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The Bottom Line on Fitness Boot Camps

Aug 17, 2007
Nothing helps build clientele and profit margins for a fitness professional like a new program. But if that program isn't effective or applies only to a limited group of people, it will only be profitable for a short time or you will have trouble finding people to fill your program.

Fitness boot camps even though they've been around for a while are still very popular because they work,at least when they're done right,and because of the social element involved. They appeal to a large range of people because the exercises can be done by just about anyone and don't have the women-only stigma of aerobics or the men-only stigma of weight lifting.

Fitness boot camps are phenomenal fitness programs in that they both appeal to a large audience and are highly effective. These are group programs that are based on the kind of workouts utilized in military boot camps. If your fitness business doesn't offer a boot camp, you are missing out on some serious dollars because they are very profitable

Fiscally speaking, adding a boot camp to your program offerings is a no-brainer. Compared with aerobics, weight lifting, spinning, treadmills and in-home training, boot camps are a virtual money mill. They are more efficient, attract larger numbers of people and can have virtually no overhead costs.

Fiscally speaking, adding a boot camp to your program offerings is a no-brainer. Compared with aerobics, weight lifting, spinning, treadmills and in-home training, boot camps are a virtual money mill. They are more efficient, attract larger numbers of people and can have virtually no overhead costs.

Second, because boot camp programs can be held in parks, school gymnasiums, parking lots, parking garages, or any place you can fit your class, you don't need a studio or facility. Typical boot camp locations can be arranged for little or no money, so your overhead is significantly less than with any other program. Of course, if you already have a studio or facility, adding a boot camp is a very efficient use of studio time.

Expenses are further reduced by the fact that you don't need a lot of equipment to run a boot camp. Bodyweight exercises, such as pushups and sit-ups form the core of most boot camp programs, and even if you decide to include dumbbells or resistance bands you can pass the expense on to clients as a one-time fee. Or have your business logo and contact info imprinted on the equipment to further promote your business and write it off on your taxes.

There are two main aspects that keep clients coming back to boot camp programs time after time: they're effective and they're fun.

Boot Camps are effective.

Let's tackle the effectiveness part first. As you know, the key to weight loss, which is what the majority of boot campers are looking for, is burning calories. Boot camps cram a lot of exercise and calorie burning into a short time. Clients don't have to fool around with working out for 90 minutes to 2 hours every day. Forty-five minutes is enough time to burn a lot of calories boot camp style. The high-intensity nature of boot camps not only burns more calories during the workout, it increases a participant's metabolism for the rest of the day, which means burning more calories all day long.

Exercises employ the whole body

Boot camps are also successful because the exercises employ the whole body. Unlike many Nautilus and weight lifting programs, pushups, pull-ups, jumping jacks, running and the like employ many muscles in every exercise. So, instead of doing 3 sets on every machine in the house, boot camp participants work every muscle with just a few exercises. It's efficient for everyone.

Easier to Motivate Clients

Besides their effectiveness, people like boot camps because of the social factor. Sure, Denise Austin or Jake Steinfeld can verbally motivate someone in a video but it's very impersonal and only lasts for the first week of watching it. With a boot camp, participants get personal motivation that is fresh and new from their trainer every session. Boot camp trainers can also correct exercise form and postures for clients to keep them safe and get the most from them. A video can't do that.

Camaraderie among participants

Boot camp participants also enjoy the camaraderie of exercising with a group. Much like peer pressure keeps soldiers moving in military boot camp, peer encouragement keeps people moving in fitness boot camp. Participants encourage one another, compete against one another and guide one another. Friendships are known to start between class members. Often more experienced participants lend help and encouragement to newcomers, which offer an element of support that the trainer alone cannot give.

The bottom line is that boot camps make your bottom line look better. They are an efficient and profitable way to attract more clients and deliver effective fitness to more people. Adding a fitness boot camp to your programming will build your image as an effective, affordable fitness professional.
About the Author
Georgette Pann, BS health/Physical Ed., PTA, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, IFA Certified Sports Nutrition. She has co-authored the book "Sure Victory-How to Design Boot Camp Workouts that Blast Fat and Build Power" to learn more:BootCamps
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