As you might know I just moved over to the east side of Toronto. So
far, so good.
Sure there are a lot more freaky people on this side of town, but
there are even more cool dog parks on the east side for Bally the Dog.
In fact, every morning I walk him up by a big park near Greektown
where he smells weird things and I watch a bootcamp class do their
Today I got to watching and thinking, and wrote down a few ideas that can make most bootcamps better.
1) Switch things up and make exercises more difficult by using the
“one and a half rep” method. This is great for pushups, squats,
lunges, and split squats – plus hip extensions for beginners.
Do the full lowering phase, then come halfway back up, and then go
all the way back down again, and then come all the way up. That’s
one rep. It makes things “interesting” to say the least.
2) Break up your bootcamp class into groups and have them work
through stations, rather than having everyone do the same thing all
at the same time.
(I know most of you are already doing this…I suppose I’m writing
this tip to the trainer who I watch every morning who teaches her
class in a large circle…I think she could do better than that.)
This is obviously a great system if you have a limited amount of
equipment (i.e. if you have 4 kettlebells and 16 campers).
3) Try shorter interval training
I know, I know, clients just love to get the crap kicked out of them.
But don’t worry, you can do that too…
However, it’s important to note that the “famous” interval training
research study from Australia had women do eight second intervals
alternated with twelve seconds of rest.
Sure that’s easier than a 20 second sprint followed by a 10 second rest, but it works for fat loss.
Try using the 8-12 ratio in one of your workouts each week.
4) Try the “TT Addiction Workout Challenge” Method
I borrowed this idea from Martin Rooney, who wrote about the push-up
challenge in the April 2010 Men’s Health magazine.
In the challenge, your goal is to do as many pushups as possible in
3 minutes. But don’t go to failure in any set, or you’ll sacrifice
your results. Just do a few, then rest for 15 seconds, and repeat
that until the 3 minutes is up. It will still be a challenge near
You can use this same method with bodyweight squats, bodyweight rows,
and lots of other exercises. (Just make sure clients use proper form
all the time.)
These “Challenges” get clients hooked on improving their performance
and they’ll step up their training in order to beat their score each
week. Lots of fun.
5) To help clients with nutrition, recommend that everyone reads the
book called, “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan. It contains easy to
follow, common sense nutritional advice that every busy family can
stick to. I still can’t beat his “7 word diet” for simplicity:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Everyone can get that. And your clients will lose a lot of belly fat
with that advice.
Have a great bootcamp today,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, TT Bootcamps