How to run a Bootcamp

8 June, 2017

bootcampy-shot-lighting

Whether you work full time in another industry, or work full time as a personal trainer, bootcamps are a great time-efficient way to engage a large group of clients, and earn an additional income.

Outdoor services, such as bootcamps, account for 30% of the fitness market* as many clients would rather exercise outdoors than in a gym. After all, what is better than watching the sun rise as you work out in the morning?

So what sort of things should you consider when setting up a bootcamp? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Setup Costs

  • Compared to working self-employed in a gym, where you would pay a rent to hire out the facilities, the costs of using a local park or sports ground can be relatively cheap. If you plan to conduct your sessions in a local park, speak to the local council as you may need a permit. The costs of a permit vary massively across Australia – in some regions you may just need to notify the council (for free), compared to other popular locations, such as Bondi, where personal trainers are charged for each group session they run. Sports ovals are also great places to consider, as local clubs may be happy to hire out their grounds which would otherwise be empty most of the day. There may also be additional benefits–such as parking, or even changing facilities, toilets and showers at the club, which your clients may be able to use.
  • As an outdoor activity, you don’t need a huge amount of equipment to get started. One of the big attractions of bootcamps is being outside, so make the most of it! Hills, steps, bollards and parkland make for a great obstacle course that you can adapt and use in your programs. Depending on the goals of your clients, you can simply add a few kettlebells, medicine balls, battle ropes or even boxing pads to your sessions to make them more interesting and varied. Using a circuit style class will mean you only need one or two pieces of equipment, and as you grow you can add more and more equipment. Just make sure you have room in your car!
  • Marketing – how are you going to get clients to your bootcamps? You may already be an established personal trainer with your own website and social media accounts, but if you’re not, there are strategies you can implement to advertise your business online. If you need more help, our Online Marketing for Personal Trainers course is a great way to get started. Along with that, what can you specifically do for a bootcamp? As an outdoor location, you and your clients will often be exposed to others—runners, commuters, dog walkers etc. who may be curious to what you’re doing and what you can offer. It is definitely worth investing in a popup banner / flag which shows your business name, and even having a few flyers ready to hand out to interested passers-by. You can also look to target specific markets; are there local sports teams that want to run a fitness session around their sport-specific training, or are there local community groups that would like to exercise and socialise together? Perhaps a local business might want to implement a morning bootcamp for their employees to get them fired up for the day ahead.

Bootcamp Location and Times

  • Just like with a gym, clients will want to exercise at a location convenient for them, so you have a think about what clients you are looking to target as to where you setup your bootcamp. Are you looking to target city commuters? Then perhaps look to run your bootcamp in a city park where clients can train before or after work. Are you looking to target stay at home mums? Then perhaps look to run your bootcamps in a location close to a childcare facility or school.
  • In regards to time, if you are targeting commuters, then perhaps look to run your sessions early in the morning, taking into account that your clients will need time to shower and change into their work clothes. And for evening sessions, aim for around 6pm, so they can attend on their way home. If you are looking to target other markets, find out when are they available and what times they would be able to commit to.
  • Exposure is the key – if at all possible, try and run your bootcamp in a location that is visible to new potential customers. After all, if they see a great, engaging class, they might want to get involved. Remember though, some of your clients may not feel comfortable exercising in an area with too many people watching.
  • Weather conditions are also a factor any time you exercise outdoors. In the winter months the sun may not have risen or may have set by the time you start your session, so finding an area with street lighting is highly recommended. A sports ground with lighting you can use would be a great choice. If at all possible have a backup for when it is raining; depending on your clients, they may want to grind out the session in any weather, but more likely they’d like to find cover, so being close to a shelter or roof can enable exercise under cover when it is really bad.

Costs

  • The average bootcamp session can cost a client anywhere from $10 to $30 per session, so choose your market carefully. If you are planning to run one session a week, it may be best to charge per session, but if you are able to run 2 or more sessions a week consider charging a weekly fee for clients to attend. This way you can try and build a regular routine with your clients to help grow your attendance. The more invested someone is, the more likely they are to attend.
  • For just an hour of your time, bootcamps are a great time-efficient way to increase your income. With 10 clients you could potentially earn $100-$300 for the hour, multiple times a week. If you are starting off as a personal trainer, bootcamps are also a great way to find one on one clients, as your existing clients may want further training with you – win, win!

So what are you waiting for? If you are a personal trainer – get out there and setup your local bootcamp today!

If you are not yet qualified, and interested in setting up your own bootcamp, you will need the Certificate IV in Fitness—the nationally recognised personal training qualification. This qualification is essential for the knowledge, and to obtain public liability insurance for your fitness business. Click here for more information.

References

*Deloitte Fitness Industry Profile, Fitness Australia 2012.

About The Author

James Poynter

  • Bachelor of Science (Hons)
  • Qualified Personal Trainer, previously worked at Fitness First in the UK
  • Worked for largest RTO in the UK – The Training Room
  • James offers years of experience from the fitness education industry in the UK.

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