This article was written by Eric Falstrault who is currently killing it with a boot camp fitness business.  I asked Eric to write this article because he runs strongman bootcamps.  They are no-nonsense and take no prisoners but get results.  Sure, he turns off some clients with this style but you can't pleasure everybody.  The clients who he attracts work their butts off and he gets them results.  We all know the key to running a successful boot camp fitness business is results.

How to kill it with a boot camp fitness business

Bootcamp classes have been around for a while now and it seems that their popularity has not faded a bit, if not increased. It is described as a group training that would usually mimic military styles of training, in other words, it will kick your arse. As far as I can remember, Billy Blanks was the one that introduce this style of training and it also kick-started his movie career, so to speak. Since then, the word bootcamp has been used too many times, even Richard Simons has one...However, if used and planned properly, you can kill it with a boot camp fitness business.

But I don't do group exercise.  I'm a personal trainer.  Why a boot camp fitness business?

It offers social supports for the newbie's and even the advanced trainees. The fact that people can bring a friend for moral support or just for a challenge will give you an edge over the good old gym membership. It is also a great way to bring in the desired clientele.

Let's say you are looking for serious people, no complainers and people that can push the limits, all you need is to advertise and recruit accordingly. I have worked on a strongman/MMA bootcamp this past summer with amazing success. The great thing with strongman workouts is that you get people who are not afraid of strength, working hard and this is exactly what I aim as a clientele. Although most of my clients were the ones that came, they also brought some of their friends to try out.

  • The first session of the summer I received 15 participants
  • Second session 22
  • Third session 31!

Though big groups demand a lot of organization, lots of imagination and equipment, it is very humbling to see all those training freaks giving their all at every station.

How to run a boot camp fitness business

Another great plus for the outdoor session is that it is very cost effective. In some cases, using your imagination can go a long way and can make you save a lot of money.  Consider even 15 people at $15/hr, that's $225/hr.  I bet you can't make that personal training and that's a lowball estimate.

Beer kegs, punching bags, TRX systems, Gas tanks, Tires, sledgehammer, etc. All these simple pieces of equipment will give your session one hell of a hardcore look, which is always a big plus. In a couple of sessions, you will be able to buy some equipment with the profit you have made.

Charging 10 to 15 bucks per person is very cheap so getting people to try out is easy.

Where you will need some imagination is in the organization of the stations in itself. Let's say you have a group of 12 people, doing 3 stations of 4 people, or 4 stations of 3 would be best. But with a group of 30 people, it can get crazy. The quality of a great coach is to be able to change and adapt the program or session according to the person's ability or group.

Stations of 5 or 6 trainees need some adjustment. You need to take into account the rest periods and how many rotations the group should do in order to get an effective workout. Even if you organize everything to the tee, there will always be some adjustments. When it comes to big groups, I will always hire other strength coaches to help me out, assigning a coach to each station in order to make sure that everyone gets a decent workout.

Some will find it easy, and this is where a skilled coach will adapt the workout for each individual. For example, the farmers walk can be easy for some, but if you add the stop and go version, it could be a killer.

In large groups most of the stations will be equipped with double the equipment.  We're talking groups of 5 to 6 here. They started 2 at a time and made the rotation staying at their respective stations for 10 minutes, and then we would change stations. The workout lasted an hour and I ended it with the ultimate challenge that was done for time. The best time won bragging rights and sometimes a prize.  i might give the winner a free Bio-signature consultation and 100$ worth off their supplement protocol. It was a big hit.

Marketing a boot camp fitness business

Bring someone who can take lots of pictures, professional or not, it's not really that complicated to take loads of photos and then choose the best ones. Take pictures of everyone and hand them out. Take some money shots, those that are not that flattering but that will show the intensity of the workouts.

  • Market your bootcamp fitness session by Facebook.  Start a page and tag the people that came
  • Ask them to write a testimonial
  • Post your boot camp as an event and make it public

Friends of those who came will see and you will have more visibility. Word of mouth marketing rules. Use the social networks to your advantage.

Once the event is done, make an online album on your blog or make a simple video of short footages taken at the event, post it on Youtube and share it on your facebook page. You don't need to buy a fancy video editing software, use a simple one such as Windows Movie Maker. If you are good with internet, you can get yourself a decent software that can make great videos for your business and events.

Where to run your boot camp fitness business?

Although these sessions can be done everywhere, I try to do them outside as much as possible. Who wouldn't want to train hard, outside in the sun, breathing fresh summer morning air? I know that it is one of the major reasons that outdoor bootcamps became so popular. Some of my colleagues have put 20 yards of turf inside their facility to bring the sessions inside when the weather does not permit it.

How Often?

You could do events every two to three weeks, or weekly sessions. In the winter times, bootcamps are easily feasible inside as well. Depending on the facility you operate or work at, all you need is some creativity. Use machines, pulleys, free weights, bodyweight exercises with the station pattern. Early morning weekends are the most crowded, but you can also use your down time in a day, which would be the 10 to 1pm sessions in some cases, to use some special housewife bootcamps. Anything is possible, all you need is to use your connections and start to look at the most available market you wish to develop.

Impact on your business

If your events look organized and professional, the word will get around like wildfire. It will be the occasion to bring people together, show what they are made of. At the same time, you can explain exercise techniques, talk about nutrition, habits, improvement and how fast they can get to their dream shape if they crank up the intensity, if you help them.

You will get great referrals, which will be the kind of clientele you are looking for. You can apply this concept towards team building, in corporate environment. The small investment and low equipment it requires makes it very easy and transportable. Lots of possibilities with a little work await you, all you need is some imagination and creativity and those small ideas can go a long way.