Any trainer who runs a bootcamp or is involved with training a team is always looking for inspiration - it's not easy to come up with new and exciting ideas for every session! So here are 4 more to add to your repertoire.
The first one is great as a warm up - The Diamond Relay Drill. I like this because it's a bit of fun and gets everyone listening and encouraging each other. Building that communication at the start of the session can do wonders for getting the most out of each session, as well as developing relationships between your clients and the community spirit that will keep clients on board long term.
Once everyone is warmed up, you need to pick up the intensity. But one of the biggest problems I see trainers and coaches have is designing a session that is well timed enough so that nobody is waiting around with their heart rate dropping, or able to hide in the background and be lazy while all the other team members sweat up a storm. Here's a session you can easily adapt for beginners right though to advanced teams, where everyone will be put through their paces. I call it Lucky Dip.
Another problem I've seen with trainers is when designing a circuit-based session, one of the stations is the 'time keeper', where everyone keeps working until the person on that station finishes their reps. It's REALLY important that you time this by doing it yourself and adjusting for the experience level of the team you are working with. If you get it right, it's an easy way to manage multiple fitness levels in the one group. Eg, break your team into two (high and low fitness levels), both groups doing the same circuit. For the higher level group, the person on the time-keeper station needs to do more reps or run further than the person on the same station in the lower level group. You can also make it a 'team challenge', and race one group against the other, where the beginners have the handicap but still need to push the fitter group to win against the clock. Here is my trusty ABC Drill below.
Every bootcamp needs a good 'finisher'. Once your clients have finished the session, it's nice to let them regroup a little and then push them beyond the boundaries they thought they could achieve. This of course increases their fitness levels faster, burns more fat, improves strength etc - basically pushes them to reach their goals sooner. If they have put the effort in to turn up, why not belt out 100% effort and make it worthwhile?? My hot tip for finishers is they work better if they involve a drill that encourages team work or competition, because there needs to be some sort of motivation for them to keep pushing when they are already drained! Watch this Square Drill for a good example.
If you got a lot out of these tips, you should check out my online course for Personal Trainers:
Advanced Functional And Small Group Training Course.
It has 3 main subjects, focuses on increasing your exercise vocab and session design, as well as 7 CEC points, and because it's fully online you can start today!
Tristan Hill, Masters of Sports Coaching, author of Lifting the Bar and mentor to Personal Trainers.