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Bootcamp Games… and Client Retention

Bootcamp Games and Client Retention


My name is Brian Kalakay and like many of you, I am a personal trainer. I started out by teaching small group classes in a big box gym and working with clients one on one. Naturally, this type of environment overtime becomes stale and old. I reached a point where I needed more space and the gym owner refused to give it to me.

I needed something that would blow up my memberships and keep my clients happy so they would refer more. Something that would really make me stand out amongst all of the other “boot camps” and “CrossFits”.

This is when I discovered the power of Boot Camp Games.

I know exactly what you are thinking: What the heck are boot camp games and how are they going to make me look different? Well, here are your answers…

Boot Camp Games are a blend of “recess style” games mixed with fitness drills/exercises. Believe it or not, this simple combination brings a lot to your boot camp.

  1. Increased Loyalty
  2. Differentiation
  3. Variety
  4. More Referrals
  5. Increased Retention.

Games do all of these things because of the FUN factor. What I mean by that is people can get a hard workout anywhere. The workout is part of the success factor but not the key. Key to a successful boot camp lies within the “experience”. If you can create an experience for your boot campers, that’s when your business will start to blow up.

By playing games in your boot camp you will create that unique experience that people can only get at YOUR boot camp. Not only are your workouts awesome, but now your boot camp is FUN. People would rather workout and have FUN than get their butts kicked. Yes, they will still get their butts kicked, but they will really remember the fun times they had running around with their friends playing a boot camp game. Everyone wants to feel like a kid again…

How do these games work?

I usually implement the games at the end of a session. The reason for this is we want to send people home on a high note. This way they will go home and Facebook all of their friends about how much fun they had at your boot camp. Also, ending the session on the high note will make them want to come back to your boot camp again and again.

Sometimes, I also start class with a “low impact” game. This can help warm up your boot camp and set the energy bar high. It gets everyone communicating and moving around.

Either way games will work great for your boot camp.

How do I make a boot camp game?

This is the easy part. All you have to do is make a list of old games you used to play as kids. This could be things like relay races, tag, dodge ball, red rover, etc. Then, make a list of exercises that you like doing. After you have these two lists, just combine them in different ways. Some combinations will obviously work better than others.

Make these games smart. By that I mean, know your clients when you are designing the games. If you are implementing the game at the end of the session (which I recommend), make sure the intensity is at the right level. You don’t want to make the game too hard for people to complete at the end of a killer workout. You want it to be fun.

Actually, that is one of the biggest mistakes people make. They focus too much on creating another “crazy workout” instead of focusing on making people feel like kids again. Make sure the games at the end of class inspire energy and fun. It’s better to do an “easy exercise” game than a “high intensity” exercise game. Think of the games at the end like a disguised cool down.

Here is a great example of a game to play at the end of a boot camp session…

Stuck In The Mud

Format: Every person for themselves. One person is “it”.

Supplies Needed: None

How to Begin: Have everyone spread out along the open floor space. The person who is “it” starts off in the furthest corner from everyone.

Objective: The person who is “it” has to try and tag everyone before time runs out.

Rules: When the person who is “it” tags someone, they must stand with their feel spread apart. They are “stuck in the mud” and cannot move until someone who is not tagged, slides between their legs to “unstick” them. The person who is “it” has 60 seconds to tag everyone.

Tip: For larger groups, designate more than one person to be “it”.

As you can see, this game still has the “cardio” element in it from the running around, but the main focus is on the fun factor.

True story, first time I ever played this game with my boot campers, they were all running around the room giggling like little kids within the first 60 seconds. The next day, I had 10 new clients walk in that were referred by people who did the boot camp the night before. That’s a WIN/Win situation 

My challenge to you is to sit down and make a list of 10 games and 10 fitness drills/exercises. Then, I want you to start making up your own boot camp games. Use this post as a guideline to creating your games.

Next, I want you to implement this concept IMMEDIATELY into your boot camps. You can sit here and tell yourself this is a great idea all day, but until you actually take action and apply this concept, it will be useless. I recommend doing this before the competitor down the street does…

If you are too busy to make your own games, check out this done-for-you boot camp game system that I have created for you: http://georgettepann.com/bootcampgames

Please feel free to comment and post below. I would love to hear about your success using these boot camp games 


Brian Kalakay, CFT, CTT

Creator TT Boot Camp Games

You have got to get this if you are a bootcamp trainer 31 done-for-you TT Bootcamp Games 



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