Designing new fitness boot camp workouts, creating new ways to use exercises, and coming up with new ideas for every boot camp class can sometimes be a challenging task. You want to make your boot camp workouts fun, but you also need to make them demanding enough so your campers will see amazing results.
There are literally millions of ideas and concepts you can consider when designing your fitness boot camp workouts. Here are a few of our favorite boot camp ideas that have helped us to propel our own fitness boot camps to success:
1. Partner Exercises: Pairing campers up with a partner will change the whole dynamic of a workout. You can have partners complete the exercises together (ex. partner push-ups,) have them take turns (ex. partner sprints,) or you can have them work as a team to accomplish an exercise.
2. Tabata’s: Tabata training is one of the most effective forms of training you can do in the shortest amount of time. Use exercises that are challenging and try to involve the larger muscle groups when possible. Tabatas are: 20 seconds of work time followed by 10 seconds of rest time, repeated for 8 sets (or 4 minutes.) You can choose exercises like: squats, sprints, mountain climbers, etc. Your campers will love/hate this one!
3. Circuits: Try using 3-10 different exercises (depending on the size of your group) and create “stations.” Divide your group up into equal numbers and have them rotate through each station for 30 to 60 seconds. This is a great way to get up your camper’s heart rates and give them a great variety of exercises in one workout. Circuits also work great if you have minimal equipment since everyone will have the opportunity to work at each station.
4. Timed Workouts: These are perfect in a group setting because everyone can work at their own pace. I like to pick a time (based on the exercises involved) and have campers perform as many rounds of the exercises as they can in the allotted time. For example: I would have my campers perform rounds of 8 reverse lunges (on each side), 8 push-ups, and 8 burpees as many times through as they can in 12 minutes. Timed workouts are awesome to add to any fitness boot camp!
5. Numbered Sets: These are another great way to motivate your boot camp to work harder. Pick a few exercises, for example: 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 mountain climbers, and 1 lap around a distance of your choice. Have your campers perform 5 rounds as fast as possible. This usually works really well because campers are always trying to beat their friends to the finish. Just make sure you have go-to exercises (or back-up exercises) ready for people who finish early.
6. Fitness Challenges: Once in a while we will throw in a workout that takes up most of the boot camp class. You can use any exercise that you choose to use. Occasionally I will turn the challenge into a partner workout and have them work together to reach the goal. For example, if one of the exercises in the challenge is 100 squats, each partner would complete 50 reps of squats. It is great to see how hard your campers will work in a challenge.
7. Obstacle Courses: Obstacles are always fun to use once in a while in boot camp. You can use whatever you have handy: cones, tires, fitness ladders, basically anything you can turn into an obstacle you can use. Be creative and have fun with it!
8. Team Races & Friendly Competition: These are great to throw into camp every couple of weeks. Divide your campers up into 2 or more groups and have them compete in a variety of exercises that you have chosen for them. See which team finishes first! Just for fun, you can have the winning team pick an exercise for the other teams to complete as penalty! (Typically ends up as burpees!)
9. Weekly Fitness Tests: Fitness tests are a great tool you can use to show your campers that their fitness levels have improved. In our boot camp, I have a series of exercises that we use most every Wednesday when they come in to camp (usually takes 5-10 minutes to complete.) Our campers complete the test as fast as possible and compare their score to previous weeks. It is amazing to watch campers see so much improvement in their times, and it just gives them that much more incentive to do their best every single time.
10. Max Rep Tests: Once every couple of months we will complete a max rep test of certain exercises. We like to use a 2 minute max squat, push-up and sit-up test. I make sure to record everyone’s results so we can compare in later months. **This is a great tool for motivation!
Using the ideas above can help you to create a seamless boot camp workout! Don’t forget to checkout out a great boot camp workout (and free) here: http://www.FreeBootCampWorkout.com!
Alicia Streger, RKC, CSCS
Carrie Kukuda, RKC, NB-CPT
For a FREE BOOT CAMP WORKOUT, visit: FreeBootCampWorkout.com