5 tips to get better results in your crowded bootcamp
By Kate Vidulich
As a busy trainer, working in a crowded bootcamp is simply part of getting the job done. You have to roll with it and shine, or your business will fail.
However, how to train your clients effectively in small space or crowded bootcamp is one of the most overlooked considerations for trainers.
To be successful, you must understand the unspoken rules of working with limited gym space.
1. Be Prepared AND Flexible
Let’s face it, nothing ever goes exactly to plan…even your own workouts.
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
It goes without saying you must be prepared for every client training session or bootcamp workout. However, it must be a draft game plan. This is one big mistake I see trainers make all the time, who feel they must follow exactly what the sheet says.
Instead, think about the movement patterns you want to focus on and plan your exercise selection around this – then adjust it according to the space/ equipment available or the needs of your clients. This is why it’s essential to have an excellent knowledge base of exercise progressions and substitutions in your HEAD. Referring to paper notes throughout the session is amateurish.
As a back up plan, you must have a series of efficient go-to circuits that you can add into any program, anytime the space becomes too crowded.
2. Consider Your Clients
Awareness of your clients and other trainers is a key factor to getting results in a crowded space. Anticipate how much room your client will need to perform an exercise so you don’t interfere with anyone else and obviously, to avoid injury.
Respect your client. Some clients will feel self-conscious, and certain exercises will not be appropriate. I never get my clients to do an exercise I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing myself. You want your client to trust you, feel comfortable and never threatened.
And listen, sitting on a bench and texting while your client works hard is not acceptable. This is not only lazy, but you are wasting precious space.
3. Control Your Space
Spreading yourself out all over the gym is totally fine IF it’s quiet.
When the space is crowded, control your area. This is not the time to set up a cool Tough Mudder obstacle course. Save it for another day.
Like I said, instead of floating all over the gym keep your client in one area and bring the equipment you need to the client BEFORE you start. You know the weight your clients can lift, so be ready. Chunk exercises together that flow smoothly.
Be confident in your manner – and your client will follow your lead.
4. Be One Step Ahead
Always think about the NEXT exercise your clients will do in the workout. Plan ahead and move accordingly.
Anticipate how your client is feeling, and be responsive to their cues. Again, you need to be ready to modify the workout to their needs.
And don’t ever be caught “fishing” for the next exercise, your client will notice and question your ability.
5. Focus on the Flow
The secret to an effective workout is perfecting the flow. I’m not going all yoga on you, but a confident flow involves transitioning and progressing one movement to the next. Maintaining this workout flow will make it appear seamless and well planned.
You want to start out with dynamic moves, to increase range of motion and prepare for the movements you will train.
Avoid starting with destructive plyometric moves that you might see on certain home workout DVD’s. This will empty the tank in the first five minutes, which overall is not beneficial and your clients will hate you.
Dragging your client all over the gym and resting too much between sets and disrupts flow, as does meaningless chit-chat. I’m not anti-chatting, but there is a time and place for it. Train hard, then chat.
Some of these points may seem very common sense to you, however you would be surprised the number of folks who completely disregard others in small gym spaces. Not only is this frustrating as a trainer, but unfair to clients who pay top dollar for your expertise.
It may seem daunting to be confined to a limited workout space or have a LOT of new people in your group, however being creative will get results and keep them coming back for more.
A happy, lifelong client is one who gets what he/she wants – sexy results. While training in crowded spaces and groups can be a headache, your workouts will be effective and successful if you keep these simple tips in mind.
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Kate Vidulich, BSc, ACSM HFS, Master CTT
Creator of 1000 Calorie Accelerators
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