I grew up near West Point, and worked on post throughout most of high school, and in case you think that the fitness aspect of the military is overblown, I can tell you that it is not. Those guys (and gals) seemed to be running all the time, and when they weren't running, they were doing pull-ups everywhere, and when they weren't doing either of those things, they were playing sports for fun. I don't know that I've ever seen so many fit people in my life as at West Point. And it's not just the young people either; men and women in their 50s in command positions were just as toned as the 20-year-olds.
And so, after being confined to bases and barracks for years, those military workouts that work so well for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force (not to mention others that have reached the mainstream), so all us civvies can reap the benefits of the hardcore training that goes into turning regular folks into soldiers.
Boot camp is probably the most common military-style workout around, and celebrities aplenty (as well as your neighbor) attribute harder bodies to the programs. Boot-camp style workouts are varied, but most of them take the core of the exercises done in real military boot camps and bring them to the mainstream. They usually feature short but intense cardio moves interspersed with strength training (and throw agility into the mix too), and they are hard — it's not uncommon for them to make you feel nauseous. The upshot is that they absolutely blast calories, building muscle quickly and tearing down fat — and they tend to be short workouts. The Mayo Clinic details whether this style of workout might be right for you at your current level of health.
Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed and used by the Israeli military. It brings together parts of various marital arts from around the world, boxing, Judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling and several more. It was developed from the street-fighting techniques of Imi Lichtenfeld who defended a Jewish community from fascist groups during the 1930s. It has been formalized and includes simultaneous defensive and offensive moves, and aggression.
TRX is based on the Navy SEAL training that Randy Hetrick underwent. He wanted to stay "mission fit on the road," and sewed up his own unique suspension system that used his bodyweight as a strength tool.
According to the origin story on the site, "TRX Suspension Training became a mainstay in the training rooms of champion teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, including the Denver Nuggets, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Chargers, as well as all four branches of the U.S. military." TRX combines strength, balance, core stability and stamina into one workout.
Capoeira is a martial art that combines dance, acrobatic moves, and oftentimes musical accompaniment. It wasn't used specifically by a military, but instead by the people fighting against those in charge, especially those who were outnumbered and had less technology, namely African slaves brought to Brazil to grow and harvest sugarcane. Developed during the slave trade in the 16th century so that runaway slaves could defend themselves against larger groups of armed men, it utilizes a basic low-to-the-ground move called the ginga (a great exercise in an of itself) and its moves were often hidden in dances or called a game. It continued as a fighting system for several hundred years and was banned for a period of time after slavery was abolished in Brazil and local gangs started to use the moves to gain advantage in street fights. By the 1930s it was formalized into the system seen today.
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