Five Boot Camp Drills That Deliver Results
the joys of training a boot camp class…
Hearts thumping. People sweating. And all of your trainees giving you “I hate you looks” because their muscles are burning and they feel like their lungs are going to explode. But you just smile back because you know your trainees are getting the one thing they really want: RESULTS!
But you also want to make sure your trainees don’t get bored. That’s why you need to introduce new exercises and drills to keep your boot camp fresh. Plus, new exercises keep your trainees’ bodies guessing – and again, that means results!
To that end, here are five boot camp drills for group workouts you can start incorporating immediately into your classes…
TIP: Be sure to have your class both warm up and cool down before doing these drills. Light jogging for 5-10 minutes should do the trick, followed by light stretching.
1. Pack Runs. Here’s how it works: Have your trainees line up (single file) and start jogging. When you call out a signal word or blow a whistle, the person at the back of the pack needs to sprint to the front of the line and become the new leader.
This one works great if you had a medium to large size class, because the person doing the sprinting has to sprint longer. If you have a small class, you can achieve the same thing by spreading your runners out a bit.
2. Suicide Bear Crawls. You’ve heard of suicide lines (AKA ego makers and lots of other names). This is where your trainees run from the starting point to a line that’s maybe 25 feet away, then back to the starting point, then out to a line that’s 40 feet away, then back to the starting point… and so on until they’ve run and touched every line.
And you’ve also heard of bear crawls, where trainees walk around on all fours (hands and feet) like a bear.
This drill combines these two great exercises. Instead of sprinting to the lines, your trainees will alternate sprinting and bear crawling. For example, you can have them bear crawl OUT to the lines, and then sprint back.
3. Shadow Runs. This one is great for developing agility. Have your trainees partner up. One partner is the leader and takes off jogging. The other partner “shadows” the leader as closely as possible. So if the leader zigs to the right and then hops on one foot, the second person needs to do the same moves.
Every two minutes you can blow the whistle to signal the leaders and followers to switch positions. You can also create a signal for “double time,” where each pairing needs to at least double their pace for 30-60 seconds (until you blow the whistle again).
4. Drag Runs. Here’s a good drill to develop speed and strength. Plus, you can use it as a team-building exercise.
Here’s how it works…
Create a heavy drag (such as a tire on a chain) with an easy on, easy off harness. Now have one person drag the tire while everyone else jogs behind. When you blow your whistle, the next person in line must quickly take control of the tire and start dragging. That means all team members get at least one turn dragging the tire.
The goal is for the team to reach a certain destination within a certain amount of time.
TIP: There are plenty of heart-pumping variations you can do. For example, you can have everyone else running suicide lines or pack runs until you blow the whistle, at which point someone else needs to take control of the tire. That way one person is dragging the tire and everyone else is sprinting – which means it’s a great workout for all!
5. Slalom Runs. Here’s a drill that helps develop both speed and agility. Simply set up a series of cones or other markers for as far as you want your trainees to run. Then have them run through the cones slalom style – meaning they have to weave back and forth.
For a fun variation, blow the whistle and call out an exercise – such as burpees or push ups. Trainees should do that exercise until you blow the whistle again, at which point they continue sprinting through the slalom.
There you have it – five exercises you can add to your boot camp sessions. Yeah, your trainees are going to hate you – but they’re going to LOVE their results!
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