Strength circuits are one of the staples of many fitness bootcamps. They are pretty easy to set up and don’t need a whole lot of equipment. A timer, a few bands and mats and you’re set.
However, the main problem with a giant strength circuit of 10-12 stations is maintaining intensity. You can only focus on one station at a time, meanwhile those clients at the other stations start losing momentum. They don’t mean too, it’s just a minute can seem like a long time when they are tired and doing 50 pushups gets boring.
You can combat this problem by adding intensity techniques or you can take a step outside the box.
One style of workout that I use regularly, that is effective and that always gets positive feedback from my campers is the Drill Circuit (or at least that’s what I’m calling it).
The drill circuit is exactly what it sounds like. It is a series of drills performed in circuit fashion. Clients move in small groups from drill to drill according to the timing method of your choice.
It works because going from a drill to a different drill engages the clients more effectively on both a mental and physical level which in turn results in more interested and harder working clients. On the other hand, it also means more work for you, but to be honest I’d rather be running around helping my clients than just standing there with a stop watch.
Here’s how to set it up:
Pick your drills
Pick anywhere from four to eight drills. They can be agility drills, sprints, boxing drills, mini circuits, strength exercise challenges or countdown challenges. They can even be card based games or small competitions. They can also be as simple as running up and down a hill or some stairs.
Once you have your list, you just need a way to rotate stations.
Choose your timing
The easiest way to run a drill circuit is by electing a timekeeper station. Say that on one station client have to pick up a card and complete the exercises on it. If that was the timekeeper station you would say ‘Once this team has completed 5 cards, everyone rotates’.
You can also time clients like a regular circuit. Allow more time at each station than a standard strength circuit. 3 to 5 minutes is a good start.
Another method that I’ve used is the self paced method. Make sure your teams have a good mix of ability levels first, then send them off to complete each station 2 or 3 times in the allotted time. Make sure you have more stations than teams so that teams always have somewhere to go once they complete a station.
That’s it. It takes a little longer to set up the equipment for these bootcamp workouts but like I said, the clients seem to really enjoy it. Stay tuned for a couple of examples of the drill circuit method over the next few weeks.
Have you used something like this before? What kind of drills do you like to include? Share your comments below.
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.