An Uneggspected Surprise Easter Workout

This week’s workout is a special for Easter! It’s from Yolanda Cardona. Thanks Yolanda!

Easter Bunny Sighting

Bunny Bootcamp

To make Easter fun and guilt free before the candy strikes back I thought of this Easter Bootcamp drill. It is really easy and simple.

Set up

I picked up a couple of dozens of plastic eggs. Depending on how many people are in your bootcamp you may need more. I filled them up with different exercises that were related to Bunnies and Easter.

Examples:

  • Tri-dips – chocolate dips
  • Frog jumps- bunny hops
  • Toyota jump- Allstar bunny
  • Mountain climbers- rabbit feet
  • Superman- Super rabbit

and so forth.

I also took a few of the eggs and put it as the wild egg which is actually a rest for one minute. Each exercise is performed for one minute.

How it works

Place the eggs in an Easter basket around 20m away from your clients.

You have your clients run to the Easter basket as fast as they can and grab 4-5 eggs.

Use your timer to have them perform each exercise they collected for one minute. Afterwards, follow that with a minute rest. Repeat.

Alternatives:

You can have your clients do suicide drills with running, lunging forward, or so forth to get to the eggs.

About Yolanda

I am a personal trainer and Insanity instructor. I was once overweight and miserable till fitness became my passion as well as calling. Find me on Facebook, Coach Yolanda.

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Image: Bunny Sighting | Kate Ter Haar

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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Long Interval Circuit Workout

Today’s workout is from Trevor Shoulders. He has not only included a very fun looking workout but also some great tips on planning your sessions.

Thanks Trevor!

Tyre pull

Choosing your location

First off you need to get access to a large indoor venue that can take a pounding or find a private-ish outdoor setting that can accommodate your needs.

Want my advice? Do it outside. Even though you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature, people enjoy being outside and are more comfortable in an open area.

For me, I’ve chosen an abandoned parking lot outside of the gym I train for, yes its convenient but you may not be as lucky.

Planning the session

Decide what types of exercises you want your clients performing BEFORE you start planning this. Trust me it saves a lot of headache.

The routine I’m going to list below is a combo of strength training, plyometrics, body weight and agility training. Again, lucky for me I have resources and am able to get equipment easily and cheap. I enjoy abstract training, meaning I use unconventional equipment, such as sledgehammers; tractor tires; and sandbags. No, it’s not a new thing but still I enjoy it.

Base your own camp on what YOU want and what your clients want. Also, remember our first topic, make sure your venue can accommodate the style of training you plan on doing.

Make sure you’re insured

Lastly before we start talking exercises, make sure you cover your back. I learned the hard way that just because you know someone well and they get hurt during your camp, doesn’t mean they won’t sue.

So, in saying that, draft up a contract of sorts that covers your legal side so that any injuries can’t be placed on the landlord/owner of property or yourself. You’ll have to do your own research on this topic though.

The Workout

Now, down to business, let’s set up some circuits with 2-3 people per station. The purpose for this is to build some healthy competition between the group members as well as allowing them to motivate one another when your attention isn’t on them.

I’ve had a lot of success with one of two options;

  • either pair up men and women with similar strength/body comp;
  • or put opposites together (i.e. an experienced individual with a less experienced person).

I’ve had less luck with the latter of the two but it works in some scenarios.

Next I suggest giving a rundown of how to do each exercise if you haven’t already planned on doing so, it may seen redundant to some but to the individuals who might be boot camp newbie’s, it may be a lifesaver.

Depending on your class size, you’ll have to remove/add some of these circuits; the one below is designed for a group size of 12 with partners of 2, or 18 with partners of 3.

This is a timed circuit. 2 minutes of straight exercise, followed by a 1 minute recovery period. I suggest you get a whistle.

1. Alternating Tire Pulls

This is a taxing exercise, no matter the length of the pull, it will leave your quads and calves burning and gasping for air. I recommend 20-35 ft for each pull. It’s long enough to get them burning, but short enough to alternate a few times.

Have your first participant start at your go line, and you’re second at the finish, once client 1 has reached the end point, client 2 can pick up and go immediately. If using a third, have them wait at the go line for client 2 to finish.

Set up is easy, go to your nearest SS Tire or tire repair center and ask for a retired tire, take your pick of sizes and enjoy. You can fashion a harness yourself, get creative, or use Google, it’s a wonderful thing.

2. Lunge and Jack

One of my personal favorites, 20-30 ft lunges (can use extra weight) with 40 jumping jacks on the end of each distance.

As we know, lunges are great for the glutes and quads and don’t forget the calves and shoulders for the jumping jacks. You’ll have your clients panting at the end of this one.

3.Sledgehammer Swings

For this you’ll need another tire, a big one. Get a few sizes of sledge hammers (6, 8, 10 etc).

Just like you’d chop wood or nail a stake into the ground, hit the wall of the tire with all your might

This is a great Ab workout with plenty of accessory muscles at work. The shoulders, lats, and arms all come into play here. You can have the clients alternate in 30 second or 30 hit intervals or let them all go at once. I recommend having multiple tires for this.

Since the tire absorbs a lot of the force of the hammer, it’s a low impact exercise but watch for that bounce back. Time to take some frustration out, take that hammer and let it out!

4. Plank to Sprint

Another cardio blaster here, hold a standard (or modified if needed) plank for 20 seconds (have them count aloud to one another), at the end of the time you’re client should bring their dominant leg up under them into a sprinters stance and take off into a full blown sprint.

I suggest shorter distances like 10-15 ft so 1: they don’t get too winded, and 2: you allow even distribution of each exercise.

5. Medicine Ball Pass to Jump Squat

Great for challenging each other and keeping pace with your partner.

Have your clients stand 10ft or so away from one another and chest pass an 8 or 10 lbs medicine ball 10 times (5 per person). At the end of that cycle, each person should do 5 jump squats, preferably together.

Squats are great for the lower back, quads, glutes and calves especially when you add in the plyometric movement of a jump, then add on to the chest; triceps and Ab torture you’re getting from the passes, gonna be sore tomorrow.

6. Lazy Burpee

Although the name may suggest it, this is far from your couch potatoes version of a workout.

Start in the down phase of the push up, explode up into the up phase of the pushup and immediately tuck your feet under you as if you are about to perform a  full blown burpee, finally kick your legs back out and go back to the down part of the pushup. Hence the “lazy” piece.

Repeat circuit as necessary to fill time allotment.

About Trevor

I’m a Graduate of the University of Kentuckly with my degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science and an ACE CPT.

I have completed multiple races such as Tough Mudder, Spartan Races, and many other military obstacle course events. I enjoy all forms of exercise and live to be active. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in your personal or company pursuits.

More circuit workouts

Kyle here again.

Not to be a crazy salesman here or anything, but if you like circuits you may want to check out Leon Melnicenko’s new ebook Team Competition Circuits.

It comes with 40 circuit drills and a whole bunch of guides on how to improve running the business side of your bootcamp. Just thought I’d let you know!

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Kettlebell Drop 10 Bootcamp Workout

Today’s workout is thanks to Sara Ottley of Burn It Fitness. Thanks Sara!

You can submit your own awesome workouts to share with everyone right here.

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Kettlebell Drop 10

Equipment: 1 ‘bell for each person

Complete these exercises, in the order shown.

  1. 50 Alternating KB Swings
  2. 50 KB squat and up right row
  3. 50 KB Clean (25 each arm)
  4. 50 KB Snatches (25 each arm)
  5. 50 bodyweight press ups
  6. 50 deadbug
  7. 50 bodyweight dips

Rest for 2 minutes.

Then:

  • Repeat exercise list with 40 reps each.
  • Rest for 90 seconds.
  • Repeat with 30 reps.
  • Rest for 1 minute.
  • Repeat for 20 reps.
  • Rest for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat for 10 reps.
  • Complete!

The workout takes approx 50 mins to complete including rests

Don’t have kettlebells? Use dumbbells instead!

About Sara

I have been a Pt for 7 years and run an outdoor fitness company (Burn It Fitness) on Blackheath, South East London. We offer Iintensive 4 week Boot Camps, drop in fitness classes and PT.

I am totally passionate about my fitness and outdoor training. I’m also a Mum of 2 little girls and kettlebell addict!

Attention London Readers!

Do you learn better by doing rather than just reading?

Are you looking for some new ideas to use at your bootcamp?

Well for the next few weeks I’m visiting the UK and while I’m here I would love to meet you. That is why you should come into London on May 3rd to my Bootcamp Workshop & Meet Up.

This is a hands on practical workshop along with a chance to ask myself and other trainers how we run our bootcamps. I have allowed plenty of time for Q&A as well as plenty of time to teach you a whole heap of new drills.

Tickets have just gone on sale today. There are 12 early bird tickets for just £60.

Book your tickets online.

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Image: Wilson Bilkovich

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