Top 5 Boot Camp Workout Design Mistakes – Part 1

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 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: