I’m always in search of the funnest fitness formats — and I absolutely adore alliteration. 😉 I’ve searched the web high and low for formats to keep my bootcamp sessions hoppin’. Here are the ones I like to use. Would LOVE to hear your favorite format options!

  1. Good ol’ 90 seconds — This is sort of my “go to” format. We do each exercise for 90 seconds and then rest for about 30 seconds between. The good thing about this format is that once you’re done with the exercise, you never have to look at it again (until the next class, at least). The bad thing about this format is, well, 90 seconds is a really freaking long time.
  2. Countdown from 10 — In this format, I choose about 20 exercises and we go through each one 10x, then 9x, then 8x, etc. We can typically get down to about the 5x round by the time class is over. Sometimes I’ll change it up and we’ll do 10x, 8x, 6x, 4x and 2x. That is fun, too. The good thing about this format is that you only have to do a max of 10 reps. The bad thing is that you keep revisiting exercises that you might like to forget.
  3. Stations — I’ll typically set up about 12 stations and clients will do the exercise at each station for 60 seconds and then have 15 seconds to rest and get to the next station. This format is always a crowd pleaser. Sixty seconds is not too brutal of an amount of time. The bad thing is, like Countdown from 10, you’ll revisit exercises a few times. When we get to the last 10 minutes or so, I typically let clients pick out their favorites to do in the remaining time.
  4. Partner — If you want a class to go by quickly and for clients to be laughing and enjoying themselves, a partner class is the way to go. People just naturally loosen up and get a little giddy when they have to directly interact with each other. They’ll also push themselves for fear of “letting down” their partner. The downside to this format can be matching up partners that are equal in fitness level, which is needed for a balanced workout.
  5. Tabata — This type of workout consists of 8 rounds of exercises to make up each Tabata. Each of the 8 exercise rounds consists of 20 seconds working, 10 seconds resting. Usually there are 8 Tabatas in a class. Rather than 8 rounds of the same exercise, I usually choose 2 exercises for each Tabata round, so it ends up being Exercise 1, Exercise 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2. I just find this to be more fun and less monotonous. Since clients are only working for 20 seconds, they’re really encouraged to give it all they have.
  6. Overload — I like to do this format about once a month with clients to monitor progress. I choose about 12 basic strength exercises  like bicep curls, sit-ups, squats, etc. and have them start at the highest level, max that out, move down to the next highest level, max that out, etc. So, for example, say they start at 15 pounds in each hand on bicep curls and they can do 8 reps. Then they move to 12 pound weights and they can do 12. They keep moving to a lower weight each time and maxing out. The top number of reps is 20 – if they can do 20, they get to move on. With an exercise like squats, I’ll have them start with jump squats holding a weight and then work their way down until they’re not holding weight and they’re not jumping.
  7. 12 Days of Working Out — This format gets its cute name from 12 Days of Christmas. I typically have about 8 stations in a straight line across the floor. Each station may consist of multiple reps. For example, station 1 may be 5 jumping jacks or 10 goblet squats. The client does station 1 and runs a lap around the room. Then they do station 1 and station 2 and run a lap around the room. Then 1, 2 and 3, and run a lap, and so on and so forth.
  8. 5, 10, 15, 20 for 5 — In this format, I choose an exercise to do 5 times, one to do 10 times, one to do 15 times, and one to do 20 times. Then the client gets through as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes. Each round of 5, 10, 15, 20 has 4 unique exercises to keep the class from getting boring. This one tends to be a popular choice with clients!


So there you have it, my top 8 class formats for bootcamp sessions. Let me know which ones I missed! I’m always looking for more.