A strategic boot camp workout for groups of varying abilities

Video Description

Today we’re digging into the boot camp archives to share a tried-and-true workout perfect for when you have a wide range of abilities from beginners to advanced.  I’ve used it often on the 2nd day of boot camp, when I’m still getting to know people and what they can do. 

It meets the “strategic workout for varying abilities” criteria because:

  • it has easy to follow instructions with non-intimidating exercises.
  • it allows the seasoned athletes to work alongside the beginners by giving high and low options, and by utilizing the “waiting room” technique to ensure the advanced work hard while the beginners feel no pressure or awkwardness 
  • it includes the appropriate amount of variety to stave off boredom and ensure something for everyone
  • it includes enough variety to for me to note what they connect with and what keeps them engaged
  • it includes appropriate exercises to allow me to see how they move, gauge their capabilities, and note areas that need improvement
  • it includes endurance, strength, agility and flexibility; all categories for which we needed to improve for our baseline assessment
  • we work hard but don’t take ourselves too seriously – we have fun! 

What else do I look for in a good second day of boot camp workout?  Check out this article to find out. 

Being able to coach a multi-level group (beginners and advanced at the same time) requires strategy.  While the workout in this video is simple and straight-forward, everything about it was carefully thought out and planned. 

boot camp workout ideas for beginners to advanced

The bulk of this workout consists of one sequence repeated 8x.  The warm-up and the cool-down are not addressed in this video.

  1. Line everyone up along the side of an open field.
  2. Dismiss everyone to complete a specified exercise across the field. (This is referred to as “independent work” because each person is free to go at their own pace without holding anyone up, or anyone being held up by them.)
  3. Once they reach the other side, they should walk or jog to the start (whatever they are capable of, depending on their ability.)
  4. The fitter ones will obviously return to the start faster than the others.  While waiting for the others, they’ll complete a continuos loop of 10 jacks/10 jump squats.  (provide low option of 10 taps out/ 10 squats)  This is referred to as “the waiting room.”
  5. Once everyone returns to the start, set in motion a series of strength drills.  These should be done all together as a group, assisted by your cueing (“all together” work.)  Today we did push-ups at various speeds; side planks; plank jacks; and stretches, including downward dog and runners press lunges.)
  6. Repeat #’s 1-5 again seven more times, changing up the across-the-field exercise each set.  The moves done in this video are: gallop right lead, gallop left lead, lateral shuffle left lead, lateral shuffle right lead, skip, lateral leap left lead, lateral leap right lead, squat jump.

For strategies about coaching multi-level groups, (as well as explanations for the verbiage used above) check out this article.  

About Kristin Dowell

Kristin is a group fitness instructor and personal trainer with certifications from ACE and AFAA, is qualified to coach over a dozen specialty programs, and is the creator of 3 exercise DVDs. From creating physical training programs for fire academies, to teaching preschool dance, (and just about everything in between)...
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