// Re-Energise Your Outdoor Training

by Rob di Francesco

The growth in popularity of boot camps and outdoor training, combined with the clement weather of the summer months means that our parks and beaches will soon be even busier as more people take their exercise outside. In the teeming boot camp market, how can you differentiate yourself from the competition – and how can you keep your ideas fresh? Look no further, here are some creative and fun outdoor training ideas guaranteed to provide the inspiration you need to deliver your best ever outdoor training sessions.

Warm ups

The Pass functional warm up
A football, soccer ball or frisbee is quickly thrown between members of the group. If it is dropped, you prescribe a warm up activity to the group. As the trainer, your aim is to get the item dropped as many times as possible!

The Hot Potato
Participants use a tennis ball, cone or small towel to play ‘hot potato’. The aim is to throw the item just outside your partner’s reach, making your partner move around.

The Can Can
A warm up jog with intermittent dynamic stretches, which looks just like the ‘Can Can’! Elbow Tag Place your left hand on your ear and tag with your right hand, gradually increasing the intensity.

The Run Through
Have your clients perform a series of runs with varied intensities and lengths until they are ready to perform at 100 per cent.

The Word Run
Clients allocate themselves a few square metres of space and can move in any direction. You call out a word, participants run the letters.

Set your participants up in two lines, arms-distance apart, facing each other. Participant one has to move to a theme of your choice for one minute – e.g., ‘70s disco or jumping like a frog – and participant two must mirror the actions of their partner. This one can be a lot of fun!

North South East West
Clients allocate themselves a few square metres of space. You call out a compass direction, which clients move to in only the frontal and sagittal planes, returning to the centre after each move.

The Circle of Commands
Participants jog in a circle as you deliver commands, which can be words or sounds related to exercises. The more commands in play the harder it becomes.

Follow the Leader
Clients pair up, with one taking the role of leader. Wherever the leader goes, the partner must follow.

The Paired Partner Getaway
Clients pair up with one standing behind the other, placing their left hand on their partner’s right shoulder. The partner in front has to try and break the contact – if successful they swap roles.

Number Links
You call a number and participants have to form themselves into groups which physically ‘write’ out the number in human form.

The Snake Run
Line your participants up, arms-distance apart. Commence warm up activities and have each person weave through the line one by one. When everyone has been through once change the activity.

The Main Exercises

The Chalk and Talk
Find a footpath or path around an oval and write out your exercise stations in chalk. You can turn a session into timed rounds of a ‘Chalk Circuit’ for added intensity.

The Rope Run
Clients line up and carry a heavy rope as they run together, with faster participants at the front and slower participants at the back. By shouting instructions for clients to lift the rope above their heads, or hold it at shoulder height or to one side as they run, a regular run is turned into a solid challenge.

Coloured Cone Choice
Before the session starts, participants write down their favourite colour from your selection of cones. These colour
choices then dictate the session, as you instruct the group to complete a number of trips to each coloured cone (which
you have proceeded to place on hills, steps and at various distances, etc), the number of trips to each cone dependant
on how many clients selected each colour.

Choose your own adventure!
At the beginning of the session get your clients to write their favourite exercises on pieces of paper, which are then placed
in a bucket. The session is then a lucky dip.

The Calfinator
After warming up, a session can become themed, focusing on one area of the body, i.e., legs, chest, back, etc. The Calfinator,
for example, can make full use of all inclines in the area where you hold your outdoor training, and include runs up every major hill and staircase to really challenge the calf muscles.

The 100 Club
Clients pair up, with one partner running out to a point and back while the other completes reps of any given exercise.
When the runner returns, they take over from the exerciser and continue with the reps. The pair must complete 100 reps
between them to join the ‘100 Club’.

The Superset Circuit
Clients are split into groups, the more groups the better. Groups will then perform push ups, rope heaves, squat jumps,
crunches or runs until you command them to swap activities.

The Mini Max
Early in the session, clients must complete one minute of any exercise, aiming for maximum repetitions. Later in the
session they must repeat the exercises, aiming to beat their previous record. A great challenge for bringing out clients’
competitiveness and smashing their personal bests!

The Fox and Hound
Send the fastest runner in the group out with a head start and some chalk or flour. They mark the direction they travel while
the rest of the group tries to catch them.

Naughty Nines
Command clients to perform 9 sets of an exercise, with 9 reps in each set and 9 seconds rest between each set. Any number
can be used, so it could just as easily be Terrible 10s!

Partial Reps
Turn a regular session into a challenge by modifying all the prescribed exercises into partial reps – top range, bottom
range and then full range.

Shoot yourself in the foot!
When the whole group has been given a challenge or exercise to complete, make the quicker clients continue until the slower ones have finished.

Now, take these ideas to your clients and create your best ever summer of boot camps!

Rob di Francesco
Currently training with the Australian military, Rob has been involved in the fitness industry since 1992. In his previous role of lead coach with the Australian Institute of Fitness NSW, he trained future fitness professionals. Rob’s passion for creative outdoor training manifests itself in his company, H.I.T Bootcamp. For more information visit www.hitbootcamp.com.au

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