Starting and Running Outdoor Bootcamps
I have a series of guest posts from Sarah Ripple on running outdoor bootcamps for you….Take it away Sarah
This is the first in a series of posts aimed at offering advice to those who are new at running fitness boot camps. Consider this the start of something that could quite possibly be a very good thing!
I have been working with boot camp groups for over 5 years now. Actually, my first boot camp group was back in 1997. I called it “G.I. Jane” and the experience was something I put together for a practicum I had to complete for one of my Exercise Science classes at Texas Tech University.
I have led fitness boot camps indoors and outdoors. I gotta admit – outdoors is by far my favorite! I have found that people love to get outside and breathe fresh air! Also, the variety of landscapes provided really offers up some unique workout ideas.
With that being said, the weather is really the only factor that affects my groups’ workouts. I have a “rain location” as well as an indoor space I am able to rent out for a very nice price! Obviously, when you’re outside, there is NO rent. This is a very big plus!
I have learned with time that I do not like to use a ton of equipment. I have my ladies bring their own weights and yoga mats. While I do own a ton of “fitness toys,” it’s quite frankly a pain in the butt to haul them from my Jeep down to our outdoor space over and over again. Many of the ladies are eager to help out, and I am grateful for this! I have found that for my intents and purposes, having too much fitness gear around just bogs us down. I am a huge fan of bodyweight exercise. For women especially, you can put together workouts that challenge the entire spectrum of fitness abilities with bodyweight exercises alone.
Simplicity is always a good thing!
No matter what we are doing: bodyweight training, dumbbells, battle ropes, kettlebells, medicine balls, etc…progression is VITAL to the success of not only every member of a boot camp group, but your boot camp business as well. If you are not offering at least THREE levels of progression for most of the exercises in your workouts, you are doing a disservice to your clients and will soon find out that they will either drop out or not sign back up again. You MUST have the know-how to strategize and think about everyone who is in your groups. Once a person feels they can’t keep up or they are “less than” others in the group, they are discouraged and may not show up for the next workout.
So, there ya have it…my first post on what I feel is required for running successful and profitable fitness boot camps! When your clients succeed, You have done your job. Look for another post soon!
Sarah Rippel is a fitness professional with over 16 years experience working with individuals and groups. Her business, Rippel Effect Fitness (http://www.fitprosarah.com), is best known in Baton Rouge, LA for it’s dynamic boot camp workouts that challenge all fitness levels
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