I Led Boot Camp for the First Time. Here’s What I Learned.

A Fabulous Opportunity

Last week I was given a fabulous opportunity.

My friend, Boot Camp instructor, and fellow Sweat Pink sister Melissa was out of town so no Boot Camp was scheduled.

I spent the better part of a day contemplating asking her if I could fill in while she was gone. I didn’t want to offend and I didn’t want to appear like I was stealing her clients. I went back and forth and ended up sending her a super long message trying to get all my thoughts out in a cohesive manner. Expecting the answer to be ‘no’ {why did I automatically assume the worst??}, I was ecstatic when she told me it was a great idea!

I have been considering becoming a certified personal trainer and run coach for over a year now, but haven’t taken the leap. When this opportunity presented itself I thought it would be perfect to see if I even like instructing. Maybe I would be terrible at it. I really didn’t know.

Time to Prep!

If you’ve stopped by for Workout Wednesday in the past, you know that I typically design my own workouts. I know what I like. I know what’s easy for me and what is a challenge for me. This was my first time designing a workout for someone else.

From my experience at Boot Camp I knew that everyone was at a different place physically. I knew that I needed to develop a workout that was adjustable for varying fitness levels, strengths, and weaknesses. I decided that a body weight HIIT workout would be perfect!

You know I love those HIIT workouts! 😉

I pulled together a routine that contained 10 different body weight exercises focusing on lower body, upper body, and core, as well as dynamic full body exercises.

Calling All Boot Campers!

With anything, it is hard to get people to commit. People are busy. People don’t like to leave their house once they get home after work. Last minute things pop up. You get the picture. And I understand– because I’m one of those who you’ll have a hard time getting to leave once home!

Melissa was awesome and set up a Facebook event for the Boot Camp session {her normal process} and invited all her typical clients. I also invited some of my friends to attend as well. It seemed to generate some interest– got a few ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘maybe’ responses. I had also convinced Nick to come to Boot Camp even though it’s not his favorite– he was super supportive of me teaching 🙂

And then only one person showed up.

Now What?

Melissa’s husband was the only person besides Nick to show {thank you Greg for being my guinea pig!}.

I’ll be completely honest–

I wasn’t surprised. I also wasn’t upset.

This was my first class. I don’t have a loyal following yet. I barely know the others who are typically in Boot Camp. They don’t know me or my background. They probably have never even heard of Unapologetically You. Or that I’ve been designing workouts for several months now. Or that I’ve run multiple marathons and enough half marathons that I need a second set of hands to count them on. I might not have that piece of paper stating that I am certified, but I have a wealth of practical experience, and quite a bit to share with others. But they didn’t know that about me.

So, what did I do? Waited a few minutes to see if anyone would arrive late. Then we started Boot Camp!

Nick and Greg joked that they were the “advanced group”. It was kind of intimidating to be leading two guys. Would the exercises I chose give them a hard enough workout? I guess that’s where the proper planning came into play. All the exercises I chose were customizable to different fitness levels.

Everyone left dripping in sweat 🙂 Mission accomplished.

“I led Boot Camp for the first time. Here’s what I learned. #fitness #sweatpink #fitfam”

A Glimpse Into Boot Camp

Originally I planned to demo the exercises but not actually do the full workout with the group. Since it ended up being just the three of us, my plans changed a bit. I ended up setting up in front of the pair and leading the exercises while doing it with them.

Boot Camp, Workout, HIIT

Since we waited a bit longer at the beginning there wasn’t enough time to run through everything a third time, so instead we did a quick Surya Namaskara A yoga flow to cool down then stretched. It was probably the worst led yoga ever haha. I know how to do Surya Namaskara A, but being put on the spot I couldn’t remember the names of each move and ended up just sort of explaining what to do next. It was awkward, but got the job done.


I had created cute little feedback forms for everyone to fill out. But since it ended up being just Nick and Greg we talked through positives and deltas. I think {hope} they gave honest feedback.

Boot Camp, Workout, HIIT, Feedback

Afterwards Nick told me that I looked really happy teaching.

Despite the slim turnout I had fun, I got a good workout, and it looked like the guys did too.

I’m already brainstorming a routine for next time– think stability and BOSU balls 🙂 I’ll be filling in for Melissa again Tuesday September 15th. If you’re local I’d love for you to join us!

Your turn! Have you ever taught a group class {anything– doesn’t need to be fitness related} and had a low turnout? How did you handle it? If you’ve taught Boot Camp or similar what was your biggest takeaway from your first class? What is your absolute favorite place to work out?

This post is linked up with Fitful Focus for #FitnFashionable Friday– Make sure to stop by and say hi!

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