Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Makes a Bootcamp Successful?

Bootcamps have been popular for a few years now and continue to be a growing trend in fitness facilities. This is a positive thing because it allows a trainer to work with many clients at one time and increases revenue and free time. In my opinion, bootcamps really distinguish themselves from one-on-one sessions due to the "energy" and "friendly competition" generated during a class. The environment is energetic, loud, and supportive. And each participant becomes an anonymous competitor with others and mostly, themselves. A successful bootcamp class includes a mix of compounded loaded movements, corrective exercise, energy, support, and fantastic coaching. 

Along with these pro's,  there are also con's to teaching bootcamp classes. With classes ranging from a mere 4 participants and up to 30 participants,  it becomes a hefty challenge to supervise every person in your class. With energy levels and competitiveness high, its easy for clients to lose form and work through fatigue. It is at these times of technique breakdown, that places the client at the highest risk for injury.

Some may argue that a simple warm-up is the perfect remedy for preventing injuries, but that is not always true. The most effective way to preventing injury and having a successful bootcamp program is in the systematic approach of progressions and regressions

How many times have you seen an overweight person performing an exercise and the form was atrocious? The exercise form was so bad that the client looked like they were doing more harm than good for themselves?

It is at  these times when getting to know your class participants is a good idea. I don't mean getting to know them on a personal level, but getting to know their bodies better....sometimes...better than they know.

Properly progressing participants is a big key with many of today's most popular bootcamp exercises. Progression is based on the weakest link in your bootcamp class. For instance, if everyone performs the push-up exercise in a standard position; the weakest participants will only complete a few reps. Fatigue and general weakness will overcome their initiative, and they will not receive the full benefit of the exercise. And your weak, overweight participants are the ones that NEED to receive the most benefit of your bootcamp class!

Not everyone in your bootcamp class will have a picture-perfect form on all exercises. You will see some struggle. You will see some desperation. You will see some people contemplating quitting your bootcamp. This raises the importance of screening your participants and making the correct progressions and regressions. Applying cookie-cutter exercise circuits to simply "break-down" your participants is generic coaching at best and leaves the door open to injury. Most bootcamp programs fall prey to this ideology. The problem with this approach is the coaching stops once the class begins. I am here to tell you that the coaching and cuing continues until the class is over. 

My friend Mike Robertson has put out a product that when he revealed it to me,  I said "FINALLY!" Mike has put together a great 6-month program that instantaneously makes any bootcamp program effective. With the help of his friends, Jim Laird and Molly Galbraith, Mike has created the awesome product for all bootcamp owners and trainers: Bootcamp In a Box.

Bootcamp In a Box takes numerous exercises and breaks them down into the proper progressions for all your class participants. Instead of blindly going into each class with the intent of beating the crap out of participants;  this product enables trainers to devise the correct sequence of exercises based on the global screening process of your class and the proper coaching cues to deliver. This means your bootcampers will stay injury-free and get stronger. If those two things occur, you will have campers that consistently attend your classes and achieve the results that will forever market your facility! Sounds simple...but that is what makes any class successful: keeping your clients engaged in a fun environment that promotes strength increase, fat loss and low injury rates. 

Mike has put together a pretty cool preview video for it:

This product gives you a DVD and manual chalk-full of over 80 exercises with technique and cuing demonstration. It is a COMPLETE SYSTEM for all bootcamps.   With the popularity of bootcamp classes, I can't see why any trainer would have to "think about" purchasing this product. I have been a fan of Mike Robertson's for years and I have endorsed his products relentlessly because they are high quality and educational. They have helped me personality with my own bootcamp classes and my training programs; and this product will do nothing short of that. Mike is selling the product for a few days at only $197. After January 18, it increases to $297. Did I mention it is instantly downloaded after the purchase? 

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