Local Boot Camps Keeping You Fit!

local-bootcamps-keeping-you-fitIdyllic weather is just one of the reasons the 941 is a boot camp paradise, since the great outdoors is an ideal boot camp venue. But there are myriad other reasons including the fact that there are so many offerings – from boot camps for babies to brides. So lace up, grab a water bottle and a towel (or two) and explore boot camps in the 941.


A typical fitness boot camp is less intimidating and friendlier than say, the USMC Parris Island depot where no mercy is the mantra, but it is an exercise class where one is pushed far harder than they’d ever push themselves, but with limitations – the trainer isn’t a drill sergeant albeit close, though s/he’s more likely than not to be pushing one beyond while offering loads of encouragement – a passiveaggressive approach that keeps the ‘camper’ motivated and moving. And boot camps are about team; modeled after military-style boot camps where exercise-group unity and support for each team member is the foundation the camp is built upon.

The typical boot camp is an outdoor group class that combines traditional calisthenics and weight exercises with strength and interval training. Generally a set period, say four, six or eight weeks at a time, a classic boot camp session might include sit-ups, push-ups, sprints, lunges and more with virtually no rest in between. The workouts are at once demanding, potent and supremely productive – with fast results not uncommon – and often, very reasonably priced.

Boot camps should begin with a pretty basic fitness assessment done by the trainer. The groundwork for the regimen is usually addressed and the work begins. Classes typically run 30 to 60 minutes and the exercises that are incorporated run the gamut but often include a warmup, sit-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, plyometrics (jump training), burpees,sprinting, speed training, obstacle courses, partner exercises and finally, a cool-down. Keep in mind that every trainer is different and may have his or her own combinations or style, but it’s not unlikely that all or some of these may be included. You will sweat. Buckets.

JD Doyle, director at ShapeUp Sarasota Boot Camp, is an expert with years of experience and a plethora of glowing client testimonials and awards.

“Because a good boot camp uses high intensity intervals of both resistance and conditioning exercises, you will get results faster with boot camp compared to any other type of program,” he says.

One industry study shows a boot camper burns almost 600 calories during a workout and another found boot campers acheive far greater gains in muscle strength and endurance and far more weight loss over conventional weight training and treadmill running, JD explains.

“But more significantly, boot camp includes specific muscle strengthening exercises- in addition to the aerobic work- which not only increases muscle tone and definition, but is also the key to increasing your metabolism,” JD says. “Most boot camp programs rely heavily on body weight exercises; they are safer and more appropriate for the general population than some of the other popular fitness programs around these days.”

Some say boot camps aren’t for everyone. But with variations and boutique-style offerings, they just may be for everyone.


Boot camps designed specifically for women are gaining in popularity. Nokomis Adventure Boot Camp for Women provides a safe, supportive environment where women, beginning at their comfort level, engage in weight training, cardio and endurance drills, obstacle courses, and par courses as well as exploring kickboxing, martial arts-based workouts, Pilates and yoga. This camp and similar boot camps for women often feature body fat analysis, measurements and nutrition seminar. And there’s a sense of welcoming for women at all fitness levels.

“There’s no pressure to come in as an athlete. I have people that have never worked out in their lives, competition marathon runners, and MMA women fighters, so there aren’t levels you have to come in on. Whatever level you’re at is a fine place to start,” says owner and coach Charlie DeFazio. “Athlete Jane may be doing 20 cup jumps in a row, but it is fine for inexperienced Sally to do just a few static squats. There’s no pressure to keep up although it can be a friendly competition; we welcome that, too. But really, you’re going up against yourself. It’s you versus you. And it’s a progression. You start here and you get there. Progression is what we look for and what we hope women who come in achieve.”


According to the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. childhood obesity rates have more than quadrupled in the past three decades. In the short term, obese kids are at risk for high cholesterol and blood pressure, but they often become obese adults and the long term health effects include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Boot camps designed specifically for kids are an ideal way to help kick start a commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle.

A kids-specific boot camp often includes fun activities like obstacle courses in addition to traditional warm-ups, stretches, and group conditioning exercises that focus on strength, agility, balance, and coordination. A boot camp can also help kids develop and/or strengthen social skills and self-esteem, increase focus and concentration and provide
a sense of emotional well-being.


Perhaps the conventional wisdom is that boot camps designed for seniors are slowed-down. Not true. Trainers working with seniors focus on muscle retention and cardiovascular health while avoiding high-impact force – joints are not what they used to be for many older adults. Boot camps for seniors should include a fitness assessment that gathers information on general health but looks closely at past injuries and joint pain and health. Many senior and community centers feature group exercises, think ‘Silver Sneakers,’ but senior boot camps can incorporate the intensity of a vigorous workout with modifications like step jacks versus jumping jacks, full body extensions versus jump squats. You get the idea. Boot camps for seniors balance active and healthy lifestyle goals against each person’s capabilities based on health.

Even brides …

Looking to shed before you wed? There’s a boot camp for that. Bridal boot camps are usually eight to 10 or 12 weeks and include exercises that focus on the core with attention to the arms for all those stunning sleeveless gowns. Nutritional counseling including diet plans are also often a feature. Some are not just for brides but also often for the bridal party.