It wasn’t too long ago that we talked almost exclusively about private training on this site. Now you’ll find almost every other article talks about group training in some way. That’s only natural, because group training is where the industry is headed. To bring some more much needed attention to the subject I have a bootcamp specialist, industry vet, and all around fitness expert Robert Hepper on for a guest article. Robert’s a guy that’s learned to have his fitness business facilitate his lifestyle, and in this guest article he’ll show you how to do the same:
Top Tips For What Makes An Excellent Bootcamp
Special guest article by Robert Hepper
When Kaiser and I discussed some possible topic options for his site I jumped at BOOTCAMPS. I’ve been teaching my own Bootcamp programs for the last 9 years. I’ve had dozens of trainers work for me and I’ve seen lots of different approaches to instructing Bootcamp programs. My lifestyle involves a lot of travel and recreation (mainly rock climbing and kiteboarding), so to make time to travel and play I’ve had to systematize and refine my Bootcamp programs and business.
My careers before becoming a fitness trainer were as an Olympic level Judo competitor, part time paramedic, Health and body care consultant and Rapattack wilderness firefighter (firefighters that are trained to lower off flying helicopter into otherwise inaccessible areas to fight wilderness fires). I enjoyed ever minute of these careers but I wouldn’t go back to any of them for a second after tasting the freedom that comes with being your own fitness business owner. I have traveled every year for the last 7 years to places like Thailand, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and France for up to 5 months at a time because I had the freedom as a business owner to create my own life path.
And what has allowed me to do this? Well firstly having a belief that I could do it and deserved to do it and secondly creating Bootcamps of the highest quality and then training others to run those Bootcamps. I know most of you are probably saying bull sh*t and I probably would have said the same thing when I first finished my business and marketing training program. As business owners we are told over and over that you have to be present in your business all the time. This is definitely true in the beginning but as you put systems into place that can be duplicated you can then step back. One of your systems is real simple: creating a Bootcamp that’s exceptional. If you don’t you’ll lose participants to someone who’s better. Here are my tips for what makes an excellent Bootcamp:
Tip 1 – Give good instruction: Having a trainer who knows how to do the exercises properly is my number one tip. Good instruction means participants will be doing the exercises with good technique which in turn means avoiding injuries. Bad form will get participants injured quicker than you can say, “ouch”. Your participants will also get much better results from targeting the muscle groups properly.
Tip 2 – Be motivating: To be an effective motivator the trainer needs to be someone who is respected, someone who walks the walk. The ideal trainer is someone who gets everyone in the group pumped and working hard. I think the secret to this is to treat everyone with respect in the group and to take the time to get to know each participant individually. If they don’t know anything about you the trainer, they won’t have much of a reason to respect you. And if you don’t take the time to get to know them why would they bother getting to know you? It’s also important to be firm but not a drill sergeant; people need and want structure and guidance they don’t want or need to be yelled at or disrespected.
Tip 3 – Create kick ass workouts: It’s equally important to have a safe workout as to have one that makes clients work their butt off (literally) and see results: Some programs get too fancy and add in all sorts of fluffy exercises that look good but at the end of the day don’t do much.
Tip 4 – Mix up your workouts styles: Do the exact same workout a couple of weeks in a row and your body adapts, becoming too efficient at each exercise and movement and grinding your results to a halt. You should have a minimum of 6 different styles of workouts you rotate through. I personally alternate between; lead, circuit, partner, pyramid, ladder, 30 second, marines, 2 X (2×3) workouts. Within these workout styles are limitless opportunities to modify and switch up the exercises.
Tip 5 – Focus on full body strength and core workouts: If you want to give participants results fast without making exercise a full time job for them, you need to incorporate lots of compound exercises (working several muscle groups at once) and work the entire body every strength session. Participants need adequate rest for recovery so focus on strength and core 3 days a week. The other 2 or 3 days a week they should only do low impact cardio.
Tip 6 – Keep it short and effective: Effective means doing what needs to be done to get results in the shortest time possible. Participants come to my Bootcamps 3 days a week for one hour. This includes cardio, strength and core work at every class. They do extra low impact cardio on their own. If participants workout properly it only takes 3 days per week of Bootcamp for them to see massive results. With a strong focus on nutrition as well as exercise, participants can see tremendous results in half the time of programs that only focus on exercise.
Part of my mission statement is to empower others to take control of their fitness and health. I believe as a trainer and business owner the only true way to do this is through educating my clients to do exercises and workouts that they can do on their own anytime.
What’s the point of helping someone loose 10lbs and get stronger if they are only going to lose those results after the training is over? I was frustrated by seeing these yo-yo results from clients that were too busy to come to my Bootcamp classes consistently and would go for weeks and in many cases months before they were able to come back to classes again. This inspired me to create a fitness package that my clients could do on their own time when they were either too busy to come to classes or out of town for extended periods.
I call the package “The Osofit Fitness Package”, and it has been hugely successful in keeping my clients fit when they are too busy to sign up for my Bootcamp classes. I’m finding they are maintaining their results while not at classes and in most cases improving during those times away.
From a business point this is staggering because my clients are seeing better more consistent results without me physically needed to be there for that to happen. This helps me to leverage my time which is huge as there are only so many hours in the day and clients I can see anyway. Also my referrals from clients has tripled in the last year because clients are seeing better results, so they are naturally talking more about the Bootcamp classes. And when a participant’s friends notice them losing weight and looking better than ever, they people call me it’s an easy sell; they’ve already witnessed what the program can do and want to see those results for themselves.
In the beginning I was a little worried about losing clients to my own fitness package but what I have found has been the complete opposite. Previously clients were doing great while participating in my Bootcamp classes but then losing results when not attending. This next part took me a while to find out; many of my clients weren’t coming back to Bootcamp after long periods of being away. I started asking questions and digging a little deeper and often the real reason for not coming back was they were too ashamed to return because they had put the weight back on and became out of shape. They were worried about what all the other participants would think of them for getting out of shape so they simply didn’t come back.
Now participants are proud and excited to come back to Bootcamp classes because they’re not putting the weight back on in between Bootcamps; with the Osofit Fitness Package they are able to stay fit when not at Bootcamp. And because Bootcamps classes are so much fun with the group social atmosphere and the inspiring environment of other Bootcampers; they aren’t stopping Bootcamp classes in favour of the package. Instead clients are using the package as a way to keep on track when not able to come to Bootcamp. All this results in more new clients from referrals and better client retention because participants are keeping the weight off and getting better result.
Robert Hepper is currently launching his Osofit Fitness Package “Bootcamp in a Box”, an at home fitness package that trainers can sell to their participants and receive 50% of the profits. See www.homefitnesspack.com for details. Robert is always looking for new partners. If interested contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becoming an Osofit partner allows trainers and Bootcamp owners to sell a product to their clientele that gives them more options for when they can’t make your classes. The package isn’t a replacement for one on one or group classes but it will help your clients stay fit when on holiday, away for extended periods or in the off season, which will help your clients see better improvements from the consistent routine that The Osofit Fitness Package provides.