Boot Camps are becoming one of the most popular ways to workout these days. The themes and names may vary, but most center around the concept of HIIT Training (High Intensity Interval Training) to deliver results. HIIT Training involves alternating periods of high intensity movements with a set recovery time between the exercises. The working and resting interval times can vary depending on the fitness level of the group.
The benefits of HIIT training can be felt right away and weeks later. An immediate benefit is a large calorie burn both during and after the workout. The body will struggle to keep up with the high/low demand and will continue to burn calories at a higher rate to recover post-workout. After 4-6 weeks of HIIT training, an individual should notice improvements not just in physical fitness but also in cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
Now that we’ve established why Boot Camps are effective, let’s talk about how to set one up.
Here are some of the essentials that you will need to build your Boot Camp Tool Box.
Often boot camps are set up in a circuit style in which a trainer will have you perform an exercise for a specific period of time (i.e. 30-60 seconds) followed by a transition time of 10-60 seconds before signaling you to start the next exercise. In this case you will need a timer.
The Oslo 1000-W works as a great stopwatch but if you want to hear a buzzer to signify the start and stop, go with the Gymboss.
You will want a few options for resistance training. For a low cost alternative, choose the Versa-Loops and Versa-Tubes.
Resistance loops and tubes are lightweight, easy to carry options for upper and lower body exercises.
The Premium Ultra Versa-Tube is a good choice if planning to take your Boot Camp outside as the protective nylon sleeve adds durability.
For heavier resistance, consider the Elite Power Medicine Balls and the Premium Kettlebells. Both work great either indoors or outdoors. Each of these products are dynamic enough to provide lots of exercise options.
For bodyweight exercises consider the adding a few mats. The Economy Club Mat provides just enough space for doing floor exercises such as crunches, planks, or push-ups. It is good to have mats when training outside to keep your participants from having to lay or kneel on the hard ground or on wet grass.
If you want to add some core and balance training to your circuit, pick up the VersaDisc Pro. This is a lightweight tool that can add a level of difficulty to traditional lunges or sit ups. Using this piece will slow the speed of the repetitions but the instability level will improve core and stabilizer musculature involved with the exercise.
For a twist on traditional callisthenic exercises like the jumping jack or high knees, consider adding Jump Ropes (we have several to choose from), Agility Cones, and/or an Agility Ladder. Power Systems’ Speed Ropes come in a variety of lengths to accommodate children and adults. If you will have mostly adults attending, go with ropes that are 8’-10’ long. The Agility Cones and Pro Agility Ladder are dynamic pieces to add to your Boot Camp tool box as they can accommodate several different cardio exercises in all planes of motion.
And your last Boot Camp Essential is, the Power Training Rope. It adds an element of functionality and fun to your boot camp. Regardless if you are using it inside or outside, it is bound to turn some heads. My favorite thing to do at the end of a great group class is to split into two groups and do 3-30 second rounds of Tug-o-War. You will end with smiles, laughs, and high-fives all around.
Finally, here are a couple of Sample Circuit Training Sessions that you can add to your Boot Camp Programming.
Circuit 1 (For small groups of 3-5)
- 5 stations
- Working Interval = 1 minute
- Recovery Interval = 30 seconds
Run the circuit 4 times for a total of 30 minutes. You may also add a 60 second break before beginning each new round, for a 35 minute workout. Don’t forget to include a group stretch/warm-up and cool down.
- Kettlebell Swing
- Versa Loop side step between cones
- Medicine Ball Slams
- Versa Tube Lateral Shoulder Raises
- Jump Rope
Circuit 2 (For larger groups of 6-12)
- 6 paired stations
- 6 four minute rounds – Each person will perform an exercise for 45 seconds then switch with their partner for a total of 4 minutes. Then the pairs will rotate to the next paired station.
|Station||Partner A||Partner B|
|1||Medicine Ball Slams||Kettlebell Squat to Overhead Press|
|2||Jump Rope||Body Weight Squats|
|3||Power Rope Alternating Waves||Versa-Tube Lateral Shoulder Raise|
|4||Push Ups||Sit Ups or Crunches|
|5||Agility Ladder Run||Versa-Loop Side Step between cones|
|6||Burpees||Versa Disc Alternating Lunges (front foot on disc)|