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Get fit the military way

Soak up the sun and bond with your friends while increasing your endurance levels with outdoor boot camp training sessions

Has the rising mercury thrown a spanner in your works as far as your fitness regimen is concerned? This summer, rather than procrastinating on fighting a lone battle to increase your fitness levels, how about working out in a group in the open air? This season, fitness clubs across the city have been organising outdoor boot camp training sessions, which follows this same philosophy. What is it that appeals people, of varied age groups, about these boot camps. This is what experts have to say:

Outdoor boot camp workout
Outdoor boot camp training sessions include sit ups (above), stretching exercises (below) and squats (bottom) and are always done in groups to foster team spirit

Boot camp decoded
Ritesh Shaiwal, head trainer at Fitness First, a club that conducts outdoor boot camp training sessions thrice every month says, “A fitness boot camp is derived from a group physical training programme that was earlier done by military personnel. It was a way for them to judge their physical endurance. These programmes became a huge rage in the United States and have now been adapted by various countries. They are designed to build strength and fitness through a variety of exercises over a span of one hour.”

Outdoor boot camp workout

He informs that these camps are based on the principle of high intensity interval training (HIIT) wherein longer bouts of high-intensity workouts are followed by shorter bouts of recovery. The idea of boot camp training is to use your body weight to achieve newer levels of fitness. It often starts off with stretching exercises, followed by a wide variety of interval training, including lifting weights or objects, pushups, squats, sit ups, exercises using a rubber tyre, etc. The session usually ends with simple yoga exercises such as pranayam and shavasan. Shane D’Souza, master trainer at Inch By Inch, another fitness club says, “Outdoor boot camp training comprises so many different kinds of exercises that coupled with an effective diet plan, one can do it just thrice a week.”

Outdoor boot camp workout

Mind, body and soul
Shaiwal says that outdoor boot camp training sessions are always done in groups, as it is a competitive workout that fosters team spirit. “The participants are given a common goal, which they have to achieve in a stipulated period of time. For instance, they have to do a certain number of pushups within one minute. So this compels participants to constantly be on their toes rather than slacking, which tends to happen some times when you are working out alone in a gym,” he explains. D’Souza says that it is ideal for people who want to lose fat, increase their energy levels, speed up their metabolism and reduce stress. “These camps challenge the mind as well as the body as they work on core training, breathing, relaxation, and a better understanding of how the body moves,” he adds.

Who can do it
D’Souza suggests that one should have certain amount of fitness levels and be proficient with weight training before opting for outdoor boot camp training as it encompasses rigorous exercises. He informs, “Men should be able to complete four pull ups and women should be able to hold a flexed-arm hang position (wherein they can maintain the elbow flexion in a pull up for as long as possible). Both sexes should be able to complete 40 crunches within two minutes. Men must be able to run one and a half kilometres in less than 14 minutes while women should be able to cover 1.5 miles in 15 minutes.”

So, what are you waiting for? Without wasting any more time, start these exercises to become eligible for outdoor boot camp training sessions and get ready to burn some calories while bonding with your friends.

Create your own boot camp
1. Bring your friends on board. Working out with friends will keep you motivated and inspire you to push yourself harder. You can also take turns to assign exercises to the group
2. Opt for early morning sessions when the temperature is slightly cool.
3. You can scout for locations and alternate between a park or a beach for the boot camp training sessions
4. Grab some equipment such as light hand weights, jump ropes and beach blankets to spice up your outdoor workouts

Watch what you eat
Neha Tandon, a nutritionist with Fitness First, suggests that one should follow certain dietary restrictions while opting for an outdoor boot camp training session. Here are some tips that she provides.
1. Thirty minutes before you start the session, you should have a fruit
2. If you are really hungry and want to eat something more, then you can have a vegetable or an egg sandwich. But this should be had 90 minutes before the session
3. Drink regular water, lemonade, coconut water or fruit juice during
the session
4. After the workout, you should have a sprout salad, a smoothie or a sandwich. This meal should be had within 30 minutes of the training session to replenish your energy level

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