Caveman Boot Camp

Caveman Boot Camp Instruction Manual

Outdoor training safety

  • Group training in a Boot camp environment
  • Your instructional skills—it’s not just about yelling!
  • Command, control and instructional techniques
  • Structuring your boot camp
  • Boot camp and outdoor fitness testing techniques

Do as you’re told!

Our Caveman fitness boot camp is based on the military principles of training, with discipline, but without belittling people, no screaming and especially no cursing. We pride ourselves on our motivational approach!

  • How to run Caveman Boot Camp
  • How to run the business
  • How to market the business
  • Boot Camp exercises and drills


Most Important

Check form and technique of the recruits all the time, this is the most important thing to remember and is the most important part of your job as Boot Camp instructor, incorrect form or technique can injure recruits, you are there to prevent this from happening.

We are not here to get fit ourselves! We need to be watchful, encourage and motivate all the time. If you need a workout then organize one with the business and/or other staff.


Generic Expectations

Exhaust the recruits to their maximum capabilities, we want to see them flabbergasted and sweating, this is what they are expecting from us. We push recruits to “their Limits” not anybody else’s.

The session always needs to keep going, no stopping or waiting for too long, for example while recruits are having drinks, set a time limit, i.e. “You have 8 seconds to grab a drink and be back at baseline”, keep an eye out for the ones that slack off. Do keep an eye out for the ones that really do look like they more time.


Role Call

A role call is to be performed start of every session, you need to take note of the people that did not show, as they need to receive penalties the next session – the role call also helps you with remembering the names of people.

Always ask if any recruits have any injuries before starting any type of exercise, and keep track of them through-out the session, make sure you adjust the exercises to what they can do, if anything at all. Don’t be scared to send a recruit home if you feel they are in no state to exercise, for example: sick, didn’t eat enough, hung over etc.


Discipline and Strictness

Remember this is Boot Camp, not Chat Camp, people need to stand in line, legs apart and hands behind back, (STAND TO ATTENTION!) no hands in pockets or on hips, the same is expected from instructors. If people are talking too much or not paying attention, you give them penalties, the type of penalties are up to you, some examples are: push ups, crunches, plank, burpees etc. Remember you are in charge: recruits will try and get away with things, or test how far they can push you, and get away with not doing what you ask.

People need to show up on time, be ready on time, and finish on time. It is very important that the sessions start and end at the same time every day. People need to get to work in the morning and count on the session finishing on time.

If someone talks back to you, give them penalties, and without a doubt, you will encounter people talking back at you, making jokes etc. this is all good, but discipline needs to be shown, and repercussions will follow, this does not have to be in a mean and negative way, you can respond to the joke but still give penalties, for example “yes very funny, now get down and give me 20”.

If you find penalizing the offender does not work, then penalize the whole group except the offender, you’ll find this will work.

Some phrases you can shout out when giving penalties.

  • Get down and give me 20

  • Has anyone else got something to say?

  • Why don’t we all have a laugh and get it out of our system (laugh with them); give them penalties when done

Chatting during the session needs to be minimized; a boot camp is not a chat camp. If recruits are allowed to talk when they want, they are not paying attention to the instructions given, they are not giving it their all, and are not focusing on results.

A Boot Camp instructor always needs to wear the right attire to demand respect, a company shirt and hat, and preferably camo shorts or pants.

Communicating with Recruits

Good voice projection is required, you need their full attention, and the recruits need to know that you are in CHARGE!

There is no cursing in Boot Camp, keeping people inline is done through penalties and motivation, obscene language is never used.

When giving instructions, be clear with what you expect from the recruits, for example when warming-up, don’t just say “Let’s go!”, tell them exactly what you expect from them, for example; “OK we are going on a warm up, let’s slowly start running towards the houses, or the end of the road (and give direction)”.

Don’t give too many instructions at once, people get confused, or don’t remember all of it, and they’ll get annoyed. Instructions are to be given bit by bit if they entail several steps. If the drill consists of several steps, then provide the first step of the drill, and be ready at the next step to provide further details.

Blow your whistle when you require the attention of the group, however, use common sense, keep in mind that if you are in a park where there are a lot of houses around, and it is early in the morning, keep it to a minimum and a short firm whistle. When training in areas like a sporting complex, whistles can be used to the maximum force.

When demonstrating a particular exercise do it towards them, not with your back to them, this can be very frustrating for everyone as some may not hear or see exactly what you are doing.

5 Steps of instructing

  1. Communicate verbally

  2. Demonstrate

  3. Observe

  4. Correct

  5. Motivate


Setup of Drills and Exercises

When using markers (for eg, suicides) make sure you use markers that are clearly visible, and put them on both sides of the group. Make sure you use different colours to identify what colour they are running to. Eg, 10m (red) 20m (Blue) etc, etc.

All drills, exercises and stretches need to be performed in a uniform order, wait till everyone is present, rush the ones that we wait on, make sure to keep the group busy during this time, for example with isometric exercises like: squat, push-up, plank position etc. they must hold this till everyone is present. You do not want people standing there doing nothing.

If you find a drill or exercise is not working, i.e. recruits do not understand it, it looks like they are getting bored, or not getting a work-out, change the drill immediately. If you cannot come up with another drill in time, just tell them to drop and give you 50 or send them for a lap around the oval while you think of something else.

When coming up with exercises, make sure you have alternatives in mind for recruits that cannot perform the exercise for some reason or other, i.e. injury or just not fit enough. Always demonstrate an exercise towards them not with your back to them.

Make sure the obstacles are setup prior to commencing Boot Camp if there are any drills that require setup.


Creating Groups and Leaders

When splitting up groups (for example injured and non-injured, extremely fit and not so fit) always make sure you either assign a sergeant to one of the groups, or make sure you give instructions to both groups.

Use your initiative, if you think you can use someone from the recruits as a leader, do so, but be clear about what you expect from that leader. Don’t just say “OK Frank, you are the leader, let’s go”, instead, make it clear what you expect from them for example; “OK Frank you are the leader on this warm-up, please start running till the end of the field and wait for me there, but keep active by running on the spot once you get there…”

Motivate people lagging behind, assign a leader if you are the only sergeant in the group, and get the leading people to move further with sufficient instructions. The people lagging behind need your motivation the most, motivating from a distance is not the answer.

If there are fit people present that finish their exercises way before the rest of the team, just give them more, for example; double their amount to what everyone else is doing, tell them to keep doing exercise X,Y,Z until everyone is finished. Do not let them stand around or catch their breath.



The base is where everyone meets for Boot Camp, this is where the role call will be held and most of the drills, and exercises will be commencing from. The base line can be created with markers, talk powder or any other material that creates a clear line for people to stand behind, put their bottles and towels behind.


Starting Time

Always arrive earlier than the recruits. Ask any new people to come a little earlier if it is their first time, this is to have a little chat with them, see if they have any injuries or questions.

New Arrivals

Always make it a point to greet and meet everyone new, introduce them to the rest of the recruits make them feel welcome.



Penalties are given to keep recruits inline, so they can see that there are repercussions for their actions. Always keep the fitness of the individual in mind when giving penalties, 10 push-ups can be a punishment for one, and a breeze for another.

Penalties are given for the following but not limited to:

  • Showing up late, 25 to 50 penalties per minute late
  • Talking back

  • Talking during the session

  • Not performing the exercise correctly

  • Not giving it their all

  • Not wearing the right attire

Following are some penalties to give but not limited to:

  • Tyre around the neck

  • Carry log or kettlebell through-out the session

  • Squats

  • Star jumps

  • Push ups

  • Burpees

Keep track of penalties, if a recruit has more than 50 penalties its usually not possible for the recruit to perform all penalties at once, they will then need to be performed throughout the session, and if need be, continued in the next session. Try not to make the rest of the group wait on someone performing penalties.

Do not be scared to give penalties, this is what people paid for, and you are in control! If you think someone took offence, then have a little chat with them afterwards, let them know its nothing personal, you are here to get them fit and push them to their limits.

Make sure you give out penalties once in a while (at least once a week), find a reason, this is part of Boot Camp, when done properly and choosing the right person to dish out to, it can also be a bit of fun.

Fun and Games

Although the Caveman Boot Camps are very strict, they will include fun and games once in a while, to break things up and work on the team bonding. Whatever the game, recruits will still need to work to their maximum abilities, no slacking off. Some of the games that can be played are but not limited to:

  • Bib tag

  • Dodge ball

  • Soccer

  • Red rover

  • Stuck in the mud



When talking to leads over the phone or email, always get them to make a small down payment on the same day you speak to them. This is to get them committed to the course, and remove any change of mind they might otherwise easily have. Down payments are also good to get an accurate idea of who is showing up on what day, so you can be prepared with the right equipment.

People with lower back or other serious problems should be advised to do Personal Training instead of Boot Camp.


All fees need to be paid one week prior to commencing the course.


Boot Camp Operating Times

Boot Camp will operate on the days allocated regardless of rain, hail or shine (it simply adds an extra dimension), however, it should be noted that if the recruit participates that day he/she will have to acknowledge that it may also bring along extra risks (such as mud, water, slipping etc.) and assumes full responsibility.


Boot Camp Equipment

Following is equipment regularly used for Boot Camp:

  • Jerry cans

  • Sand bags

  • Kettlebells

  • Dumbbells

  • Logs

  • Tyres

  • Rope

Utilise the surrounding area, for example; park benches, do step ups, box jumps, dips, push ups etc. Utilise the recruits body-weight, for example; piggy back squats, fireman carry, push ups with another recruit on the back, pull tyre with a recruit on it etc.


Required equipment

The following is equipment you should always have on you:

  • Mobile phone for emergencies

  • First aid kit

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