Magazine article Newsweek

'Gimme 20 Push-Ups - Now!' Civilians Line Up for Military-Style Workouts

Magazine article Newsweek

'Gimme 20 Push-Ups - Now!' Civilians Line Up for Military-Style Workouts

Article excerpt

Civilians line up for military-style workouts

NOSE IN THE SAND, JOAQUIM ZUNIGA, 48, grunts at the buffed young trainer standing over him: "... 29, 30!" His last push-up. For now. The former Gillette exec still has a dozen more drills to do -- squats, sprints, lunges -- all in leg-crampingly soft and under a late-morning Florida sun. Cost of the privilege: $1,150 for two days.

Fatigue -- the self-inflicted, fitness-obsessed, cash-burning variety -- is anathema to those who think the best reason to join a health club is the massage setting on the locker-room shower head. But for certified couch potatoes who need to be yelled into shape and disciplined athletes who want to get tougher, "boot camp" is a faster, increasingly popular route. "Gym rats are always looking for something new to stay motivated and work new muscles," says Shape magazine consultant Stephanie Oakes. The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association says boot camp is second only to yoga as the latest fitness fad.

"Personal trainers are there to push you," says Kevin Philion, a fitness pro who shaves his head (himself) for each of the half-dozen annual boot camps at Williams Island, Fla.-including the one Zuniga recently attended. "Boot-camp trainers are there to shove you." Programs range from one-hour classes at private gyms to six-day group trips to the Everglades. Some instructors wear fatigues; others, spandex. But the basic, rapid-fire ills are the same: chin-ups, squat thrusts and rope climbs not seen since high-school PE class. …

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