Three Awesome Drills to Put in Circuits

One type of circuit I love to create is a drill circuit. Instead of exercises, a drill circuit is made up of… can you guess?.. drills!

This has several benefits:

  • More enjoyable – working on a task instead of counting reps
  • Takes longer – one circuit for 2 or 3 rounds can take up the entire workout time
  • Less stopping for explaining – one explanation of everything at the start and off they go
  • Builds teamwork – drills often require several people meaning that instead of doing push ups by yourself, you’re working together with your team mate

With the latest Little Bootcamp Book out just this week, I thought I would share two of my favourite drills to put in a drill circuit.

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Partner Tyre Flip With Shuttle

Number of people: Two

Place 3 cones in a row, each 10m apart. Grab a truck or tractor tyre and lie it flat near the middle cone.

The pair should stand on either side of the tyre with their backs to a cone (see diagram).

One client flips the tyre once and then sprints away from the tyre around their cone 10m away. While they are doing this their partner flips the tyre back in the opposite direction and then sprints around their cone.

After sprinting to their cone they run back to flip the tyre again. Clients keep flipping and sprinting until it’s time to change stations.

partner tyre flip and shuttle

I-Go You-Go Rope Slams (Tabata Style)

Number of people: Two (put beginners in threes, taking it in turns)

You probably don’t have enough ropes for everyone in your bootcamp. Neither did I, so this was my solution to sharing equipment while still working hard.

To get around this I do timed interval training of 20 seconds.

Assign two people to one piece of equipment. In this case let’s say the equipment is a tractor tyre and the exercise is tyre flips.

Person A goes first completing as many rope slams as possible in 20 seconds. Person B counts the reps. As soon as 20 seconds is up I call out ‘Swap’ as which point Person A stops slamming and Person B takes over. Person B will then try to equal or beat Person A’s score.

After another 20 seconds it’s time to swap again. After 4 minutes of this both people will have had 6 attempts and they will be ready to go to the next exercise.

For quick change overs, do single slams with one person in either end of the rope (see video).

You can also do this with tyre flips, sled pushes, tyre drags, rope sprints. You get the idea.

Team Rope Sprints

Number of people: Three

Set up two cones 30 to 40m apart. You can go further if you like. I usually do this as a team drill and I want to keep rest times short so I set out a short sprint distance.

Assign 3 clients to a rope. Clients A and C start at one end. Client B goes to the other cone. Client A hoists one end of the rope onto their shoulder and sprints to the other cone dragging the rope behind them. The resistance that the rope causes will make this very difficult.

Once client A reaches client B they drop the end of the rope on the ground. Client B picks it up and sprints back to client C. Client C then picks it up and sprints it back to client A starting the cycle over again.

Repeat for reps or time.

rope sprints


More drills like this

All three of these drills come from the Little Bootcamp Book of Tyres and Ropes (yes, I know, it’s a mouthful). There are 10 more drills like this in the book, plus a tonne of exercises and 10 done-for-you workouts.

Some of those workouts are drill circuits and will show you how to incorporate the drills above into a workout. Find out more.

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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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A Commonwealth Approved Bootcamp Workout

While staring absentmindedly at a picture of the Australian flag over the Australia Day weekend I had the idea for this workout.

It was simple and involved tyres and ropes which my clients always get a kick out of using.

(By the way that heading is very tongue in cheek)

yarn bombing

Union Jack Attack

Time: 45 minutes

Equipment: MatsCones/Markers, Battling Ropes, Skipping Ropes

Set up all equipment and stations in the centre of a large rectangular field (I used a cricket pitch). This will act as the centre of the union jack.

Place cones at each corner of the rectangle as well as half way along the perimeter along each side (8 cones total). These act as the points of the union jack.

union jack diagram

Form your bootcamp group into teams of 5 or 6 mixed fitness level clients.

Each team must complete two rounds of the circuit set up in the middle.

In between each station the team must run one leg of the Union Jack while carrying a battling rope on their shoulders before completing the next station.

Have a team take a drink break after their first circuit.

Exercise Stations

1. Tyre flip, jump and sprint across 30 meters. Description on Instagram.

2. 20 two handed rope slams each with their teams battling rope. Team members will need to take it in turns as only one person on either end of the rope can go at a time.

3. Overhead tyre lunges across 30 metres (15m up and back). Description on Instagram.

4. 100 skips (jump ropes) for each member.


Just to clarify the order of exercise here is a little sample of what a teams workout might look like:

  • Run to left most point of Union Jack and back
  • Complete tyre flip drill
  • Run to upper-left point and back
  • Complete 20 rope slams each
  • Run to upper point and back
  • Complete overhead tyre lunges
  • Run to upper-right point and back
  • Complete 100 skips each
  • Short drink break
  • Run to right point and back
  • Complete tyre flip drill
  • Run to lower-left point and back
  • Complete 20 rope slams each
  • Run to lower point and back
  • Complete overhead tyre lunges
  • Run to lower-right point and back
  • Complete 100 skips each

Total workout time = 25-30 minutes on a good sized field.

I hope your group gets a kick out of this workout!


Images: Yarn Bombing by George Rex, Bootcamp Ideas Instagram



In case you missed it. Garry and I have just opened the doors to our first ever live bootcamp training ideas workshop.

New South Wales residents, you can expect some new workout ideas, plenty of fun and a chance to pick our brains over lunch afterwards.

Early bird tickets are available for this week only at $99.

Find out more information.

- Kyle

A Circuit Workout With A Twist

I created this workout partly because we are doing lots of circuit training at our bootcamp at the moment and partly because I wanted another reason to use the big dice I bought for bootcamp Monopoly.


Roll The Dice

Goals: Circuit, Strength

Time: 45 minutes

Equipment: Bands, Mats, Battling Ropes, Dumbells, Cones, Dice

Warm Up

Start with some of your favourite mobility drills. For this workout I did Windmills (as in the kettlebell exercise, just without kettlebells) and Lateral Lunges with a reach overhead. Don’t stress too much if you don’t know what they are, just search mobility exercises on YouTube.

Then go for a 5 minute run. Include high knees, butt kicks and walking lunges.

The Drill

Part 1

Pair clients up into similar fitness levels. Pairs should begin by completing – in order – one complete round of the circuit at their own pace.

Part 2

As pairs complete the circuit assign them a number of additional stations to complete (for example: those that completed the circuit first I have 16 stations too, those that completed last I gave just 10).

They should start completing those additional stations immediately, however not in order.

One person from the pair will run into the centre of the circuit and roll a single die. The pair will then progress 1 to 6  stations (depending on the die result) forwards and complete the station they land on (just like in a board game).

Pairs should repeat this process, working their way around the circuit until they have completed all of their additional stations. Have them take drink breaks as needed.

The Stations

  1. Dumbbell Bent Over Row x20
  2. Band OH Squats x20 – hold band overhead
  3. T-Push Ups x12
  4. Prone Eagles x10, Coffin Sit Ups (partner hold legs) x10
  5. Rope Slams (partner hold other end of rope) x20 each
  6. Jump Lunges x12 immediately followed by Walking Lunges x20
  7. Band Rows x25
  8. 10m Shuttle x10 (5x up and back)



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Image by me
Also thanks to Garry for some of the videos.

Functional Bootcamp Workout

This holiday themed workout comes from first time workout submitter Nicole King.

If you don’t have all of the equipment below, try to come up with your own stations that fit with the festive season.

shoveling snow

Functional Fitness Frenzy

Equipment: Interval TimerDumbbells, MedBalls, Sledge Hammer, Tire (tyre), Battling Ropes, Mini Hurdles, Prowler/Sled

The Workout

Each exercise represents an ordinary daily event that one may do.  Between each exercise, ‘Fido’ the dog escapes and participants must sprint to end of field (to get Fido) and back to the next station.

First round, each station is for 1 minute. Second round each station goes for 30 seconds.

1. Morning Coffee – wall sits while doing DB or med ball curls (like your drinking coffee)

2. Chop the wood – sledge hammer on tire

3. Shovel the snow – lift med ball from feet and “throw” it over opposite shoulder

4. Carry the suitcase – carry DB up stairs – 5 squats and come back down

5. Shake out the rug – rope slams

6. Toy jumps – jump over 8 hurdles

7. Grocery Shopping – push sled to plate, add, push to next plate, add, etc.  Pull back to beginning

8. Dragging – your body is so tired at the end of the day, that you are dragging. On belly, body is limp and simply use arms to drag yourself back home.

9. Wine time – like #1, wall sits with DB curls.

Again, after the time is up, instructor calls, “Who let the dog out?!” and they all sprint to the end and back to their next station.  It was so fun and a couple of people got pretty upset that the darn dog kept getting out of the house.  Very fun and functional.

About Nicole

I am a personal trainer in MN and have fallen in love with bootcamps. I firmly believe in functional fitness and the benefits it provides to all of us.

How To Do Rope Slams

Check out My Mad Methods short video to doing rope slams. Email readers use this link.

Image: oddharmonic

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