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Top 5 Boot Camp Workout Design Mistakes – Part 1

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Filed Under (Fitness, General) by Rick Kaselj



Today I have a guest blog post from Caroline Fitzgerald of Best Boot Camp Workouts.

I know you been reading on the blog about all the boot camp stuff.

In 2011, boot camps will be a huge trend.

Over the last few days we have talked about the trend of boot camps, succeeding with boot camps, and avoiding mistakes with boot camps.

Today I wanted to talk about boot camp workouts, and that is why I have Caroline.

Caroline runs boot camps, and her participants love her boot camp workouts. They encouraged her to share them with other boot camp instructors.  She does this with her Best Boot Camp Workouts program.

Now to Caroline – take it away…

Top 5 Boot Camp Workout Design Mistakes

 

Avoiding mistakes in boot camp workout design has a lot to do with how you define “boot camp.”
When boot camps first hit the fitness industry, their success had a lot to do with one word:

 

Different.

 

  • Different from the gym.
  • Different from the normal workout. Taken a step further…Different workouts all the time.
  • Different exercises all the time.
  • Different equipment than the gym. Different locations.
Here are the top 5 mistakes that come from a “same as” mentality.  Avoid them if you want to be a successful boot camp instructor.

 

#5 – Circuit Training Done Outside

 

If we’re being honest about things, most boot camps are really just glorified circuit training. Sometimes they’re just plain old circuit training, nothing glorified about it. Can you say boring?

 

#4 – Rep-Based Workouts

 

Rep-based workouts are a surefire way to restrict yourself when it comes to potential clients. Rep-based workouts are just like indoor fitness classes, you’ve got to “keep up or get out.” There is a built-in intimidation factor: if a client thinks they can’t do it, or can’t keep up, they aren’t going to sign up for class. If you do actually get them there once, but they can’t keep up and feel they have failed, they sure as heck aren’t going to come back!

 

Some believe rep-based workouts build camaraderie when the stronger clients finish, and then go cheer on the less strong clients as they finish, or even jump in with them and pound out a few more reps together.

 

I’m sorry, but that is just about the fastest way to tick off everyone in your classes! The less fit are going to feel like they’re holding everyone up, and then having it shoved in their faces that they’re not as fast and strong when the more fit campers jump in to help them finish their reps. And the more fit are going to start to resent the less fit campers because they want to move on with the workout.

 

Interval-based workouts and formats that don’t place a strong emphasis on set completion are a far better way to build camaraderie. They are fun, everyone plays at their own level, and everyone is happy with their performance.

Now moving on to #3…

Hold it, Caroline!

I am going to get Caroline to stop right here.

She will be back tomorrow for the top 3 Boot Camp Workout Design Mistakes.  So we will see you back at the blog tomorrow.

If you want you can check out the video Caroline has for boot camp instructors:

Rick Kaselj, MS

If you are looking for other posts on boot camp stuff, you can check these out:

Facebook comments:

Comments posted (14)

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Rick,

I dont know where this series is going, but here’s what I have noticed.

If the emphasis is too much on kicking a**, just watch over time how many bootcampers start complaining of nagging pain (wrists, knees, shoulders, etc.)

There has to be program design, progression, a shift of emphasis in volume / load, etc, push, pull, hip dominant, knee dominant, all planes, etc. etc.

We have to be the professional and guide them in a respectful manner. If the client is at a level 2, they only need to be pushed to level 3..not 5, 6, or 10.

Other wise you end end with a “killer” workout that leaves people in a pool of sweat asking you at the next class “why does it hurt right here”

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Rick Kaselj Reply:

Good points Aron.

I will see if Caroline can reply.

Rick Kaselj

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I totally agree with you, Aron. I am guessing that what you mean by what you “have noticed” is what is going on in the fitness boot camp field in general, not what I said in my post. My point about avoiding “reps-based only” workouts is just what you said…that makes the workout all about “kicking a$$”. I am all about everyone being able to play at their own level. A good trainer gets to know their clients and can tell when they are giving a good effort and when they are capable of doing more. Also, your point about a “shift”… I totally agree and that is covered in the part about ways boot camp needs to be “different”…more on that in tomorrow’s post.

Thanks, Aron.
Caroline

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Thanks Caroline!

Rick Kaselj

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Very good point you made here Caroline. I found myself nodding YES as I was reading. I look forward to reading your next post.

Thanks,

Kevin Yates

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Rick Kaselj Reply:

Kevin,

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Rick kaselj

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Thanks, Kevin.

Caroline

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Thanks for clearing it all up, Caroline. Bootcamps are becoming a popular trend, and I agree that it is important to avoid mistakes in the design and implementation of the workouts involved.

Tannis

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Rick Kaselj Reply:

Tannis,

We all need to be learning, growing and improving every day.

Rick Kaselj

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Thanks, Tannis. It is true that as boot camps explode in popularity, safety and effective workout design can be compromised as inadequately trained trainers decide to start their own, or trainers get in over their head with too many clients in each class.

Caroline

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Hey Rick and Caroline,

I’d have to say that the name “boot camp” is intimidating in itself for me. I guess I call to mind images of my brother’s descriptions of Army boot camp, or maybe it’s Full Metal Jacket…

Anyway, I completely agree with what you said in #4. The whole pushing and cheering newbies thing might be beneficial once they’re not complete greenhorns, but putting that much focus on a first-timer is likely to convince them to not come back in my opinion. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit in the back and become familiar with the workout at your own pace before you focus on rockin it.

Thanks for the post!

-Matt

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I’ve never seen a boot camp workout conducted using the rep based system. They’ve all be based on an amount of time. This way way nobody is standing around waiting for the next station to open up, and everybody is minding their business.

And yes, it is just circuit training done outside. I don’t see a problem with that though. It’s a nice change of pace to get out of the gym.

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Hi Todd,

Thanks for the comment. in my experience, there are plenty of rep based boot camps. The military style ones seem to be in particular.

As for boot camps being circuit training taken outside…no, there is nothing wrong with that per se, it’s just boring. When there are so many creative, fun workout formats to be had, why not make it more than just a gym workout taken outside?

-Caroline

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Well, this information about boot camp workout would be of great help to anybody who would arrive to read this 1. Thanks a great deal for sharing your ideas..

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