Good afternoon (or morning or evening depending where you are and when you are reading this).
My alarm greeted me this morning while faint rays of sunlight peaked through the blinds in my bedroom. It’s nearly a month into spring here in Australia which means much longer days.
It also makes it a hell of a lot easier to get out of bed at 5am (a feeling which only tradies, bakers and bootcamp instructors around the world understand).
Today’s ideas came from our 2012 Bootcamp Games Competition. These have all been created by trainers in the community and over the 9+ years tested and used by the community.
This post is one of the biggest dumping of exercises on Bootcamp Ideas ever, so I’ve had to split it up over two posts.
Some of the entries are full workouts, some are just drills. Try to judge by how much your clients enjoy the game rather then on the workout.
The order of the games/drills are the order in which they came to my inbox. I promise you, there is no favouritism going on here. Enjoy.
1. Tennis Ball Madness (Outside Game)
By Kjell Crowe
Equipment needed: 24 tennis balls, 8-12 cones, 2 heavy Medicine Balls
Speed Walk Tag
Get 4 cones and set them up in a square with each cone roughly 10 meters apart. Adjust depending on how many people you have.
Pick a person to start. They are the tagger and must try to tag someone else inside the square only by walking. The rest of the participants can only walk too.
Once tagged, you can only be unfrozen when a person crawls between your legs.
Every 45 seconds or so, switch up the tagger. Run the drill for 5 minutes.
Set up for Tennis Ball Game:
You’ll first need to write the specified exercises on each ball. One exercise per ball. (I go over each exercise beforehand so there isn’t a lot of confusion during the game/competition).
2 sets of 8-12 Cones are set out on a big field in a straight line about 10 meters apart.
Separate your clients into two equal (fitness level) teams.
Place one ball, in any order, at each cone. If you have only 2 sets of 8 cones then you will double up on the tennis balls at two of the cones.
How It Works
One team will line up about 5-10 meters in front of the first cone, and the second team will do the same with the second set of cones. When the trainers say go, each team sends a player out to retrieve a tennis ball from any, but only one of the cones.
If it is a cone with two tennis balls, then that person will grab both and bring the tennis ball(s) back and as a team they do the exercise written on the ball(s). Once everyone has completed that exercise, then the second person goes and retrieves another tennis ball from whichever cone they want.
You cannot send anyone to retrieve until all teammates have finished the specified exercise. This continues until one team finishes all the exercise on all 12 tennis balls.
This can be catered to the fitness levels and the amount of people you have in your classes.
You can also decide if you want there to be an active rest for the other teammates while their teammate is running for the ball. Sometimes I have them do non-jumping high knees or jumping jacks or just let them wait.
The twelve exercises are all different for each team except both teams do 1 lap and 20 pushups. The rest are roughly the same intensity and difficultly. Of course, you can choose your own exercises.
Team One Exercises
- 1 Lap around the park
- 10 Burpees
- 20 Push Ups
- 40 Mountain Climbers
- 10 Push Ups with Alternating Knee to Elbow
- 20 Side Plank Rotation (each side)
- 10 Bunny Hops
- 10 Chest Pass with Med Ball (group stands in circle and does a Chest Pass, making sure each person is far enough away to throw the ball hard)
- 10 Tuck Jumps
- 10 3-Point Jumps (High Plank position, take feet and jump to the left, then up to the chest, then out the right, repeat)
- 20 Star Abs (opposite hand to opposite foot)
- 20 Crunch/Sit Up to Leg Lift
Team Two Exercises
- 1 Lap around the park
- 10 Squat Jumps
- 20 Push Ups
- 10 High Knees
- 10 Push Ups with Rotations and Foot Touch (then with the hand that’s up in the air touch the opposite foot as it comes underneath your trunk)
- 10 Jack Knives (each leg)
- 20 Jumping Jacks to Leg Hug (after the Jack, Squat down and hug your knees)
- 10 Med Ball Over Unders (have team line up, first person with Med Ball goes over head and passes it to next teammate, they go under, and alternate for ten times through. Each person should touch the ball 10 times).
- 20 Jump Lunges
- 10 Walkouts to Wide Leg Jump (bend over, walk out using hands to a High Plank, take feet and jump out wide, then back in, walk back to standing position, repeat)
- 20 Plank Hip Twist
- 20 Dead Bug
Losing team does 20 burpees!
Team Fartlek Run:
Best when you have at least 5 or 6 people if not more.
Team lines up and starts jogging around the park (or whatever venue you’re using), The last person in line sprints to the front, then the next last person does the same thing. This is repeated until they have returned to the start or you can do it for time.
Take a 5 minute walk, stretch
About Kjell: My name is Kjell (pronounced “shell”) Crowe. I’m 30 years old mother of two, and lover of fitness and health. I’ve been in the fitness industry for almost 6 years, balancing my time between my own business of boot camps and personal training at a local gym. I’m based out of Orem, Utah.
2. GAME ON – Games within a Game
By Jo Sharp
This drill is great for team bonding for just one group or if you want to bring a bit of competition into your workout divide into teams.
Goal: Going to challenge your brains as well as your muscles have to perform various tasks at different points throughout the course.
Task 1: Password Run
Preparation: Single letters on pieces of cardboard to form a word. Clients have to unscramble the letters to form the password. My word: sharp moves (of course)
Rules: Have 30 seconds to form the password if not solved have to run 50m and back. Keep repeating 30 seconds to solve and then run until has been solved.
Run to next challenge – stairs/hill next task.
Task 2: Calorie Step Up
Preparation: Find the total kjs (kilojoules) of 6 different foods, write name on individual pieces of cardboard.
Rules: Have 30 seconds to arrange food in lowest to highest kjs. If incorrect run up steps/hill and back keep repeating until in correct order every 30 seconds hill/stairs.
Run to next challenge.
Task 3: Guess That Number Burpee
Preparation: Find the street number of a local venue in your area. Could be your gym or pub etc.
Rules: Guess the street number of the premises. Might have to give a number range. Every wrong answer 10 burpees, let them know if answer is higher or lower. Keep going until get the correct number.
Run next challenge.
Task 4: Destiny Cards
Preparation: Deck of playing cards
Rules: Every suite of cards represents a different exercise, number on cards represents reps. Eg. hearts/push up, clubs/squats, spades/dips, diamonds/crunches, joker/run. Go through entire pack of cards doing the set exercises and reps.
Task 5: Final Dash
Clients run whole course. If team challenge – first team with 3 members over the finishing line wins.
About Jo: Hi, Jo Sharp here from Sharp Moves fitness. I have been involved in the fitness industry for over 18 years. I am based in both Sydney and Bali. Really enjoy training outside and try and make my sessions fun for all clients.
3. “Extreme” Duck Duck Goose
Adults love this full-on version of the popular kids playground game. I gave it a fun, Kaizen-fitness.com style makeover.
The whole group forms a big circle, facing outwards and spaced out about 2m apart. Everyone is jogging on the spot throughout the game.
The youngest person starts first by leaving the circle and jogging clockwise around the outside, tapping or pointing at each player in turn and calling each one a ‘duck’ until finally picking one to be a ‘goose’.
Each time you get called a duck you do a squat (“quacking” is optional but good for a laugh).
The ‘goose’ then runs anti-clockwise around the circle while the picker continues to run clockwise. At the crossover point, the players can attempt to block each other in the ‘race’ to get back to vacant space first. Depending on the group, you may want to enforce a ‘no physical-contact block’.
Make sure everyone in the circle takes a turn at being the ’picker’.
About Garry: Garry Robinson is a Bootcamp Instructor, L1 Crossfit Trainer and author of Bootcamp Workout Ideas – a field manual of 50 complete workouts scaled for all fitness levels. It also includes 10 fun warm-up drills, 30 intense boxing combos and loads of insider tips straight from Australia’s top military and civilian PTIs.
4. Human “Hungry Hippos”
By Tracy Taylor
Equipment Required: 5 Buckets, Odd number of small plastic balls (like the ones you get in kids ball pits) – I use 45 but it depends how long you want the game to last.
Map out a large square (I work in a school gymnasium so I use the entire room) and place 1 bucket in each corner and 1 in the middle. Fill the one in the middle with balls.
Split the group into 4 teams, trying to keep fitness levels even. One team in each corner.
How It Works
Teams takes it in turns (relay style) to run to the middle, collect a ball, then put it in their team bucket. The team with the most balls wins and gets to pick an exercise for the other teams to perform.
Very simple I know, but just telling my clients the name of the game brings a grin to their faces!
About Tracy: I’m a Personal Trainer and Zumba Instructor, relatively new to the industry. Currently run an all girl bootcamp in the mornings we have termed the “sunrise sessions” I love my girls, and they love to hate me when I put them through their paces 🙂 Having lost 25 kilos (and counting) myself, my girls know that if I can do it, so can they!
5. Animal Pentathlon
By Tracy Taylor
- Frog Jumps (full squat to flor, jump forward back into full squat)
- Bear Crawl (walk on hands and feet, alternate leg and opposite hand)
- Crab Walk (walk on hands and feet sideways, but facing “up” – making a bridge)
- Donkey Kicks (Hands on floor, kick both feet into air, land, jump forward)
- Gorilla Run (Squat position, jump forward, landing on one foot after the other)
You can use this as an individual event/challenge, or a team game, plus you can race one event at a time or run one after the other relay style.
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6. Post It Bomb
From Brenda Doran
Time: 8 – 10 minutes
- Markers/cones to mark out space (or a basketball court or half court depending on size of group.)
- Post It notes – normal size, enough for 5 per person and about 6 in a different colour for the ‘bombs’ (try and get the ‘super sticky’ ones. They work best!)
- Stop watch
What to do:
- Give each person 5 Post It notes. They must be stuck on their upper bodies (torso and arms).
- Set a time limit for each round i.e. 2 min Round 1, 3 mins Round 2 and 4 min Round 3.
- Participants must run around the allotted area and aim to pass their Post It note on to other participants by sticking it onto the others torso and arms.
- They can only have one Post It in their hand to pass on at any time.
- Participants can pick up fallen Post Its and pass them on.
- Introduce 2 different coloured Post Its as bombs in the rounds. (I usually join in this game and have these as part of my 5 starting Post Its.)
How the Round finishes:
- Whoever has the most Post Its on at the end of the round occurs a penalty at the end of the rounds or session (your choice).
- Whoever is wearing a ’bomb’ at the end of the round occurs a penalty at the end of the rounds or session (your choice).
- Whoever is standing closest to any fallen Post its must claim them and count them as part of their round tally.
I usually get everyone to join in at the end of the session for the penalties, but it is up to you!
- Plank hold
- Squat hold
- Equipment collection
About Brenda: My name is Brenda Doran. I run a small personal training and group fitness business, Matchbox Fitness in Sydney’s Inner West. I have been a PT for 3 years and PDHPE teacher for 8 years.
From Jamie Keiffer
Equipment: Dumbbells or weighted bar, Mats
(Who can get to 21 first!)
This takes about 30 minutes to complete depending on how hard your participants work. It is self-directed and paced. I put each exercise on an index card and tape them vertically to ski poles (numbered and listed in order) so participants can quickly refer to them. The poles also plant in the grass easily.
21 reps of each of these 21 exercises.
Each person picks a number to start with and then does the entire circuit:
- Step up/down (R leg only, low wall, park bench or steps)
- Calf raises (holding weights)
- Push ups (any kind)
- Run around designated area
- Overhead press left arm only
- High knees (both sides count as 1)
- Side plank (right side down)
- Burpees (with or without push up)
- Prisoner lunge (right leg only)
- Bent over row (R arm only)
- Mountain climber (both sides count as 1)
- Step up/down (L leg only, low wall, park bench or steps)
- Bicep curls (weighted of course)
- Prisoner lunge (left leg only)
- Side plank (left side down)
- Bicycle abs
- Jump ups (low wall or steps)
- Dips (weight in lap)
- Bent over row (left arm only)
- Overhead press (right arm only)
- Side leaps (like a speed skater)
This is the circuit my group loves to hate the most!
About Jamie: I am an independent bootcamp instructor also certified in Bodypump, Bodycombat, Taebo and Zumba. I’ve been in the fitness arena for over 10 years. I currently teach my outdoor camps to private corporations and government entities. I usually have a very diverse group of ages and abilities!
8. Bootcamp Scrabble
From Courtney Kroen
I enjoy using games at camp. I used this warm-up last night actually and my clinets LOVED it. It was fun to watch them get to ‘play’ like kids again.
Freeze Tag. Decide on someone to be ‘it’. Everyone runs in a designated area. If you are tagged by whoever is ‘it’; you freeze and do jumping jacks. If someone runs by you and high fives you – you become free and can run again.
Throughout the warm up I’ll randomly change who is ‘it’.
This one takes a bit of prep time but it is something new to spice things up for your clients.
Think of a phrase. ‘Boot Camp Rocks’ for instance. And I will make big signs (8 1/2″ x 11″) for each letter. Each letter also gets a small number in the corner representing number of reps of that exercise. Once made – you’ll have a piece of paper which resembles a scrabble tile.
I post these randomly around the space you have. For instance, the ‘B’ would stand for BURPEES and I would put a 20 in small font on the top right corner of the piece of paper. This means at this station they are to complete 20 burpees before they can collect their ‘B’ tile.
I also make a bunch of little ‘b’s, and all the other letters. Enough for one for each client. As soon as they complete the exercise they come to me to receive their tile. I give them disposable cups or plastic baggies to keep their tiles in.
Once they have gone to all the stations, completed all the exercises/given reps, and collected all their tiles they can go back to their mats – here they hold plank as they try and sort their tiles to unscrabble the letters to form ‘Boot Camp Rocks’ — or whatever saying you created! ‘I Love Burpees’ works well too 😉
I try and make up exercises that correspond to the letters.
B – burpees
O – Oblique crunch
T – tuck jumps
C – crab walk
A – etc, etc.
I usually bring a prize that night (small gift card, water bottle, health magazine) … and the first person to complete the task and have the phrase solved wins it! Adds some friendly competition & seems to raise intensity of the workout.
9. Cone Flip
From Maree Lloyd
I’m terrible at explaining things but here goes.
So, with those round disk cones (look like funny rugby kicking tees?) place twenty / thirty or so (depending on client numbers) on the ground spread out. Half of them right way up and half flipped over.
Divide clients into two teams and name one team “mountains” and the other “valleys”.
On “go” each team attempts to flip all the cones to be the way up according to their name. So one team wants all the cones up the right way, the other team wants them all flipped over.
Time is dependant on fitness and distance spread but 3 rounds of about a minute work well. When the whistle blows, teams stand back at sides of the game field and the cones are counted up. Losing team completes 5 burpees while winning team has a drink and instuctor flips so cones a half and half again.
- spread far apart for more of a running focus, or keep close so clients are in squat/bend position for longer.
- leave the cones as they are at end of round and switch teams so losers have initial advantage.
- encourage flying dives in final few seconds.
- encourage alternating hands for flipping.
About Maree: My name is Maree and I run a fitness group for Mums in Auckland, New Zealand. It’s called Fit With You. The ladies bring the kids along too and they play while we exercise. Some days it’s complete carnage but it’s great fun!
Find out who won
That’s all of them for today, over 3,000 words of games. If your entry wasn’t there, never fear it will be in tomorrows post (there are 8 more bootcamp games to come!).
Ask any questions you have in the comments below. If you see a mistake with your game, let me know and I will fix it up.
Now get crackin’ ya bloody slackers and feed your clients these games!
UPDATE: The winners of this competition have now been announced. You can check out which of the 4 games won here.
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.