is that they don’t just train you and send you home – they’re big on taking a holistic approach to things by encouraging and educating members about the importance of lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet, good sleep, and social interactions.

They leverage the beauty of the environment and climate around San Francisco and position themselves as an alternative to ‘musty gyms.’

3. Bulldog Bootcamp, Chicago


Appealing to consumers looking for something a little bit more military-esque, Bulldog Bootcamp delivers no-frills outdoor workouts to trainees most mornings and evenings in Lincoln Park.

The badass female instructor known as ‘Sargent Friday’ puts attendees through their paces with running drills, plyometrics, and body-weight exercises. None of the workouts repeat for a full 12 weeks.

5 Ways To Boost Your Outdoor Fitness Bootcamp Marketing.

So, you’ve picked a location, got your permits, collected your gear, and planned super workouts, but now you’re sitting on your own in the park wondering where everybody is.

Don’t worry, that’s totally normal. Without well-planned marketing strategies, you’re unlikely to attract enough customers to make your new enterprise a roaring success.

Many boot camp owners are working with a tight budget, so here we’ve chosen to focus on the strategies that’ll bring you the maximum return for the minimum financial investment.

So, without further ado, let’s look at some techniques that’ll get folks interested in what you have to offer.

1. Build A Referral Programme

When it comes to fitness boot camp marketing, referrals are your greatest ally. When somebody vouches for your boot camp to the people in their social circle, it adds more influence than almost any other marketing strategy.

According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type. On top of that, a recent study by Ogilvy, Google, and TNS revealed that 74% of consumers identify word of mouth marketing as a key driver in their purchasing decisions.

So, it only makes sense to encourage your current client base to spread the word. We’ll leverage their results, satisfaction social proof to generate new clients faster than a buttered bullet.

Decide on an incentive to push your r member to refer a friend – it could be a free one week pass, some branded swag, or extra one to one personal training. Research has shown that non-cash incentives are typically 24% more effective than cash rewards, so put your wallet away.

Keep it simple and promote it to your customer base through email, by handing out marketing materials like flyers and on your social media channels. For a more in-depth guide on how to create a successful referral program, check out our complete guide here.

2. Run a Fitness Challenge

People love fitness challenges. Working out seems so much easier when there’s a clearly defined goal mixed with a healthy dose of competition – plus challenges and boot camps go together like bicep curls and tricep push-downs.

Challenges are a great way to boost your customer retention and acquire new clients at the same time, which means you’ll spend less time worrying about the books, and more time focusing on developing incredible classes.

Consider running a weight-loss challenge, charity challenge, a healthy eating challenge – there are loads of options to choose from. Just make sure it’s something your audience will want to get on-board with.

One powerful tactic is to align your challenges with different seasons. This taps into shifting consumer desires across the year and maximizes uptake. For example, you could run a 16-week summer shred during Spring or a new year’s re-boot following the holiday period

Additionally, fitness challenges are well suited to corporate clients. Many business owners will be willing to subsidize or fund the cost of a boot camp challenge for their workers. They love the buzz it creates in the office and will be more than happy to pay for the rewards of a fitter, more productive workforce.

To supercharge your challenge, why not combine it with your referral program and encourage your clients to bring a friend to take part too? If you’d like more info on running a fitness challenge, we’ve written a lengthy blog post on that here.

3. Leverage Social Media

Social media is a popular fitness marketing tool and needs to feature in your boot camp business plan. Using it the right way increases your reach, showcases your talent, bolsters your authority, and brings in leads on auto-pilot.

Create a Facebook and Instagram page for your boot camp and share daily updates, from pictures of morning workout to quick tips for healthier living. This keeps you at the top of your client’s minds and makes them feel a more personal connection to you.

Post pictures of client’s achievements, tag them, and comment about how hard they’ve been working. Your members will love the social credit they get from being publicly praised on social media, and you’ll start to pique their friends interest too.

It’s also worthwhile exploring paid ads on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. These have the potential to supercharge your boot camp business, but they do have a somewhat steep learning curve. To learn how to create laser-target boot camp ads that work, .

4. Create A Website

Many fitness boot camps don’t bother to create a website and rely on more old-school forms of marketing. While traditional methods can be useful, a website is needed now more than ever if you’re going to be taken seriously.

Research has shown that the majority of consumers are regularly searching for local businesses online, with 69% of them searching at least once per month. It’s the perfect way to put yourself ahead of competitors and present yourself as the best boot camp in town.

You don’t need to go out and drop a bomb on a website. You can create a simple, professional looking site on your own for just a few dollars per month. Check out some of the major DIY website builders like and Squarespace to get you up and running in under a day.

Include basic info about you, what services you offer, a simple FAQ page, a few quality testimonials, and how people can get in touch with you. See some quality fitness websites for inspiration here.

If you’re going to invest in paid traffic, make sure you get your google analytics and facebook pixel set up. Then register your business with Google My Business so that your details will appear straight away when somebody searches for you. Don’t forget to ask clients for honest reviews too if they’re happy.

Also, if you have the time, it’s worth your while to add a blog to your site. Putting out content that fixes the problems of your audience will help shoot you up the search engine rankings and add serious credibility to your brand.

In fact, content marketing produces one of the highest ROIs of all marketing types, costing, on average, 62% less than traditional forms of marketing and generates up to three times as many leads.

5. Try a Lead Box Contest

In the initial stages of your boot camp business, you need clients fast. If you’ve got no clients or very few, then lead boxes is a low-cost marketing tactic that produces great results.

Lead boxes allow you to generate leads for incredibly little compared to other forms of advertising. They’re a powerful way to jumpstart your business, so you hit the ground running.

Here’s how they work: get your hands on some boxes – you can order branded ones online or, if money is tight, reuse old cardboard boxes – and advertise an offer to ‘win a free month of boot camp’ on the outside.

Then make your way around your local community. Hit up places where your target demographic might hang out – frozen yogurt shops, health food stores, vegetarian restaurants, mom and pop burger joints, etc and strike a deal to have your lead box on display in their premises.

People enter by putting their name, email address, and telephone number into the box – thereby generating you a collection of red-hot leads.

You choose one lucky winner, but then the real fun starts. Instead of just picking one winner, you call all entrants, to tell them that unfortunately, they didn’t win, but as a consolation prize, you’d like to offer them a 50% discount for the first month instead.

It’s best to avoid the temptation to offer a free trial to every entrant because you’ll end up lowering the perceived value of your boot camp.

By offering a discounted price, you’re still asking potential customers to commit financially, which will make sure your boot camp is filled with dedicated people, rather than just a bunch of free-trial hoppers.

In Summary

Now that you’re equipped with these five boot camp marketing strategies, you can start to take your fitness business to the next level. No matter if you’re launching your boot camp as a standalone venture or adding it to your existing offering, these strategies will help you capture leads, bring in revenue, and rise to the top of the fitness industry.

Boot-camp your way to fitness

█ Rediscover childhood games
Name – Sohfit Bootcamp
Duration – Classes are an hour long. One phase lasts 12 sessions
Price – Rs 750 per class for 12 classes; Rs 1000 per class for a drop-in (a single class)
Location – Mahalaxmi and Lower Parel
GOAL – To revisit a time when playing games, as a child, kept us at our fittest. Structured sessions provide mobility training and enhance body flexibility.


Sohfit Bootcamp, founded and spearheaded by former lawyerturned-fitness and wellness expert Sohrab Khushrushahi, incorporates games that people played as children, such as Dog and the Bone and Catch and Cook. Students, including beginners, are seen having a great time while doing hand-stands, burpees, skipping exercises and competing against each other. They usually work in pairs with props like PVC pipes, therabands and medicine balls to improve strength, mobility, flexibility as well as to drop excess weight and become leaner and stronger.
█ Self-defence and fitness
Name – Martial Arts/Combat Bootcamp by Total Combat Fitness
Duration – One-and-a-half to two hours of intense training. The camp takes place only once a month.
Price – Rs 1000 per session
Location – Dadar
GOAL – Impart knowledge about actual self-defence and fighting techniques by teaching disciplines like Muay Thai (sets of kicks and punches in the air), the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). It also offers quick weightloss, reduction of body fat and muscle-building; develops muscle endurance, strength, agility, flexibility, power, metabolism, and strengthens the core, while improving reflexes and reaction-time.

Designed by Balkrishna Shetty, head coach at Total Combat Fitness and at the Muay Thai Indian National Federation (MINF), the Combat Bootcamp is known to be loud and energetic. It commences with parade drills that include running and sprinting. The camp, thereafter, advances to ‘dead man lifts’, where campers jog with another person (of equal body weight) on their backs for almost 100 metres. Other drills include army push-ups, jump squats, tyreflipping, punching bag and sandbag workouts; striking, grappling, wrestling, kick-boxing and takedowns; applying locks and chokes and various self-defence moves in a controlled manner so that no one gets hurt. There are also mob drills, where participants fight with each other using foam sticks.
█ Combine the spiritual and functional
Name – Cindy’s Bootcamp
Duration – A session is one hour and fifteen minutes long. Depending on a prospective student’s needs, Cindy might recommend either a ‘strength’ month, a ‘conditioning’ month or a ‘skill’ month, or even a combination of all three in one month Price – Rs 1200 per session (drop-in); Rs 12, 000 for 12 sessions; Rs 15,000 per month for unlimited access to the camp
Location – Bandra
GOAL – Developing flexibility and mobility; boosting strength, conditioning, and CNS (Central Nervous System) activation; improving the attention span, sharpening the mind and improving reflexes; developing motor fitness skills, such as balance and agility.

Cindy Jourdain’s camp combines elements from various disciplines; PIC: SATISH MALAVADE

A ballet dancer with the Royal Ballet Company in London, who then followed her passion for fitness, Cindy Jourdain moved to India to train actor Katrina Kaif. And never left — having started her boot camp in December 2017. Jourdain’s camps progress from slow movement to high activity, which aim to “wake-up the body”. The class progressively goes into various disciplines and elements of workout, sometimes beginning with yoga and then moving into circuit drills and games where participants may be timed to see how quickly they complete a task. Jourdain’s camps include yoga, pilates, body-weightbased movements, resistance training, cross-training, gymnastics and military drills.
█ A return to good health
Name – F-89 Fitness Bootcamps
Duration – A workout could extend from 45 minutes to 20 minutes to even four minutes. Phases range from 12 sessions to 16 sessions to 20 sessions. One can even enrol for a 21-day package which includes diet and fitness consultation. Price – Rs 150 per session; Rs 1250 for 12 sessions; Rs. 1650 for 16 sessions; Rs 2100 for 20 sessions; Rs 2570 for the 21-day package
Location – Chembur
GOAL – The goal of this boot camp is to make participants — even those who have never hit the gym — fighting fit.

Nandan Phansekar started the camp for those who had high BP; PIC: RAJU SHINDE

Nandan Phansekar, a nationally and internationally-certified functional trainer started this boot camp six years ago to help friends who suddenly found that they had high blood sugar and high blood pressure. Sessions involve early morning sun-gazing and myofascial release with tennis balls (in picture). They also include integrated workouts, hypertrophy workouts, high-intensity training with bungee ropes, shuttle-running, sandbag workouts, plyometric box jumps (step-ups), and Navy Seal jumps
To make the most of a boot camp…
1. Stay hydrated before, during and after class
2. Have a ‘can do-will do’ attitude
3. Promise yourself that you will make every effort to complete the challenges put forward by the trainer(s)
4. Like Cindy Jourdain says, let the camp be a “progressive build-up” — it’s advisable to start with two classes per week, and then increase the number of turns per week and per month
5. Focus on mindfulness techniques imparted during the class; don’t forget to pay attention to your breathing while performing the moves

Whats a boot camp

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