The Boot Camp Workout

The Best Weight Loss Workouts You Can Do

Boot camp workouts are the best weight loss and fat burning workouts you can do.  There are a few key reasons why. 

  1. You can’t beat the combination of cardio exercise and strength training for burning a ton of calories and building lean muscle. 
  2. The workout options are almost unlimited so there is no reason to ever be stuck in a rut. 
  3. They can be done anywhere and you don't need equipment.

To illustrate, here's a nice 10 to 15 minute drill if you happen to have a hill or a set of stairs handy.  Pick a number and pick an exercise.  Say I pick the number 9 and I pick pushups.

  • Run to the top of the hill or stairs.
  • Do one pushup.
  • Run back down.
  • Don't stop when you get to the bottom.  Turn right around and head back up the hill.
  • Do two pushups.
  • Run back down and back up.
  • Do three pushups.
  • Keep going until you get to 9 pushups.

That’s the beauty of boot camp workouts (one of them anyway).  They are mostly made up of bodyweight exercises.  That means you can get into fantastic shape for little to no cost! 

In fact WebMD says:

“Forget fancy fitness fads.  Your body is the only equipment you need for one of the hottest fitness trends: body-weight workouts.

A new survey of fitness trends shows body-weight training, including back-to-basics exercises like push-ups, planks, pull-ups, is expected to be one of the top 10 fitness trends...” [1] 

Hey, that's what a boot camp workout is all about!

Combining Cardio With Strength Training Exercises

Medical research proves that combining cardio with strength training vastly outperforms separating them, i.e. doing cardio on one day and strength training the next day.  A study in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research shows how much more effective it is to include cardio exercises and strength training in the same workout. [2]

For the study, people were separated into two groups.  One group did a more traditional routine of cardio one day and strength training the next.  The other group did strength exercises with intervals of cardio mixed in – like boot camp workouts. 

The group that mixed the cardio and strength exercises showed a greater increase in lower body strength and endurance – which is great.  But the real headline was the difference in body composition between the groups.  The combination group saw almost 10 times the reduction in body fat compared to the separated group!  If that’s not enough, the combination group gained 82% more muscle than the separated group. 

Let that sink in.  This research shows that a boot camp workout can give you 998% more fat loss and 82% more muscle gain over more traditional exercise programs.  There is no magic pill or anything.  You’ll still work for it.  But MAN look at the results you can get. 

Unlimited Variations - Never Get Stuck In a Rut Again

Below are just a few boot camp ideas out of a million.  Bootcamp workout ideas are only limited by one's imagination.  A good example of that is Phase 1 below.  Take that same concept and put in whatever exercises you want. 

After you give these workouts a try, take a look at the Bodyweight Burn program.  It's a great plan that leads you through the process of coordinating body weight workouts and your diet for maximum fat loss.  It's one of the best programs available for burning fat and building lean muscle.  I highly recommend it!

Boot Camp Workout 1

Warm Up:

Phase 1: Sprints with exercises

  • Start on the sideline of a football or soccer field.  If you don't have a sports field handy, all you really need is 50 or 60 yards to run.
  • To begin, do 10 reps of an exercise
  • Sprint to the other side of the field.
  • Do 10 more reps of the exercise.
  • Sprint back.  Do 10.  Sprint over.  Do 10.  Sprint back.  Do 10.
  • You end up doing 4 sprints and 5 sets of the exercise per round. 
  • The first exercise is pushups.  10 pushups, sprint over, 10 pushups, sprint back, etc.
  • The next exercise is Squats
  • Next, do Turkish get ups (5 with the right arm raised, 5 with the left arm raised)
  • Russian twists
  • Jump lunges 

Phase 2: A 12 inch to 18 inch bench or wall is helpful for this one.

  • Do 10 jump ups onto the platform.
  • Turn around, put your feet up on the platform and do 20 decline pushups.
  • Put your palms on the platform with your feet on the ground and do 20 dips.
  • Do 4 sets. 

Phase 3: Finish with abs and core work.

Boot Camp Workout 2

Warm Up:

Half Mile Run (4 to 5 minutes at a moderate pace)

Phase 1: This works best if you have 100 yards of open space.

  • 25 yards walking lunges.
  • 5 burpees
  • 25 yards broad jumps
  • 5 burpees
  • 25 yards bear crawl
  • 5 burpees
  • 25 yards crab walk
  • 5 burpees
  • Run back
  • Repeat that set
  • 100 Yards backward run
  • 5 Burpees
  • Run back
  • 50 yards karaoke run right
  • 50 yards karaoke run left
  • 5 Burpees
  • Run back
  • Repeat that set

Phase 2:  Doing some of the movements backwards is a bigger change than you think!

  • 25 yards backwards lunge walk
  • 10 pushups
  • 25 yards backwards broad jumps
  • 10 pushups
  • 25 yards backwards bear crawl
  • 10 pushups
  • 25 yards backwards crab walk
  • 10 pushups
  • Run back
  • Repeat that set
  • 50 yards burpee broad jumps
  • Sprint the remaining 50 yards
  • Run back
  • Rest 15 seconds
  • Repeat that set (maybe a few times)

Phase 3: Upper body, mostly chest and triceps.

  • Put your hands together on a bench or some elevated surface with your feet on the ground and do 20 incline diamond pushups.
  • Put your left arm behind your back and do 12 incline pushups with your right arm.
  • Switch arms and do 12 incline pushups with your left arm.
  • Do 15 dips with your hands on the bench or platform.
  • Put your feet up on the platform and do 12 to 15 decline pushups.
  • Repeat the series.

Phase 4: Finish with Planks

  • 15 Seconds Plank
  • 15 Seconds Side Plank with right hand raised.
  • 15 Seconds Side Plank with left hand raised.
  • 15 Seconds Regular Plank with right leg raised.
  • 15 Seconds Regular Plank with left leg raised.
  • 15 Seconds Regular Plank on the elbows.

Granted, that boot camp workout might not be right for someone just starting out.  But that's OK because you can modify the workout and the exercises to make a workout that works for you.

Check out the exercise pages to see the modifiers that make each of the exercises easier and harder.

I love these workouts as starting points to get used to the boot camp workout philosophy of mixing cardio with bodyweight exercises.  If your goal is to shed fat and build lean muscle, some cardio and body weight workouts are all you need.

For more information on how to coordinate your body weight workouts and your diet for maximum fat loss, check out the Bodyweight Burn program.  It's one of the best programs available for burning fat and building lean muscle.  I highly recommend it!


  1. Warner, Jennifer. “Top 10 Fitness Trends Picked for 2013”. Web MD. 29 Oct 2012. 19 Jun 2013.
  2. Davis, W Jackson; Wood, Daniel T; Andrews, Ryan G; Elkind, Les M; Davis, W Bart Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 22(5):1503-1514, September 2008.  19 June 2013.

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