March 23

15 Fun Bootcamp Games That Will Make You Look Good

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When I first started running group fitness classes, I often struggled with the fun element. Back then, there were no Facebook groups to share ideas, and only a handful of websites containing very basic ideas existed. 

Over the years I have tried and tested hundreds of bootcamp games. The ones that worked the best had the right balance of fun and toughness.

The bootcamp games I'm going to share with you today have that balance, so you can have fun, but more importantly get results at the same time. 

Without further a do, here are.

15 Fun Bootcamp 

Games You Need To Try

online workout programs

The first bootcamp game I want to share with you is called Roll, Win, Benefit.

In this fun 10 minute bootcamp game, the objective  is to score points and make the opposing team work harder. You can create many different bootcamp games with this drill by switching out the exercises.

Title: Roll, Win, Benefit

Time: 15 Minutes

Method: Split the group in to 2 teams and have them facing as shown.

Round 1
Step 1: Give the end 2 players from each team a dice, and ask them to roll it.

Step 2: Show the group an exercise to complete for 60 seconds (I.e. Push ups).

Step 3: The team that rolled the highest number stops at 40 seconds whilst the losing team completes the full 60 seconds.

Play 15 rounds in total. After each round the dice is passed to the next 2 players in line from each team. The team with the most points at the end of the challenge wins.

bootcamp games

The next fun bootcamp game I want to share with you is called Mexican wave. For this example we will use the burpee exercises, but you can use any exercise you like. 

Title: Mexican wave

Time: 5 Minutes

Method: Split the group in to two teams and have them face. Starting at one end of the team line (right side), each player completes a single burpee. The first team to finish wins a point. The team with the most points over 15 games wins. 

Note: If you happen to have odd numbered teams the trainer joins in. These are really past pasted games so make sure you keep the flow going. As soon as one game finishes you should be ready to initiate the next game straight away. 

fun bootcamp games for trainers

Fun Bootcamp Games using a kettle-bell. I think you'll really like this idea. You can conduct this fitness challenge using any exercise. Today we're using a tough compound exercise  called the power lifter. 

Title: Power Lifter

Time: 10 Minutes

Method: Players complete power lifters for 4 minutes max reps. Once finished players take have a 2 minute break. During the break, ask players to swap scores with one another. In round two players complete power lifters for 4 minutes max reps. The goal is to beat their partners score. 

Note: Ask players to swap scores with somebody of a similar ability.

Two  Tough Commando Bootcamp Games 

Royal Marine training brings back some fond memories. Although it was physically and mentally demanding, I got through it and earned my Green Beret.  In the picture above I was putting my troop through a few tough bootcamp drills

This workout side of things included things like..

  • Log runs
  • Assault courses
  • Circuit training
  • Team building workouts
  • Combat training
  • Speed marches (run walk repeat with heavy kit covering a large distance)
  • Rope climbs
  • Battle field drills
  • Beach assaults 
  • Ambush techniques
  • Night navigation 
  • Camouflage and concealment
  • Tactical and leadership
  • Etc.

And a hell of a lot of push ups, especially if you got in trouble.

fun bootcamp games

It was awesome. Each morning we had to lay our kit out ready for inspection, and if it wasn't pristine clean, we got flanked. 

It's the last thing you happen to you. Once the inspection is over, you've got a bunch of recruits stood next to their kit (the lucky ones), anD a bunch of guys stood side by side - flanked. 

As we wait for the PTI's to arrive, the guys in the flank look pale and miserable. They know whats coming. After phys the head PTI shouts. 

"Raise you hands if you where flanked - follow me"  You couldn't see what was going on because they where too far away, but you could hear the screams. 

In 8 months of training, I got flanked once, and thats because I had never been flanked. Thanks Corporal Macrumbe. The Corporals loved testing out their made up drills on the recruits when they messed up. 

Here are a few of their fierce Bootcamp Games From Commando Training

fun group fitness ideas

Drill 1: Have your clients assume the push-up then repeat the following.

  • "Arm bend, arms stretch 
  • Arm bend, arms stretch
  • Arm bend, arms stretch
  • Arm bend, arms stretch
  • Arm bend, arms stretch
  • Arm bend, arms stretch
  • 5 in your own time go on"

In a normal bootcamp setting, ask players to go for as long as they can safely manage. The last player to remain is the winner. This is an excellent drill for mixed ability groups because everybody can work at the intensity that is right for them. 

For the recruits in commando training, this would go on for quite a while. This is why I become so good at push-ups. Btw, arms bend is the lowering phase of the push-up,and arms stretch is back up. 

Drill 2: Another one of their favourites. Complete squats for 30 seconds then hold for 30 seconds. Repeat adding on an extra 5 seconds to each round. As you can image, holding the squat position with 30lbs of military kit is not a nice feeling. 

Drill 3: At the end of a corporate session a while back, my clients asked me what was the most brutal finisher I could throw at them. Can you believe they actually asked that?

  • Plank for 60 seconds then complete 10 push ups
  • Plank for 50 seconds then complete 10 push ups
  • Plank for 40 seconds then complete 10 push ups
  • Plank for 30 seconds then complete 10 push ups
  • Plank for 20 seconds then complete 10 push ups
  • Plank for 10 seconds then complete 10 push ups

I could have conjured up something much worse, but I wasn't there to kill them. 

How To Craft Fun Bootcamp Games Using Pretend Money

Title: Cashless Cracker 
Equipment: Pens and paper

Players: 2+

Time: 30 Minutes

Method: List 8 exercises and give each exercise a value. Give each player a pen & paper. The first player to spend $1000 wins. Players can spend their money however they wish.

  1. 20 Push-ups: $25
  2. 20 Ups & Downs: $25
  3. 20 Squats: $25
  4. 20 Burpees: $40
  5. 20 Walk Downs: $40
  6. 20 Power Jacks: $25
  7. 20 Get ups: $40
  8. 20 Sit-up Super Twist: $25

Note: You can either stop the game when you have a winner or let everybody finish.

How I Turned The Sandwich Circuit In To 2 Tough Team Games

strength training

Although I spend most of my time creating group fitness ideas for my Workout Design Club members, I also like to get creative with my own workout ideas.

A Sandwich Circuit is when you sandwich a cardio element between two strength exercises. For example. 

Complete each exercise for 1 minute x 10 rounds. 

  • 25 Push ups
  • 20m shuttle sprints 
  • 10 Weighted squats

For me, adding a sprint element to a strength-based drill kills two birds with one stone. I can train strength and cardio at the same time, which help me with my football training. 

The next time you design a strength based workout for your group, break it up with shuttle sprints (or a different cardio element). It makes things much more intense, and they'll work up a good sweat.

Here are a couple of fun bootcamp games using  a sandwich circuit. The first game is called points blitz. 

Two Tough Bootcamp Games

1

Points Blitz Challenge

Method: Write the following on something the group can see. 

  1. 10 Push ups
  2. 2 x 20m shuttle sprints 
  3. 10 Burpees

Players have 10 minutes to complete as many rounds as they can. When the time is up players use the chart bellow to see how well they performed. 


  • 4 Rounds: Poor
  • 5 Rounds: Average
  • 6 Rounds: Good
  • 7 Rounds: Very good
  • 8 Rounds: Elite
2

Super AMRAP Workout

Method: Write the following on something the group can see. 

  1. 15 Push ups
  2. 2 x 20m shuttle sprints 
  3. 15 Squat jumps

Split the group in to 2 teams. Players have 10 minutes to complete as many rounds as they can (AMRAP). When the challenge is over ask one player from each team to add up all individual scores with a calculator. The team with the most points wins.

3

Partner Workout

Method: Write the following on something the group can see. 

  1. 15 Squat jumps
  2. 2 x 20m shuttle sprints 
  3. 20 Kettle-bell swings

Split the group in to teams of 2 (pair weaker with stronger if possible) then mark out a large running circle.


Round 1: Player 1 jogs clockwise around the circle while player 2 complete all 3 exercises in the middle of the circle. Then, Player 2 jogs clockwise around the circle while player 1 complete all 3 exercises in the middle of the circle.


Teams have 12 minutes to complete as many rounds as they can.


Optional:  The top three teams with the highest score avoid a forfeit.

The 11 Components of Fitness And How You Can Use Them To Design Fun Team Games

Components-of-Fitness-bootcamp-games

When I studied to be a trainer, one of the first things I learnt was the 11 components of fitness.

1. Agility
2. Balance
3. Body Composition
4. Cardiovascular Endurance
5. Coordination
6. Flexibility
7. Muscular Endurance
8. Muscular Strength
9. Power
10. Reaction Time
11. Speed training

Here's A Cool Strength Workout Based Around The EMOM Protocol 

How many of these components do you include in your training programme?

Utilising the 11 components will help you create a more effective and fun training programme for your clients. If you can turn them into fun bootcamp games and challenges, all the better. 

I mean, when was the last time you incorporated reaction time, coordination or agility into one of your group sessions?

Going over my old course material today has made me realise just how much I've forgotten, and how much I forget to apply when I'm creating my workout programmes for the week. 

Fun Bootcamp Games That Develop Strength, Endurance And Reaction

agility training


Lets talk about balance and coordination, which are probably the least developed

skills in a group training programme.

"Having good dynamic balance can help improve your coordination and ability to react to sudden changes of direction, both of which can help reduce the risk of an accidental fall" (Credit, Pete McCall - 5 Benefits of Training for Dynamic Balance read more....)

When was the last time you purposely included these elements into your group session? If it was a while back, or never. Here are five ideas to get you going. 

Here Are Five Bootcamp Ideas To Get You Going. 

1

Tennis Ball Focus

  • Stand opposite your partner (2m apart) on one leg. Throw a tennis ball back and forth at different heights and angles. Hand-eye coordination/balance.
  • 2

    Partner Bosu Drill

    Include two Bosu balls as part of a broader circuit. Players stand on the Bosu and throw a tennis ball back and forth at different hight and angles.

    3

    Wobble Board

  • Use a wobble board as part of a broader circuit. Have one player on the next station completing squats so they can throw a tennis ball to the person on the wobble board. 
  • 4

    In Reverse Lunge

    Lunge walk backwards for 20 - 30 metres. It takes a lot more balance and coordination than going forward. It's surprisingly challenging. Try it. 

    5

    Agility Ladders

    Did you know? Agility ladder drills are considered a type of high-intensity interval training. Agility ladder training improves speed, agility and quickness which in turn strengthens your joints, ligaments and tendons. Agility ladder movements include lateral shuffles, skipping through rungs, and other movements conducted up and down the ladder. 


    Set out three ladders, one for each level of fitness. Beginner, intermediate and advanced. This way players can work at the right intensity without being slowed down by less fiter member. 

    5

    Copy Cat Challenge

    TitleCopy Cat
    Players: 2+

    Time: 15 minutes


    Method: Split the group in to pairs. Pairs face each other.


    Round 1: Player one copies players two's movements for 90 seconds, then player two copies player ones movements for 90 seconds. Here are the four movements players are allowed to use. 


    1. Shuffle left two steps, touch the floor, back into centre
    2. Shuffle right two steps, touch the floor, back into centre
    3. Jump up
    4. Touch the floor
    5. Complete one burpee

    Play 4 rounds in total. After each round, ask players to switch partners. 

    6

    Partner Mirror Challenge

    TitlePartner mirror Challenge
    Players: 2+

    Time: 15 minutes


    Method: Split the group in to pairs. Pairs face each other.


    Round 1: Player one randomly switches between any exercise they like for 90 seconds and player two mimics as closely as possible. Once finished, players switch roles and go again.  


    For example: Player one completes squats for 10 seconds, then breaks in to burpees for 10 seconds, then squats for 10 seconds, then back to burpees and so on. Player two copies. 


    Play 4 rounds in total. After each round, ask players to switch partners. 

    Final Thoughts


    "A while back, I watched the eagerly anticipated boxing match between George Groves & Eubank jr. Eubank jr was the hot favourite to win, but Groves won in convincing fashion, making Eubank jr. look like an amateur. When asked, what was the secret to beating Eubank jr, Groves replied.

    "It all comes down to one thing, boxing fundamentals"

    That's what give me the idea to dig out my old course material for a refresher on the 11 Components of Fitness. Whenever you're creating new workouts, have the 11 components of fitness to hand and make sure you include as many as you can.

    You can create bootcamp games, finisher drills, team workouts, partner challenges etc. If you've got any good balance and coordinations drills you'd like to share, please hit reply and let me know".

    Leon Melnicenko


    How To Design Fun Bootcamp Games Using Board Games

    There are loads of board games you can adapt to create fun fitness games and different bootcamp workout ideas. I.e.

    • Bootcamp Monopoly
    • Snakes and ladders
    • Battle ships
    • Cluedo
    • Trivial Pursuit
    • Scrabble
    • ​Uno
    • Risk
    • Yahtzee
    • Etc

    A while back I had a go a creating my own. You can right click and save the image.

    bootcamp games ideas
    TitleBomb Proof
    Players: 4+

    Time: 20 minutes

    Method: Split the group in to teams of 2. Give each team a dice and a counter to move on the board. Show the group 5 bootcamp exercises.

    Round 1: Teams complete 10 reps of each exercise. Once finished, they roll their dice and move the counter forward that many spaces. If they land on a feature (bomb, smiley face etc) they complete the action.

    Teams have 20 minutes to complete the board. The team that finishes first, or advances the furthest wins.

    WANT MORE CREATIVE IDEAS?

    You can find my entire collection of bootcamp workouts (1800+) inside the Workout Design Design Club. AKA The group fitness search engine. Hit play and I'll show you how it works. 

    Leon Melnicenko

    P.S If you have any questions about any of the bootcamp games and workout drills on this page, please let me know in the comments below.





    Tags

    bootcamp exercises, bootcamp ideas, bootcamp workouts, Challenging Boot Camp Drills, Challenging Bootcamp Exercises, Challenging Bootcamp Workouts, Challenging Exercises For A Bootcamp, fun bootcamp games


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