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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A Glute-licious Bootcamp Workout

We all know about the posterior chain right?

No? The posterior chain refers to the group of muscles running down the posterior (back) of your body. Usually people are referring to the glutes, hamstrings and lower back muscles (QL, ES).

All those muscles which tend to get neglected in our day to day lives. To remedy this I put together a workout for my clients to really work that area. It’s called:

Littlebootcamppics (85 of 158)

Hips Of Glory

Type: Muscular Endurance

Equipment needed: Large tyre for flipping, marker cones, car tyres, kettlebells, 6 sided die (d6)

Set Up

This workout is all about getting the glutes working.

Clients will need to group up into 6 mixed fitness groups – one for each station. Groups will rotate around the circuit when the timekeeper station is complete.

Complete two laps of the circuit.


Each station will keep exercising until the timekeeper station is complete.

Station 1

Keep repeating the following superset:

Station 2

Keep repeating the following:

Station 3

Tyre See Saw Pass – Two people face each other with the tyre in the middle. Clients take it in turns flipping the tyre towards the other and catching it before it hits the ground.

Station 4

Lateral plank walks. Set up 2 cones 5m apart. Groups take it in turns going up and back.

Station 5

Keep repeating the following superset:

  • Split Squats x10/leg – keep back leg straight at the hip.
  • KB Deadlift x10

Station 6 – Timekeeper

Tennis ball shuttle with 4 balls. Set up 5 cones in a row, each 5m apart. On cones 2 through 5 place one tennis ball on each. Leave cone 1 empty.

Starting at cone 1, one team member brings in the balls by sprinting out to a cone and retrieving one tennis ball at a time. Then another team member takes them back out. Repeat. Once all balls are back out for the second time it’s time to change stations.

Dice Finisher

To be done after 2 laps have been completed and a rest break has been taken.

Use the stations above but introduce a 6 sided die. Groups roll the die, the number the die lands on is the station they go to. Keep going until stretch time.


Do you love using tyres (and ropes) at your bootcamp?

Awesome! Equipment like car and truck tyres, battling ropes and sandbags give a real authentic feel to your bootcamp.

Transporting such items may restrict you from using them regularly, but they are great fun to get out a few times a month for some tough workouts.

If you are struggling to keep coming up with interesting things to do with your tyres or if you have been wanting to get some tyres and ropes but have no idea of where to even look then I might be able to help.

Next Monday I am bringing out The Little Bootcamp Book of Tyres and Ropes. This is the first manual I’ve done since taking on Bootcamp Ideas full time and I think you will really be able to tell by the quality of it.

You can read more about it here.


- Kyle

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!


Join our community by submitting your very own workout or by jumping on our email list!

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 Really Simple Bootcamp Workout

Lately I’ve been answering a few emails about workout design. Unless you are taking a group of elite clients whom you personally have been training a long time, keep it simple (stupid)! Even in that case you could still keep it simple and get great results.

The workout below is an example of just how simple you can go. I picked 6 exercises/drills and we did them in a circuit three times. With breaks, that took around 35 minutes which is plenty for the conditioning part of the workout. Try out the one below or create your own.

The K.I.S.S. Workout

Goal: Strength/Conditioning

Time: 60 minutes

Equipment: Cones, Mats, Tyres, Ropes, KBs

Warm Up

Grab a bunch of cones, I used red, yellow and green. Give each cone colour an exercise.

  • Yellow = 10x Star Jumps (Jumping Jacks)
  • Green = 10x Frog Jumps – touch the ground at the bottom of the jump, keep arms down as you leap into the air
  • Red = Supers – 10x star jumps AND 10x frog jumps

I scattered the red, yellow and green cones on the ground and then I split the campers into 5 teams. One person from each team ran into the cones and brought one back to their team. The team then did the exercise that the cone corresponded to before sending off another person to grab the next cone.

I kept the game going until all the cones were gone. We played through two rounds.

The Main Bit

After the warm up I drew my clients attention to the equipment I had set up. We had 6 stations ready, in teams of three or four they were to do each station before moving onto the next one.

Every 10 minutes I stopped the entire group for a 1-2 minute drink break. Challenge teams to get through three rounds.

Note: I used tyres for this workout because they are cheap (free) for their weight. Feel free to use medicine balls, dumbbells or kettlebells instead.

Station 1

Attach a KB to the end of the rope. Clients have to pull the rope in hand over hand letting rope coil on the ground between their legs. Once they drag it all the way in in they should pick up the end of the rope with the KB and run it back out so the rope is straight again. They will probably need to take this in turns, have each team member do this twice.

Station 2

Double tyre farmer’s walk across 40 metres (20m out and back). Our girls used 8kg car tyres and our boys used 18kg 4WD tyres.

Station 3

Walking lunge for 40 metres.

Station 4

Tyre squat to overhead press x25. Note: You can sub DBs or MBs here.

Station 5

5 second plank hold, then 5 crunches. Clients should do this 5 times.

Station 6

As-low-as-possible squats x50. Ass-to-grass for your fitter, more mobile clients.


Stretch and chit chat. We sit in a circle, I like to go around the group and ask my clients what they are having for breakfast.

Image: smartmindfuel


This workout has since appeared in The Little Bootcamp Book of Tyres and Ropes. A collection of the most awesome tyres and ropes exercises, drills and workouts.

For more ideas like this one, check it out.

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