The history of Fitness Boot Camp

If you frequent a gym, or even if you spend time with people who do, you have probably heard about the popular workout known as fitness boot camp.  These workouts have been around for some time but have risen in popularity in recent years. Fitness boot camp is based on the premises of military boot camp, with a strong emphasis on calisthenics, body weight exercises, strength training, and interval training.  Sometimes boot camp workouts are a specific fitness class offered regularly at a gym. Other times they are offered as separate six-to-eight week sessions offered at a gym or in affiliation with a gym but located outside. These short-term sessions are often offered for the summer as a way to get ready for the beach, but you don’t need beach season as a reason to try out fitness boot camp.  Year-round, fitness boot camp is a great way to burn calories and sculpt your muscles. If you haven’t tried a fit body boot camp workout, give it a shot! You may find a new favorite workout routine.


The History of Fitness Boot Camp

The origins of boot camp reach back as far as genuine military training.  For centuries, soldiers in armies everywhere have been expected to be in good shape with strong endurance.  The term “boot camp” dates back to the Spanish-American War. Military recruits in the United States wore leggings known as “boots,” so their training camp became known as boot camp.  The name stuck. Boot camp as a fitness fad started in the mid-1980s with the release of an audio cassette workout created by a Marine Corps drill instructor but really took off in the late 1990s when gyms began offering fitness boot camp as a class.  Since then, fitness boot camp has become a regular class at gyms all over America and beyond.


A Typical Boot Camp Workout

Boot camp typically begins with a ten-minute warm-up before moving on to a longer session of intense exercise.  Depending on the setup of the class, you may work individually or in pairs or teams. Boot camp may resemble a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) style workout, with periods of intense activity separated by brief periods of rest.  Fitness boot camp is modeled after military boot camp, so the exercises are similar: think push-ups, squats, sprints, burpees, and lunges. Fitness boot camps tend to rely more on body weight than dumbbells or other equipment for strength training.  If you are working in pairs or teams, you may compete against other pairs and teams. The instructor may even act like a drill instructor, complete with commands and a whistle!



Fitness boot camp is a great full body workout that will improve your stamina and tone your muscles.  Interval training has been shown to burn fat and calories effectively, and the specific exercises you will complete target different muscle groups for spot toning.  You will improve your strength and your stamina. In addition to the physical benefits, many people enjoy the boot camp-style workout, and that is a critical factor in its success.  Finding a workout you enjoy is so important because you are more likely to stick with it if you are having fun.


If you are looking for a boot camp workout, check out one of the regularly scheduled fitness boot camp classes at the Fitness Loft Columbus.  Our instructors are ready to drill you into shape!

Christian CollinsComment