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The Difference Between Bootcamps and Group Personal Training – Webinar

Check out this webinar that we did a while back on the difference between bootcamps and group personal training. Even though we shot it two years ago the content is just as strong as ever. Training and programs design can always change, but some philosophies will always remain.

If you are running bootcamps or any type of group exercise program you will want to watch this video. You may love some parts and you may hate some parts, but I think that you will understand it’s true.

Getting Your Clients To “Buy In” to the System

One question that we often get asked is “how do you deal with the clients that don’t buy in to the system?”  There are two major things that I feel contribute to us hearing this question.

1)   You haven’t bought in yourself

2)   It’s hard for you to explain in ways that clients “get it”

My goal with this article is to give you a few reasons, explanations, and metaphors that will help you and your clients understand why they can’t ‘smash it” on certain exercises.

It’s Temporary – It’s extremely important that after you screen a client, find dysfunction, and tell them there are certain things that they can’t do, that you let them know this is temporary.  Screening and following the FMS Hierarchy will almost always point you to the right place when it comes to corrective strategy.  If this is the case, which means you screened correctly, and chose an appropriate exercise, your corrective strategy should work very quickly. Most cases the corrective strategy should work in as little as one session to a week. If not, you are most likely in the wrong place or using the wrong strategy. If you are having a hard time correcting a movement on the FMS, you may consider dropping down a level in the hierarchy, or referring to an SFMA clinician.

This Road Block Has Been Holding You Back – You have to give them some hope at this point because telling then it’s temporary isn’t going to get them pumped to train with you. Letting them know that you found something that has been holding them back from getting the results they have been working for is a great way to reassure them that the corrective exercises are a good idea.  Basically, let them know that when they remove the roadblock, they will get better results.


Everyone is familiar with hitting a plateau, and dysfunction is major contributor to plateau. Remove the dysfunction and decrease the plateau effect.  Let them know that if they have been “stuck” then corrective exercise can get them “unstuck”, as long as they don’t do anything that will cause them more harm than good.

Common Mistakes Trainers Make in Group Training Classes

Group training classes are all the rage right now, and if you want to know how to run them safely and effectively, you have come to the right place…the Smart Group Training website!

Steve and Jared are great friends of mine and they asked me to put together a video discussing common mistakes that trainers make when running group training classes.
Check out the video below:

Just to recap, these are the biggest mistakes most trainers make with their group classes:

1. They start off with exercises that are too intense.
When a client comes to you just to look good and feel good, it doesn’t take much to help them reach their goals. They don’t need a “Navy-Seal-Beatdown-Bootcamp,” and even if they did, none of them move well enough to be able to do advanced exercises anyway.

Group Training
Group Training

2. They don’t force clients to master the basics.
Similar to the mistake above, they don’t require that their clients master the basic squat, hinge, push, pull, and lunge patterns before progressing them on to more advanced variations of those exercises.

3. They don’t build a foundation.
Again, I feel like I am repeating myself, but it’s such a big problem! Your clients need a general foundation of movement and conditioning before they can be moved onto something more advanced or intense. A beginner (and everyone is a beginner until they prove otherwise), should never be thrown into a program where they are forced to run or row for miles at a time, or do dozens of pull-ups or push-ups with no foundation of movement or conditioning.

4. They do random exercises with no rhyme or reason to the program.
Many group programs focus on making people tired instead of making them better. There is a reason that programs designed to improve posture and performance use specific exercises performed for specific volumes, with specific loading parameters…because it matters! Teach your clients how to master the movement patterns listen above, and when they master those patterns, load them, and get them strong in those patterns.

5. They don’t have proper progressions and regressions outlined ahead of time.
You will always have clients who need an easier or a more difficult variation of an exercise and they will need it modified on the fly. Have your progressions laid out ahead of time so you’re not scrambling. Or you can use ours! (Our = myself, Mike Robertson, and Molly Galbraith). In our product, Bootcamp In a Box, we lay out the exact progressions we use with our clients, and then give you further instructions on how to progress or regress the exercise using load, volume, density, time under tension, and much more.

If you’re a Coach or a Trainer and you run group classes, consider checking out Bootcamp In a Box, where you can not only get 6 months of done-for-you programming, but you literally get an entire DVD of 80+ exercises with all of our progressions and regressions, exactly how we cue and correct those exercises, and the common mistakes we see with clients when those exercises are performed (so you know what to look for!). You basically get inside our heads and see exactly how we program for our clients.

Not only that, but you get tips from Robb Wolf, author or The Paleo Solution and owner of NorCal Strength and Conditioning, discussing how he gets his clients to implement nutrition and lifestyle changes for optimal results.

We believe that we and the guys at Smart Group Training are “ahead of the curve” when it comes to training groups of clients. So don’t be left in the dust! Get your clients amazing results, fast! And save yourself HOURS worth of precious time that you would normally spend programming. Check it out TODAY!