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Bootcamp Fitness Business Help: How to Run a Successful Bootcamp

Pat Rigsby Gives Fitness Business Help for Bootcamps

Yesterday, I received an email from a customer looking for fitness business help, specifically with bootcamps. Here’s what it said:

“There are too many fitness bootcamp businesses out there. What can I do that’s different?”

I gave him a quick response, but I’m going to elaborate here.

The bottom line these days is that…

fitness business help

I will agree with him to a point: There are a LOT of fitness bootcamps now. A whole lot. In 2009, you could open a bootcamp business and win by default. They were the new thing in fitness, and if you were first mover, you were almost automatically assured of success.

No more.

Now we’re past that stage, and we’re on to the time where you actually need to be able to deliver a good product to succeed.


The people that we’ve worked with through the Bootcamp Blueprint and now through Fitness Revolution have been prepared for this for a while. They were told 2 years ago that if they wanted to be able to succeed over the long haul, they needed to treat their camps like group personal training, not the crappy bootcamps that have become so prevalent.

See, as far as I’m concerned, there’s always room in the market for a GREAT business.

A business that delivers an extraordinary experience and provides a great value to its clients.

If you can do that, the market is never too crowded for greatness.

But if you thought that you could head over to the park, tell people to take a couple of laps, do some jumping jacks and push ups, and build a $10,000 a month fitness bootcamp business without providing anything of real value, you’re an idiot.

The fitness industry-no, make that the world-doesn’t need another crappy fitness bootcamp. It doesn’t need another personal trainer who doesn’t care about being a great coach nor is committed to getting their clients results.

That’s why I feel very fortunate that the fitness professionals we tend to attract are the ones who care about training. They work hard to become better at their craft. There are plenty of the personal trainers who are not really concerned about client results or delivering an extraordinary experience, and any success they enjoy is short-lived.

fitness business help

So here’s some fitness business help you can use right away: a quick checklist of how to still enjoy success running a bootcamp business in spite of the increased competition and the fact that every health club on the planet either is already offering a bootcamp or will be before you know it.

  • You can call your bootcamp a bootcamp, but it better be more like group personal training than health club group exercise if you want to succeed. Why should someone pay you $99-$299 a month for something they can get at the local health club as part of their membership?
  • Going off this point, call your bootcamp something else. Otherwise, you run the risk of “bootcamp” setting potential clients against your pricing.
  • Treat your clients like family. Focus on creating a close-knit community.
  • Determine a clear and obvious reason why people should choose you. Without that, they are going to decide on price alone, and that’s not a battle you want to be in.
  • Look at what most fitness bootcamps do, then do the opposite.

The bottom line is this: A few lucky souls get a huge competitive advantage by being first when anything new occurs. Apple does it with things like the iPhone and iPad – they get a head start, then everyone else has to catch up. If you miss out on being that first mover, there is still plenty of opportunity to achieve great success – but you have to do it by actually delivering something special.

fitness business help

You can try to use gimmicks or underprice everyone else and probably have some short-term success, but the only way you can build lasting success-with a fitness bootcamp business or anything else-is to develop something great. Deliver an experience that your competition can’t match. Give people an obvious reason to choose you above all other competitors. Do that and you can compete successfully in any market no matter the competition.

That’s my two cents. Tell me what you think of my fitness business help below…

Dedicated to your success,


fitness business helpPat Rigsby is a Co-Owner of the International Youth Conditioning Association & the youth fitness franchise Athletic Revolution as well as a fitness industry consultant serving thousands of personal trainers and fitness entrepreneurs. Sign up for his free fitness business newsletter to discover proven marketing, sales and business strategies for your fitness or fitness bootcamp business along with blog updates, news, and more! While you’re at it, follow him on Twitter.

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Facebook comments:

  • Steve Long

    We’ve had countless people say they have attended multiple other bootcamps but this is the first time they have decided to stick with one because of the higher level of service and training. It’s a great feeling to hear that and that’s just another reason to strive to better than the rest. I was talking to a local bootcamp owner today actually who asked me how I could charge so much when he charges only $70 right down the road. I told him you get what you pay for. Thanks Pat for the great post and I am SO GLAD you told me this 2 years ago :-)

  • Steve Long

    PS. At least in the picture above they are doing their crappy pushups at an incline instead of putting their feet up on the park benches and knocking out some lumbar hyperextension pushups like I’ve seen the locals doing around here :-) Blah!

  • georgette pann

    Good article Pat.. I agree Steve we have same experience…clients will try out other camps and come back to us..I will say we did have the luck of being the first camp in the area…a huge plus

  • Dale

    Great article Pat

  • marc rosamilia

    I agree Pat, our market is saturated with imitators its time to be innovators!

  • Justin Yule

    Right on sir!

    I predict there will be a lot of injuries with all these get ya tired, beat ya down, crap boot camps.

    All the more reason we need to separate ourselves from that stigma.

    It really is group personal training when done right.

    Thanks for being a leader in the industry who focuses on quality and integrity!

    Justin Yule, BS, CPT

  • Elyse

    We are all in the business of changing people’s lives right? Can do that with crap and a greedy attitude. It takes hard work, attention to detail and true caring for your clients and for the product you deliver them. They will see right thru the crap.

    Thanks Pat! As usual, speaking the truth.

  • Nathan Cragg

    We did fitness testing this week and a challenge session today. Results aren’t in yet, but some literally doubled and tripled their scores in their first month :)

    While other camps are trying to see how many they can get in, we focus on quality and now moving to a new location :)

  • Mike Bevard

    Great post Pat!

    You’re right, it’s seems like there’s a new fitness boot camp popping up every month. But anybody can make people tired and wear them out. That’s not the sign of a good boot camp. You need proper program design, passion, energy, deliver high value and create an experience that changes people’s lives.

    And most of those cookie cutter camps are run by people who just consider themselves trainers instead of fitness professionals.

    I applaud those fitness pros on here that choose to stand out from the rest, and are dedicated to raising the bar and changing the standards in the fitness industry!

    Thanks for all you do Pat!

    Get after it!

  • Greg

    Thanks for all your brilliant work Pat. I really enjoy all your writing and find it inspiring and useful.

    Loved to photo of you and your family- you all look so cheery!
    Take care,
    Greg ( Scotland)

  • Linda Juranich

    Thanks Pat for an awesome article!
    My Boot Camp/PT business, Total Body Fitness is constantly compared to other Boot Camps that are run by gyms or PT’s. And I too have had clients leave me to find out that the service I give them is far more superior than that of my competition.
    I have a strong constitution when it comes to the health and fitness of my clients and refuse to get caught up in the competitive game of “whoever destroys the client the best” is the better camp. Those camps seem to forget about the building blocks of fitness and progression of exercises.
    Success of fitness and wellness runs way deeper than the muscle.
    The professionals that understand that and teach fitness from their heart are the successful ones!
    Thanks again for your upfront honesty and professionalism.
    Linda Juranich
    Total Body fitness

  • Carlos Sanchez

    Pat I’m celebrating 5 years this June thanks to you and your partners. I agree that successful boot camps are more like group personal training. Being 1st did give me an advantage. But I must point out that Apple was not 1st in the mp3 market, smart phone or tablets. They were actually quite behind every one else about 3-5 years. When they did introduce products it was only after observing competitors and making sure they’re products
    1. Actually worked
    2. Provided value
    3. Unique user experience

    Most that are 1st to market are also the 1st to become irrelevant if they don’t re-invent themselves.

    I’m the most expensive boot camp in my area because I was first and my model was built on a pre-recession bubble tactics.

    When I started there was no groupon, facebook deals, etc. The consumer in my market doesn’t care as much about exclusivity. They want a good product at a fair market price. The average home in my area sells for $485k but they don’t want to feel indulgent when making a purchase.

    I’ve been doing some testing and as soon as I dropped my prices my enrollement doubled. Duh! I never dropped prices because I was stuck in a pre-recession mind set.

    After my groupon deal drops I plan on officially slashing prices across the board.

    My new tag line
    Maplewood Boot Camps
    Group Personal Training
    Powered By Renewable Energy Yours!

  • Trevor Buccieri

    Pat. Killer brother. I have heard you say it over and over again and I am just so glad to be one of your students that took it to heart. Not that its easy, but when you keep these thought in mind each and every day when attacking your business, it makes it clear what needs to be done to accomplish greatness! Thanks so much man.


    Great post Pat! As always, you must keep yourself in the loop and know what’s going on around you. You must scan your competitors and stay one step ahead. You never want to spend a lot of time wondering about your comp, but know that they are there and you must continue to provide an exemplary service to your “family”.

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  • Vaklev Bastian

    well said

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