11 Tips To A Kick Butt Boot Camp

Hey, Bedros Keuilian here, I asked my good pal and boot camp profit MASTER Steve Hochman to do a guest post for me today.

I think you’re really going to dig this post… take it away Steve!

Hey, your friend Steve Hochman here with 11 simple tips that you can put to use RIGHT NOW to skyrocket your boot camps to the next level.

1. Greet Your Clients Like a Dog
tyBeing appreciated and feeling important are the  two most desired human sensations.  So why not  give your clients something so powerful.

And one of the easiest ways to do this is to greet them like a dog. You know how when you come home, even if you were just gone an hour, your dog is SO EXCITED to see you – like he hasn’t seen you in years? That’s how you should be greeting Boot Camp your clients every time they walk through the door.

2. Energy
Energy is EVERYTHING.  A way less skilled boot camp instructor with the right energy can blow a more experienced instructor out of the water.

To turbo charge your energy, visualize what your goals are, what your passion is, what your purpose in life is, and then use your boot camp as a stepping stone to get you there.  Never… ever… EVER get up in the morning just to teach boot camp – get up cuz it’s the next step to achieving YOUR LIFE’S DREAMS!

That’s so much more powerful and people will respond to your energy, and thank you for it with referrals.

3. Your Voice Is the Music
sandjerRemember that in a boot camp, your words, and your voice is the music. You know how if you’re in a club and suddenly the music stops, the energy just disappears?

That’s what your voice is like. Your voice should be constantly going, but not in the same tone. Don’t just bark orders like a robot. You’re going to change your tone constantly.  Act like you’re on a fitness TV show like The Biggest Loser! Connect with each individual in the group.  Give an amazing performance every time!

sarge24. “Go-To” Exercises
“Go-to” exercises are probably one of the most important tools for helping you with your boot camps (especially with large groups)

Lot’s of things can happen during a boot camp. People can come in late. You could have people with injuries.  Maybe change your mind about a routine that you’re going to do – Or not have one planned at all and you’re just gonna wing it.

All that’s cool but the most important thing is that you never LOOK like you’re thinking about what to do next. In fact, everyone in your boot camp should be totally convinced that you have planned their workout for hours and hours and hours before you came in. They should feel that you were up all night scheming, diagramming and planning out their workout. Use your “go-to” exercise to give yourself a chance to think about what to do next with out looking like your thinking about it.

For example…

Let’s say after the warm-up, you’re not sure what to do, and you want to assess a situation.

A great “go-to” exercise is, “Okay everybody, one lap around the building (or where ever you are).”

fatNow, while they’re running a lap around a building, you could gather yourself, think, and decide what you want to do next.

Also, a lap is a good way to determine individual fitness levels. Let’s say you have 20 people in your 5:30 a.m. boot camp and you want to split them into 2 groups of 10. The first 10 finishers are in Group A, the second 10 in Group B. That’s a real natural way to split the group and get people paired together with others at the same fitness level.

Sometimes, when I’m not sure how many people I have, and I want to split the groups up I’ll say, “Okay, everyone’s got 25 reps of a certain exercise.”

And as I’m counting the reps out loud, “One, two, three,” I’m also counting how many people I have.

“Go-To” exercises are just a great way to not pause, and not look like you don’t know what you’re going to do, not even for a second.

Here are some of my favorite go-to exercises I use to figure out what to do next without looking like I’m thinking about it:

  • “Everyone drop down and do 25 push-ups.”
  • “Everybody run to the wall and back three times.”
  • “Everyone’s got 25 jumping jacks, then 25 push-ups, then back up to jumping jacks.”
  • “Run a lap around the building.”
  • Jump squats for 30 seconds
  • sprint to the wall, do 25 push ups then sprint back.


5. Assess Your Group During the Warm-Up
The warm-up is a great time to assess what’s going on and make decisions about how you’re going to move forward with the workout.  For example, “Okay, Jane has a knee problem. Ben has an elbow problem. This person’s brand new. That person’s a super-stud.”

Then after the warm up, like I explained above, send them on their go-to exercise. While they’re doing that, you can put together your workout program or modify it if you need to.

6. Counting Reps vs. Timing Reps
Counting and timing reps both have their different values and advantages.

Counting reps is cool because you could have everyone doing the same thing at the same time, at a controlled pace.

But another great technique is timing exercises because you can be talking, motivating and correcting form – You can’t do that when you’re counting out reps.

So make sure you have a stop watch and use both the counting and timing method.

waytobig7. The Burnout First Method
Since we don’t use really heavy weights in boot camps, here’s an important trick to remember especially if you have really strong guys or women.

For example, let’s say you give your strong boot campers weights that are kind of light and have them lay on their backs to do presses, then they might feel like you’re not getting a good workout because it’s so easy for them – That’s why it’s important to pre-exhaust them first.

So first have them do 25-50 pushups, then maybe hold the last one halfway down for 10 seconds, then grab their weights for some presses.  Those light weights will feel like they weight a ton, and they’ll really “feel” it and love you for it!

8. Keep It Simple
Don’t try to get too complicated with your exercises. There’s nothing worse than eating up workout time while you try to explain how to do elaborate exercises, or having to make constant corrections because everyone’s doing it all wrong.

That just sucks! So remember to use the KISS method, “Keep It Super Simple.”


9. When to Socialize
You’re absolutely right to want to build a close relationship with your boot camp members.  However, it’s so important to know when to kick ass an when to build rapport.

So I’ll give you an example of when to socialize.

Let’s say you have everyone doing 20 jump squats together.

After the jump squats, you have them run to the wall and back twice. After that, you have them do lunges for 25 yards.

Ok, NOW, while everyone’s lunging, and after you get their form situated then you could change your tone and say, “I really want to take my wife to the movies this weekend. Has anyone seen anything good?”

sargeAnd then they’ll say, “Oh, I saw this, or I saw that.”

And then you’ll start talking about it.

“What did you like about it? Oh, man. That sounds good. I think I’m going to see that this weekend.”

But as soon as they get to the end of the 25 yards, you snap “Okay, back to jump squats. GO! GO! GO!”

I’ve seen so many boot camp instructors doing it wrong, by socializing when everyone should be working.  People end up standing around talking, and they might act like they’re having fun and enjoying it, but believe me, they’re paying good money for their membership and in the back of their heads, they’re thinking, “This isn’t a good workout. I’m not getting the value that I came here for.”

And so it’s something to really consider: Knowing when to socialize.

beforeafter10. Showcasing Clients’ Results
A real Ninja technique for building referrals and to really pump up your clients is to showcase a different member’s results every week.

I like to have someone videotape me interviewing one client a week and saying, “Hey, let me ask you this. What were the problems you were struggling with?”

And then you’re going to ask them, “What were the specific benefits you got?”

So maybe they say, “Oh, man, I was really overweight, and I was depressed, and I was unhealthy, and now I’ve lost 20 pounds. I dropped two inches off my waist. I feel great. I have more energy. I’m stronger. And it only took 4 weeks!”

And then you pan off, and the whole boot camp group behind that person starts clapping.

Then (This is the Ninja part) take that video and e-mail it to your whole database list and write, “Hey, congratulations, so-and-so. You are a role model boot camper for losing 20 pounds in 4 weeks… Watch this quick video so you can see exactly what went down with so-and-so.”

Your prospects will think “Dang, look at all that support! Look at that person. Look at those results.”  SIGN ME UP!!!

11. The No One Left Behind Technique
In your boot camps, it’s so important that nobody ever feels left behind.

Here’s an example of what NOT TO DO.

projectxYou wouldn’t have everybody running a lap around the building and then having the people who finish first just stand there and wait for everyone else to finish.  The person that finishes last is going to feel like crap, like they’re holding everyone up, and the person that finishes first is going to be waiting, and feel like they’re not getting challenged.

So here’s what you WOULD DO.

Have everyone run around the building and as people finish, make them do 25 pushups, then do jumping jacks. This will allow the slower people to finish without everyone standing around waiting for them.

Then have everyone do jumping jacks for about10 seconds together before transitioning to the next exercise. So no one’s ever resting and no one feels left behind.

But an even better technique once you start knowing your clients better, you send the people that are slower 10 seconds or so ahead of the faster people, so everyone ends up finishing at the same time.

Here’s another example. With pushups, some people are going to finish faster than others. So you say, “Twenty-five push-ups, and as soon as you’re done, jumping jacks.”

So you’re going to have some people pop up and do jumping jacks first, and then the others are gonna join in as they finish.

Make sure you have everyone do jumping jacks together for about 10 seconds before transitioning to the next exercise.  This way nobody feels left behind or unchallenged.

Steve Hochman has developed a system for taking your boot camps form 0 to 100k pace in just 3 months. For more killer out-of-the-box  boot camp tactics, tips and strategies go to www.SteveHochman.com

Be sure to leave a comment with your favorite tip for taking your boot camp from good to GREAT!