How To Start A Bootcamp 2
by Brian Duewel
The other day, I was picking up my youngest son from his summer camp. When I walked in, all the kids were spinning around with hula hoops burning a little energy before the parents showed up.
It got me thinking back to the fitness boot camp I used to offer. Every Saturday morning, a group of clients would meet me at a park and we’d sweat for about an hour. It wasn’t just adults; I had parents with children and kids-only classes too. But what all the classes had in common was that we worked hard, had fun and burned a lot of calories.
That brings me back to the hula hoops at the summer camp. My son Tyler and his buddies were vigorously exercising, without even knowing it. That’s why the hula hoop was a staple at my camps.
I once wrote about how to build a home gym with inexpensive, household equipment; now I’m going to tell you how to organize your own boot camp for almost nothing.
To start, pick up a hula hoop at any dollar store. Just the act of doing the hula will burn calories and work your core. But the fun doesn’t stop there. What I would do at the boot camps is roll the hoops out and make everyone chase after them. The sprinting and diving is great for cardiovascular fitness and agility.
Next, find an open field, whip out a few tennis balls and have everyone sprint to find them. With a group of people, you can throw a bunch of balls and whoever brings back the most wins the reward of an extra break.
If you’re near an actual playground, take full advantage of the monkey bars and other equipment. With my crew, we would do step-ups on the park benches, jog up and down the stairs and do triceps dips off the picnic table.
A simple little jump rope can go a long way to raise the heart rate – it’s actually a lot tougher than most adults remember. And obviously, ordinary calisthenics like running, pushups, crunches, jumping jacks and mountain climbers are free fitness tools you can add to your exercise repertoire.
The last great thing about my location was that there was a hill that would make everyone’s calves, quads and lungs burn. At the end of the hour, we’d run to the top and finish class with a “Rocky” dance. That’s an entire boot camp class for around $10.
Brian Duewel is a syndicated fitness columnist. If you have questions, comments, recipes or information you’d like to pass on, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org; check out his blog at healthylivingwithbrianduewel.com
note – It’s a great time to start a bootcamp if you’ve been considering it. There’s tons of info on my site here at Fitness Workout Ideas, just use the search box at the top and type in bootcamp or visit my website at http://www.howtostartabootcamp.com
I started running my bootcamp business in July 2005.
I live in Texas. It was HOT.
Luckily it was only in the 80’s (26 celcius) at 545am on that first morning. I had advertised my bootcamp on craigslist a few weeks in advance and had several sign ups that way. There were some word of mouth bootcampers and all total I think I had 10 or 12 people registered for that first bootcamp.
Although I felt reasonably prepared, l still made several mistakes. I had bought and listened to an audio CD about how to start a bootcamp before opening my own. It certainly helped but I was destined to make some mistakes which could have caused me to run my business into the ground had I not been open minded.
“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts.”
Rita Mae Brown
We all know those stubborn types who refuse to change anything no matter how badly they are hurting their business. Below is a list of mistakes that I made 8 years ago. Hopefully this will help. Feel free to add your own mistakes if you’ve made your share.
- Had clients walk through the dark, creepy woods at 545am out to an ant infested
field with dew and tall grass. The parking lot was adjacent to the open field. But there was a grove of trees that people had to walk 30 yards through in order to get to that field. The grass was wet, something I had not thought of ahead of time.
- Didn’t make sure that clients brought towels to lie upon for ground stretching/exercises. I had them stretch standing up, couldn’t do ab exercises on that first day. Abs and core are probably the most important area to work other than butt and legs.
- The water fountain was far away and not everyone remembered to bring water. I asked everyone to bring water but I should have provided some. I could have brought a 12 pack of cold bottled water along. It would have been a nice touch.
- Did standard, boring circuit style training – no challenges, no games, no fun. You must NOT make this mistake. All of the other mistakes will probably be overlooked at least once. But being boring is bad for business. Do not make this mistake.
The truth is you’ll always make mistakes. But as you find your groove as a bootcamp instructor, become more experienced and learn to think on your feet, you’ll LOVE this “job”. People in your community will depend on you to get them in shape with fun, interesting workouts.
Avoiding the simple mistakes that I made – along with developing your workout design creativity are probably the 2 biggest pieces of advice that I can give. Learn to use all of your senses. Flex your observation muscles. Listen to feedback. Look for inspiration in other places. Be in alignment with your bigger goals.
Where you’re going lots of customers will be relying on you. Enjoy the trip.
“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”