T Nation

BootCamp Class Ideas..

Hello to all fellow bodybuilders. I am in college, graduating in May with a degree in Exercise Physiology but part of my internship next semester is to teach a “BootCamp” class weekly in a aerobics studio. What kind of activities would you guys include? Space is limited, and the equipment we got are small dumbells, bodybars (4-foot weighted padded straight bars), jump ropes, steps…the basics. I want the class to be more than jumping jacks, push-ups and abs. Any ideas? What about small team activities/competitions?

Thanks for your help.

Hey MM. I teach a preparation course for people who want to get into the police force where I live, and it’s basically a Boot Camp - type deal. I’ve found that the basics work best, but it is all in the way that you combine them. The basics work well simply because they do not require a high degree of coordination/learning time, and are generally quite effective. And if you combine them in the right way, you can get one hell of a workout. I took some ideas from John Davies’ work and adapted them to this course. Here are a few of the basic exercises I always include:
1.) Skipping (with rope)…I use this as a warm-up and active rest period. Most people can skip, and you can build in variations (one foot, side to side, double skips, etc) as the class progresses.
2.) The Squat Thrust (aka burpees). To do these you start standing, bend at the knees and place your hands just in front of your feet. From there, shoot your legs back so that you’re in pushup position (ensure straight back!). Then dynamically reverse the motion, bringing feet to hands and stand up again. These are very hard if done quickly and with a jump at the end of each.
3.)Walking lunges - very hard, especially if done in a pre-exhausted state (right after squat thrusts or another leg exercise)
4.) Pushups (you know these)…you call out the count (down, up), and mix in pauses at bottom for certain lengths of time.


5.) Get-ups (great after pushups)…start with only toes and elbows/forearms touching the floor (almost like a pushup position). From here, get up on both hands as fast as you can, then back down to your elbows. Alternate which hand goes up first, or do a certain # of reps with one side then the other. Try doing 8 get-ups per side after going to failure on pushups…brutal!
5.) The “T”. This is a static oblique exercise that I learned from a pilates junkie. Basically, you’re going to be forming a “t” with your body and arms by propping yourself up on one arm and the outside of that same side foot (follow me?). both arms are straight out to your sides, one hand is supporting you on the floor, with the side of your lower foot anchoring you. Keep your body as straight as possible, and make it more difficult by adding a dumbbell.
6.) Star Jumps. Touch toes by bending at the knees and hips, then jump upwards as fast and as high as you can. Do 20 of these after 15 squat thrusts and follow with walking lunges = death.
7.) Punch Lunge. Hold a moderate dumbbell (15 to 25 pounds) in both hands. As you lunge forward, “punch” the db straight out in front of you at shoulder height, then pull it back in to your chest as you push back out of the lunge. Switch legs and repeat…the more reps, the more burn in the shoulders.
8.) Double Crunch. This is basically a crunch and reverse crunch combined (as movement at the shoulders and hips simultaneously increases ab contraction). Do it with slightly bent legs, and touch the floor lightly with each rep. Hold a dumbbell at arm’s length and extend towards feet to make it tougher.

So there you are...I've got a ton more exercises and wicked ways to combine them if you want to know more (just didn't want to make my post too long!). Let me know if you want more info and I'll post it...Ps you better be in good shape cause every one of your students will want to beat you!

jump rope-as many 3 minute rounds as possible,
ggp-jumping jacks,mountain climbers,burpees,star jumps,chinees,shuffle steps,slalom jumps,clap push ups etc.
if possible, do pull ups and then immediately push ups.
just some suggestions :slight_smile:

Renegade Training will kick everyone’s ass with little-to-no equipment. All you need is a jump rope and a towel. Use some of the exercises already mentioned. Or check out Coach Davies’ articles for other ideas!

Hey there are a lot of great options with this kind of work. Naturally if I can help with your course work feel free to ask. Or maybe you can come to my “boot camp” sometime. I look forward to hearing from you. In faith, Coach Davies

Yeah! I have an idea! Take a grenade, pop the pin, roll it down the middle of the room, and tell them they have 3 seconds to run at least 15 meters! It is great for the hamstrings! :slight_smile:

I have to teach a couple of these classes for my job. I dread it but I think I dod a damn good job. I never thought I would be teaching anything to music. But here I am. I do jumping jacks, push ups, squats thrusts, wall sits (when I get tired, walking lunges, lateral lunges, walking with your hands across a step-left to right, squat jumps, lunge jumps?, kicks with a punch, high knees etc) I did a few of Davies exercises one after the other and I had to essentially stop and do a BS exercise to get my wind back. I am impressed i can up with so much on my own but I seriously need to get out of this shit, its killing me. At least you just have to do it for a short period of time. Good luck.

Try going to www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/ atdl.dll/fm/21-20/toc.htm. It is Army Field Manual 21-20 Physical Readniess Training.
Enjoy.

Want boot camp? Just start screaming at the participants. This is done best by doing a half squat to “eye-ball” them while keeping your upper body vertical and rigid. Extend your arms and fingers downwards as much as possible. Find a 50-ish lady (preferably with leg-warmers on) and scream in her face, “What is your major malfunction?!” The more spittle coming out of your mouth, the better. Rather than doing a group hug/let’s clap for each other typical of most aerobics classes, end the class by saying, “you people look like a seabag full of squashed a$$holes,” and walk out of the room.