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Workout/Boot Camp Ideas

In this Blog, you are going to get a ton of new ideas to make sure you won’t have another, boring, run-of-the-mill gym session for a long time to come.

Although we’re in the last of the Summer months, it can be hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym. And even when you do find a way to get to to the gym, going through the same old routine can be tiresome. So, in this blog, we are going to open your mind up to a world of different possibilities. You will find a ton of new exercises designed to get you in and out of the gym faster, as well as making the routine more enjoyable.

Circuit Training

You don’t need to be qualified as a Personal Trainer to do a set up a . To quote Dwight Schrute (quoting Michael Scott) KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid... hopefully, that didn’t hurt your feelings. The most common way for doing a circuit is doing it for 40 seconds with 20 seconds rest. 

Choosing the exercises to cover the main movements of the entire body is easy if you follow this formula:

 - Include an exercise for a squat movement (like a goblet squat) 
- Hinge movement (where your hips move back, but there isn’t much movement in your knees, like a deadlift variation or kettlebell swing)
- A Push movement (Push up variations or chest press)
- A Pull movement (Row)
- A Carry (Farmer Walks)

After that, you can mix in some cardio like jumping jacks or lunges. Or you could work on arms or core to fill out the 8 exercises. But the first 5 will give you a full-body workout. The last 3 for a bit more variety. I like to finish on cardio to push through the final 40 seconds before getting a break. 

Doing 3 rounds, with a warm-up and cool down, will give you a great 40-45 minute workout! 

As great as circuits can be, they can still get a bit repetitive. So here are a few other workouts you can throw into your routine. 


A Tabata is based on an intense 4-minute workout where you work hard for 20 seconds, get a 10-second rest and then go again for another 20 seconds. It’s 8 rounds to reach the 4-minute mark. You can switch up the exercises (use squat then hinge for example) or keep the exercise the same for 4 minutes. Choose exercises that are challenging and have you begging for those 20 seconds to be up as you head into later rounds. So squats and slow-paced exercises are out. But don’t make the exercises too difficult either. I have seen people perform sprints where they are jogging the last few rounds and push-ups where they can barely get 1 rep in. You want to be challenged and still complete the exercise round at a high intensity. Running up steps, squat jumps and lightweight reps can be good Tabatas. You can also mix and match the exercises to make them flow. For example, you can follow along with me on this kettlebells tabata using swings and a figure of 8 in a squat hold. 

There are a load of different Tabata songs on Spotify which will save you from always looking at the clock. 

Using Different Equipment

It can be hard to come up with different exercises if you are stuck in the same routine over again. Using the same dumbbells, kettlebells or machines. Sure, you can maybe do a ladder and run through it. But you couldn’t have 20 different exercises with that. Well, actually, you could. Here are 20 different exercises using only a ladder for a workout. And if you are looking for something with more resistance, I have the same series of videos involving tyres, slam balls and battle ropes to give you a quick high-intensity workout. Pick out some of your favourites to try in your next session. 

Change the Count

Challenging yourself to do 100 reps of an exercise to finish a session sounds great, and hard, in theory. But actually doing it is pretty boring. And your form is likely to get reasonably dodgy in the second half of the reps. Two ways I like to switch it up is to use a 10 vs 1 method and a count of 1 to 10 back to 1. 

With the 10 vs 1 method, I use 2 exercises. Let’s say Burpees vs V-Sits. Do 10 Burpees. Only 1 V-Sit and then get a break. Then do 9 reps of burpees, 2 squats. 8 and 3 etc. You’ll get tired as the workout progresses, but the harder exercise (Burpee) has fewer reps, making the workout out more achievable. You can follow along with me on this workout finisher by clicking HERE or a Burpees vs Squats Ladder HERE. With the 1 - 10 - 1 method, doing this with squats allows little breaks but also to keep the focus on your form and that you are getting full reps. And counting reps up to 10 and then back down to 1 sounds a lot easier than doing 100 reps… which is what you are doing. 

Using Music 

Rooooooxxxxanneee. If that doesn’t give you shivers, then you haven’t been to many boot camp classes. Using songs that repeat the same word a lot is excellent for using them in a finisher. For example. If you can hold a plank for over 2 minutes, try playing this song and every time you hear Sting say ‘Roxanne’ you pop up into a press-up position and then back down. Make it harder by doing a squat thrust when he says ‘red-light’ before dropping back down into a plank and waiting for that next ‘Roxanne’ call. 

Sound too complicated to keep up with? Well, a CrossFit favourite, Flower by Moby, keeps it a lot more straightforward. Using squats as an example (or with a weight if this sounds too easy), when Moby says ‘up’, you stand. And when he says ‘down’ you squat and you stay down in the squat position until he says ‘up’ again. Sounds easy, right?

Complex Finishers

If you haven’t got time for a full workout, or if you have time at the end of your workout for a high-intensity finisher: short, 15-20 minute high-intensity complex finisher will help with your cardio as well as fat burning.

Complex finisher invokes taking one piece of exercise equipment and doing 3-5 exercises for x amount of reps as fast as we can. You would use lighter than average weight with this finisher but blast through the exercises.

This type of high-intensity training will work on our EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption). Basically, elevating our heart rate to burn more calories long after the workout is over.

But you can’t half-ass each set. If you can comfortably hold a conversation during these exercises, or sing the national anthem as I was told during one of my recent boot camp sessions, you are going way too easy on yourself.

You can do a bodyweight complex finisher like 4 Rounds and 10 Reps Each of:

Jumping Jacks
Split Leg Squats (Right Leg)
Split Leg Squats (Left Leg)
Inchworm Out and Back
Squat Jumps

Or you can do something similar with dumbbells, such as:

Front Squats
Romanian Deadlifts
Hammer Curl and Press


Standing for Every Minute On the Minute, and EMOM workout can be a great finisher. Pick an exercise that you can blast through but takes a lot to recover. In this example, I picked 20 push-ups. You can do it for Kettlebell Swings and Burpees. I would recommend something that takes less than 35 seconds to complete as the time will get longer as the rounds progress. 

Other Possible Finishers:

Walking Lunges and Drop Sets On Slam Balls: Get a heavy slam ball and lunge walk. 8 Slams and repeat, with no break, with a lighter slam ball. Do this for a lighter slam ball after that, and your legs will be burning.

Wall Core Finisher: In a press-up position, facing a wall. Put your hands up against the wall while holding the rest of your body in a press-up position. The higher up you place your hands on the wall and the longer you hold the exercise will define how tough you make it on yourself (the lower the hands are, the harder it is!) After the hold give your core a breather... by doing a squat thrust and push up. Go for as many reps as you can to finish the workout strong. 

CrossFit Challenges: To be completely honest, I think some of their challenges, anything involving kipping pull-ups and Olympic lifts is too much a lot of people to handle and stay safe. But I make an exception for their Murph challenge. If you are good at pull-ups, click the link HERE to see what this one is all about. 

Push-Ups into Prowler Sprints: Do 10 Push Ups, blast out Prowler Sprints for up to 20 seconds and take your rest for a minute before doing another 5 rounds. 

Running The Rack: Using all of the dumbbells. Start with the heaviest weight you can do curls with, and once you form gets really bad then drop the weight. Your form is not going to be perfect as you progress but if it is more shoulders and leaning back than biceps, drop the weight. 

I guarantee you’ll feel this in the arms when you are finished. But just in case you feel like you can squeeze a little more out of them: On your last set, when you can not do any more curls, hold the weight halfway up for as long as you can.

A New Challenge

If you’re looking at this and thinking, ‘Seán, this is great and all but I just don’t have the motivation’, then I’ve got the perfect challenge for you. Right now, I’m putting everything together for a 60 Day Challenge at the end of September, using a new eBook filled with exercises and nutrition advice as well as recipes. But I need to test it out first to help perfect the challenge before launching it. And to do this, I am doing a 28 Day Challenge, coinciding with my own yearly challenge. I would love for you to be involved in the challenge and use your success as a case study and blueprint for the 60 Day Challenge. And for helping me out, I am offering a HUGE discount for this 28 Day Challenge. You will get all the materials to help build a strong foundation to lead to a leaner, fitter and healthier you. Plus a few extras added to this package as a thank you for trusting me to deliver as well. 

For more details, drop me a message saying ‘tell me more’ (or email

We start this Monday, August 12th. If you’re ready to take back your summer, you do not want to miss this offer.