Making money having fun

Living and learning

First let me start by saying that I didn't originally set out to start a boot camp. I had been training and competing for a number of years in triathlons. I enjoyed all the time I spent swimming, biking and running with friends and especially enjoyed the time spent training with others in a group. Well as many of you may know that have trained for the longer distance triathlons it becomes hard to syncronize your schedule with other triathletes, and you find yourself training more and more by alone. It was at this point that I decided I wanted to set a group training day, but I realized I had to make it shorter than normal to fit within most peoples schedules.

I asked myself a number of basic questions... What type of exercise would be the most beneficial given a relatively short period of time? Where would we meet? What equipment would I need? How much would this cost? What would be FUN for people to do? 

After thinking about the questions, researching some alternative training methods and playing around with some workouts I found on-line and by trying different local trainers around my home town I decided that relatively short duration, high intensity workouts produce the most bang for the buck. The traditional circuit-training method would be key to a short total-body workout.

Next I had to decide on where we would meet. I looked around town keeping a number of points in mind. I needed a place that was FREE, that had a safe area to run in, that had lighting for night workouts, and that could handle a group of 10 or so people (ahh the good old days).

For equipment I initially decided that I would carry a couple of weights around and include them within the circuit. This idea was quickly changed to carrying around a number of medicine balls due to their versatility, durability, and the fact that they were a lot easier on the inside of my car than iron weights. Now my equipment has been refined to some key basics: Medicine balls, Kettle bells, and Ropes.

The initial cost I kept to a minimum by trying to only use some free weights I had in my garage. I asked camp members to contribute $2 each workout and used that to buy medicine balls as possible( I know thats next to nothing but I was just starting out looking for experience instructing... which is KEY to this whole endevour).

Finally, the most important question dealt with FUN! In my humble experience (starting a camp with 3 people that has grown to over 40 now) I found that the more you can involve people in a group atmosphere, the better. I initially set up circuit routines and just had folks jump in at a set start time. I then started setting up competition workouts where I would emphasize heads-up workouts, and finally I realized that I could make small groups and hold "group workouts" that had a couple of different benefits. People didnt want to let their own group down by being the slowest or not completeing their share of the work and it promoted more competition between the groups.

As I was learning what worked and what didn't work I continually sought out new workouts, and exercises from local trainers, from on-line resources, and from group members. I kept on learning and growing as an instructor. I also found that I could ask people for more money towards the equipment and towards me. I'm currently running a camp three times a week and making an extra $300/week for about 5 hours of work that I truly enjoy.