The Bootcamp Journey A customer report by TeamUp

Real customer research for
bootcamp businesses.

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Introduction to the Fitness Journey research

Susan is 32 years old, and new to London. Back in Canada, she used to attend bootcamp, but now she’s not sure if she’ll find her “people” or a fitness group that can live up to what she had back home. She’s definitely missing working out, but she’s not quite ready to make the jump to go search for what she needs.

Then, something shifts. Something changes in Susan’s life. What happened to cause the shift? We don’t know.

So, Susan starts to ask around. Her coworkers go to yoga together, but that’s not enough of a workout for her. She thinks maybe CrossFit or boxing would work for her, but isn’t sure the culture would fit with her personality. How is Susan choosing where to workout? We don’t know.

After a eight months, Susan finally finds something that looks like it might be a fit. She sees a Facebook ad for a local bootcamp, and it’s run by a woman who seems passionate about the work. When she goes to the website, she can see pictures of the bootcamp and biographies of the instructors. How is she choosing whether to book? We don’t know.

She decides to book a class, and shows up. It’s a beautiful day out now, but what happens when the field gets muddy, she wonders. What does she need in this first class to make her feel that this is the right place for her? We don’t know.

Fitness business owners - and especially those who also teach classes - can answer these questions. When you decided to run a successful fitness business, you had to pay attention to what drives your customers to choose you, book with you, and stay with you. This research is meant to supplement your instinct.

The data in the Fitness Journey project makes sure your business attracts the people you are trying to attract.

The results in this report can be used for your business’ brand strategy, class planning, and marketing messaging and distribution.

You can use the information from this report when making big decisions, planning a marketing campaign, choosing where to put your marketing, when you’re writing out flyers, emails and web pages, hiring contractors, and onboarding new instructors or employees.

The Challenge

Pro Impact is a bootcamp fitness program based in Orpington, UK. Stephanie, Pro Impact’s owner and main instructor, runs a series of outdoor programs. Her enthusiasm, hustle, and community spirit bring neighbours and friends out every week no matter what the weather. There’s only one problem: Stephanie is stretched thin, feeling sometimes like she’s “living out of her car” because of how she drives between classes during the week. How can she grow Pro Impact and take some time for herself at the same time?

The stages of the Bootcamp Journey

The beginning
1
“I work so much, it’s hard to find fitness that’s both affordable and local.”
Finding Pro Impact
2
“I saw some people working out in the field near my house.”
Choosing Pro Impact
3
“Once Stephanie gave me a programme and a waiver, I knew this was a professional operation..”
Deciding to buy a membership
4
“This class was hard, but good! Everyone is so friendly, and I like working out outdoors.”
Happy member
5
“Not only am I stronger, I’m also proud of having run a marathon this year!.”

The Research

Stephanie and TeamUp worked together on a customer research project. We sent a survey to her members and requested interviews from 20 of her best customers. 34 people filled out the survey, and 10 people agreed to interviews. That was enough to give Stephanie the insight she needed to plan her next steps.

The Experts

This panel reviewed the research and provided helpful insights and feedback on the data.

Claire Atkin
Marketing Expert
Tim Green
TeamUp
Sam Warrington
Swift Fitness
Ben Davis
Fitness Marketing Agency
Ricky Knight
Fitter Body Bootcamp

What prompted people to look for something like Pro Impact?

What were Pro Impact members struggling with before they found Bootcamp? What happened
in life to cause that struggle?

Help me add variety to my fitness routine
7
Help me recover from an injury or pregnancy
7
Help me make friends and feel at home
6
Make fitness convenient for me
5

Help me add variety to my fitness routine

Survey mentions: 7

It's good to try a different form of exercise than just using the gym all the time. I thought it's a good way to get outdoors. It’s a good way to meet people and just try different forms of exercise. So, I went along to give it a go and been going ever since.

Bored of the same old workouts in a studio and saw it on Twitter, looked good!

I think I've always kind of been one of those people that have bursts of motivation and then periods where I'm not so excited to go and exercise. My gym attendance will be really good for a while and then it'll, then social stuff takes over or laziness takes over so I kind of go on and off. Or go for a bit then have a period where I'm not going so much so I wanted something a bit more structured that would keep me engaged and keep me going.

I could tell very quickly from the first couple of sessions that you go to. Even if you have a couple of months off of not going to bootcamp, the next half a dozen sessions are just pure agony because of course the thing is you exercise completely different muscles. Especially with Stephanie's core impact class. Every session is completely different so despite the fact that she puts a lot of emphasis on increasing your core strength and core stability, among the night is an aerobic session, so lots of class running. Then she has a HIIT session, which is lots of repetitions with very little breaks. Then she has pack sessions, which are more chains of exercise with a bit more fun in them. Then we have a hill session where we run up and down the steps quite a lot, and then we have kettlebells, tires, battle ropes and balls. With that amount of equipment, the variety of the exercises, invariably, you exercise way more muscles

Help me recover from an injury or pregnancy

Survey mentions: 7

My second child was 4 months and I wanted to start exercising again.

I needed to find some sort of exercise after my child was born and I put on some weight.

I had a hip problem that stopped me doing long distance running, so I needed something new to keep up some level of fitness.

So I've basically got a bad back and over New Year, I had a really painful flare up so I was really worried and I've also injured myself in other really boring ways, like my ankles and my knees and stuff. So I was really worried that I'm older than I used to be, you know I'm 35 so I'm not ancient but I'm kind of not, I'm not 24. I was really worried I was gonna be in pain but touch wood, so far, physically I've only had a bit of muscle soreness but really mild. It's not been bad at all.

Help me make friends and feel at home

Survey mentions: 6

Realised I didn't enjoy the gym, and was looking for another way to work out that was more social.

I gained weight and just moved to the area and wanted to meet people I didn’t want to join a gym.

I've just moved to the area and basically I've been sort of ... I left my previous gym about six months before, so I've been looking for something in the area to do. But I wanted to do something that was a bit more sociable than the gym and the fact it's outside was really appealing.

Make fitness convenient for me

Survey mentions: 5

I was looking for an easy way to keep fit which had to be local and needed to be motivational enough to make we want to return.

Needed to get fit again and the workout group seemed a good option given its location in wood parkland, terrain I hadn’t done a workout in previously.

I had just completed the London Marathon and was leaving my job. I wanted something more local to me and outdoors which offered a varied style of training - Bootcamp SE16 couldn't have been more perfect!

If I go to the gym probably closer to work I might find people that I'm working with. It's not my dream, that scenario. I wanted to get out of that inside office environment.

Did a fitness trial with another club and need something closer to home and more affordable.

There are people of varying abilities so it was very much a good fit for me and at the time it was very close to where I lived, it was a five or six minute walk at best. At worst, I should say, I could walk faster. But it was very close so it was convenient all the way around. And it reminded me of what I had missed doing bootcamp prior to moving.

How do people find Pro Impact?

How did customers find Pro Impact?

Google
15
Bootcamp is in my neighborhood
8
Recommendation
4
Social media
4

Google

Survey mentions: 15

Search engine, looking for a local Bootcamp.

Online, by searching for 'Boot Camp'.

I reached Stephanie by mail and I told her, look I'm just going to try, and I went there to try and I never stopped.

Found Shift... I think I literally went on Google and I also just went on Facebook and I did outdoor fitness, I searched something trying to find something along the same lines as what I had in Florida and that's how I found Shift. And then it was word of mouth for the British Military Fitness, as well.

When I was first looking I did do a google search to get more information about Pro Impact as a company cause everybody know what's what. To get opinions and all that, getting reviews and that sort of thing before I just signed up to a class that I didn't know anything about other than a well worded advert.

Bootcamp is in my neighborhood

Survey mentions: 8

Classes took place outside where I live so approached the trainer for more info.

Neighbour and community notice board.

Recommendation

Survey mentions: 4

I walked past them at Stave hill and then one of my friends had looked them up, she never went but I did.

Partner attended and spent over a year trying to persuade me to join.

Social Media

Survey mentions: 4

My husband found it for me through an ad on Facebook. SE16 Bootcamp had a special going on at the time, so he messaged Steph to inquire more about it for me.

I saw an ad for some sort of like six week program. Ads were on social media. So, it's either Facebook or Instagram, or both.

I saw an ad for some sort of like six week program.

I saw an advert on Facebook for SE16 Bootcamp.

Instagram and through Steph herself.

I had seen on Twitter there was a local bootcamp group and bootcamps were getting quite popular in London at that point in time.

My husband was actually on Facebook and saw an Ad, and that's what got me connected.

It must've been a Facebook campaign.

What stood out about Pro Impact?

What were the differentiators that stood out for customers?

It was close by
13
I wanted something outdoors
9
The workouts were inclusive and catered to a variety of levels
4
The timetable was convenient
3
The instructor was friendly and motivating
3

It was close by

Survey mentions: 13

Location - very local to me, hoped I would meet people from my community, and looking on the facebook group it seemed like a sociable group of people.

Fun, nice approach, proximity to my place.

I liked that it was close to where I lived and wasn’t outdoors. I wanted a local community based fitness class to make friends. I also liked the classes and it is a good price. In London it’s expensive to join classes.

The location is great for me, one of the videos had someone close to my size and our message exchange was reassuringly welcoming.

I think what bootcamp did for me, as adults, I mean in joining, being close to home, it's much easier for me. It's more likely ... It was less likely to move home rather than jobs, so for me it's easier to plan around that. The classes are in the evenings or on the weekend and I can handle to make that fit around my lifestyle.

The fact that it was local and it was a bootcamp. Photographs of the types of training. It explained some of the benefits that they do.

.

It's also about proximity at least I live really, really close to boot camp, I'm about five minutes walk away. And there isn't a gym in probably, the nearest one's maybe 20 minutes walk? By the time I've got home from work it just really is incredibly convenient to go.

The proximity to my house, I think is crucial for me 'cause, that's whenever I've been tried to make a routine with something too far away, it always fall apart.

It's very local, it's very almost community based.

The main two things would be the fact that it was a key fit group and it was local. One of the things that might have appealed to me was the fact that it was new. It was brand new. Because I know sometimes people feel if they go to a class that's already well established they feel they are the newbie. They're coming in and they don't know what to expect, but everyone there knows the routine. They know the people to talk to. They know the exercises. They know the terminology and they already know the trainers. Whereas with this particular course, it was brand new. It actually hadn't been established so everyone was going to be joining was going to be in the exact same group.

I wanted something outdoors

Survey mentions: 9

Focus on outdoors and being local stood out at first. Quality of the sessions and friendliness of people made it even more appealing after initial trials.

It was out door training rather than in a gym, people seemed of all different abilities, friendly and approachable trainer , plenty of enthusiasm friendly class members.

I wasn't looking for any kind of exercise really but when I read the flyer I think the fact it was outdoors made me interested.

The fact that it's outdoors, I think makes a big difference. The outdoor element, I think you feel more energized going outdoors.

Definitely outdoor training helps. It toughens you up a little bit because as soon as you get into the rhythm of things, the weather in the UK as you know isn't exactly perfect, so you get used to training in all seasons. It means that if you go on to do other activities, we quite enjoy hill walking sometimes or mountain climbing, weather never bothers you because you're used to training. So you've got an extra dimension that you've got to throw into your training.

The fact that it's local, I like it being outdoors because it can be quite cold in the wintertime but actually, technically, you actually work better in the wintertime. In fact, I probably go to more winter sessions than I do summer sessions. I might go winter sessions; I might do three or four a week where summer I might only do one or two a week. Again, it's purely to do with the fact that it's outside. I've got an awful lot of energy, I get back to my house and I'm feeling nice and warm and cozy having done a session outdoors.

The workouts were inclusive and catered to a variety of levels

Survey mentions: 4

The age and fitness levels of all the participants was so diverse and all were welcoming and all the trainers were so motivational and the classes are always fun, different, and never the same routine.

It looked like it catered for all levels of fitness and as I was starting from a very low base this was important.

The fact that it offers you a different style and variety of training. You tend to find in the gym that you're limited with equipment, time, more confined space, more prescriptive. It's a more free flowing style of training when you do the bootcamp style training.

This bootcamp gives everybody regardless of their ability, the chance to improve themselves.

It's definitely different styles of training. I'd never used things like tires before as part of my training. And boxing we did, there was always good quality introductions. If you were ever struggling or your form wasn't right, there would be Steph and or someone else to make sure that you are being corrected to get the right technique. It was about the technique and focus. There was incentive to get your diet right because that's on thing the fitness industry doesn't get right. Constantly.

The fact that it's local is one thing. The variety still, the fact that it constantly evolves. You've got to give credit to Steph for keeping it imaginative. You've got to give credit to the fact that she's doing her research in the market. She's liaising, talking, learning all the time. I don't just become a fitness professional and that's it. You've got to keep yourself ahead of the curve. She brings new ideas, different styles of training.

It was an advert specifically for the accountability program, rather than just the boot camp. And it had a video of a person who'd done it the previous year and she was talking about her experiences going and she just made it sound really accessible so it wasn't intimidating. I always get put off 'cause I think it's gonna be super fit people who are like gym bunnies or insane military fitness people, I'm just not into all that kind of culture. So she was like nice and normal and she'd had really good results doing it and I just thought it sounded like something I could do. That's when I, and I'd already seen some stuff the boot camp, like I was aware it happened, I think I'd seen them working out when I'd been walking that way. So seeing this program I was like, oh they have like a structured program, that sounds really good.

I chose Steph, it's because of her experience working with people who've had injuries and she's knows a lot about pain and exercise and she talked to me about that in our first call.

The timetable was convenient

Survey mentions: 3

The bootcamp provided various work out days for a reasonable price.

One night it's hard cardio, another night is more kind of strong man, strong woman slash weight based, the ability to focus on core. So, you can pick and choose what you're working on with that training element at the moment.

The fact I can book sessions online, so I can book ahead, I can look at my calendar and book, is really, it's something I don't wait up for in, when I'm signing up to a new gym or a new kind of exercise regime. I can book online because I know otherwise, I've had all sorts of things in the past I've tried, you have to call up or ridiculous things, the booking system is also very useful although obviously it would be easier if it was an app but it's online so it's accessible.
The timing that it operates on are convenient for me, it is close to the house, I don't have to worry about getting there and back on the weekend sessions and it's a lot of fun.

Bootcamp. It's just the most convenient. And, another key thing for me was I work 8-6, four days a week and so the timeframe that she has for her classes starting at 7pm, it just works perfectly for me to just go straight from work.

The instructor was friendly and motivating

Survey mentions: 3

The one week trial was really good to try out the different classes. The instructors were very motivating. I'd rather pay for bootcamp sessions than go to my own gym!

The advert and the marketing on Twitter was certainly very professional. Professional detailing, qualifications of staff, photographs that you could see, goal setting. Everybody is welcome, that kind of thing. The amount of qualifications she's got is probably ridiculous, the passion she has. The fact that she has certain niches, her knowledge is probably beyond more than what I've ever seen from trainers, that kind of thing as well. So, those are the kind of things that gave me confidence in it and the organization, the way that she approaches things.

Everybody was very friendly from the beginning. Stephanie's great. She knew it was my first day so she took care of me, she kept an eye on me, she was closer to me than others.

Stephani really does the most to do things that people enjoy, keeping novelty and bringing new things. So to me that's really what's behind my personal enjoyment of bootcamp.

That's very good customer service. I think that reaches out to people who haven't been going for a while and kind of like see how they've been and trying to get them to come back. And also it's got a few Facebook groups online as well, in addition to the website. So, she'll post stuff like motivational messages like we've got boot camp tonight or actually about like people here or whatever. So, there's people liking stuff and there's a lot of conversation in the comments. So, that kind of keeps, I guess, keeps the group tight and keeps the motivation high.

The instructors are fantastic. Stephanie has organized the group really good. We have a laugh; there's always someone joking or someone complaining at the class. That seems to be the highlight. That's the thing that joins us together and I think that's probably the same with a lot of group classes. When the instructor says, "I want another ten burpies" and you're thinking is she mad? We've already done forty and someone complains and we all agree and there's a bit of a strike and then all of the sudden we figure out we're going to be doing ten and then another five on top of that just for the moaning. It's all part of the fun.

If Stephanie moved from where we are, and it was reasonable, I would probably move with Stephanie even if there was one local. She's very passionate about what she does. Technically, she's very good and she's, like I said, she's got motivational. She's not someone who would ever ride you for not doing enough of the reps. She's very good in terms of technique. I think she's very good I think in terms of people who have injuries and can't do a specific type of exercise. She knows enough to be able to give alternatives. I think she's got a good mix now in terms of what type of exercises are in each of the classes. She's an incredibly likable person. She's a bit fun. We sort of intertwine; she got married and she's had two kids since she set up bootcamp. We all sort of know what's going on in her life.

Well I see myself shedding some weight and not only does she give me a good workout, you can just tell that Steph cares about her clients. At the beginning of the year she talked about this accountability program. She actually said I probably wasn't very suitable for because I already am motivated to do stuff. Then she set aside 45 minutes that night and talked to me about goals and how she can both encourage me and just some tips for how to achieve those goals for the year. So then every bootcamp I go to she's been checking in and saying "How's it going? What can I do to help?", so not only does she provide a good workout but you can tell that she cares about her clients and wants everyone's well being and overall health to be optimized through her programs that she has.

The people that attend are a big thing but I think Steph creates the community that is there. So she is an encouraging leader and it encourages everyone else that comes to mirror the leader. So everyone is encouraging one another.

What made members realize that Pro Impact was right for them?

What was the “aha” moment that influenced purchase?

The group dynamic was light and positive
18
The workout was fun and effective
6
The instructor communicated clearly about what to expect
5

The group dynamic was light and positive

Survey mentions: 18

Instructors call us by our names and partnered us up or put into teams. There's a strong team spirit which I really like and not just a number in the crowd. Definitely made new friends as everyone is very friendly and encouraging.

While attending my second class I made good friends with the class members and felt I was on the road to achieving my goals. Plenty of encouragement too, from fellow class members and from the trainer/trainers.

People were friendly and welcoming to my first few sessions, as were all of the trainers. I wanted a fitness community to challenge me physically and for accountability and social “friend-making” purposes and I think these people fit that for me.

The first day. Left the class thinking, oh wow we've met some neighbors, this is cool. So the social aspect surprised me. I felt good after it. I liked the fact it was all outdoors.

I think I expected to be the unfit one who couldn't really do it and it was all geared towards people who already knew what they were doing. And it's not made me feel, even though I am less fit than the ones who've been doing it for ages, it hasn't made me feel like that at all. Normally, group exercise, I think so many people have traumatic memories or P.E. at school.

Just the whole session she was paying attention to my form and encouraging me. She just made me feel really welcome and not only her but the other participants in the class or in the bootcamp, as well, are just encouraging one another and supporting and we take suffering together through our workouts. Like I said, when you're doing hard workouts, I love something that's going to challenge me. And it took me a while to find out which classes of hers, which bootcamp sessions were the most challenging for me. I know you can always ramp up or modify whatever workout she has. But some were more naturally better for or more suitable for what I was looking for. So it took me a while to figure out which ones I like the most. Like I said, just the people there were very welcoming and friendly and I feel like I've made a little group of friends there, so it's nice.

The workout was fun and effective

Survey mentions: 6

Stephanie is great at making you push yourself without it feeling like it is a chore. And it was a big bonus being part of a group of like minded people all going through the same pain as you for similar reasons.

I enjoyed my trial time, felt the result of the workout the next day.

After the taster session I felt that the hour workout had as much exercise in as any and it was a calm, relaxing atmosphere in the park.

I expected to, by improving my stamina, and doing exercise, improve also my time at work, to find a way to cope with the stressful situation that you might experience at work, almost to find a relief valve. And again, to be maybe mentally stronger. So all those typical things that you associate with exercise. And obviously getting fitter and then physically stronger as well.

Boot camp. The actual words sounded quite intimidating. So, though I was looking for workouts, boot camp sounded more like military types than what I thought, but it was ... Yeah, it was fun. So, it was more tailored to your level.

The quality of the equipment, the variety that was packed into a class. It felt like it was a hard workout. I felt like I'd done more than I'd done in any other style of group or class based training. So left and immediately booked up for the next ones that were coming and the rest is history.

Obviously it's very early to say it's one of those things for longer term goals but already I feel like it so far exceeds my expectations, that I just, I'm really surprised by how much I'm enjoying it for one thing. Normally I just enjoy exercise classes but I'm really enjoying it. It's just been so much fun and it's really has exceeded my expectations.

I really surprised myself even within the first week of how much I could do of it because I thought I'd really lost most of my fitness. Obviously I have still got a ways to go but it's just boosted my confidence in what I'm capable of doing I think, quite quickly.

I think it was right at the end of the first session, as I walked home, I was just buzzing and now I feel like it's not quite as good as the first one but as soon as it's finished, I just feel really, really good which is such an incentive to keep going because I know I'm gonna feel good afterwards. So I think that moment, I was like, it was kind of the realization that I can actually do it and actually it makes me feel really great and it's so close.

The real incentive to go back to bootcamp, and to keep going back, is the fact that you don't ache as much. After that first session, I was in agony for a week and that was only from a beginner type level of exercise. Then the more often you go, then you're only in pain until the next session and then eventually, if you keep going often enough without any major breaks, you're never aching a day or two after a session.

It's really a case of surprising myself on my achievements. So I've never found myself to be a runner, I still don't even though I do the weekly runs. But, there was one evening where it clicked for me. Cause a lot of times what we do is, where we workout there's a large hill and typically when we do any running portion of our training, we run around the hill, cause it's about 220 meters or so. So in the early days and for the longest time I couldn't run it all the way, where I'd have to stop and walk or whatever and there was this one day where I realized I didn't have to stop and walk, it was kinda like, “Oh, okay maybe I didn't feel the difference, maybe it's not a weight thing or whatever.” But it was just that light bulb moment that said, “Oh okay, something has definitely changing because I couldn't do that before, and now I can.”

The instructor communicated clearly about what to expect

Survey mentions: 5

Steph couldn't have been more supportive or more helpful, and really helped to create a community in our area through Bootcamp. I could just see/feel it was something special that I wanted to be a part of.

When Steph sent me info and asked me to prepare a health form. That responsible accountability really gave me comfort. Next was in the class when everyone was joking, it eased the stress of doing the class.

I don't live near Canterwater and being a newer person, I just had my Google maps out and was trying to find it. But Steph had told me that even Uber messes up trying to find where this place is so she's always on the lookout, which is really great, if she knows someone new is coming. So it was really helpful so when I walked up she recognized a new face and said "Hey, are you Kristen?", so it made me feel comfortable from the off, she was looking for me and waiting for me.

What are the ways life is better now for students of Pro Impact?

What benefits did customers experience from going to Pro Impact?

I enjoy my new strength and stamina
23
I'm more motivated to workout thanks to the group dynamic
3
I tackle fitness without fear now
3
I'm glad to have lost weight
2

I enjoy my new strength and stamina

Survey mentions: 23

Having all round fitness - the mixture of aerobic and anaerobic training whilst being outdoors has to be one of the best ways to maintain good fitness.

Rather than change it has helped me maintain my fitness and strength after having children.

Run a far greater distance than I've ever been able to before I need to catch my breath.

Better on land given previously my main fitness focus was swimming and some running so muscle group balance. I will have attended sessions for 2 years come April.

My knees don't hurt like they used to and i can also run much further than before. My overall stamina has improved.

I ran a marathon! Enough said!

Train in the cold. My strength & endurance is at a better level. Of course there is the age impact but at least in my age range I am much more fit than many.

How being fit and having more stamina help you on a practical situation, again I think it helps me at work or at home to be calmer and to be more balanced in my reaction potentially.

Definitely, a bit more upper body strength. I did manage to climb a rope. I wasn't able to do before.

I ran a marathon. I would never have even considered that before becoming a bootcamper so, that was out of my realm of possibility but after a couple of years of bootcamp, off I went. Did it, no problem, no injuries, nothing. It doesn't get any more results focused than that. Steph's tried to help me with diet along the way. Not her fault that I haven't been good sometimes because I'm just useless at that sometimes, which is bazar. So, those are the results. If you want results, I did a marathon and I know that some have gone on to do half irons, triathlons, these kind of things. These are people that would never have done this if they weren't at bootcamp and that's absolute fact for them.

The sense of accomplishment that you've, you could've just sat on your sofa for another hour and instead you went out and did something and you're constantly testing yourself so you're never allowed to just rest with a number of reps like you could do, it's always timed, do more and more and more. And you kind of think when you're doing it "I can't do anymore" then you find another ten reps or something and it's really satisfying that you've pushed beyond where your body's telling you, well we could just give up now and yeah. So a sense of accomplishment I think. And just like the physical effects, where you just physically feel really good, tired obviously but in a good way.

In simple terms, obviously I think things like, even something simple as sleeping is obviously a lot better. Once you physically exercise just general day to day physical activities levels... you're a lot more incentivized to include some of the physical activity in your normal day to day.

My husband has been saying "You seem happier", he actually said that last night "Are you happier?". And I feel like I am because I have a lot of stress at the job that I do. And the transition over her to the UK and all my family's back home, there's just a lot of things I can be stressing about and before I found this outdoor community I was finding other ways to deal with my stress. I.E. eating. So that's how weight was put on, but now that I have Pro Impact to go to I can get stress out that way. Even at the end of the day I might be tired but I can go there, sweat it out, come home and then overall it's good for my health. I'm not snacking as much, I'm making better food choices because of her goal setting program that she setup for me. It's good. Overall I just feel like I have more energy and I feel more confident and better in my clothes.

There are definitely mental health benefits for me, going. Yeah just the exertion and the effort helps me reframe it and clears my mind. If I'm having a bad day you know sometimes exhausting your body to match up with the kind of stressed or exhausted mind works. It works for me anyway and it works for other people too. When I don't feel like doing the physical effort is that you know, go through the hour and after that hour session my mind is in a different place and for the better. In a better place. So that's definitely a secondary benefit.

Bootcamp allows you to find your strengths and weaknesses and grow them as opposed to having to keep up with the front of the pack.

I'm more motivated to workout thanks to the group dynamic

Survey mentions: 3

Stay motivated. I still miss some of the sessions that I initially sign up for each week, but I blame that on my adjustment to the UK germs here. Most sessions I’ve missed have been due to illness, not for lack of wanting to be there. The community provides fun and accountability as we “suffer together.” I love it.

Physically, I'm stronger. The biggest thing is I've found an exercise format that keeps me engaged and motivated, so I keep it up.

Enjoy exercise and prioritise doing it. I don’t say ‘I cant’ so much out loud or in my head now.

Definitely happier. I think like just always looking forward to the next sessions. Kind of being part of a tight group. Yeah, convincing other people to actually go out and do some running or some exercises. Generally, a lot more positive.

Without bootcamp and Steph, that would never have been possible. I don't know how I would have done it unless I went down a very expensive personal training route. But you learned more about fitness, health and fitness from doing that, than what you would have done if you were just a regular gym user, turning up to do some weights and the odd classes. You would have a clue how to embark on a marathon without that specialist knowledge being there for you.

Because you see yourself progressing so much and you begin to realize what your body is act capable of and week in, week out, different styles of training. You can feel and see yourself getting fitter. You knew that once you signed up for that marathon, that Steph would be there to support you. They style of training that she can incorporate into her workouts form part of the marathon training as and should you need it as well.

I work for an agency so I'm temporary and floating around to different places. So I can make friends at my workplace but I don't know how long lasting that will be because I'm not going to be there long term, it's just a temporary fill. Whereas this Pro Impact community I'm going to attend, I've been a monthly member basically since 10 day 10 pound deal that she had going on. It's just been a great place to make friends. Just the community.

I tackle fitness without fear now

Survey mentions: 3

Want to take part in events i.e. touch mudder, spartan.

Face all workout types without fear. Also create a focus on my everyday life that allows me to be better and managing my business, leading my teams, being a good puppy dad, and the best partner I can be. ====

It's quite soon to sort of say it's impacted my life, because I'll see, I could end up giving up, like this week but hopefully I won't. But so far it's been the easiest kind of January routine that I've had previously, to stick to because partly because I'm on the accountability program, I just have to go otherwise I lose my money. So it's really good for making me put my trainers on and get out the door when I think normally I would talk myself out of it, or I'd let myself have a rest if I was tired or whatever whereas I just have to go. I really love that aspect of it, the accountability aspect, brilliant.

I'm glad to have lost weight

Survey mentions: 2

I don’t think I gained any ability but I definitely am thankful for loosing enough weight to have smaller size trousers.

I can already feel some of my scrub pants fitting me differently at work and that is a huge plus. I step on a scale maybe once a week but I can really tell when my clothes are fitting me differently. And I can tell a lot of clothes are fitting me differently when I put weight on. So now that, well I don't know if it's completely weight, I can tell that I lost a little bit but more so I can tell certainly with inches coming off my body that my clothes are fitting me better, I feel a little bit more confident and I feel like I do have more energy at work because I'm fueling my body well. Making good food choices. And I think I have been sleeping better at night from doing the workouts since I'm more tired and just have good solid sleep.

Other interesting notes

If you go to a gym you have one guy there, you might get a PT that make you do things, it might be as you want but maybe one day he will not be there anymore and then anyway, his job is be there with you for forty minutes first time and that's it.
Well one reason would be Stephanie. I think she's great. Another reason will be, it depends, if the starting point of these people, if these people already feel that are going to the gym, to try something different. To be outside because to me it makes a huge difference. And also because it's change all the time.
So you actually, literally, because you are not on your own, the fact that you are part of a group, it's a very interesting motivating factor. Because really, just to get out of your house and go there, is not like going to the gym where you have your list of things you have to do, but you're on your own and you might end up doing half of those or not really doing it because you don't feel motivated on that day.
I can't do something on my own. I need to join a class, otherwise I'll lose motivation so quickly.
Usually people don't realize what they can do until they start doing it. There's a lot of firsts for me in the last year and if I were to take ... Yeah. I probably wouldn't believe I could. People usually underestimate themselves until they actually do it.
You feel like a kid again playing tag.
I think you get a lot of unqualified people in it. Ave seen the qualifications that they have to do and they're not exactly what you call taxing, and it seems that anybody could pass them. I've met a lot of trainers, I've been in a lot of classes that I've thought, do you know what, I could have done that myself kind of thing.
I've seen a lot of trainers just doing it for the money, they're not giving the right advice.
The fact that someone else is depending on you and you're depending on them or there's a challenge to hold a tire above your head for as long as you can, that kind of thing, you actually end up, you progress more because of that team slash pact mentality that us humans possess I think. So, I think that's one of the core advantages to it.
There's people that have been through cancer twice that are there and I find them inspirational. So they've inspired me to do more when some days you feel lazy. Again, I'm speaking from experience. Work's been hard you think, oh god I can't face this but you do it because you think well my journey is nowhere near as hard as theirs. So the people and the inspiration that goes round about it. The diversity, the background, the people, everybody feels welcome regardless of your sexuality, your race, all of that. It's very much focused on that basis, that everybody has to resect everybody else.
You will get results. Fact. It's an absolute fact. You put your effort in, you will get results and time and time again, you see people getting those results. You see people getting fitter.
There's always incentives to keep it fresh. It reinvents itself to keep it fresh all the time. It's something you quickly become very loyal to.
It's only been three weeks but I mean it's been fantastic just having moved here cause you know what London's like, people don't talk to each other, without any context. So the fact that you're meeting your neighbors is a real plus for me.
It's something, it's kind of since, I've been an adult really, I've sort of taken it on and off as I say, it's something that I think when I'm exercising regularly, some say it's good for my physical health, I think it's good for my mental health. It's important for controlling my weight, and generally I just feel more like myself when I'm, when I've got a good routine.
It's horrible. I kind of didn't, I never wanted to pay someone to shout at me to do push ups or something because it just was not my cup of tea. It is obviously, that's what it is, the trainer makes you do exercises but it's so much more inclusive and fun
Some of the things I've seen at boot camp are more like, I don't know if you've seen these military fitness things where everybody wears a bib and they kind of get put in teams and whenever I've seen them working out in parks or whatever around London, there's always somebody in camouflage trousers shouting at everybody.
I really hate I think you get really specialed out, quite being shouted at by old folk just to do exercise, it can be like horrible flashbacks of school. I don't want to be told off, I don't want to be told I'm not going fast enough, or that kind of really sergeant major kind of approach. I just don't react well to it, I just want to tell them to F off.
I think that video gave me the spur to do it then. I think I would've tried it because I've done lots of things where I've thought oh I'm not sure if I'm gonna like this or not and I'll give it a go. So it's just, yeah that was kind of the opportunity to start really.
I think the name is good, I don't think it should change its name, it's just that was my prior association with things called boot camp, was that it would be like army men shouting at you.
The only bad thing about it is it's freezing, January and February in Britain so it's, you know I'd rather obviously be inside when it's snowing but the fact it's outside for the rest of the year is a great thing because I wanted, I've moved near this, I'm faced with this park and I wanted to spend more time outside so I'm not really complaining about that issue. It's just it was a bit snowy this week.
I really fell over in one of the kind of games we were playing the other Saturday when I was being chased and I thought "Oh my God, I'm going to be bruised" but I just kind of bounced back up again and I think the adrenalin, I didn't hurt the next day at all. No, no it hasn't hurt. I was expecting it to but given that I've got all these weird niggles and stuff, I thought it was gonna be much worse and so far, it hasn't been, it hasn't been bad at all.
I'm fifty-three, I work out with people who are a lot younger than me and I would say they are no fitter than I am in terms of overall fitness. I can also look at people in my own peer group who don't do any exercise and I'm very fortunate in that regard in that I have an exercise group that I like to go to, that I find enjoyable, and then as a side effect of that, it actually keeps me fit. On top of that, I do a long distance walk every year and I find that invariably, doing twenty miles a day, now that I'm doing bootcamp.
For example, we do these team challenges and invariably the winning team gets to issue a forfeit and that forfeit can be simple like plank for sixty seconds or something like that. Invariably, even the team that wins does the forfeit because it's nice winning the game or the group exercise, but the reality is we're all there just to get fit. No one stands up during the forfeit. Everyone gets involved in the forfeit even if you're on the winning team.
As one of the older members of the team, the more mature senior members of the bootcamp, we go out of our way to make sure newbies are always, and we call them newbies affectionately, we make sure that newbies are always involved and we make sure that we pace their sessions so that they're not as arduous as everyone else's session. Eventually they get up to speed so it's good.
Our instructors are very much the type who cajole you into doing an extra five burpies. There's no such thing as shouting, "Give me an extra five burpies!" With this one it is a case of okay, give me as many burpies as you can in ten minutes, or in a minute or ten seconds or twenty seconds.
Our biggest success I think is one chap that started at eighteen stone and he got down to thirteen stone. There's a lot of people who've lost a stone or two in weight as part of the course.
I think it's convenient for people that are local. It always amazes me that we have a slightly captive audience where we are at the moment. There are a couple of proper gyms but there's nothing near Stephanie's class. Where we live is very residential and it always amazes me how many other people aren't attending. I'm quite surprised more people don't attend but then conversely, if there's too many people attending then we wouldn't be getting the individual support that Stephanie is able to provide. You don't want them to be too successful but you still want to make sure there's enough people there to make it interesting.
One of the advantages of our class is at the top of this hill is an amazing view of London and Canary Wharf. It's always really nice to be able to go up there either in the summertime or in the wintertime and just look around and just see how potentially how pretty the city of London is. So I think we're pretty lucky in terms of location.
We're all saying "Hey, are you going to come with me to park run this week? Hey, who's going to come and do the Spartan Race with us?". Not only are we training together at bootcamp but we're doing stuff even outside of bootcamp and training for other things together. So to me, it's just the sense of community, that's what I enjoy.
If you're looking to make a change for your health. Like I said, she not only cares about the fact that you're working out and challenging your body to see what you're able to do. And she can ramp it up or modify it down to whatever fitness level you are at which is really great. I would say if anyone is concerned about their health or wanting to make a change it's a great place because not only does she care about the exercise portion of your health, but she cares about the nutrition aspect as well and will encourage you toward that.
And the nice thing is too, she's not just like saying "Hey, do this, do this, do this", she's doing it with us. One of the things she said is "Why don't you try Hello Fresh because it sounds like convenient things are better for you and we can find nice recipes and all the food is there for you.". And she's like "I'm even doing it too, I'm doing it this many times per week and I can actually send you a referral code.". So it's not like she's just promoting all these different things or tips but she's employing them in her own life as well. So I feel like you can trust someone a little more when they're doing it themselves.
It's not the fitness center and them saying, “Look I took your money, I don't care if you show up, because I've got your money now.” There isn't that with the bootcamp at all and it drives me to wanna go.
The one thing I was a little skeptical about is everything being outdoors. Back when I was doing bootcamp back in Toronto, because of the different weather, most of it was indoor. Because it was too cold in the winters and that sort of thing. So I didn't know if I had the ... not stamina ... but the ability to endure a little bit of mud after it's rained or you know, little bit of doubt of my ability to keep up, even though I've done bootcamp stuff before, was this more intense that I couldn't follow along or would I be dragging everyone down being the new guy? And that sort of thing. That's the stuff that made me apprehensive at first. But that cleared up after the first session, because the way Stephanie handles it, she balances the different skill levels very well and she won't call someone out for being at the lower end of the spectrum, nor will they call them out for being the higher end of the spectrum either.
There's an equality across even though someone may be doing 200 reps of something but someone else may only have to do 100 because it's within their range of abilities and there's no shame in that, there's no shouting of military style any of that nonsense, none of that happens. So, but getting fits to understand that and understand her style, I was able to pick that right away and that's what kept me there, even though it's not the closest like it, I get to now.
I'm comfortable there, I know the people and I support her business anyway even just from a kind of a root for the small business owner, even aside from that but it's a right fit for me and I'll make a little bit of effort to stick with her, because what I get back in return is worth my investment.
When people hear bootcamp they hear of like military style bootcamp and I even thought that way back when. I personally don't do well when someone is yelling at my face to work harder. That's not my style, that's not what motivates me, and when people hear bootcamp that's maybe the first thing they think of without understanding so making sure that myth is properly dispelled is definitely something to focus on cause it's absolutely not that.

Marketing Ideas for Bootcamp

Tim Green at TeamUp says:

Location is both an unbeatable selling point as well as a barrier to growth. Adding more venues would allow expansion but also creates problems with needing to market in different areas.

You would expect people to be raving about the results they have got in terms of weight loss, but it’s actually not the key driver at all. Pro-Impact’s best customers love the mix of community, challenging themselves, getting outdoors and what that inspires them to do in their lives.

Location is probably the biggest driver for their initial selection. In terms of marketing that gives a very clear audience. Two key sub-sets of that audience for messaging are people looking to be part of something / meet people / be part of a community of like-minded people, and people who are looking to train for an event. I think that focusing on people who love the idea of exercising outdoors, as opposed to toning down messaging in case it scares off people who don’t love the idea of it, will be much more effective.

In terms of growth, it will be difficult to scale infinitely at one location. Additionally, staying at one location is very risky because if rules change around use of the park, it could hurt the business as location is very important to Pro-Impact’s customers. Some kind of location diversification could be useful, but this will obviously depend on how desirable that is to Steph.

Overall Pro-Impact seems like a very well-run business whose customers’ appreciate the blend of performance and personal attention.

Claire Atkin at TeamUp says:

Pro Impact Fitness is doing really well - and Stephanie is the one holding it all together. To grow sustainably, Stephanie might have to make some changes to ensure she can take a break once in a while.

Acknowledgements

The research for this report was conducted by TeamUp Sports Inc., with assistance from Pro Impact and Stephanie. We would like to thank Stephanie and the members of Pro Impact for offering their time and stories for this report.

If you’d like to learn more about running a fitness business, check out the Launch! Video series at goteamup.com/launch.