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How To Stage Your Own Fitness Bootcamp


Fitness bootcamps have become popular, both as a fun holiday for people pursuing a fitness goal, and as a lucrative income stream for personal trainers and fitness coaches. Here we discuss how you, as a fitness professional, could go about staging a fitness bootcamp and the things you’d need to consider…

How To Stage Your Own Fitness Bootcamp

1. Angle

If you want to run a fitness bootcamp and make money from it, give it a niche marketing angle that will appeal to people with specific fitness goals. You want people to consider your bootcamp and say to themselves: “this is just what I need”. If you try to make it a bootcamp that has something for everyone, you risk ending up with a bootcamp that appeals to no one.

For example, you could make it a bootcamp designed for overweight people who want to reduce their body size, in which case you would market it as being for weight loss purposes and emphasize how it can help people lose weight.

Or you might want to run a strength and conditioning bootcamp for people who are already in good shape but what to get stronger, in which case you should emphasize the strength building effects in your marketing campaign.

2. Size

Something important to decide early on is the maximum number of people you’re willing to accommodate on your bootcamp. This is very important because you need to know how many associate or partner trainers/coaches you’ll need to get to help you run the bootcamp.

We recommend you never try to run the whole thing yourself, as you temp fate and risk the whole thing having to be stopped if anything happens to prevent you from supervising the activities one day.

As a good rule of thumb, try to have one trainer, coach or some kind of qualified supervisor for every ten participants you have at the bootcamp.

3. Duration

Decide how long you want the bootcamp to last. Many bootcamps are retreats that last several days. The longer it lasts, the more you can charge for it and the more training time you’ll have to get results for the participants, but the more difficult it will be for people to take time away from their regular lives to participate. Five working days is a good length for your first bootcamp.

4. Location and accommodation

You need to decide where your bootcamp is going to take place. This is important because it will allow you to decide whether your bootcamp will accommodate the participants like an army bootcamp does for trainee soldiers.

Many bootcamps are portrayed as “retreats”, and take place in rural locations, sometimes even actual campsites. This can add to the sense of fun and adventure experienced by the participants, but it creates a lot of additional administration tasks and responsibilities for you as the organizer.

You do have the option of holding your bootcamp in an easily accessible location and having people travel there every morning and go home every night. This isn’t a camp in the truest sense of the word, but the core of what a fitness bootcamp is about, the actual exercise, would still exist.

5. Insurance

This one is very important. You need to arrange limited liability insurance for your bootcamp business venture, in case any of the participants or staff sustains a serious injury that damages their quality of life or interferes with their ability to earn a living. If this happens, they will be legally entitled to compensation and without insurance cover, you as the owner of the bootcamp would be personally liable.

In order to give you a good insurance policy, an insurance provider will probably require that you and any other staff are fully qualified fitness professionals. Possessing an accredited qualification such as a Level 2 Gym Instructor Certificate or a Level 3 Personal Trainer Diploma should be sufficient to satisfy this requirement.

6. Activities

Probably the most enjoyable part of staging a fitness bootcamp is planning the actual training activities that the participants will do to help them with their fitness goals.

This is where your knowledge and experience of fitness will really come into play. You have to devise a training regime that will be fun and enjoyable and which will also make a difference to the fitness and physicality of the participants which they themselves need to be able to perceive, so they’ll feel that they’ve gotten something for their money besides just a fun time.

The training regime you devise for your participants will depend on the advertised purpose of your fitness bootcamp. A weight loss retreat would involve a lot of cardiovascular exercise, while an adventure fitness bootcamp should have things like obstacle courses.

7. Marketing

The most important aspect of running a fitness bootcamp, from a business point of view, is how to market it and get people to sign up for it.

The first thing to do is make sure you have a website and social media pages about your bootcamp. All the successful fitness bootcamps have online presences. This should contain all the information about your bootcamp such as the location, activities, pricing, everything.

For some good examples of fitness bootcamp websites, just Google “fitness bootcamp” and see what’s there.

But don’t think that just by getting a Web presence you’ll automatically get bookings; there’s a lot of work involved with marketing a business online and it takes time and expertise. If you have no experience with online marketing, you’re better off promoting your fitness bootcamp through offline marketing channels.

If this is your first bootcamp, you might like to try and partner with other personal trainers who have existing client bases of people who might be interested in coming to your bootcamp. Ask them to help you get participants and offer them a share of the profits in return.

Fitness establishments like gyms, leisure centres and health clubs are excellent places to promote fitness bootcamps. Talk to some of these establishments and find out if there’s any way you can work together or any way they can help you launch your bootcamp venture.


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