The perfect way to up the results of an ordinary walking routine: Send it to boot camp.Download a 6-Week Workout Plan
Our all-new plan combines the high-energy calisthenics, strength, and agility drills of popular boot camp classes with walking intervals proven to blast fat fast. In a recent study, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse researchers found that boot camp workouts burn about 7.5 calories a minute — 30% more than a steady-pace walk alone. Lab tests aside, we know it works because we tested it on 19 women ages 38 to 51. In just 6 weeks, they lost an average of nearly 12 inches each (including up to 4 inches off their waistline alone) and up to 22 pounds — without dieting.
What makes a boot camp workout so different? For starters, it's the ultimate time-saver, combining muscle-sculpting strength moves and fat-burning cardio, plus age-defying agility and flexibility drills. "You work harder than you would if you were just walking or strength-training, but you don't even notice because you're constantly switching gears from one type of exercise to the next," says Chris Freytag, Prevention's own fitness expert, who designed the program.
Best of all, from newcomer to veteran alike, our testers loved how the workout energized their attitudes toward exercise. "These women found muscles they never knew they had, and they couldn't wait to get out there and start moving," says Freytag. "They never imagined they could have so much fun while getting fit!"Now it's your turn to try our walking boot camp. Do it on your own, or grab a friend — or two or three! Research shows that having several workout partners can as much as triple your chances of exercising regularly. This plan is perfect for all fitness levels, and all you need is a watch, your walking shoes, and a desire to have some fun! Like our fellow boot campers, you could shrink up to 2 sizes in just 6 weeks.
The Expert: Certified personal trainer Chris Freytag is author of 2-Week Total Body Turnaround.
Workout At A Glance:
3 times a week, do the 60-minute Walking Boot Camp Workout alone or with some friends.
2 times a week, do a steady-paced brisk walk (about 3.5 to 4 mph) for 1 hour.
What you'll need: Supportive walking shoes, a sports watch, and a path or track with a grassy area to perform the exercises.
For faster results: Follow a healthy diet (about 1,600 calories a day) with plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
Track your workout online here for free with Prevention!
How It Works:
1. Warm-Up for 5 minutes.
2. Cardio: Walk & Burn (at right). You'll alternate short intervals of walking drills that stretch and tone your lower-body muscles with longer bouts of brisk strolling.
3. Strength: Walk & Sculpt (p. 92). You'll complete 2 circuits of high-energy strength exercises for the recommended number of repetitions to firm up all over.
4. Brisk Walk for 10 minutes.
5. Cool-Down for 4 minutes.
Part 1 Cardio: Walk & Burn
These walking drills keep your heart rate elevated to blast maximum calories while improving your strength, balance, and flexibility
Walk slowly, working up to a brisk pace (you should be somewhat breathless).
5:00 High Knees
Stretches hips and hamstrings Lift knees in front of you to about hip height, alternating legs and coming up onto ball of foot that's on the ground as you move forward.
5:30 Brisk Walk
About 3.5 to 4 mph pace, as though hurrying to an appointment (you should be breathing harder).
9:00 Frankenstein Walk
Stretches glutes and hamstrings Hold arms in front at chest level. Swing right leg forward as high as you can, keeping knee as straight as possible and coming up onto ball of opposite foot. Don't lean forward or back. Continue, alternating legs.
9:30 Brisk Walk
13:00 Walking Lunge
Firms glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves Step left foot forward and bend both knees 90 degrees, lowering into a lunge (keep front knee over ankle, and don't lean forward). Stand up, bringing right leg forward to meet left one. Repeat, stepping with right foot. Continue alternating legs.
13:30 Brisk Walk
17:00 Traveling Squat
Firms glutes, quads, hamstrings, and outer thighs Stand with left shoulder pointing in the direction you'll be moving. With feet more than shoulder-width apart, bend hips and knees and lower into a squat, pushing glutes back (keep knees behind toes) (a). as you stand up, pivot on left foot, turning 180 degrees, so you are facing the opposite way (B), and squat. Then pivot on right foot, turning back to start position. Repeat, alternating sides.
17:30 Brisk Walk
Firms quads, hamstrings, and calves; improves coordination and balance Walk backward, glancing over shoulder occasionally.
21:30 Brisk Walk
Firms abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves; strengthens bones Do it just like you did as a kid, bounding as high and lightly as possible, alternating legs and swinging arms.
25:30 Brisk Walk
Firms inner and outer thighs; improves agility Stand with right shoulder pointing in the direction you'll be moving, arms bent in front of you, knees slightly bent. Shuffle, stepping with right foot followed by left for 15 seconds. Repeat shuffle, leading with left foot for 15 seconds.
29:30 Brisk Walk
Firms inner and outer thighs; improves agility Cross left foot in front of right, then step right foot out to right side. Then cross left foot behind and step right foot out to right side again. Continue for 15 seconds. Repeat, crossing with right foot. Move feet as lightly and quickly as possible.
33:30 Brisk Walk
Find out how many calories you burned while walking — here!
Part 2 Strength: Walk & Sculpt
These moves include some "four-legged" walking and tone you up from head to toe in no time
38:30 Bear Crawl
Firms shoulders, triceps, abs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings Begin on all fours, hands more than shoulder-width apart. Straighten legs and push hips toward sky, so you're in an inverted V position. From here, walk on hands and feet, keeping abs tight and neck relaxed. Take 25 to 30 steps.
37:00 Push-Up Plus
Firms shoulders, chest, triceps, back, and front and side abs With knees on ground, hands under shoulders, and body in line from head to knees, bend elbows and lower chest (a). Then straighten arms and rotate body to left, left leg extended and left arm up, so you're balancing on right hand, side of right calf, and left foot (B). Hold for 1 count, rotate back to start, and repeat, rotating to left. Do about 10 reps per side.
39:00 Wood-Chopping Squat
Firms side abs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings Stand with feet wide apart, arms raised above right shoulder (A). Bend hips and knees and sit back, twisting to left as you swing hands down toward outside of left leg (B); keep body weight in heels. As you stand up, bring arms diagonally across body and overhead, twisting to right. Repeat. Do 10 to 12 reps on each side.
40:00 Crab Walk
Firms shoulders, triceps, abs, back, quads, and calves Sit with legs bent, feet flat on ground, hands behind you. Contract core muscles and lift butt off ground. From here, slowly walk forward, keeping hips lifted and abdominals tight. Take 25 to 30 steps.
40:30 Climb the Rope
Firms abs and hip flexors Lie faceup with legs bent, heels on ground, and hands extended above torso. Reach hand over hand toward sky, as if you're climbing a rope, lifting head, neck, shoulders, and back off ground, and then slowly lower. Do 10 to 12 reps.
41:30 Repeat minutes 37 to 41:30, doing the Strength: Walk & Sculpt circuit 1 more time.
46:00 Brisk Walk
56:00 Cool-Down Slow to an easy pace.
60:00 Finish you did it!