Getting in shape for the summer is always hard work, and many local residents are taking their fitness to the next level with boot camp-style workouts.
Participants work on lunges during a High Plains Boot Camp session at Ned Houk Park in Clovis. The workouts are modeled on old-school military training to go with strength exercises and aerobics.
According to the Mayo Clinic, boot camp classes are modeled on old-school military training and offer an intense mix of strength exercises and aerobics to help participants build strength and gain endurance and agility.
Classes are designed to incorporate bursts of intense activity with some lighter activity to provide high-energy interval training.
"A boot camp class will provide both cardio and weight training during the same class," said Jodi Kibbe, who teaches the workout at the Portales Recreation Center. "The participants are also increasing their heart rate with cardio while increasing their muscular strength."
Boot camp participants work on pullups at the Athletics Evolved Gym
Kibbe said her classes include a variety of plyometrics, step aerobics and core exercises.
"Boot camp workouts are typically more intense than a standard cardio session that an individual might perform on his or her own," explained certified personal trainer and boot camp instructor Amy Ward. "So the gains from being a part of a group workout are great."
Ward also said there is a great camaraderie in her classes that helps keep participants coming back for more.
"Folks tend to stick to group fitness like boot camp because of the accountability and increased self-confidence from tackling challenging workouts," she said.
While boot camp might not be the right workout for everyone, Ward further explained that participants are in total control of how hard they push themselves.
"We have had members aged 14 to 55 years and folks that can't run for 30 seconds alongside folks that run marathons," she said. "There is room for nearly everyone."