Biggest Loser Boot Camp … Celebrity Fit Club Boot Camp … Ballet Boot Camp … Lindsey Brin’s Boot Camp … Denise Austin’s Boot Camp … Crunch: Boot Camp Training …
Yes, these workout DVDs—and 279,000 more—exist on the market today. The words “boot camp” are propitious; they are fodder for a fitness marketer’s self-induced emission. You could probably take a Flintstones DVD and a flexor weight amorph of Bam Bam’s club, purpose them as a boot camp system, and make a mint. Whatever the reason, we at large apparently think G.I. Joe / Jane are goddamn badasses—that actualizing their workout regimens is a guaranteed ticket to physical sanctity.
Despite my reverence for the G.I. twins, I have yet to do a DVD workout with “boot camp” in its title. Given this atrocity, I cannot offer my subjective evaluation of any of the genre’s 279,006 names; however, in the following text I do give an overview of boot camp methodology. Additionally, I highlight a couple of workout DVDs that have received wide acclaim.
What is boot camp methodology?
Trying to define “boot camp” in a fitness context is about as easy as defining the useful contribution our media’s favorite blonde-haired socialite heiress makes to the planet. Ostensibly, marketers try using the “boot camp” moniker to illicit images of hard-sweating soldiers in basic training. These images become cloudy though when said moniker is haphazardly slapped on everything from ballet workouts to kettlebell routines.
Forced to pin down a definition, I would say a boot camp workout is one that includes myriad methods of exercise—weight lifting, running, calisthenics, intervals, etc. In terms of practicum, you will often see boot camp programs packaged as one, two, or three-month prescriptions—uncoincidentally analogous to the “nine-week” Basic Combat Training model of the Army. P90X, despite not being specifically branded as such, is a great example of a boot camp style DVD workout program.
A Look at a Couple of Boot Camp Workout DVDs
I will neither recommend, nor impugn a fitness program that I have not done. And as already mentioned, I have yet to do a “boot camp” entitled workout (my P90X and Insanity grad statuses are meaningless here); thus, I cannot personally review or speak to the efficacy of any such program. I will, however, assert my opinion that a well designed boot camp program is a great means by which to improve fitness. What makes for a “well designed” boot camp program? First and foremost, I would say an experienced trainer who places value on safety, form, and progression. As for trainers, there are thousands out there—many, well-known celebs. Personally, in much the same way I prefer to see an actual surgeon over a celebrity who plays one on-screen, I prefer to follow an actual trainer over a celebrity who “plays” one. There are undoubtedly good celebrity trainers; but, they are vastly outnumbered by celebrities who simply reenact what real trainers have shown them, and I have yet to see an Oscar contending reenactment. I guess if I were forced to seek a celebrity trainer, I would look for one whose celebrity status is beholden to their credentials as a fitness expert (think someone like Bob Harper, not an MTV VJ). After considering the trainer, I would then look for a program that has varied exercise content—the aforementioned weight lifting, running, calisthenics, intervals, etc. Lastly, I would consider cost, ancillary equipment needs, and how well the program is received by the fitness community at large.
Following are a couple of boot camp programs that on the surface appear to meet my criteria. They are led by individuals who have fitness training backgrounds; they are based on multiple forms of exercise; they are reasonably priced; and they are generally well-regarded. Since I have done neither of these boot camps I cannot speak to their actual quality or intensity. I suspect they are decent workouts; I would guess, however, that neither is as intense as the routines in P90X, Insanity, and RushFit, all three of which, semantics aside, I consider boot camp programs.
Trainer: Bob Harper (click here for Bob’s bio)
Program Duration: six to eight weeks
Exercise Scope: light weight lifting, calisthenics, light plyometrics, intervals
Price: around $10
Amazon User Rating: four to five stars with over 120 reviews
Trainer: Sue Hitzmann (click here for Sue’s bio)
Program Duration: thirty-five minute routine to be repeated as often as you wish
Exercise Scope: light weight lifting, calisthenics, intervals
Price: around $14
Amazon User Rating: four to five stars with over 130 reviews