Starting A Bootcamp Business

Two months ago I got fed up.

I got fed up reading about trainers waking up at 5am to find to 2 clients at their bootcamp. I got fed up reading about clients who love what they do but were so disheartened that they were ready to quit. I got fed up getting emails from clients telling me they had left the industry to get a ‘real job’.

Why was I so fed up about these things?

Because I had been there myself.

I struggled with my first bootcamp and in the end had to shut it down. I know exactly what it’s like to stop the thing that you thought would change your life.

But I came back and tried again. Obviously – or this website wouldn’t exist today.

When I started again I took a different approach. I changed my attitude and started serving people instead of just running a bootcamp.

Here’s what I did:

Over the past 2 months I’ve documented exactly what I changed, along with other things that I perfected along the way.

I’ve tried to keep it interesting with a nice blend of stories and actionable tasks.

I know that my way isn’t the only way to a successful bootcamp so I reached out to several other trainers and asked them to share their stories too.

The result is the Little Bootcamp Book of Starting a Bootcamp Business.

I want to help you by learning from my mistakes and I don’t want money to get in the way so I’ve priced this book a little differently from previous books.

Learn how to get it for free and read more about what’s inside it.


Something Awesome Is Coming

Today’s post is coming to you through the magic of video.

Video is something that I would like to supply more of for you so if you like it be sure to let me know in the comments below.

Sign up for the email list (it’s free) right here.

Introducing The Little Bootcamp Book of Tyres and Ropes

The Little Bootcamp Book of Tyres and Ropes is now available to purchase.

For those of you visually inclined, I thought you might enjoy the information in this format.

About Comic Strip

For those of you that like text here is the low down of what is inside:

  • How to actually find tyres and where to buy ropes if you haven’t got some already.
  • 45 different tyres and ropes exercises plus variations to give you plenty of variety.
  • Photo demonstrations and access to a secret album featuring 41 video demonstrations of exercises and drills featured in the manual.
  • 5 excellent partner drills and 8 brand new team based drills to build that all important camaraderie and community in your bootcamp.
  • 10 tough workouts showing you how to actually put all this information together into something usable.
  • The satisfying experience of giving your clients a unique workout that not many other bootcamps offer.

Grab your copy.

It’s on sale this week, but only until Friday so grab it while it’s hot!

Please remember too that when you buy these products you support this website. You allow me to keep sharing information every week for free, to visit other trainers and share their experiences and tactics with you and to buy coffee from a cafe because I am rubbish at making espresso coffee.

Thank you all for the support you have shown me over the past 4.5 years.

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The Bootcamp Instructor’s Toolkit

Last Wednesday during the workout of the week I told you guys that I had something special to show and tell later in the week.

Well here it is, it’s called the…

toolkit 2 labelled transparent

As I move around these next few months and no longer actually run a bootcamp myself, you will see the updates on Bootcamp Ideas shift from less actual workouts and more about the business side of bootcamp and the how to of coming up with good workouts.

So to keep you stashed up with workout ideas I put together the Bootcamp Trainers Toolkit or simply just – the toolkit.

Inside you will find:

  • A checklist of all the things a trainer must carry on them during an outdoor session. Usually in a backpack.
  • How to set up a website for your bootcamp
  • Links to 5 special workouts from Garry Robinson
  • 6 sweet emails containing six new workouts
  • A sample PAQ and health screen form to modify as you see fit

I will continue adding new bits and pieces to the toolkit as I create them over the next few months.

Something you can look forward to is a video guide to help with cuing large groups on the squat and the push up. One of the hardest things about taking a group session – especially when you are new to taking groups – is cuing clients quickly and effectively. I want to take you through some of the common mistakes you will see at your camps and how to help clients quickly correct them.

The toolkit is 100% free. It is my gift to you for supporting this website.

To get access to the Bootcamp Trainers Toolkit, all you have to do it pop your email in below. You can then get the 6 bonus workouts along with the weekly updates from Bootcamp Ideas.

You will need to confirm your email address after you enter it. Just wait for an email asking you to confirm comes through to your inbox.

Be sure to hit reply to one of my emails and let me know what you think.


Best Teambuilding Drill Finalists Part II

Missed the last post? Check out the ice breaker drill submissions!

plank jumps

Team Builders

This drills are designed to get your clients to work together in teams. Always a good way to build community and loyalty in your bootcamp.

Ton Up Partner Workout

By Rubin Allen

Split the group into uneven pairs of fitness level (fastest and slowest ) The aim is for both partners to finish 100 reps each and complete as many shuttles as possible.

Set up cones to shuttle between 15 metres apart.

The format is 1 person completes 10 reps of the first exercise while partner 2 must get as many shuttles between two cones directly in front. For example: If 2 gets four shuttles by the time 1 has finished the first exercise , 1 carries on from four and adds his shuttles on.

There are 10 exercises written on a white board:

  • Push ups
  • KB squats
  • Vsits
  • X star jumps
  • Slamball
  • Close grip push ups
  • Squat jumps
  • Walkouts
  • KB swings
  • Burpees

When 1 finishes push ups 2 takes over whilst 1 does shuttles. When 2 finishes, 1 goes back to push ups then adds on 10 reps of KB squats. So starting at the beginning and adding an exercise on each round. On the last exercise the client will have achieved 100 reps total, shuttles must be accumulated as well.

About Rubin

I live in Cambridge, UK working as a PT and outdoor fitness instructor with Parkfit.

Filthy Fifty – Partner Workout

By Nancy Krueger

  • 50 sit-ups
  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Kettlebell Swings
  • 50 Box jumps (or jump squats)
  • 50 Pull-ups (or ring rows)
  • 50 Push-ups
  • 50 walking lunges (count each leg)
  • 50 Tricep Dips
  • 50 Squats
  • 50 Heels to Heavens

One partner works, while one partner rests. HOWEVER, the resting partner must hold 10-20lb medicine ball (or weight) above their head. If the weight or ball comes below their head at anytime, 10 burpee penalty for both!

Partners can choose to break up the exercises however they wish, if one is really good at something, or more fit, they can do more. The first set of partners to complete the “Filthy Fifty” win and decide the finisher exercises for the day. This really encourages BOTH partners to work hard for each other as well as cheer each other on!

About Nancy

I have been running my own Boot Camp in my small town for 3 years now. I do it on the side outside of my “day job”, so still have no website or link to share, but LOVE this site and sharing ideas with others!

Fetch the Frisbees

By Bob Andrews

Break group into several teams (4-6 each team).

Each team is assigned different color Frisbee, I throw the Frisbees in the open field and call out an exercise (squats, push ups, burpees, mtn climbers, planks etc.) then blow the whistle, one member of each team runs to get Frisbee and back. While their teams does that exercise until teammate gets back.

Then we do it all again with a different teammate running after Frisbee.

Do for 28-30 minutes.

About Bob

I run a free bootcamp in the evening from 6-7pm at my church, most are not members but live in the area, some travel over 20 mi., been doing this almost 4 years, just this past February opened my own morning warehouse from 5:30-6:30am. We do crossfit type exercises but this is for the average person. Morning groups are small but evening groups I’ve had 64 on a few occasions but average around 30. I’m WITTS certified as well as TRX COURE COMPLETION.


By Luci Romano

For 10 players.

Using cones form 2 circles. One small inner circle. One large outer circle.

A STRAIGHT line of cones from the inner circle to the outer circle. For example from the centre of a clock all the way to 12 o’clock.

Player start off by standing around the smaller inner circle were they perform 50 jump ropes.

From here the PLAYERS form two straight lines, against the line of cones leading to 12 o’clock, facing back to back to one another.

The players that arrive to the line first must jog on the spot, waiting for remaining players to join them.

The players closest to the inner circle must hold a plank, while the 2 players closest to the outer circle both sprint around the circle as quick as they can. One player sprinting clockwise and the other sprinting anti clockwise.  All other players must perform a quick jog around the circle, 3 jogging clockwise and 3 jogging anti clockwise, and back to the beginning.

All players then return to the inner circle for the next drill for 40 star jumps. Repeat the drill above with 2 new players sprinting around the circle while 2 new players hold a plank, and all other players perform a quick jog around the circle.

The drill continues with 30 squats, 20 pushups, and 10 Burpees. Repeat the entire drill 3 times.

About Luci

I specialize in Both One on One Personal Training and Group Boot Camp Sessions.  My Bootcamp workouts are intense exercise sessions that challenge every muscle in the body.

I advocate eating healthy and regular work-out sessions. I enjoy jogging, cycling, boxing and kickboxing. I have a black belt in Martial Arts – the style Chuan Fa. My inclination for sports started while I was at school.

The workout I have submitted is always enjoyed by my clients. By rapidly moving from exercise to exercise with little rest in between, they tone and firm muscles while getting a good cardiovascular workout at the same time.

What Lies Beneath

By Lindsey Hilliard

Equipment: Cones, labels

Aim: Everyone works together in this drill to get through all the cones.

Set up:

Use approximately 15 cones (at least one per camper) and allocate an exercise to each cone by placing a card underneath (so the campers can’t see what the exercise is without lifting up the cone).

Start campers holding a plank in a line or in a circle.  Cones should be placed around 30m away from group.

Pick a camper to go first.

While everyone else is holding a plank, the first camper sprints out to the cones, picks one at random and brings it back to the group. That camper then tells the group which exercise is in the cone they just chose.

Everyone in the group performs the exercise together, while the next person sprints out to get the next cone. Once that camper returns with the new cone, everyone performs changes to the new exercise.

This pattern continues on until all the cones have been collected and everyone has had at least one turn at sprinting out to a cone for collection.

The aim is for each person to complete as many reps as they can until the next person returns with a new cone.

It’s up to you which exercises you choose to allocate, depending on your group.  I tend to use bodyweight exercises for this one.

I used this one recently when combining two bootcamp groups together. It worked well because as the group moved through the exercises and begin to tire, they really encouraged each other to sprint out to the cones and back.

It’s a great idea for the instructor to encourage each of the runner’s by name so everyone learns each other’s names too.

About Lindsey

My name is Lindsey Hilliard and I run bootcamp sessions aimed at mums. Mums are generally a unique group, who don’t have the time to go to a gym or enough fitness education to work out on their own.  Most of my clients come to me with a goal of losing their baby weight and have very low fitness levels (to start with).  I put a large focus of my training into fat loss and core strength (as most have lost this during pregnancy).

I love training this niche group because it has a real ‘community’ feel about it and we all have so much fun together.

My business, Fit la Femme, has been running bootcamps for just over 2 years now.

Sponge Race

By Jade Hough

Teams of 3 or so.

Equipment: 1 bucket each team (full of water), 1 sponge per player (I use the car wash sponges the big yellow ones), and 1 bottle – 1.25lt or 2lt soft drink or similar (empty of course).

Place the bucket approx. 30 meters away from the ‘start’ line.

Each team member must dunk their sponge in the bucket of water and race to the other end and try to squeeze as much water as they can in the bottle. Continue back and forth till the bottle is full.

I play this game where there is a tap to refill the bucket otherwise the water won’t last too long.

I found a 2lt bottle took around 10 or so minutes last week (bit longer than I had anticipated – and that was after giving both teams a few tips) so perhaps a 1.25lt bottle would suffice).

It’s very entertaining to watch!!!

About Jade

I’ve been a PT for 5 years now and have played sport (baseball in particular) since I was 5 so love team games!! UB Fit Personal Training.

Cards Drill

By Michael Havazelet

Split class into equal teams and you need one deck of cards per team.  The cards mean the following:

A – 20 Burpee tuck jumps
K – 20 Pullups
Q – 20 Box jumps (24″ box)
J – 20 Thrusters
2-10 Hearts – Jumping jacks x 10
2-10 Spades – Squats x 5
2-10 Diamonds – Crunches x 5
2-10 Clubs – 100ft Sprints
Joker – Half mile run, must bring 2 teammates, remaining teammates can continue working and pulling cards.


6 of Hearts = 60 jumping jacks

3 of Clubs = three 100ft sprints

9 of Spades = 45 squats

When the whistle blows, members from each team start taking cards off of their deck one at a time, completing the exercise as per above. First team to finish their deck completely wins and others must complete some kind of punishment. Alternatively, the team that finishes first can get 1 “point” and you can play best of 3, 5, etc.

Works well as a warmup or as a main drill. Good way for people to get to know each other and the format pushes people to work harder since they are working for a team.  Less fit clients also feel good because they are still contributing with each card they complete and don’t feel like they are behind as with more conventional drills. Works for any number of people assuming you have enough decks.

On a side note, you can substitute any exercises you want that work for your particular gym, just make A, K, Q and Js harder exercises and the rest more basic exercises. I save the two Jokers for some kind of twist such as a partial or full team run.


Image: Beyond Burpees