This article was written by Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR-Ret.
Make fitness boot camp a part of your corporate culture and you will build strong teams, increase productivity and change the lives of your employees. Successfully organize and conduct your own fitness boot camp program. Implementation of a corporate fitness boot camp program costs almost nothing and results in increased productivity, less sick days, cohesive teams and lower health care costs.
For Whom Is Fitness Boot Camp?
Fitness boot camp is designed for all ages, all sizes and shapes, as well as all fitness levels. It is great for beginners and those who have never exercised before as well as for the regular exerciser. Fitness boot camp will enhance existing wellness and fitness programs or completely replace them.
Perfect For Busy Schedules
You will learn how – with little or no cost – to organize your very own fitness boot camp cells/teams. I call this the busy person’s workout, because it covers the strength, cardio and flexibility all wrapped into one workout session. Consult with your physician before beginning this or any other fitness activity.
What You Get With Fitness Boot Camp
- Builds strong teams.
- Incorporates company, family and life core values.
- Complete-body, encompassing strength, muscle endurance, flexibility and cardio.
- Can be started anytime.
- No strict workout regimen.
- Dynamic, always focused on progress.
- Can be done indoors and/or outdoors.
- For men, women, teens and children.
- For pre-beginners, beginners, intermediates and advanced.
- For young and old.
This workout is for the company looking for a creative way of getting its employees in shape while strengthening team spirit, increasing productivity and reducing absenteeism.
The purpose of implementing fitness boot camp cells/teams is to actively take on the role of getting employees, club members, family members and friends in shape and build strong, cohesive teams.
Workplace Benefits of Fitness Boot Camp
- Little to no cost.
- Use existing employee and management structure to organize.
- Enhancement of corporate culture.
- Healthier and happier employees.
- Enhanced team spirit.
- Reduced illnesses.
- Reduced loss of work time.
- Reduced injuries.
- Increased productivity and performance.
- Weight-loss and weight management.
- Nutritional guidance.
- Stress relief and stress management.
- Enhanced communication.
Appoint Team Leaders
Appoint team leaders for each cell, which will be made up of approximately six to twenty employees. This is a company-wide approach, from senior management all the way down to front-line employees. Any member of management can simply step in and join the workout with any of the teams to promote their relationships with employees while working on their own fitness and demonstrating, by example, how important this is. Management participation is a non-threatening way for senior- and mid-level management to join in on what is offered as serious fun with special emphasis on fun and teambuilding.
Decide on how best to organize your initial team cells and appoint team leaders or coordinators (one for each cell). Then, assign one individual to support all team coordinators of all the cells and to track the programs. That individual could be the wellness coordinator, supervisor, manager or some other employee. That individual should already possess a heightened level of enthusiasm for fitness and have a desire to help others.
Different Fitness Levels Train Together
All fitness levels train together. Have all employees sign a waiver for the program. If any members have medical issues, those employees would then only perform those exercises that are permissible by their physician; for example, walking but no jogging, no abs work, no squats or lunges due to knee injury. Often a simple modification of an exercise is possible. Those with medical restrictions would then perform their alternative exercises during the time the rest of the team is performing their (unmodified) exercise; or they will simply modify the team’s exercise to a safe range of motion suitable to their medical limitation.
Organize Fitness Cells
Those employees who work together on a regular basis should be organized as a part of the same fitness cell. You can organize the cells by department or cross-departmental. Have managers or peers come together; mix various management levels. Rearrange the mix of employees every six months, if you desire. Whether your business is customer service, sales, banking, law office staff, fire and rescue, hospital staff, law enforcement, school, college or university, or small business with a handful of employees, boot camp fitness cells are right for you.
Indoors or Outdoors
Another exciting aspect of fitness boot camp is these workouts can be done anywhere, whether indoors or outdoors. Keep it interesting by changing workout location, where feasible, and look for opportunities to incorporate your environment into your workout. For example, park benches are great for performing dips, and the entire team can wrap their resistance bands – also called exercise tubes – around a tree for a group upper-body exercise.
You choose a time to fit your schedule. Whether it is 10, 20, 30 or 60 minutes for fitness boot camp, it all adds up to an accumulative health benefit. I strongly recommend at least twice a week, once a week at a minimum, as a part of a corporate program with emphasis that the employees work out four to six times per week all told. If you cannot schedule fitness boot camp twice a week, schedule the frequency that will work. Make it a part of your corporate culture and your employees will take this into their private fitness routines. There is a clear connection between fitness and workplace performance.
Anyone can do it! The training is easy, and the exercises are very basic and easy to perform. The mix of exercises follows the principles of simplicity and fun. Technically, this is called functional training. Functional training focuses on training the body how it is used in activities of daily life.
Train the Trainers
Once you have identified your trainers, they need to be trained. To implement this program the trainers will only need a few basic exercises. Start with these basics and, with time, gradually introduce new exercises. The trainers are not just watching. They are performing the exercises with their team members as they guide and encourage them through the workout.
Three Basic Principles
- Warm-up. Perform toe raisers to warm up the body.
- Stretch. Stretch each body part briefly right after exercising it.
- Strength and cardio. Alternate between upper and lower body exercises.
The fun factor cannot be emphasized enough. The workouts are all performed in a light, upbeat and positive atmosphere with an emphasis on mutual respect and concern for all team members. Humor is an important element, as long as it is not demeaning, inappropriate in language, or content. No foul language is to be used by any team member. Treat the workout like a game and have a blast.
Start your fitness boot camp corporate wellness program today. Contact Kevin today to get your corporate wellness program on the road. More detail here.