Skip Nav

Are Boot Camp Fitness Classes Good For You?

Looking For the Most Effective Full-Body Workout? Experts Recommend This Class Style

Restrictions: Editorial use only, no SalesPhotographer: Benjamin StoneRestrictions: Editorial and internal use only. No advertising, no print.

Of all the styles of fitness classes, boot camp-style group workouts probably feel the most torturous. After all, that's their whole shtick! But according to scientific studies and experts consulted by TIME, the classes are some of the most effective full-body workouts you could participate in . . . so, when all is said and done, the torture is worth it.

Because most boot camp classes "combine a series of calisthenics, like push-ups, lunges, and squats, with running, jumps, and other high-intensity aerobic movements" like workouts used during military training, TIME reports that they make for a comprehensive, full-body workout that gives plenty of bang for your buck. One expert, exercise and sport science professor, John Porcari, credits the typical lack of equipment to some of boot camp classes' effectiveness; he told the publication that functional training is better for "real-world" fitness than using weights or machines.

And Porcari's scientific studies back up this claim: when studying the effectiveness of boot camp exercise classes, Porcari and team found that participants burn an average of 10 calories per minute. This same study also reports that boot camp classes often qualify as HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, increasing heart rates, and maximizing the overall fitness benefits of the physical activity.

Co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, Dr. Edward Laskowski, reported to TIME that it's not just the typical workout elements of the boot camp classes that tend to make them so effective . . . it's the group fitness mindset. Boot camps facilitate a sort of camaraderie that helps participants feel motivated and inspired to work out harder during class.

So if you're looking for a workout that will effectively whip you into shape, consider a boot camp-style program. Read TIME's full report on the benefits of boot camp, then explore Professor Porcari's findings about the workout style to learn more.

Lifestyle Changes That’ll Boost Your Brain Power
35-Minute CrossFit AMRAP Workout With Jumping Rope
16-Minute Kettlebell Workout For Strength and Cardio
POPSUGAR Interview: The Body Coach, Joe Wicks
15-Minute Total-Body Strengthening Workout
At-Home Workout For Women | Bodyweight
Total-Body Bodyweight Workout
Total-Body Gym Workout For Women
25-Minute Home Workout
Beginner Dumbbell Workout For Women
Beginner Weightlifting Workout
Home Exercises Squat and Plank Workout
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds