After you’ve taken a break from running face-to-face sessions you make an extra special effort in planning your first session back.
For example: If you took a break for 2 or 3 weeks from running your sessions over the holidays (or 12 months thanks to a global pandemic…) then chances are that your bootcampers probably haven’t done much exercise wise in a few weeks.
My best advice is to make sure you plan something really simple. You want your first session back to be amazing but now is not the time to pull out your most complicated drills.
In fact, the simplest workouts to explain will usually result in your clients working the hardest because they can just focus on getting it done rather than trying to remember what to do.
Here are 5 simple and smooth-running sessions that myself and other trainers have used to welcome their campers back at their first session:
- 1. Bootcamp Starter
- 2. Mini Circuits #3
- 3. The First Bootcamp Session
- 4&5. Bonus Bootcamp Workouts
- Main Points to Remember When Running Your First Session Back
1. Starting Back at Bootcamp Workout
This workout is the workout I used at our first session back last year.
Your existing clients will be feeling de-conditioned and you will probably have a few New Years Resolutioners joining your ranks so a simple strength workout like this covering common bootcamp exercises like push ups, squats and lunges is a perfect way to start back.
Type: All Rounder, Strength
Time: 45 minutes
Set up around 10 cones in a circle.
Start with clients running around the cone circle. Then have clients stop and do 3 jumping jacks at each cone before moving around the circle to the next one. Then after a minute change to 3 frog squats and then after another minute change to plank jacks.
Change directions and keep changing exercises every minute.
Part 1 – Suicide Shuttles
Walking Lunge Suicide Shuttle
Set up 6 cones in a line with 5m between each cone. Half the group lunges to the first cone and runs back. The other half rests then copies once the first group gets back.
Then the first group lunge to the second cone and runs back and so on, you get the idea, until the second group lunges to the last cone and runs back.
Walking lunges must be completed in sync ie. the group should be in a line shoulder to shoulder.
Resting group doesn’t just hang out. They do:
Squat Suicide Shuttle
This drill is completed individually at the same time.
Start with 10 low-low-low squats at the baseline before the suicide run, then 8 before the second run and then down by 2 reps each run until done.
Take a short break and then if there is time repeat the walking lunge drill. Swap glute bridge marches for sea turtles (10 reps).
Part 2 – 30, 20, 10
Complete 3 rounds of the following circuit. For advanced clients have them do 30 reps the first round, 20 reps the second round and 10 reps on the final round.
- HRPU (Change HRPU to regular push ups for beginners.)
- Band Upright Rows
Modify the reps to 20-15-10 for intermediates/beginners.
As per the Push Up/Row drill:
- V-sit (or crunches)
- Plank knee taps (Change plank knee taps to timed plank for beginners.)
2. A Really Simple Bootcamp Workout
Mini Circuits #3
I used this workout as an introduction to a new round of bootcamp. It got the campers familiar with many of the key exercises we do at bootcamp and kept them moving for the full session. The emphasis on this workout is simplicity.
Time: 45 minutes
Mobility warm up exercises. This video has three good ones to teach your campers.
Split the group into 5 groups. Group members should be roughly the same fitness level. Rotate stations when runners (on station 5) finish.
Complete circuit twice.
- Yoga Push Ups
- Frog Squats (first exercise in the video above)
- Alternating Lateral Lunge
- Run 2 laps around the circuit – timekeeper
Circuit 2 is a timed circuit. The group will need to be redivided up into 4 groups.
Change stations every 2 minutes and complete circuit twice.
- Do 1 Hand Release Push Up (HRPU), run to a cone 10m away and back, do 2 HRPU, run again, do 3 HRPU, etc until time is up.
- MB Squats x10 then BW Walking Lunge to cone 10m away and back. Repeat.
- Speed Skaters x10 then Mountain Climbers x20 then walk around cone 10m away and repeat.
- Plank with forwards reach x5 each side then side plank reach unders x5 each side. Repeat.
Circuit 3 (optional)
If you are doing a 60 minute workout, add another circuit here.
Stretch. In the evenings I like to go around the group and ask my clients what they are having for dinner while we are stretching.
3. Great Bootcamp and Ice Breaker For A First Class
The First Bootcamp Session
This simple starter workout is from Suzie DeBar of Billings Adventure Boot Camp. This is an awesome session to run if you have a new group that doesn’t know each other very well and there is a big fitness level variation.
Time: 60 minutes
Introduction and warm up: ~15 minutes
Find my shoe
Each person will take one shoe off when they enter the gym and place it in the trash bag. Then they will go set up somewhere they haven’t set up before. When I call everyone’s attention they will go and find the owner of the shoe and find out 3 things from each other. Favorite active recovery activity, Favorite food, Favorite Beverage.
Basic warm up
Run around perimeter of gym doing high knees, butt kicks, side slides, grapevines. Have them head back to mat and do pushups, hand release pushups, squat thrusts, Jumping jacks, plank holds, crunches, flutter kicks.
Use the time to watch and correct form. Complete 3 times.
Take a short break between exercises to explain and demo longer break after completing full set.
- Basic squat 30 sec.
- Walking lunges to other end of gym short ways – in time, no one passes in front of me
- Plie squat 30 sec.
- Walking lunges hands over head to other end at own pace
- Close stance squat 30 sec.
This circuit is performed for time. There are 3 sets.
Each set is 5 minutess. Your goal is to get through OR as far as you can as quickly as possible before 5 mins. Is up. Raise your hand or yell done when done to find out your time. The quicker you are done the more rest you will get. There will be 1 minute break between each set.
Try to beat your set 1 time for set 2 and 3.
- 15 for adv. 10 for new Burpees or Squat thrust
- 20 cross-over mountain climbers OR upright mnt. Climber if bothers shoulders
- 20 pop squats/squats
- 2 up and back runs
Core Partner planks
30 seconds each partner. 3 sets.
- P1 holds plank P2 jumps over
- P1 on back lateral scissors, P2 jump over closed feet, hop through open
- Finish with Partner sit up high 5’s
4&5. Bonus Bootcamp Workouts
Click the links below to view workouts 4 and 5.
The festive decorations have been packed away, the final minced pie has been enjoyed and 2020 really is hindsight. A new year is always a chance for new beginnings – and you’re bound to have plenty of beginners join your ranks as you start back up again after the holidays. Here is a great workout…
Today’s workout is a great way to kick off a new round of bootcamps. It includes a little bit of everything and will let you get a good idea of the base fitness level of any new comers. Crest The Hill Duration: 45 minutes Equipment: None (maybe just some mats) (more…)
Main Points to Remember When Running Your First Session Back
Now you’ve got 5 full class ideas for your first session back to choose from.
If you decide to create your own or tweak the one’s above (which I highly recommend as you know your group best) here are some things you should keep in mind:
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Superstar
Your campers are feeling rusty and their technique has probably gone out the window. Use this first session back as a gentle introduction to basic bootcamp movements and drills.
After time off training muscles are tight and stiff. They’re not used to being stretched to end range, especially with any kind of force or speed. So avoid plyometrics (jumping movements) in your plan.
You may even avoid running in your first session back.
Try to include a game of some kind in your first session back. Games are usually low impact and low intensity and they’re a lot of fun for you and your campers.
For more tips on planning sessions, check out my podcast episode on Planning The Perfect Session.
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.