Welcome to 2019 on Bootcamp Ideas!
Before we dive into what I have planned for Bootcamp Ideas this year, let’s take a moment to look back.
2018 was a year like no other. It seemed like everyone was pregnant and having babies, am I right?
My wife and I were in that group of people. After spending the first 9 months of the year pregnant we welcomed our first child into the world on September 29th, 2018.
As such, last year was an odd year for working on my business. I wanted to take plenty of time off around the birth so I planned to get everything done before the due date September 9th.
I scrapped some bigger projects I had planned and focused on the annual essentials: weekly workouts, the annual competition, 31 Days to a Better Fitness Business. I kept just one new project, the Retreat (more on that shortly).
It was one epic year which I want to share with you below.
What went well?
Our First Retreat for Trainers
In last years review, one of the things that I reflected that I didn’t get to doing was run a retreat for trainers. In 2018 I wanted to remedy that.
I wanted to run a retreat that was A) rejuvenating to it’s attendees (because let’s face it, as trainers we don’t take near enough time out just for us) and B) I also wanted them to leave feeling inspired and with some direction of where they wanted to take their business next.
I knew the retreat wouldn’t be for every trainer out there. This would be a retreat for trainers in transition in a situation like:
- Well attended and established classes, but what’s next? Run more classes? Scale the business? Create an online service? Do more study?
- You’ve been working for someone else but are now thinking of starting your own business.
- You’re feel burnt out and want to work out a way to run your business more energetically efficient.
- You’re busy but not really making much more than breaking even each month. How do you make more profit?
Helping people through transition has always been a gift of mine. In hindsight it’s probably why I was attracted to personal training in the first place.
Transition in your business is always icky, there is a lot of uncertainty about where to go next and what to spend your precious time on. Being able to get away from that day-to-day of your business and get clear about what’s important can give really powerful insights.
To make myself accountable to running the retreat in 2018 I sent out about 25 invitations (around March I think) to trainers that I knew fit my ideal attendee. These were readers, contributors and course attendees that I kept in touch with over the past few years. At that stage there was no date or price set, just an idea of what the retreat would be about.
Over the next few months a date in August was locked in, an affordable-price point was selected as this was my first time running this sort of thing, deposits were paid, the venue was booked, an agenda created and the event became more and more real.
I was blown away by how the weekend went.
Five trainers from Canberra, Melbourne and Auckland attended along with a special visit from Dale Sidebottom and my amazing wife, Zoe, preparing things in the background.
Soulful conversations were had (many late into the night as I found out later), friendships were made, games were played with Dale (one involving Rosie nearly taking everyone out with a handstand), peace was found by the ocean and some incredible business ideas were formed.
It wasn’t without it’s hiccups though. On the first night I received a text message from the yoga instructor who was booked to run a session for us the next morning to say she was sick. Some quick rearrangements to the schedule were made and all was good.
This first retreat was for my benefit as much as the trainers. My big takeaways were:
- That I have a surprising gift for getting people to open up.
- That I love creating space for people to ask themselves hard questions.
- That an event like that is less about my connection to each person and more about allowing them to connect with each other.
- That when I run an event like this again I need a number 2 to swap out with so I can get some rest and be at my peak.
- A lot about running a business while being a parent (all of the attendees are parents).
- That I want to do it all again soon.
This year we’ll be running the retreat again for a small group of trainers. I think the reason last year was such a success was the dynamic among the group.
If you are feeling in a bit of a transition this year with your fitness career, pop your name and email down here to be notified when the application process opens.
31 Days to a Better Fitness Business
Forty-two trainers completed 31 Days to a Better Fitness Business in April. Some were doing it for the first time while others were returning for a refresher (alumni can always repeat the course for free).
Running this course live with weekly face-to-face calls continues to be the best. There was a core group of 10 or so trainers from the 42 who showed up the whole way through and got great results. Not just going by the numbers of their business, but also in their enjoyment and momentum running their business.
This year I want to take what I’ve learned running this course over the past 4 years and make it even more achievable.
At the moment, as with most courses I believe, there is a lot of enthusiasm at the start but then later on this course it peters out due to various reasons. By changing the format and in what order we complete the activities I hope to keep all attendees inspired through to the very end.
5th Annual Bootcamp Ideas Competition
We got a tonne of entries so I had to close entries early (again). We ended up with 12 Warm Up entries and 15 Finisher entries (see them all here). Thanks to everyone who entered and who voted.
The Grand Prize winners were:
|Freeze Frenzy Fun Fun by April Wright||Wall of Wobble by Leslie Suess|
In the past years winners have won mostly PDF ebooks, this year I thought it would be really cool if the prizes included some physical products.
So there was a stack of recommended books, memberships to BootCraft and the Fitness Game Zone, PT management software, power bands from IronEdge and the brand new Bootcamp Ideas T-Shirt. It definitely took some stepping out of my comfort zone to ask these companies to donate prizes but I’m really glad I did as they all said yes!
Feedback that I got after the competition was that there wasn’t enough time to test all of the drill ideas (which with 27 entries last year isn’t surprising) so this year I’m going to give more time between entries and voting so everyone has time to try the drills they like the look of.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s entries for this year!
Stats of Bootcamp Ideas
For those that love numbers, here are some of the stats from Bootcamp Ideas last year.
Here are some stats of how things went last year:
- 2,387 new trainers joined our (mostly) weekly newsletter. Which brought us to 12,026 email subscribers. I cull this list every year of inactive readers so those are active readers of the site.
- 531 trainers joined our paid workout database: BootCraft
- 1,629,976 pages were viewed on BootcampIdeas.com. This was actually down a bit from last year but I think that was due to my inactivity towards the end of the year which I’ll explain below.
- 61 workouts and articles were published to the Bootcamp Ideas blog (20+ of these were from last years workout competition).
- 155 new workout ideas and drills were added to BootCraft bringing the total workouts at the end of December to 608.
- 504 new trainers to our free Facebook group. Thanks to Rosie Goldsmith, Norma Zitterkopf and Roxanne Walbancke for all of their effort in moderating the group.
Now onto what didn’t go so well and what I learned from that.
What didn’t go well?
The Trainers Tribe – Podcast and Website
One thing that fell by the wayside this year was The Trainers Tribe podcast. As my co-host Dale launched into his new business running workshops and I got settled in a new town and preparing for fatherhood this was a project that just ground to a halt.
We’ve recorded another season of episodes that are currently sitting on my computer collecting digital dust.
The lesson learned here was one that I continue to learn: I tend to bite off more than I can chew.
One shift I’ve noticed though since having a baby is that I feel more inclined to hire people to help me than ever before so, if/when the podcast comes back, we’ll put someone in place to help make it easier for us. If you really enjoyed the podcast and have been missing it I recommend checking out Dale’s other podcast Energetic Radio.
BootCraft New Feature Updates
There was (still is) quite a long list of features and improvements that I plan to make to BootCraft which I wrote back when I did a small revamp of it in November 2017. I had hoped to make my way through these during 2018 and instead found I didn’t have the time. In fact, the list is actually longer now than it was then.
My take away from this is the reminder to prioritise what is important over what is urgent. Every week we upload new ideas to BootCraft which involves finding trainers we trust to share the workouts, then editing them and then uploading them. It sounds simple but it actually takes up quite a bit of time so my BootCraft allocated time often goes to doing this.
The process can be made way more efficient by spending a month of the year really focusing on collecting workouts and then spreading them out over the year freeing me up in other months to make the other aspects of BootCraft better.
I want to give a big public thank you to Lizelle Din, our Content Editor on BootCraft, who kept things running seamlessly while I was away. And also Featured Designers Nick Karagiannis, Lori Watson, April Wright and Lauren Brennan for getting their ideas to me before the baby arrived.
No New Products
This was the first year since 2012 that I did not bring out a new ebook, course or service to help trainers.
Like I said in the intro, I had to clear away a lot of new projects this year to keep my focus on what I decided were the essentials for the year: BootCraft updates, running 31 Days to a Better Fitness Business and creating a retreat.
I also spent a fair bit of time asking myself: What’s next for Bootcamp Ideas? What products and services are you, the reader, looking for? What kind of things do you want to read about on the blog? What am I excited to write about and create?
Asking myself these at times tricky questions has helped me get really focused on what to create and how to best serve the Bootcamp Ideas community in 2019.
You can read about what’s in store for 2019 below, but first, personal achievements.
What went well?
There was really just one theme for my personal life last year: The preparation and arrival of our baby girl.
There is so much that I could write about this experience, but I think that’s for another time and place so I’ll try to hit on the highlights.
- I felt very blessed to be working from home and getting to watch my wife grow our baby in her belly. We went for many walks together and ate huge lunches. I got to go to all of the scans and appointments too.
- A very healthy, smiling, long-limbed baby.
- I really found useful the book The Happiest Baby On The Block by Harvey Karp. Our baby loves movement, being swaddled and white noise.
- Learning to trust my intuition when making decisions around our child from working out what she needs in a given moment to handling problems as they arise.
- Feeling awe and an even deeper relationship with my wife who grew this little human.
- Being able to take 3 months off from the business (with just a little maintenance work each week) to be 100% just dad for a while.
After 12 months of training with just a couple of ALDI-bought kettlebells and some olympic rings I finally got the beginnings of a proper home gym set up started with a squat rack!
I’m slowly acquiring some extra bits and pieces like a landmine press, TRX, bands, more KB weights. Next on the list is an incline bench.
Training at home (or walking distance to home) has for a long time been a requirement for me. As I work from home, I don’t have a commute anymore where I might work a stop in at the gym. Plus, years of working in a private PT studio gave me the luxury of training in an empty room with no one else around. This is how I like it, no distractions, just me and whatever exercise I’m doing.
Now I’m set up, I may even start taking some small groups of clients again.
Here’s a video of the set up:
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What didn’t go well?
Most of my key learning moments last year also came from my head first fall into fatherhood.
It’s been extremely difficult at times in ways I didn’t expect. On top of the shock of having a newborn, she was incredibly overdue and then a very complicated birth followed by more complications afterwards.
I felt powerless through the process.
Initially I tried to regain control and get some certainty (which at the time was impossible). It took accepting the situation and just trying to stay as present as possible to get through it which really was a very rough, but good introduction to life as a parent.
Now that the initial shock has subsided and I’m returning to work on the business, I’m starting to exercise regularly and life feels a bit more normal the questions I’m asking myself are: ‘What kind of father do I want to be? And what does that look like?’
This is what I hope to explore in my personal life in 2019.
What’s Coming for Bootcamp Ideas in 2019
The phrase that keeps coming up for me when thinking about Bootcamp Ideas this year is ‘More than workout ideas’.
For years BootcampIdeas.com has been the go-to place for group fitness trainers to get workout ideas and I think we’ve done a really good job at this. This year I want to build on that by empowering our community through learning and leadership.
As trainers, we are all leaders in our communities and businesses which means going beyond just running a kick-butt workout. It means standing for something. It means educating ourselves and our clients. It also means getting support from other leaders along the way.
My purpose this year is to help you shine as a leader. Here’s how I hope to help now I’m back from paternity leave:
It’s alive! The Bootcamp Ideas blog is back and better than ever. The first new workout idea of the year is up with more to come.
This year being about more than workout ideas though I’ll also be publishing helpful articles on leadership, building community, growing your business and how to be improve as a trainer.
I’ve often shied away from writing about this stuff because it can be more opinionated than simply sharing a drill. It also takes a lot more time to write and put together. This is how I want to spend my time serving the BootcampIdeas community, so I’m always grateful to receive your workout submissions.
Plus, of course the the annual workout idea competition will run in the next couple of months with other giveaways throughout the year.
This year Bootcamp Ideas will turn 9. Holy moley! It feels like I just started it a few months ago.
Over 8.5 years and with over 500 articles and ideas published I’ve never compiled a ‘Best Of’. This year that changes. I’m currently working on going through every post on the site to put together a book of the best workouts and articles.
There is some really great stuff buried on here that is still as useful as when I wrote it. A few times I’ve thought to myself, ‘Wait I wrote this?’
I’m hoping to get it finished and out to you in February. Pop your email in below to be notified and I’ll also send you a preview in a few weeks.
I have two brand new courses for you this year.
The first is a revamp of 31 Days to a Better Fitness Business. As I said above in my review, I’m taking what I’ve learned from the past 4 years of running this course with hundreds of group fitness business owners and am making it even more achievable.
The course will take 6 weeks instead of 31 days, with each week gradually layering upon the next to help you build successful business habits. My hope is it will help you stop trying to grow your business by randomly trying one thing after the next and instead show you the fundamentals that just work. More on that to come.
The second course I want to get out to you this year is one I have, without realising, been creating for the past 10+ years as a trainer and as someone who works with thousands of trainers. It will be the Bootcamp Ideas Bootcamp Trainer course.
You’ll learn how to plan and run highly sought after workout sessions. Plus how to be an amazing coach that your clients respect and are magnetised too.
It’s also possible that as I work on these courses that they might end up as one course, there is some overlap.
The weekend immersive retreat will be back again around the middle of the year (during our Winter Down Under). I’m going to run it on an application basis again so that I can curate the group of attendees to be a good fit.
If you are interested in attending based on what you read above, put your name and email down here and I’ll notify you once applications are open. You’ll need to be able to travel to Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia and stay from a Thursday night until a Sunday afternoon. Accommodation and food is included.
Best for last:
2019, the first year of the Bootcamp Ideas Conference
The most exciting news for 2019 is… we’re running a conference! (it won’t be called a conference, we’re coming up with a way better name.)
I’ve shyed away from running a conference for the past 5 years because it seemed like way too much for one person to achieve but the end of last year connected me with just the right people to help make it a reality.
Personally, I generally avoided attending large events. But then in an effort to find some community during my time living in the US, I went along to an amazing Summit and then a Camp.
Even though I was among hundreds or thousands of strangers, due to the way these events were run I felt completely at home and in my element.
It made me realise that our fitness industry events are seriously lacking in community (feeling like you’re around like minded people) and content that I will actually use in my business and sessions (too many options).
So rather than create another event for every fitness professional out there which inevitably gets watered down by being too broad. I’ve taken what I’ve learned to create an event just for bootcamp and group fitness trainers. The kind of trainers who create their own sessions and many who run their own small businesses.
The two and a half days will be packed with exactly what you need:
- workout ideas and inspiration,
- a chance to meet other trainers just like you with values and interests similar to yours,
- and expert advice on growing your business into something that suits you.
It’s going to be a magical weekend that you won’t want to miss, all set in the world’s second most livable city: Melbourne.
The date will be Spring 2019. As this is our first year, spots will be limited so make sure you jump on the wait list to be notified when early bird tickets come out.
While I was checking out the stats for last year, I came across the most popular workouts published on Bootcamp Ideas in 2018.
(It doesn’t mean they’re the best necessarily, it just means they were viewed the most throughout the year.)
- The Big Collection of Christmas Workout Ideas 2010 – thanks to multiple trainers
- Cardio Accelerator – thanks to Leslie Suess
- Circle of Trust – thanks to Jess Twomey
- Shuttles and Tabata – thanks to Rosie Goldsmith
- Buddy Workout – thanks to Lindie Ehlers
- Partner Palooza – thanks to Nancy Krugar
Thanks so much to the trainers who sent these in! It’s really amazing to have such a generous community that continues to share with one another.
Did you do a review?
We made it to the end. This year took a long time to review with all of the different things that happened but I’m really glad I took the time to do it.
Sometimes when looking back it’s easy to dismiss a year of work and think not much happened.
Taking the time to look back and really study what happened is essential for reminding yourself what you did accomplish and what lessons you learned along the way.
You should do your own annual review process. Dale an I created an episode of The Trainers Tribe to help you: How To Do A Yearly Review That Rocks
Previous annual reviews
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.