Keeping clients interested with little/no equipment might sound like a difficult thing to do, but really all you need is a solid routine, the great outdoors, good energy, and a motivating attitude.

So, go ahead and steal this routine when you need something low cost and effective.

Low-To-No-Budget Boot Camp

Divide the class into three groups, and start one group at each station. Each group spends two minutes at each station. Don’t forget to give approximately a 20 to 30-second allowance for station switching.

Warmup (entire class together)– five minutes

Ankle rolls, hip circles, shoulder rolls, marching in place and torso rotations are all great choices for a warmup. Do them each for about a minute and you’re good to go!

Station One– jump rope [or jumping jacks for a truly zero-cost routine]

Station Two– laps

Rotation one- easy running

Rotation two- faster out, easy return

Rotation three- fast out, moderate return

Final rotation- fast out, fast return

Station Three– planks

Rotation one- traditional plank

Rotation two- traditional plank

Rotation three- side plank

Final rotation- side plank

Station Four– Everyone back together for a “mini-break” where instructor leads light aerobic movements such as marching or jumping in place.

Repeat for four full rotations

Cool Down- five minutes

What to love about this routine:

Jump rope and jumping jacks aren’t just kids play! Besides kicking up the heart rate, these exercises work the glutes and deltoids.

What’s not to love about the ab-working plank? It’s a great way for clients to challenge themselves with an easy way to “see” progress. Simply add a timer to the mix to see how many seconds each participant can add to planks during the second, third, and fourth rotations. And we all know that nothing motivates quite like seeing progress and results.

After that, round it out with the more intense cardio — running.

This routine reminds clients that exercise can be simple and that equipment isn’t always necessary. It can be freeing to realize, or remember, that push ups and planks give that sought after burn and that a simple lap or two around the block brings on a sweat. To put it simply, basic routines encourage clients to do something, to move, even if they can’t get to the gym between personal training sessions!

There’s more to love. All the exercises in the zero-cost boot camp are versatile. Take planks for example. You can choose the traditional plank, side plank, or planks with one leg elevated!

For laps, you can increase the speed goals, or for added challenge, increase the distance on each rotation while still requiring the same number of laps.

If you prefer, you can simplify even more by tailoring static stations to suit your class’ general level of fitness instead of increasing the level of difficulty each rotation. Either way, your class will get a good sweat going!

Tanisha Rule

Tanisha Rule has a BA in English and is a former Mad Dogg-certified Spinning instructor. She taught indoor cycle and boot camp and has now combined her passions as a full-time writer for the health and fitness industries, check out her site at If she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found happily training for an endurance event, likely after having said, “This is my last one for a while,” because there is no finish line; there is only progress.