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Boot camp fitness classes

Hear the words 'boot camp' and you'll probably imagine army training, heavy boots, khaki, and lots of mud. But increasingly, gyms and fitness centres around the country are offering boot camp style exercise classes, and fitness enthusiasts are flocking to them in droves.

Just like in the movies, boot camp is outdoor, military-style fitness training, designed to push your body to its limits. It's definitely not the 'soft option' when it comes to getting fit, but more and more people swear by it as an exciting and challenging style of group training session. Classes are organized by instructors in parks or open spaces, for around 20 people, and men and women can train together. In a one-hour training session you'll cover a mixture of exercises using your own body weight, as well as plenty of running.

Many of these army-style classes are scheduled for 7 in the morning, to enable you to squeeze in an hour of invigorating exercise before you go to work. There are also sessions scheduled for the early evening, however, for those who prefer to exercise at the end of their working day. The variety of stretching, strength and cardiovascular training in a typical circuit include a thorough warm-up and cool-down, and you can expect to work every single muscle in your body, as well as your heart and lungs. What's more, the team spirit of exercising with others can really help motivate you to give that extra spurt of effort to your workout.

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