Any trainer who has ever operated a fitness bootcamp knows how grueling it can be. Not just from the physically but mentally as well. Creating new exercises, lugging the equipment from place to place, watching each bootcamper to ensure proper form, then packing everything up and doing it all over again at the next bootcamp! There is no question that every trainer wants the best out of boot-camp attendees, but of course they wouldn’t mind it if their job were a little easier too. This is where extreme body-weight training comes into play…
Ok, so most of us have relied on body weight training at least to SOME degree during workouts, but what if you took the workout to the next level?
Forget about equipment of ANY kind and try a bootcamp that requires only a human body and a piece of ground. The fact is, an individual can get as intense a workout as they could EVER get at a gym – just by utilizing body weight training correctly.
Run your bootcampers through the following bodyweight circuit and they might just think twice about the need to EVER pick up a dumbbell again…
- Burpees. A staple exercise at Crossfit, burpees can provide a solid warm-up for any boot-camp or if you prefer, provide the foundation for an entire workout. To perform, simply jump up in the air and upon landing, immediately going into a squat thrust, then repeat. It will gas folks quicker than you can say…BURPEE!
- Jump Squats. Jump squats are just as they sound – the boot camper jumps off the ground from a squatting position and upon landing, squats, recoils and jumps up again. These incredibly simple to perform jumps will burn serious calories and provide a hardcore workout for the entire lower body – as well as the core.
- Pistols-Pistols are incredible leg strength builders. To perform, simply stand up tall, hold one foot slightly off the ground, and then squat down on only one leg. Sounds simple…it ain’t! These are often performed holding a kettle-bell or dumbbell in front of the body for stability but can be performed with no weight as well. As a trainer, you will want to be cautious of exercise form and make sure participants are keeping their knees behind their toes. This exercise is meant for intermediate trainers. Beginners should stick to regular bodyweight squats.
By now, depending on how you set your rep count with the above exercises, your bootcamp attendees will be gasping for air – and their lower bodies will be getting weak. In short,they will KNOW they have been working out.
But, what about the upper body? Glad ya asked!
- Pushups w/ clap. In keeping with the explosive plyometric moves described above, we continue by getting our bodies off the ground with clap pushups. while this may seem like a simple exercise, doing a pushup and coming off the ground and clapping requires significant upper body power. Performing multiple sets of multiple reps of this exercise will give your chest, shoulders, triceps and forearms all of the muscular work they need. In addition, because of the explosive intensity of the movement, your boot campers will burn a TON of calories as well.
The above represent just SOME of the many varieties of bodyweight exercises you can incorporate into your fitness bootcamps to keep things simple and EXTREMELY effective.
Varying reps and sets is often all that’s needed to keep folks training for weeks and months doing just the simplest of exercises – using nothing but their own bodies.
Georgette Pann is a personal trainer and fitness boot camp owner. She teaches others how to be successful at running their own fitness bootcamps.