Fitness Workout Ideas – Fitness Trends In 2014
If you teach a bootcamp class, then you’re already on the cutting edge of fitness for 2014. However, your clients will continue to expect you to stay abreast of the latest trends in fitness, because they are paying you to keep them not only in shape but interested in their progress. Falling into a set routine is often boring, and a boring bootcamp will quickly lose clients. The fitness workout ideas and trends in this article will help you keep your clients engaged and help them see the results that they want faster.
Jill Tomich is a bootcamp instructor from Boston. I don’t think you’ll find anyone more passionate about taking care of the feet than Jill. She’s been training clients for 10 years in a bootcamp environment and this year, has decided to start a barefoot bootcamp. No shoes allowed! Her reasoning is that in the colder weather areas like Boston, people’s feet are covered in snow boots, galoshes, etc for half the year which can cause kinetic chain problems in the lower extremities.
Her new fitness workout idea is to try barefoot bootcamps and have clients do a variety of exercises for their feet such as heel walks, walking backwards, sideways, stretching out calves and hamstrings in order to make sure your feet are stretched properly. We take extra time and even get in there to massage our feet a little bit. That helps the entire body relieve stress.
Mix cardio with resistance training
This is one reason why bootcamp workouts have become so popular: blending cardio and resistance training means that your clients burn more calories and get the benefits of two different workouts at once. After beginning with a dynamic warmup that consists of a basic jog or a series of dynamic movements (think high knees, butt kicks, karaoke steps, and other similar moves), alternate from one muscle group to the next, mixing in cardio bursts at regular intervals. Start with static lunges and then move to push-ups and body weight squats. Plug in cardio with some jumping jacks, and then go back to different muscle groups with step-ups, triceps dips, and an elevated plank. Mix resistance with cardio by adding bicycle crunches and mountain climbers before finishing with a cooldown jog. This is a workout that takes around 30 minutes but has the impact of several hours of work in the gym or at sustained cardio.
Strike up the bands
We’re not talking about music here. Instead, we’re talking about one of the fitness workout ideas in resistance training. Instead of carting around kettlebells or dumbbells for your clients, purchase a couple of sets of resistance bands for them to use. You can build upper body strength by having your clients stand on the resistance band and then pull up on the other end, raising their arms up over their heads and back down in a slow movement. Maintaining a slow, steady rhythm is the key to maximum benefit from this exercise. Remind the crew not to let their arms snap back down with the tension of the band, because much of the work involves slowing down that descent.
Then you can have your clients assume a basic push-up position and hook one end of the band behind them. Pushing out with one hand and making a large oval isolates each arm and shoulder while forcing the body to maintain balance, working the core at the same time. Smaller resistance bands slide up the legs. Centering them a few inches below the knee allows you to put your clients through an intense side-to-side sliding workout that quickly boosts heart rates. These bands are much more versatile than small free weights— and they’re much easier for you to carry to your workout site as well.
Using awkward objects
If you want to take a mile run and make it interesting, have your class members carry something that makes the movement awkward. This could be a sandbag or an old tree stump— anything without perfect symmetry. The lack of symmetry keeps them off balance, and their cores have to compensate. As a result, you end up getting your class to complete that mile, but it won’t be that same four-lap journey that they’ve gotten used to. Instead, their core will be a little more sore than usual the rest of the day, because you’ve helped them torch those muscles while getting cardio in at the same time.
Train for a cause
Organizations like Team in Training, Alltri, the Ulman Fund’s Team Fight and the American Liver Foundation have gotten athletes to train for specific races and events while raising money for charity. You can take the same approach with your bootcamp class.Ask each of your clients to choose a specific charity, and then have them dedicate their training to that cause. They are free to choose a crowning event like a 5K or a sprint triathlon as a focus, or they can simply raise money while spending a season or even a year training with you. At the end of the chosen time period, have a banquet where your clients give the proceeds from their fundraising to the charity they chose. Not only will they be proud of the training they have done, but they will have made a difference in the community.
These are just some of the latest trends in fitness that bootcamp instructors are using to motivate their charges. Put some of these to work for you and your crew!
I was playing around in my garage gym this morning, still enjoying implementing kettlebells into my workouts and because I am known as the “fitness games guy” I began dreaming up a cool kettlebell games workout. I noticed a deck of cards by my desk in the garage and one thing led to another and “BOOM”…kettlebell cards for bootcamp training was born.
HERE’S HOW TO PLAY!
Let’s say that you’re limited on kettlebells and you’re at the park. Let’s assign one kettlebell for each team of 4 people and let’s pretend that you have 12 people total.
- 3 decks of cards
- 3 kettlebells
- 3 teams of 4 people
So typically in my own training, we’ve been playing deck of cards as an extra activity AFTER the main workout. The reason for this is because just playing deck of cards the REGULAR WAY for the entire class has gotten kind of stale. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great workout, it’s just too much of the same thing since 2005 when I first started running bootcamps.
OK so here’s how you can implement Kettlebell Cards in your bootcamp training:
Do a main bootcamp activity that lasts about 20 minutes. Once the activity is over rest 3-5 minutes, grab a drink and during this time you, the instructor, will explain how kettlebell cards works.
Have your people form three groups of 4. You have 12 people in your class. Of course you never know how many are going to show up but let’s pretend for a moment.
So you have three teams with 4 people. Your next step is to play rock-paper-scissors between the teams until you have one “winner”. Here’s a secret – the other 2 teams have really won. They won because the other 2 teams get to pick the worst possible (toughest) exercise for the rock-paper-scissors winning team to do if they draw a joker. Number of reps is 20.
Play rock-paper-scissors again quickly with the two remaining teams. Same thing. The losing team gets to pick the toughest joker exercise for the winning team (it cannot be burpees or even a variation of burpees if that was already assigned to the first team). It must be something different like push ups, sit ups, squats, squat jumps, etc.
You, the instructor, get to pick the joker exercise for the last team remaining. Each joker exercise has to be 20 reps and cannot be the same or similar exercise as the other 2 exercises.
This whole process should take less than a couple of minutes. Remember, this is the rest period as they will have just completed the main workout.
NOW FOR THE GAME
Hearts = KB Hang Position Bottoms Up
Spades = KB Snatches
Diamonds =KB Double Hand Swings
Clubs =KB Clean
The instructor will say on your mark get set, go!
One person from each team picks a card. Let’s say the card is 8 of Spades. That person is going to do a 8 KB snatches, 8 left, 8 right.
The other members have to agree on an exercise that starts with an S and do 18 (8 becomes 18) of them trying to finish as quickly as possible to earn more cards.
So how about 18 squats, or 18 squat jumps, or 18 scissor kicks, or 18 situps or 18 side bridges?
They all do the same exercise for 18 reps total. It can be 9/9 if they choose side bridges or any other “one side at a time” movement.
Let’s say the next card is 6 of clubs. So the person would do 6 KB cleans left and 6 KB cleans right.
The rest of the group has to quickly decide on an exercise that starts with the letter ‘C’ and do 16 of them (6 becomes 16). Ideas include Crunches (all variations including reverse crunch, oblique crunch, regular crunches, double crunches, etc.) Also, how about “chest push up”? It’s up to you if you want to let them have some freedom in choosing exercises that begin with a ‘C’.
Pretend that the next card is a JOKER! That team has to STOP and do 20 reps of whatever exercise they were assigned and then they continue on with the next person pulling a card. This time the card is 10 of Diamonds. So that person will do 10 KB Double Hand Swings.
The rest of the team chooses an exercise that starts with a ‘D’ like dips, diamond push ups, duck walking for 10 yards (get creative), double crunch, double leg press outs, or a “dynamic” warm up like high knees, butt kicks, etc for 10 yards
Finally, let’s say the next card is an Ace of Hearts. That would be a total of 11 reps of KB Hang Position Bottoms Up.
Everyone else does 11 reps (11 remains an 11) of an exercise that begins with an ‘H’. How about High Knees for 11 seconds or 11 Hip Circles, Hip Thrusts, Hip Extensions or any hamstring exercise?
Face cards are 10 reps
Aces are 11 reps
1-5 become 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 reps FOR THE KETTLEBELL EXERCISE.
6-10 are 6 reps, 7, 8, 9 and 10 reps FOR THE KETTLEBELL EXERCISE.
The instructor sets a time limit of say 6 minutes and the team with the most cards pulled wins. As always, you can tweak this to suit your needs, adjust things to save time, etc. This Fitness Game was created off the top of my head as I was playing around with kettlebells this morning in the gym – this is what happens when you’re possessed!
Have a great weekend!
–Medicine Ball Chase–
Sprints are great for getting leaner. I like to liven things up by implementing a medicine ball into my sprints.
In this video, I’m using a 12 pound medicine ball (it doesn’t bounce). As I come out of the start, I pick up the ball and chest press it as forcefully as I can, then chase it down for 20 yards or so.
Repeat for a total of 5 rounds (or more).
Great conditioning workout and fun to do.
To incorporate these in a bootcamp setting, you can line up 5 people side by side and have them do this for 3 minutes. See who gets the most sprints knocked out in those 3 minutes.
Be sure to warm up thoroughly before doing these. The danger of pulling a hamstring is high if you don’t warm up for 10-15 minutes.
Every other exercise is a 30 second cardio sprint. For each round, boot campers perform two strength-cardio exercises and one “sprint” exercise that is predominantly cardio-based.
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds and repeat for a total of 4 minutes for each round/miniworkout.
Tools Needed: a timer/stopwatch (GymBoss highly recommended)
1. V-Pushups 30 seconds
2. HI-knee Sprint 30 seconds
3. Split Squats 30 seconds
4. Hi-knee Sprint 30 seconds
Total time 2 minutes.
Repeat once more for a total of 4 minutes.
Rest as needed!
This Sprint Workout comes compliments of Caryoline Fitgerald and Best Bootcamp Workouts.
This downloadable eBook is 134 pages and is loaded with Partner Workouts, Team Workouts, Challenges, Cardio Interval Workouts, and pictures like the ones above to show certain exercises.
Highly recommended – I’ve been using workouts and exercises from this valuable resource in my own training.
Check it out here
– Scott York