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Do you have what it takes to be a fitness boot-camp recruit?

work-it-outPaging Private Benjamin: Boot camps are back. But Eileen Brennan wannabes aren’t blowing the whistle in this new generation of outdoor uber-workouts. Laura Miranda, creator of the Strong Healthy Woman boot camps in Tribeca, Kips Bay, and Oceanside, Long Island, is the new face of boot camp. A licensed physical therapist and personal trainer, Miranda realized, after spending eight years in the gym, that “you could have a ten times more effective workout outside.”

Boot camps encourage the body to work in a full range of motion (gym machines just work a single muscle joint). They also “tap your inner athlete, no matter who you are,” says Miranda. And New York women are responding. Miranda regularly gets 25 people in her 5:30 a.m. class and 10-15 in her 9:00 a.m. session. “She works me so much harder than I’d ever work myself,” says attendee Solange Ross, “and it’s so much more energizing to be outside instead of stuck in a gym.” I also found her hour-long bootcamp to be a serious butt kicker. And I’m no slouch. Running five times a week and weekly personal training didn’t prepare me for the combination of cardio, resistance training using bands and body weight, and next to no recovery time.


1. Are you fit enough for boot camp?

Miranda’s boot camp is more challenging than a personal training session or a group fitness class. She fosters a friendly competitive atmosphere. so you won’t want to poop out when the push-ups get tough. Still, it would be easy for jocks to push too hard without realizing it, while fitness beginners might feel frustrated by the challenges and pace.

2. Do you need more personal attention?

Boot camp teachers will correct your form, however, you won’t get the one-on-one attention that personal training provides. I found the camaraderie and you-go-girl atmosphere to be happy stand-ins for tons of personal attention. But if you like the slow, deliberate pace of personal training, then boot camp is not for you. If, on the other hand, you are used to large fitness classes and want more personal attention, then boot camp is an economical alternative to personal training.

For more information, visit Strong Healthy Woman.

Have you ever tried a boot camp? What did you think? Please share your experience, here!