Boot Camp and Mobile Trainers Survival Guide

Boot Camp or Mobile Trainer Survival Tip

When you run an outdoor boot camp class, planning is everything. Whether it’s a 6am or 6pm class, I don’t like to depend on my memory to make sure I’ve packed everything I need and then get to the park and realize I’ve forgotten a critical piece. I now have a good checklist and system in place so once my coffee kicks in, I’m ready to run class!

Related Post: Tote Stopwatches and Chase Dreams with Rachel Flanagan

Stuff that makes my life easier

  • Mats – I know a lot of trainers ask their clients to bring mats, but I always supply them, and then clean them when I get home.
  • Clipboard – I keep all of the workouts in a Google Sheets file and then print that day’s workout and put it on the clipboard, with a few copies of my waiver underneath in case any new people show up for class.
  • iPhone – This is the most important thing I bring. I need it for texting (when I hear the ding I know people are running late or slept through their alarm), playing my song list on Spotify, timing intervals, and taking pictures of people during class to post on social media. I also have the Square app on my phone so people can pay me on site.
  • Business cards in a snack sized Ziplock bag – I get asked for these a lot when people walk by class, or by boot campers wanting a card to give their friends. It’s in a Ziplock in case my bag gets wet from being out in the rain.
  • Waiver and pens – Before anyone picks up a dumbbell in my class (or in my garage gym), they all sign liability waivers. Sadly this is just a necessity of life as a trainer in 2017. I always keep three or four copies on my clipboard and several pens in my bag.
  • Water bottle

Stuff that makes my clients’ lives “easier”

  • Small dry erase boards / markers / erasers My class always includes circuits, so I write down each exercise on a dry erase board and place it next to the weights. I keep at least three markers in my bag since they dry out pretty fast. The erasers are useful because I’ll often change my mind on an exercise once I get things set up.
  • Bug spray – Non negotiable in the summer. Nothing can ruin a class like gnats or mosquitos.
  • Measuring tape – I take clients’ measurements on a regular basis, so I always keep one in my bag. The best way to keep it contained is with twist tie.
  • Portable Bluetooth speaker


  • Dumbbells, specific to that day’s workout
  • Kettlebells – I have 8ks, 10ks, 12ks, 16ks, and a 40lb one, all of which I bought off a trainer who was selling off his stash. I used nail polish to paint different colored stripes on each handle to mark the different weights.
  • 41” resistance bands (½” in width) – these are great for upper body warm-up and exercises like face pulls if you attach it to a tree or a piece of playground equipment. I buy them from since I know the quality will be good but you can also find them on Amazon.
  • Mini bands – great for warm up for beginners. These are the ones I keep in my bag.
  • Slingshot hip circles (aka The Blue Band of Terror) – These are fantastic for warm ups for your more advanced people (expect a quick outer glute burn on side stepping!) or for upping the ante on squats or glute bridge. I have several in small/medium and a few in large/XL.
  • Medicine ball – if ball slams happen to be on the menu that day
  • Jump rope – I use this on Fridays for cardio day
  • Cones – Also used on Fridays to mark sprint distances

Recommended Resources for Boot Camp Instructors:


This speaker from Amazon takes a beating in my class (it has fallen off of planters, steps, and my car more times than I care to admit) but still pumps out good sound. When I bought it a couple of years ago, it was highly rated on the Wirecutter, but has since been supplanted by some new ones.

Dry Erase Boards and Markers


I buy these mats from Amazon, which are thick and are holding up pretty well to the elements so far. At only $20 per mat, I don’t get too upset if they get beaten up outside. They were also highly rated by the Wirecutter, which is an online review site that I use often when buying new products, fitness related or otherwise. Editor’s note: for another comprehensive review of yoga mat options, check out this post from Jen Reviews on the pros and cons of open vs closed cell yoga mats.

Best of luck out there in the elements!


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