SAN DIEGO -- A typical boot camp-style workout enhances aerobic capacity and promotes significant calorie burning while also improving muscle fitness, according to a study released today by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), San Diego. The exclusive study on the benefits of boot camp workouts was conducted at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse through its exercise and health program.

The study tested men and women between the ages of 19 and 29 years old. Researchers used a 40-minute video to measure the effects of boot camp-style workouts called The Method: Cardio Boot Camp with Tracy Mallett, which incorporated a balance of aerobic exercise and strength training.

The study concluded that the average exerciser burns approximately 9.8 calories per minute during a typical boot camp-style workout. This equates to about 400 calories during a 40-minute video or 600 calories per hour.

Based upon the data collected in this study, subjects were exercising within industry-accepted guidelines for exercise intensity. Study participants were observed to achieve an exercise heart rate that ranged from approximately 70 percent to 90 percent of maximum heart rate and 60 percent to 80 percent of maximum oxygen uptake, which corresponds to a moderate- to high-intensity level of exercise.

“From a cardiovascular and calorie-burning standpoint, the boot camp-style workout evaluated in this study compared favorably to traditional aerobic activities like group cycling, aerobic dancing and cardio-kickboxing,” says ACE’s Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant. “During a boot camp workout, you can burn up to 600 calories per hour, which is obviously going to help with weight loss. But in addition to a great cardiovascular workout, you are also getting the muscular fitness benefit from exercises such as push-ups, squats and lunges that you wouldn’t get from a typical aerobic exercise.”

A complete study summary appears on the ACE Web site at: http://www.acefitness.org/cp/pdfs/FitnessMatters/Sept08.pdf.