One mistake I see new trainers do a lot is they skimp on giving their clients a proper warm up.
I get it, it’s easy to fall into doing that. Most clients we train judge how effective their workout was by how sore they are the next day. So it can be tempting to just give them what they want.
As trainers though, we know bettter and it’s up to us to find a balance between giving our clients what they want and giving them what they need.
They need to be properly warmed up. Their bodies need to be prepared for what is coming or else you are going to start noticing a lot of injuries arising.
We need to teach our clients about fitness as a long term goal. We need to teach them that health comes from looking after yourself, not beating yourself up in a workout.
Don’t be a trainer who gives their clients a few arm circles and bodyweight squats and calls that a warm up.
Read on to find out how to warm up clients properly.
How to warm up your campers
The warm up of your workout should serve two purposes:
- Prepare your clients for the workout ahead by mobilizing joints, practicing movements and increasing blood flow to muscles.
- Build team work and camaraderie among your clients.
The best way to do that is to start with some dynamic movements followed by a short game or team challenge. Or you can combine both elements into one drill.
Not only will this warm your clients up and get them pumped for the day’s workout, you will also notice more referrals and longer retention rates.
Time wise, your warm up should go for 10-15 minutes.
Why games and challenges are so important
People live very routine lives these days.
They wake up, they workout, they go to work, they come home, they cook dinner, they watch TV, they go to sleep.
This is most people’s routine 5 days a week.
I’m not here to judge but I do want to point out that in our routines we tend to get pretty boring with things we do for fun. TV and video games are a really easy, convenient way to have some fun at the end of your day. You don’t have to leave the house, you just press a button and there is instant fun.
But also gives you, a group fitness instructor, an opportunity to add some new, interesting fun into your clients lives. You can give them something that they are desperately missing in their day-to-day lives. Pure, unrestricted play with other real-live humans.
Start adding games to your workouts and watch what happens in your camps. Grab The Little Bootcamp Book of Warm Ups below if you want some ideas.
Sample warm up
I didn’t want to just leave you hanging so I’m going to walk you through a warm up I might do on a day that we are using medicine balls.
Part 1: Partner MedBall Warm Up
Have clients pair up. Give each pair a medicine ball. Demonstrate the following exercises to the clients.
- MB toss back and forth
- MB toss – this time squat with the ball, pass back, catch, repeat.
- MB toss – this time squat with the ball, pass back, squat without ball, catch, squat with ball, etc.
- MB toss – this time add a reverse lunge each time you have the ball
- MB lateral toss (both sides) – stand side on to parter and toss ball laterally back and forth
Spend 60 to 90 seconds on each exercise.
Part 2: Amoeba Tag
Mark out an area approximately 15m square
Two people are “it”. They hold hands and chase the other participants.
The person that they catch then joins the chain by linking hands.
When another person is caught they can stay together or split 2 and 2 but they must split into even numbers and can link together at will.
The game is played until no one is left.
The last two become “it” for the next game.
Play 2 or 3 games of this before you get started. Your clients should be laughing and breathing hard by the end of this warm up and ready to tackle your workout of the day!
Introducing The Little Bootcamp Book of Warm Ups
Now I’ve explained to you about why warming up your clients is so important. It positions you as an expert (because you are training clients correctly, not just how they think they should be trained) and it really helps create community in your bootcamp which leads to more awesome clients.
With the nice weather finally coming out here in Melbourne and Spring being a great season for growing your outdoor fitness classes I wanted to offer you all something to help. A little something to add some variety to your warm ups.
It’s called The Little Bootcamp Book of Warm ups.
- 8 fun warm up games designed to get your clients talking and having fun.
- 8 warm ups designed to get your client’s bodies ready for any workout.
- 20+ warm up exercises to use that will ease your client’s bodies into more dynamic movement. These are all bodyweight movements and are also great for use during workouts as active rest stations. I’ve included video demonstrations and images of these too.
You’ll get 2 PDFs. One with all the games and drills and the other with the warm up exercises which includes links to me demonstrating them.
And if you don’t like it, just email me within 2 weeks of purchase and I’ll give you a full refund.
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.