It’s such a waste of time. Spending hours each night scouring through the internet and old workout plans to work out what you’re going to do at tomorrow’s session.
What you need is a plan. A system that will help you create great bootcamp workouts quickly. Here’s the system I’ve used for years and years and taught to thousands of other trainers just like you.
It will help save you time and free up your mind to focus on other things like retention and marketing.
1, 2, 3, 4 Bootcamp Planning System
It’s important to map out a month of bootcamps at a time so that you can see how you are going to approach your group’s training.
You may do random workouts in your own day to day training but it is not okay to use the same method on your own clients. Clients are paying you and trusting you to look after them. Take the time to give them the care and respect they deserve.
Below I will show you how in only 30 minutes you can get organised and sketch out your bootcamps for the week.
This will save you the time and stress of freaking out about what the next workout is going to be so you can focus on enjoying the awesome life that comes with being a Bootcamp Instructor.
1. Plan Your Cycle
Good planning is something you should already be doing in all aspects of your business. Planning your workouts should be no exception.
My bootcamp runs in four week cycles, four weeks on, one week of rest. This gives me some time to think up some great new ideas and lets my campers recover from weeks 3 and 4 which tend to be pretty intense. It also allows me a week off to run away on a holiday if I need to.
You might run yours non stop or for more weeks at a time, but the planning method stays the same.
To start, I write out a list from one to twelve and then starting at the top I work my way down the list writing a very short, one line workout description. I usually do this during my week off, but it can be done at any time.
Here’s an example from my planning book:
- Iron Man exercise list challenge
- 300 workout – strict technique (30, 40, 50 reps depending on fitness level)
- Captain America workout – sprint intervals
- Thor workout – lots of push ups and core
- Ironman workout – high rep workout
- The Incredible Hulk workout – tyres and ropes, lots of carrying equipment
- HIIT – skipping, running, divebombers
- Renegade workout – use DBs, ropes and medicine balls
- Hill workout – sprint intervals
- Partner workout – different partner combos
- Headlamp workout – have clients bring headlamps for adventure run, stop around park and do mini drills
- Complete in a minute workout
Once I have at least 10 ideas I create a calender to plan out which days I’m doing which workout. I’ll do this on the computer and usually beef out my workout description to a couple of sentences. I may also reference some workout sources for drills I want to include/adapt.
Bonus: Variety is the Spice of Bootcamps
One important ingredient that you don’t want to forget in your bootcamp is variety. One of the things that people always comment on in the feedback forms at my bootcamp is ‘I really enjoyed the variety of the workouts’.
The way I manage variety is using a step I haven’t shown you above. That step is workout type allocation.
To continue the example above: Before I started letting the ideas flow I decided that I would do 7 general high intensity workouts (with 2 of them being team challenges) , 2 sprint workouts, 2 strength workouts (using ropes, tyres or weights) and 1 cardio workout.
Your allocations and workout types might be different. It doesn’t really matter, what this will do is ensure that you do not end up doing too many similar classes. Doing circuits every week gets boring quickly for both you and your clients.
2. Make Your Schedule
Once I have at least 10 of my 12 ideas, I create a calendar (see right) to plan out which days I’m doing which workout. I’ll do this on the computer and usually beef out my workout description to a couple of sentences. I may also reference some workout sources for drills I want to include/adapt.
Inevitably the workouts change in Step 3, but having that plan gives me somewhere to go when I am scrounging for ideas.
In the sample plan above I created most of the workouts myself but usually I use a mix of my own and workouts from other sources.
3. Plan a Whole Week at a Time
At the start of each week I (and now also you) plan out the three workouts for that week. I only do three because I run the same workout on Monday mornings and evenings. I do the same thing on Wednesday too.
One great thing about being a trainer is that on Friday I used to knock off sometime between 10:30am and 12:00pm. But before I hit the couch to read a book or watch some Netflix, I plan out my following weeks workouts.
You will now do this also. If you run bootcamps on Monday, Wednesday and Friday you only need to do 3 workouts. At about 30 minutes planning per workouts, that’s only 1.5 hours (less if you’re using something like BootCraft). Pick a time in your week (it doesn’t have to be Friday) and stick to it.
Use your bootcamp calendar from Step 2 to get your creative juices flowing. I like to plan out my workouts on a scrap of paper before putting them in my Word document, I find it easier to see the flow of the workout this way. You may prefer to go straight to the computer or you might find that just drawing an annotated diagram is enough for you.
Sometimes you will end up doing something completely different to what you had planned on your calender, that’s OK. Simply keep that idea for another day.
Whatever you do, take the time to plan out at least a weeks worth at a time. That way you can always switch it up if you get bad weather or a workout turns pear shaped. This level of preparation is part of what your clients are paying for.
See Steps 1 to 3 in action: 21 Days of Bootcamp Ideas
4. Name Your Workouts
The last thing you can do for your workouts is give them a name. Names have huge power. People who understand this are usually either very successful or very well liked.
When you give something a name, you give it an identity. It becomes a tangible thing. This applies to emotions, business brands, peoples names and of course bootcamp workouts.
In the example above I had decided to include some Avengers themed workouts. I named for workouts after superheroes.
The week before I would say, ‘Next week we are doing the Captain America workout’. That grasped their attention and interest far more than saying ‘Next week we are doing sprints’.
It also gives clients something to talk about. For example: ‘Ah, my shoulders are so sore, yesterday my trainer made us do an Incredible Hulk workout were we had to carry tyres and ropes above our head while doing lunges’.
I bet your client’s friend is much more likely to remember that then a simple statement about sore shoulders.
Tools to Help
No matter how you run your bootcamp, planning out your workouts in advance will help your stay organised and will remove that late night panic of quickly scribbling out a workout (I’ve been there).
So just like you tell your clients that they need to eat better to finally lose some weight, you need to plan to run a great expandable business.
If you’d like some help with planning sessions, be sure to check out the remainder of this Bootcamp Ideas Boost. You can also grab my Bootcamp Planning Template in the free Bootcamp Ideas Trainer’s Toolkit.
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.