Top 6 Pieces of Equipment For Your Bootcamp

The next two months are shopping and sales crazy.

Personally, I like to avoid it all. Two minutes in a crowd like that with people acting like a**holes over a $10 discount is enough to send me into an apocalyptic rage. Just picture Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil.

However, with a lot of companies offering online stores now, you can dip your toe into the mix and pick up some pretty good deals on exercise equipment to add to your arsenal for bootcamp. Especially if you don’t mind waiting for long shipping times.

Excluding items that you may already have (like disc cones) or things like tyres which you can always get for free, here are my 6 favourite that you might want to consider adding.

Exercise Bands

I love supplementing bodyweight workouts with bands. They allow you to add important pull movements and some vertical pressing to the upper body.

You can also use them to add resistance to most of your regular bootcamp movement.

Of course you can do this with kettlebells and dumbbells too, but bands have the added bonus of being lightweight, inexpensive and portable. This makes them great when your are just starting out.

My favourite use is to use them in running workouts. Each client can easily run with one draped around their neck. Then periodically you can stop and perform exercises with the bands before moving on.

Buy from: Hart Sport in Australia or Amazon in the US

Dead Balls

Medicine balls are great versatile and interesting pieces of equipment for your workout. For bootcamps though, I like dead balls (sometimes called slam balls).

You can do everything with a dead ball that you can do with a medicine ball. Except bounce them.

Now seeing as you probably don’t have any walls to bounce balls off and are probably working on grass a lot too which doesn’t bounce things very well either, the dead weight of a dead ball makes it ideal.

A ball slam suddenly turns into a clean and press, much more taxing. Throwing the ball becomes less dangerous because if it falls, it doesn’t bounce anywhere, it just rolls quickly to a stop. Dead balls also come in some heavy a** weight. Iron Edge stock them in weights up to 85kg. Great for your advanced clients.

My favourite thing to do with them is slam them. Fast.

Buy from: Iron Edge in Australia or Amazon in the US

Gymboss Interval Timer

I know a lot of trainers use apps on their phones to run timed drills at bootcamp.

Maybe I’m old fashioned (I am the ripe old age of 26 after all) but there is something about someone using their phone that just looks bad to me as an outsider. As a passerby in the park I can’t tell if you are looking at your phone to set an interval or if you are updating your Facebook status instead of watching your clients.

At the start of my workout, my phone goes into my bag and doesn’t come out until all of my clients have left.

Instead, I recommend getting a Gymboss. They are pretty inexpensive and on the new models you can pre-program your intervals into the system. That way you can just get it out, hit start, clip it to your shirt and focus on coaching people rather then watching the time or holding a phone.

I realise I sound like a salesman about this, and yes I am an affiliate for them, but I really love their product as a better alternative to a smartphone app.

Buy from: Gymboss

Battling Ropes

Battling ropes are a pretty big ticket item for your bootcamp, one of these will set you back usually over $100. And you probably want at least two.

If you can get these on sale then, that’s awesome.

I like using ropes for team drills and circuits (carrying the rope together) and conditioning work like rope sprints and various undulations and slams.

Buy from: Rope Galore in Australia or Amazon in the US


I like kettlebells for two reasons.

They are heavy and they have handles.

Handles make kettlebells easy for you to transport and easy for clients to pick up. Important when you have to transport all of your gear to the park each session and also important for clients who

I am Level 2 Kettlebell certified but I prefer not to teach my clients traditional kettlebell moves. They are too technical for the timeframe and size of the group and are really unnecessary for the general population.

I would even argue that Swings are too technical for most people to learn in a group setting. If you are going to teach swings you better dedicate an entire session to it and walk the group through all of the regressions. Most people just don’t have the glute activation or proprioception to do it properly and being such a dynamic exercise the risk for injury is much higher.

I like to use 12kg+ ‘bells for exercises that clients are usually pretty strong at like Goblet Squats. You can also get clients deadlifting them, an exercise that is hard to mimic without some solid weight.

Buy from: I’ve always used Iron Edge in Australia but there are cheaper options out there. Shipping on Kettlebells can add up, however if you are an Amazon Prime member you can get these in the US.


Sick of having to remind clients again and again and again what exercise comes next?

Get a whiteboard (or dry erase board for some of you).

Not one of those huge one’s that you see in a classroom (unless you operate indoors), instead get a smaller portable option that’s just big enough to write down a circuit or chipper or finisher drill.

You can also get magnetic wiper so you don’t lose it as you transport the board in and out of your car.

Buy from: Any office supply store


There is my 6 favourite. Well 8 really when you include tyres and cones.

Oh, and I really like just a deck of playing cards too.

The point is, invest in this stuff as it will add that extra element to your bootcamp and give you much more versatility in your session planning.

This time of year is a good time to buy with the holiday sales on. End of financial year sales are also a great time to get bargains.

Now how about you.

What is your favourite piece of equipment? Are you planning on picking up anything while the sales are on?

Hill Circuit and EMOM Workout

Today’s workout is a great way to kick off a new round of bootcamps.

It includes a little bit of everything and will let you get a good idea of the base fitness level of any new comers.


Crest The Hill

Duration: 45 minutes

Equipment: None (maybe just some mats)

Part 1 – Timekeeper Circuits

Split the group into teams of three. Make them handicapped groups if you can.

Each group will run their own 3 station circuit. One exercise will be using the hill, the next exercise will be a core exercise and the third exercise will be something else useful.

The hill exercise is the timekeeper. So the other 2 team members keep repeating their exercise until the team member on the hill finishes. Then they rotate around the circuit.

Exercises 2 and 3 are done at the base of the hill.

The teams of 3 should aim to be the fastest to complete their circuit 3 times. Take a 2 minute break to allow everyone to finish and then start the next circuit.

Circuit 1

  1. Lunge up hill – run down
  2. Bird Dogs
  3. Dead Bugs (legs only)

Circuit 2

  1. High knee skipping up hill – run down
  2. Plank
  3. Push Up w/ lateral step between each rep

Circuit 3

  1. Backpedal up hill – run down (normally)
  2. Side Plank – swap sides as needed without resting
  3. Deep Squat

Part 2 – EMOM

EMOM = Every Minute On the Minute

Place a line of cones around 15 metres up your hill.

At the base of the hill, every minute on the minute clients must perform 1 burpee (or scaled exercise, see below) and then sprint up the hill to the line of cones. They should be back down the bottom of the hill by the start of the next minute.

Each round the number of reps of the burpees will increase by 1.

Run EMOM for 10 minutes.

Advanced: Burpees
Intermediate: Squat thrust
Beginners: Squat w/ calf raise at top



In my new resource, Workouts, there is an entire month of training that only require bands, bodyweight and a hill, just like today’s workout.

This book is designed to make your life easier while also giving your clients fresh workouts session after session.

It doesn’t just give you workouts, warm ups, games, tools and exercises, it teaches you how to put them all into a workout for yourself.

AND for the first 48 hours only you can also get it for 20% off! Check it out.


My Secrets To Planning Awesome Workouts Time After Time

Today’s post is an excerpt from the new version of the little bootcamp book of Workouts.

How To Plan A Workout

Once you have got your general idea or goal for a workout it’s now just a matter of fleshing it out into a one hour or 45 minute session.

I know most of your reading this book run one hour sessions so I’m going to run you through how I plan out a session for that time length.

The general order of events for one of my workouts is:

  • Warm Up
  • Game
  • Main Drill
  • Finisher
  • Cooldown

How long each of those parts will take all depends on how long the main drill of that day is.

Sometimes it’s a big strength drill challenge that takes 40 minutes leaving me just time for a warm up and cooldown. Othertimes it’s a high intensity 20 minute long drill which means that we will spend more time mobilizing and playing games that day.

Approximating times

One thing you will struggle with if you are just starting with group training planning is approximating how long it will take your group to complete a drill.

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