Boot camps aren’t just for the military anymore. From gyms to parks to parking lots… outdoor boot camps are booming!
The benefit of an outdoor boot camp is you can do them through any season and all of them offer different benefits. Summer is the perfect time to take fitness outside if you’re looking to add a little Vitamin D to your routine. Fall offers cool fresh air to any routine and sprinkles in the peace from nature’s gym.
Designing an outdoor boot camp doesn’t have to be hard. All you need is adequate space, a good class design, and enough equipment for your group. A good boot camp workout mixes cardio, strength, and agility exercises – working opposing major muscle groups and alternating between upper body and lower body work.
Whether you are a fitness pro looking for a class design that is ready to roll out, or you just want to hit the park for a solo session, we’ll give you simple and effective circuit-style routines to get you started.
Boot camps feature intense exercise in an efficient time period. In addition, boot camps provide a team atmosphere fostering camaraderie and encouragement. Boot camps can be tailored to suit various athletic levels and populations… including beginners, older adults, women, or high school athletes.
The Ultimate Outdoor Boot Camp Equipment: The Smart Cart
The Smart Cart Training System has everything you need to offer a successful boot camp program in any setting. This portable system can be used indoors or outdoors. It features Smart Hurdles, a Smart Agility Ladder, medicine balls, C-Band resistance cables, and Power Jump Ropes for unlimited training options. Using a timed rotational circuit, you can train up to 60 athletes at one time using this system.
Boot camps can be structured like circuit training with timed sessions of work (60 seconds often works well) at various stations and minimal time rotating between stations (15 – 20 seconds).
When designing a program, utilize the FITT formula:
- Frequency: 2 to 3 times per week
- Intensity: Moderate to intense
- Time: 30 to 60 minutes per session
- Type: Cardio, strength, and agility exercises – working opposing major muscle groups and alternating between upper body and lower body work
6 Station Outdoor Boot Camp
This design works best with 12 people but is scalable up or down. At 12, you can have two people at each station, increasing the peer-to-peer motivation. Adjust equipment according to your group size.
Set your stations up in a large circle, or in a straight line depending on your space. Leave enough room to perform the work, while keeping the stations close enough to maximize group interaction.
Equipment Needed (Based on 12 people)
1. Agility Ladder Shuffle-Sprint Return (Equip: 1 Agility Ladder)
Going as fast as possible, put one foot in each ladder rung from start to finish. At the end, sprint back to the start, and repeat. Two people should be able to work in line with a time gap of 3 seconds. If your group becomes larger, keep the momentum up by having participants do scissor jumps in between ladder runs.
2. Jump Rope (1 Jump Rope for each participant)
Each participant grabs a rope. Go all-out for full-time.
If it’s been a while since you’ve jumped rope, here are a few tips.
Jump 1 to 2 inches off the floor, with just enough space for the rope to slide under feet —balls of feet should touch the floor.
Keep your elbows close to your sides as you turn the rope. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
3. Medicine Ball Pushup (1 Medicine Ball for each participant)
Start in the push-up position on the floor, and square your hips, and keep your back aligned. Place one hand on a medicine ball, while your other hand stays on the floor. Keep your feet spread wide to help with stability. This will be your starting position.
Keep your body straight, bend your elbows, and descend towards the ground, allowing your chest to approach the floor, stopping your chest at the elbow. Push back up to full arm extension.
Repeat on the other side.
4. Side Raise/Front Raise (1 Fitness Cable for each participant)
Each participant can grab a cable that provides a challenging level of resistance. Alternate between lifting your arms out to the side and raising them both to the front. Keep the range no higher than shoulder height.
5. Russian Twists (1 Medicine Ball for each participant)
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor (easier) or raised up off the floor (more difficult) at about a 45-degree angle. Hold the medicine ball with both hands, directly in front of you. Twist slowly from your torso to one side and touch the medicine ball to the floor. Pause and then smoothly contract your abs and twist your torso back to the center position, and then proceed to touch the medicine ball to the floor on the other side of you. Repeat.
6. Low Pulse Medicine Ball Goblet Squat (1 Medicine Ball for each participant)
Stand with your feet just outside your hips, toes slightly turned out. Hold the medicine ball in both hands at hip level. Keeping your weight in your heels bend at the knees and squat down to a 90-degree angle, moving the medicine ball toward the floor, in between your legs. Once in position, pulse at the bottom for the full time.
TIMING: 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off
If you are a leader or coach of an outdoor boot camp group, run through the basics and form for each exercise. Next, run through a simple dynamic warmup that prepares the body in all planes of movement. (20 jumping jacks, 20 high knees, 20 skaters, 20 clockwork lunges). Then, have participants claim a starting station, spreading out so that all circuits are being utilized. Ideally, there should be two at each station.
Next, start the timer and perform the indicated station exercise for 45 seconds. During the 15-second rest, have participants move to the next station in line. Once participants have completed all six stations, take a 60-second break. After the break, have participants go back to their starting station and start the next round. Completing six rounds of the six stations will give you a 45-minute workout session. End with a cooldown.
Run through a series of sun salutations. Try this four times through.
Hands Fan up.
Dive into forward fold.
Hands to floor, step back to high plank (knees or toes).
Lower to low plank.
Pull through to up dog.
Hips push back to down dog.
You could also try the Smart In-Home Bootcamp Bundle. It offers all the pieces you would need to do boot camps indoors or out.
3 More Smart Bootcamp Workouts for Your Next Outdoor Training Session
Remember, designing an outdoor boot camp doesn’t have to be hard. All you need is adequate space, a good class design, and enough equipment for your group, and set up becomes a breeze.
Even if you only have room for a handful of products, the variations to your workout can be tremendous. To show you versatility, we took just four of our Prism Fitness Products and designed 3 different, 4 station boot camps for you to try by yourself, or as a small group training session!
An excellent boot camp workout combines a variety of cardio, strength, and agility exercises to target different major muscle groups while alternating between upper and lower body movements.
Try these simple but effective circuit-style routines for your next outdoor boot camp.
You can watch these videos along with others on our Prism Fitness YouTube Channel
Equipment you’ll need:
EQUIPMENT SET UP: The following designs work best for up to 4 people. Leave enough room to perform the work, while keeping the stations close enough to maximize group interaction.
SMART BOOTCAMP DESIGN # 1
Fitness Cables: Single-Leg Cable Extension
SMART Plyo Cube Box: Donkey Kicks
SMART Medicine Ball: Sumo Squat Hold with Overhead and Side Rotations
Modular Agility Ladder: Single Leg Hop
SMART BOOTCAMP DESIGN # 2
Single Leg Cable Raises
SMART Med Ball Mountain Climbers with Foot Balance
In and Out SMART MODULAR Agility Ladder Drills
SMART Plyo Cube Box Rebounding Box Jumps
SMART BOOTCAMP DESIGN # 3
One arm side raise with Fitness Cable
Seated balance with SMART Med Ball hold
SMART MODULAR Agility Ladder Forward Runs
SMART Plyo Cube Box Jump with Plank Kick Back
Each participant chooses a starting station for the outdoor boot camp. Go all-out on the exercise for 30 seconds. During a 10-second rest cycle, move to the next station and prepare for the next exercise. Complete all four stations for 4 consecutive rounds. Take a 60-second rest. Put on repeat to build a killer workout session!
IMPORTANT! Be sure to alternate during subsequent rounds on the single arm/leg exercises such as the single leg cable raises and the one arm side raise with fitness cables.
For this outdoor boot camp challenge, set yourself to complete a prescribed number of reps and record your time.
On subsequent rounds, try to beat that time! This can be a great way to spark a little competition in a small group training session, or even as a personal challenge goal.
Remember, form always comes before speed, so if you find yourself performing the exercises fast but sloppy, slow down until you can work more speed into your workout while maintaining good body mechanics.
SMART EQUIPMENT PROFILES:
1. SMART MEDICINE BALL
The Smart Medicine Balls are a functional fitness staple. The weighted center forces the user to use different muscle groups to throw, bounce or twist with the ball.
8 exercises are printed on each ball for easy reference. They also feature a textured surface for a reliable grip and made of sturdy rubber.
2. FITNESS CABLE OPTIONS & ACCESSORIES
The interchangeable Fitness Cables, along with the Smart Quick Switch Handles, allow users to create their own resistance systems to strengthen and tone from head to toe. Use different cables for different exercises and ranges of motion or move up to the next resistance level as your strength increases.
3. SMART MODULAR AGILITY LADDER
Snap ladders together for the desired length AND connect rungs together to create the desired width!
Create various patterns from double/triple lane ladders to obstacles, zig-zag patterns, and a full grid!
4. SMART 3 IN 1 PLYO Cube
The 3-in-1 Smart Foam Plyo can be used at 20″, 24″ and 30″ heights (all in one!) There are 9 exercises printed on the plyo box for easy reference.
It’s made of high-density foam with a commercial-grade vinyl cover.
Join the Outdoor Boot Camp Journey
Outdoor boot camps are not just a passing trend, but a fitness revolution that is here to stay. Its unique combination of high-intensity exercises, natural surroundings, and group camaraderie creates an unparalleled workout experience.
Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, this ultimate workout trend has something to offer for everyone. So why wait? Step outside, breathe in the fresh air and join the outdoor boot camp movement today. Your body and mind will thank you for it!