Every six to nine months, it seems like there is another fad that comes out in the world of exercise and physical fitness. Going back to such things like jazzercise - which is basically what Zumba is, but only with dated music - and stopping along the way at such things like stripper pole classes, each new fad gets touted up and talked about before turning into something else. For a while, many people thought that boot camp classes were going to go the same way, but then a funny thing happened.
A few personal trainers who were teaching boot camp classes in Miami realized these classes had a lot more potential. Many of the original classes, especially those taught in the bigger cities, were run by former boot camp instructors. The result was a tough grueling class that was long on punishment and short on encouragement. In other words, if you were not already following a healthy regiment of diet and exercise, these classes were going to be too much for you. The reason they did not last at first was because the people who could push themselves that hard already were, and did not need to be yelled at by a former Army sergeant.
These trainers in Miami began to think about treating the class as if it were one unit and everyone was responsible instead of helping everyone else. But instead of the whole class suffering if a person could not keep up, the entire class would feel rewarded if they helped everyone else do their best. To make this a success, they came up with a variety of workouts that could happen in the same class at the same time. That way, the class would be open to everyone, from beginners just getting back into the gym to borderline professionals who took the NoDaysOFF philosophy seriously.
Believe it or not, there was a human science behind this and it worked. The people who were just getting started did not feel ostracized if they chose an easier exercise to do during the workout, but also got a chance to see what the next level up would be. The more seasoned people got a chance to help other people push through their barriers and achieve their results, just like someone had for them. And by building up this team morale, it kept everyone encouraged to keep coming back.
Boot camp classes may have disappeared for a while but today they are back and more popular than ever, and when it comes to the success of boot camp fitness, Miami and the dedicated personal trainers living there are the ones to thank for that.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer and fitness enthusiast who believes in the unity of body mind and spirit for living a healthy lifestyle. http://www.legacyfit.com