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"bootcamp" or "session class"?

"BootCamp" OR "Session Class"

Spending quite a bit of time on the business side of fitness (nationally/internationally) and having the ability to watch as my wife implements various programs or marketing tactics within our local operations, gives me an interesting perspective. I see much of what is being offered as business education & programs to the fitness professional and I have the opportunity to create and test our own.

It’s pretty simple to see that within the fitness industry a lot of attention has been paid to the personal trainers while the group fitness instructors seem to be going the opposite direction.

Programs like Mega Marketing, BootCamp Blue Print, or Fitness Business Revolution each are targeted to the Personal Trainer and the list goes on.

These programs can all be made applicable to the group fitness and yoga professionals if you are willing to look at your fitness specialty as more than just a part-time job working for a club. Personal trainers are figuring it out and it might just be time you do as well.

Tell me, which certification is geared toward group training?  I’ll give you the answer; The one that has the word “group” in the title. That being the case, why is it that small group training and “bootcamps” are dominated by the personal trainers?

Trainers are using these formats to generate incomes of well over $100 per hour. They are taking advantage of internet marketing and building lists of participants that they can continue to market to into the future. They are also diversifying their business and offering related fitness products, supplements, information, etc.

Group Session Classes of any Format

Group Session Classes of any Format

I do not see the Group Fitness and Yoga Instruction professionals doing the same thing at all. They seem to be content to work only for the facility and are missing out on many opportunities that are available to them.

You are trained to create group programs, monitor participants of various levels, and to safely provide modifications for all to actively participate.  Because of the focus of these training on groups, YOU are the best qualified to be leading the “bootcamp” (actually, just session classes) styled programs.

There are several reasons personal trainers are utilizing group training tactics outside of the standard gym setting only and you should too:

  1. 85% of the population does not belong to a fitness facility.
  2. 60+% of the population is overweight or obese.
  3. The diet industry is huge. The fitness equipment industry is huge. The anti-aging movement is huge and growing. – bottom line is that people are spending lots of money on things you can actually provide.
  4. Group trainings lowers the per person cost to participants. You will make more dollars per session/class while charging individuals less.

You are leaving money on the table, allowing your brothers & sisters from the personal training side of fitness to eat into what should be primarily your client base.

These programs are not rocket science and will help you reach more people and make a greater amount of income. We are working on a program specifically for group instructors to help you get started as well as others to catch you up to speed on bringing your expertise outside of the group fitness studio.

Your thoughts and feedback are greatly encouraged as these programs are finalized. You know the questions and concerns you have with branching out and I’d like best to ensure they are addressed. Post your thoughts here or send them to me at

While I encourage personal trainers to get training to work with larger groups and add these types of programs to their offerings list, you the group fitness instructor have a few advantages right off the bat and I’d love to see you take advantage of them.

  • You are trained specifically to work with groups of various fitness levels.
  • Group fitness instructors generally have the ability to offer multiple formats of classes. BootCamp is only one style that can be performed in a gym, field, or apparently a combat zone. Just because this is the primary format that personal trainers have attached themselves to doesn’t mean you can’t take your other formats outside the standard gym setting or offering structure.
  • I believe it is generally easier for a person who has picked up the principles and abilities important to group fitness to get further training and diversify themselves as personal trainers rather than the other way around. What you do is not the same, but it is similar. A small amount of related training will make you very proficient and capable to run these programs.

I hope you consider what you may have been passing up. You have skills that can be provided in many different locations, can reach many fitness needy lives, and these skills can be utilized to generate a great deal of income for you and your family with minimal extra work.

If you want to learn more about how to start these programs as a group instructor, let me know your interest.

About a month ago we talked in this blog about the way in which bootcamps have been implemented by trainers. It was also mentioned that this offering has been dominated by personal trainers, when that does not necessarily have to be the case.

“bootcamp” can be many different things

Aren’t you group fitness professionals trained to work with groups?

With the economy taking a big ole dump on all of us, I often think about how other fitness professionals are handling it. What plan are they putting in place to retain and secure new clients? How are they going to make their services more cost effective to their clients and not devalue themselves?

As disposable income becomes tighter and tighter, the $45-$100 per training session is a tougher sell. Adapting to the situation is key for the professional. Those who do not come up with cost effective solutions will lose their clients, current and future, to those trainers who do adapt.

The group training and session (bootcamp type) classes are one answer that we utilized. It is far more cost

effective to the consumer, actually easier for the fitness professional to implement, and ultimately more profitable for the fitness professional as well.

Group fitness and personal trainers and yoga instructors and athletic coaches all need to consider utilizing this style of programming. Without making this or a similar adaptations, you are jeopardizing you current and future client base.

If you are unsure on how to go about getting a program started in your area there are several options for help out there. Several training programs exist. Some I’ve checked on and think are great and others… well not so great in my opinion.

We are working on putting together a simple video solution that will get you through the fundamentals of operating session programs in your community. They can be operated in or out of a facility and even if you’ve always worked for a club you will be given an easy template for developing this entrepreneurial endeavor.

The upside is huge and with the economy… necessary.

So, if you’d be interested in this program let me know. I’m not certain of all the details we will implement into the program, but I do know there will be some element of interaction. A book or video training does you no good if you don’t have avenues for getting questions answered.

The group size will be limited to facilitate the interaction. It will be a first come situation and if you express your interest now before it’s offered, you’ll be given the first shot at getting in.

It’s not that crazy hard. If you’re intimidated because you see other trainers have already started don’t be. You’ll develop a system, work the system, and prosper along with your many new clients.

… stay tuned.

As I’ve said in the past, I/We have beaten our heads against the wall in developing many of the programs and partner offerings that are now available on the Fit Pro Biz web site.  One of those areas we are developing a program for now has to do with the operation of “BootCamps”.

I believe these programs have been miss labeled with bootcamp truly being one format option in running what are truly ‘session classes’, which is the business model. Now, I know I need to come up with a more hip name than session class to get this idea to stick, but the principle is legit.

Fitness professionals have been limiting themselves in the way they offer these programs. The current trainings out there would most often suggest that bootcamps are only for personal trainers and require the wearing of camo. I am looking forward to introducing this model to not only trainers, but also showing group fitness instructors, coaches, and yoga professionals how to incorporate this business model into their offerings… If you want to be notified when that program is ready, let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop.

We just today started our most recent bootcamp program. It is geared around the Centennial Trail in Snohomish. We are trying something new this time around and I believe it will be a great asset you may consider yourself.  We’ve created a specific blog just for the camp to further the healthy learning of the campers as well as encourage communication, allow them to tell others about their workouts, and over all develop further enthusiasm for the camp. You can find that at Follow along and let me know your thoughts or opinions on the ‘bootcamp’.

In Health – Tom

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