"If you get to the point where you feel that you almost can't get up, that's when you know that you're doing it right," certified personal trainer Karianne Dickson called out encouragingly as she led 18 sweaty women through her 60-minute fitness boot camp of squats, jumps, drills and ball slams.
 
Dickson's workout is part of an increasingly popular trend: Fitness boot camps are springing up in parks and other outdoor facilities in New Jersey and around the nation. The boot camps incorporate the drills and calisthenics used in military boot camps, but most - including Dickson's - are doing so without the tactics of a screaming drill sergeant.
 
These rigorous exercise programs are gaining popularity because they provide fast results. "You work the entire body in a very short period of time with various types of exercises," said exercise physiologist Cedric Bryant, who is chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise.
 
Boot camps were reported as a growing trend in the council's 2008 survey of more than 3,000 fitness professionals. In a survey released in April by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, 30% (or 1,003) of member clubs that responded reported having fitness boot camps among their offerings.
 
Adapted from a news blog from http://ihrsa-industry-news.blogspot.com.

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