About Kyle

Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He runs a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his girlfriend and hanging out with his two cats, Boris and Peaches.

The Battle Royal Team Building Workout

Your workouts and your personality are only part of the reason that your bootcampers keep coming back. The next biggest reason (or the biggest to some) is the other people who attend your bootcamp.

It’s important therefore to try and get new clients to get to know your awesome campers as quickly as possible.

The best way to to this is during your group sessions. Include ice breakers, games and team based drills to get them talking and building some camaraderie. Tough situations bring people together, and your tough bootcamps can do that in small doses each day.

Team relay

Keeping Score

Score keeping is one of the easiest ways to get teams to compete against each other. Each drill in this workout has a different scoring method as a bit of an example on different ways you can score.

Use a white board to keep track of the score through out the workout and get people excited by calling out the scores at the end of each drill. Let teams at the bottom know how close they are and the teams in the lead that the wolves are hungry at their door.

Important! Don’t turn your bootcamp into an anti-competitive environment. Keep things light by adding and subtracting points through out the workout for things like not paying attention, doing poor reps (especially if it’s a very fit client who is slacking off) and good team work.

Before you start this workout, make sure you start off with a good warm up.

Then split your group into teams of roughly equal fitness. This workout works best if you have an even number of teams (2, 4, 6, 8, etc)

Card Race

Grab your trusty deck of playing cards and remove these numbers: jokers, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Place the deck at the top of a short hill (think 30 metres) with the teams assembled at the bottom. Each team will send one member to sprint up the hill, grab a card off the top of the deck and then run back down to their team.

Once they arrive back at their team with the playing card, the entire team must carry out the exercise that card corresponds to. Here are some examples you can use:

Hearts = tuck jumps
Diamonds = KB deadlift high pull
Spade = sit up fives (feet locked with a partner, high 5 at the top of each simultaneous sit up)
Clubs = chest to deck push ups

The number of reps to be completed (by each member) equals the number on the card. Aces and face cards = 12 reps.

Once the card has been completed another team member can sprint up the hill to retrieve another card. Teams should continue until all of the cards are gone. If you have a lot of teams (6 or more) you will want to use two decks of cards.

Point scoring. Once a team completes a card they should put it in a team pile. Teams get 1 point for every number card they completed and 2 points for every face card and ace.

Mindfield

This is a top secret drill of Garry’s that I can’t share unfortunately. I can tell you though that those coming next month to our London Workshop will get to do it live (Yay!). By the way, there is still 4 tickets left but once they are gone they are gone. You can come for a tank of petrol (everyone else in the world needs to stop complaining about gas prices until they come to the UK – crazy expensive!).

Point scoring. Teams lose 2 points for each mine they fail to bring back.

Tug-of-war

Finish off the workout with a good ol’ fashion game of tug-of-war.

Pick a safe area to set up and keep the games short by playing the first team to have a foot to cross the centre line loses.

Assuming you have four teams. Team 1 and 2 play 3 rounds against each other. Then teams 3 and 4 play 3 rounds against each other. Then the two winning teams play each other and finally the two losing teams.

Tip: If one team is really struggling to win, sneakily give their end of the rope a bit of help.

Point scoring. 5 points for every tug-of-war won.

A final word on point scoring

I’ve allowed for small amounts of points to be scored at each drill. You may decide that you want to make things more exciting by allowing teams to score 100 points for each card and so on.

Also a little tip for time efficient team naming. Set a 30 second timer for the teams to brainstorm a team name. For every second they take longer then 30 they lose a point (and therefore start at a negative).

Who else uses point scoring or team building drills in their bootcamps?

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4 More Lessons Learned To Help Save Your Bootcamp Business

Around eighteen months ago, just after I released The Little Bootcamp Book of Workouts, I wrote a short article on lessons I learnt from launching a product that could equally be applied to running a bootcamp business.

Well last weekend I did something else for the first time. I helped organise a live workshop and once again I learnt a tonne about business. I feel compelled to share some of the universal lessons learnt that you should turn around and apply to your bootcamp.

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1. Employ Risk Management

This was rather an unfortunate lesson to learn but I am glad the regular practice of risk management has become just a part of running outdoors group sessions for Garry and myself. If we hadn’t gone through steps to mitigate risk and protect ourselves, we could be in a world of hurt right now.

In a bootcamp environment, accidents will happen. Clients are trying to work intensely, they get excited, things happen.

You can’t stop it 100% but you can certainly manage it by identifying and eliminating or reducing your risks.

Here are just a few ways to protect yourself and your clients:

Get insurance. If you haven’t got it, get it now. Do I need to expand on this?

Plan your sessions. During the workshop Garry spoke about how planning your workouts is important to ensure clients keep progression. Well it’s also important so that in the event of an insurance claim you have evidence that you progressed your clients from A to B. Evidence that you had thought about why they were doing those exercises on that day. Winging your planning may seem more intuitive and fun to you now, but it really isn’t worth the risk.

Get clients to perform a written health screen and get them to sign a waiver. The health screen will bring to light any injuries or conditions you should be aware of and the waiver will help protect you in the case of an injury. This is the form we had trainers fill out and sign for our workshop. Of course this is an example only and you should check the wording with your lawyer.

Perform a risk analysis of your training area. I’m insured with Guild Insurance. They were fantastic in assisting us preparation for our workshop. They also have an entire section on their website dedicated to helping trainer think about risk. I recommend checking out their article on risk management. They are not paying me to say any of this, it just seemed like something useful to share.

Kyle and Karen

2. Have An Assistant

If you are training 15+ people, you should really consider hiring an assistant. I know this may seem like a difficult task to find someone but it doesn’t have to be.

I found my first assistant at  a bootcamp training course. He wasn’t ready for his own bootcamp at the time and I needed someone to help. Now he is one of my closest friends.

Now you may think ‘I run sessions with 25 people by myself and it’s fine’ but let me ask you these questions:

  • Does your insurance cover you for that many people at once?
  • What happens if someone rolls an ankle? (the most common bootcamp injury in my experience)
  • What do you do when on a group run and someone cannot keep up or is trying to nurse an existing injury?
  • How long does it take you to set up for bootcamp?
  • Who keeps the group motivated while you are looking at your stop watch?

Having Simon assist us on Friday was life saving. We were on a tight time frame so we had to be quick at setting up the next drill. Having two instructors to set up a drill while the other looked after the group made it possible.

When one of the girls collided with another, Simon was able to look after her while we kept the session running. The alternative would have been to stop the workshop while we tended to her, which I’m sure people would have been understanding of the situation, but it meant no time was lost.

Do not let your ego get in the way of giving your clients a safe and effective training environment.

Garry

3. Be Persistent and Patient With Councils

Who loves to deal with their local council?

Anyone?

We had quite a struggle with booking our workshop venue. In fact Garry was originally knocked back because he accidentally let slip the word ‘fitness’ which conjured up images of bootcamps to the council.

You must keep at it though because I assure you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It helps to understand your thought process and their thought process.

You are a cool business owner. You don’t like conforming to rules which is why you decided to be your own boss. When someone slams a closed door in your face you say ‘F*** it’ and knock a hole through the adjacent wall. You also drive a black Jeep Wrangler with a giant boot footprint painted down the sides because you are badass.

Now try to imagine the mindset of the average government employee who only has that job because of the safe paycheck it gives them every week.

Now you understand why you get frustrated. Because you both have different goals and values.

Now that you understand that, also consider that not all council employees are like that, some might be there because they genuinely want to help their local area. And those people are dealing with the same bureaucracy you are only day in and day out.

So give them a damn break!

Be patient with your council. Take the time to help them to understand what you are trying to do and be flexible in what you may need to change in order to do it.

Work with your council, not against them.

Manly Oval

4. Don’t Forget About the Experience

The experience of doing something is becoming almost as important as the actual service or product you give someone.

For example, I went shirt shopping the other day for some clothes. I have a few weddings coming up. I went into this smart casual type suit store and was blown away by the wood paneling on the wall and the floating wood floor. So much effort and money had gone into decking this place out.

This is a fairly big chain menswear store in a shopping centre (mall). The store next door was similarly extravagantly laid out.

I remember when pretty much every clothing store looked the same. White tile floors, white walls and ugly hanging racks.

It all worked, I enjoyed being in the store and bought two new shirts.

Now  I am seeing cafe’s, stores, websites and fitness studios putting a lot of money and effort into the look and feel (the experience) of their location. I think it’s really cool. These are modern expressions of art.

Leading up to the Bootcamp Training Ideas workshop, it was a real pleasure to work with Garry because he seems to understand how important experience is intuitively. He insisted that we hire Manly Oval and not just use some park. He insisted that we get the manuals we handed printed, covered and bound and not just stapled. He insisted that we ask Simon to come help us so things would run smoother on the day.

He was correct. All of these little things added up to making the day very enjoyable and memorable.

So in your own bootcamp don’t forget this. Don’t just deliver awesome workouts, deliver an experience to your clients and they will keep coming back for more.

Collect The Cones

This week’s drill

I know many of your were asking for a copy or a video of the content from our workshop so here is one of the drills we taught:

Collect the Coloured Cones

Part 1

Scatter 30-50 coloured cones in the centre of an area. Form your bootcamp group into teams of 4 or 5 and place the teams in a circle around 15 metres away from the cones.

On your word ‘Go’ each team sends one person running into the centre to grab one cone and then runs it back to their team.

Team members continue running in one at a time in the attempt to be the team with the most cones once all of the cones have been picked up.

Get clients to add up their total number of cones to see who is the winner!

Part 2

Now comes the fun part.

Each collected cone equals 10 reps of an exercise that must be completed by each individual in the team.

For example:

  • Each blue cone equals prisoner squats
  • Red equals push ups
  • Green equals get ups
  • Yellow equals power jacks

Have teams start by adding up how many reps they collected (eg. 4 yellow cones = 40 power jacks each). Then have them complete all of the reps and exercises, discarding each cone as they complete it.

Tip: If you want to use this drill for a warm up just have them complete 5 reps of each exercise and pick really basic warm up exercises.

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Images: Quentin Jones Photography

Free The Bears Charity Bootcamp Workout

I’m sitting on a couch in Manly, New South Wales as I write this. I am mentally preparing for tomorrows workshop and making sure we’ve covered everything.

However, I did not want it to get in the way of posting this weeks workout.

Especially considering how this weeks workout is important!

Here it is, read on below the workout to find out it’s importance.

Un-Bear-Able

Warm Up

Peg Tag

Peg Tag

Plank And Run

Line up all of your clients. Around 25 metres away have a pile of exercise cards face down.

Call out a clients name at random. That client runs to the pile of exercises while the rest of the group holds plank.

Whatever exercise is written on the card, the entire group must do for one minute. Once completed they go back down into plank and you yell out the next clients name.

Keep the name calling random so clients do not know who is next.

Plank

Exercise suggestions to put on cards:

  • Push-up
  • Mountain climbers
  • Star jumps
  • Oblique twists
  • Scissor steps
  • Squat hold
  • Walking lunges
  • Pulse lunges
  • Jogging on the spot
  • Bear crawls
  • Side plank
  • Jump turns
  • Butt kicks
  • Full sit ups

DSC_0954

 

This section of a workout was contributed by my friend Mary French and it is a fantastic example of the kind of workout you could do at a charity or free event when the fitness level of participants is unknown.

Mary approached me last year about getting some trainers together to run a simultaneous charity bootcamp. You might remember me writing about it at the start of the year.

Mary recently completed her workout with her group already raising over $1400 for Free The Bears. It would be awesome if we combined could raise at least twice as much.

We are still looking for trainers to join us in this national bootcamp event. Here are the details:

Date: Saturday March 22nd, 2014

Time: Up to you. I’m running a 90 minute workout from 9:30am followed by a BYO BBQ

Price: At your discretion spending on what you think your group will pay. I’m asking my group for $15.

Tug Of Bear War

How to help

It’s simple, just fill out this form with your info, we will be mailing out some flyers and posters next week in preparation.

Then get the word out to your campers through email and social media. Share the Free The Bears website, I’ve found a really positive response from clients to the charity so far.

We would really love to have you on board, no matter how big or small your bootcamp is.

- Kyle

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Images: All from Mary’s Free The Bears bootcamp

Burpee Filled Bootcamp Workout

This weeks workout comes from Jo Sharp at Sharp Moves.

Jo is a very generous and regular contributor to Bootcamp Ideas. Thank you so much Jo! Be sure to check out her other workouts.

burpees

Your link for 30 variations of burpees made me remember a favourite workout of Sharp Moves:

Burpee Add On Workout

Exercises:

Select 10 different kinds of burpees:

Some ideas for burpee variations can be found here and here.

1. Burpee

2. Burpee with prone jumping jack

3. Burpee with push up

4. Burpee with push up & prone jumping jack

5. Burpee suicide (down on to elbows then up onto hands)

6. Burpee with prone arm lift (lift one arm up replace then then other)

7. Burpee with bunny hop (jump to one side then the other)

8. Burpee with 8 mountain climbs

9. Burpee with one leg (change do other side)

10. Travelling Burpee

Workout:

Round 1 – burpee number 1

Round 2 – burpee no 1, burpee no 2

Round 3 – burppee no. 1, burpee no 2, burpee no 3. etc working through to all completed.

If you might to be really evil add a rep each exercise (burpee 1 – 1 rep, burpee 2 – 2 reps etc). Otherwise do just one rep per exercise.

About The Trainer

Hi Jo Sharp here from Sharp Moves Fitness I have over 18 years experience in the fitness industry. I bounce back and forth between  Sydney & Bali, where I run  fitness retreats in Byron Bay & Bali .I am a qualified bootcamp instructor as well as a pilates practitioner. Checkout www.sharpmoves.com and Sharp Moves – facebook for my online fitness challenges, fitness motivation and workouts.

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Image: Quick Meme

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Thanks for checking out this workout. I love getting workouts like this from you guys, it helps me provide more variety in the workouts on this site.

I would like to see one of your workouts too. Send it in via the submit a workout page to see it up on the website!

Team AMRAP Bodyweight Bootcamp Workout

I ran this workout last Friday. I don’t know if it was the fact it was Valentine’s Day or what but my groups were ferocious in their competitiveness to be the winners of this workout.

I hope it inspires the same enthusiasm in your groups.

garden chess

Who enjoys these random pictures I add to the workouts?

As Many As Possible

Concept

Form clients into handicapped teams of 4. If you have less than 8 people, form them into smaller groups and adjust reps accordingly.

Teams must complete as many rounds of the circuit as possible (AMRAP) in the given time. For each round they complete they score one point. Points are added together at the end of the game. Include partial rounds (¼ points per completed exercise).

The repetitions shown is the TOTAL number of reps the team must complete (eg. 100 reps/4 = ~25 reps each). Fitter clients can do extra for less fit clients. Teams may only move to the next exercise once ALL reps of the previous exercise have been completed.

The run at the end of the circuit is only completed by one member. The team chooses which member they want to send. The others can rest while they wait for that person to return.

Circuits

Circuit 1 – Upper (6 minutes)

  1. 80x push ups
  2. 80x mountain climbers (L+R=1)
  3. 80x railing dips
  4. One client runs 100m

Rest 2 minutes. Use this time to explain circuit 2.

Circuit 2 – Lower (6 minutes)

  1. 100x squats
  2. 80x high knees (L+R=1)
  3. 40x glute bridge marches (L+R=1)
  4. One client runs 100m

Rest 2 minutes. Use this time to explain circuit 3.

Circuit 3 – Full (8 minutes)

  1. 20x rolling get ups (use partner if need be)
  2. 40x tuck jumps
  3. 60x partner high 10 sit ups
  4. One client runs 50m

Total points from all 3 rounds wins!

Penalties - Stay strict on technique to keep things fair. On a third warning about technique, the client loses a ¼ point for their team.

Modification – For a 60 minute workout increase the first 2 rounds to 8 minutes and the final round to 10 minutes. Increase rest breaks between rounds to 3 or 4 minutes.

Exercises

Rolling Get Ups

Assisted Rolling Get Ups

Glute Bridge Marches

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Do you live in Sydney, Australia?

We will be covering AMRAPs and over a dozen other drills, techniques and games at a live workshop I am doing with Garry.

Bootcamp Training Ideas will give you some awesome new ideas and inspiration for creating great workouts in your own bootcamps.

Find out more.

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Images: Garden Chess by Beverley Goodwin

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More bodyweight workouts:

bootcamp bodyweight workouts