Mollie Martin by Mollie Martin

It's summer, which is the perfect time to hit the great outdoors with your clients to enjoy one of the best types of workouts! Research has shown that exercising outdoors improves mood, so why not help your clients feel better while getting stronger?

Boot camps have high success rates because they can be designed for anyone and everyone as long as you know the key components to a successful class. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Choose an easily accessible, safe and well-lit spot for your boot camp (it doesn’t hurt to find a beautiful park!).
  • Include a thorough warm-up AND cool-down that incorporates the same movements that will be used during the workout.
  • Circuit stations should be timed, not counted by repetitions. This is the best way to be sure everyone can keep up.
  • Aim for an appropriate amount of time at each station with ample recovery between stations.
  • Rotate muscle groups.
  • Design the circuit with six to 10 exercises, depending on how many clients are attending.

Encourage your clients to find an accountability buddy for sessions. This is key, not only for attending classes, but also for supporting each other during class. Boot camps are different from group fitness classes in that each trainer helps push participants to his or her personal limit and will correct form, all while creating an atmosphere in which everyone can excel. Circuit training is one of the easiest ways to keep your client’s heart rate up and target multiple muscle groups at once.

This circuit is for moderate-to-advanced clients (regressions listed), but you can increase the rest periods to accommodate less-experienced participants.

  • Equipment needed: Resistance Bands, medicine balls, Stability Ball, BOSUs, stability straps, dumbbells, circle bands
  • 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off
  • Aim for three to four sets with one minute of recovery between sets.

Here are the exercises:

 1. Resistance Band Exploding Overhead Push Press

Resistance band exploding overhead push press

Start in an athletic stance with the knees slightly bent, core engaged and shoulders back. The resistance band should be taut in between the feet and the handles behind the arms. Explode up and slowly return to the starting position.

Regression: Use a lighter resistance or increase the tension in between feet for more slack.

Targets: deltoids, biceps, and stabilizer core muscles


2. Stability Ball Plank Hip Rotations

Stability ball Plank Hip Rotations

Position the feet on the outside of the stability ball and assume a plank position on the hands. Rotate the ball from side to side. More advanced participants can perform bigger twists. To regress, have the client simply hold the plank position.

Targets: core, obliques, adductors, and anterior deltoids, triceps


3. Glute Band Low-Jacks

Glute band low-jacks

Place the band around the ankles and jump the feet out and perform a mini squat and then jump the feet back together. To regress, step one foot out at a time.

Targets: abductors, gluteus maximus, piriformis, rectus femoris


4. BOSU Spiderman Jumping Push-Ups

BOSU Spinderman Jumping Jacks

With the dome side down, assume a plank position with the hands on top of the BOSU. Step one foot up to just outside the elbow and perform a push-up. Return the foot back to the starting position and repeat with the other foot. To regress, perform a plank or basic push-up.

Targets: chest, biceps, core, quadriceps, iliopsoas, iliacus (groin)


5. Hip Bridge with Medicine Ball

Hip bridge with medicine ball

While lying on the floor, squeeze a medicine ball between the knees. With the arms across the chest, lift one foot off the ground, pause, and return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Targets: adductors, glutes, lower back, quads


6. Hockey Skaters With Dumbbells

Hockey skaters with dumbbells

Begin in an athletic stance. Cross the left leg behind the right, then leap wide to land on the left foot and drop the toes of the right foot behind the left. Extend the arms as movement allows with the dumbbells. To regress, eliminate the weights.

Targets: piriformis, glutes, quads, calves, biceps


7. Plank Jacks

Plank jacks

Assume a plank position on the hands or the elbows. Jump the feet out as wide as possible, being sure to keep the core stable, and then jump the feet back in.

Targets: core, deltoids, glutes, abductors and adductors



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