The first benefit of outdoor training is that it is free (most of the time), while certain councils have started charging trainers to use their parks and free spaces this is quite rare, and even when there are charges they are very low. Many trainers who contact their councils in advance will find that the council has no idea what the trainer is talking about. This is a huge cost that you can save and makes group training or personal training a great idea for anyone with absolutely no budget to speak of.
Another benefit is the amount of space that you will have available to you, some boot camps can have one hundred members in it at once, and still only take up a small area of the park. Or if you are personal training, you can run with your client, jump with your client, perform shuttle sprints with your client, all without getting in anyone’s way!Without getting all New Age, there is also the fact that you are training in nature. It doesn’t matter how pretty the walls of your gym are, or how many large windows it has. It is not the same as being able to roll on the grass, or train in glorious sunshine. Incidentally, this is the perfect time to get some photos of happy clients squatting in the sunshine for your marketing.
You can’t mention the weather, without thinking about the inevitable grey clouds, wind, and rain that the United Kingdom specialises in. For every sunny day you get, there will be five overcast days, and two terrible days. In fact, it is the weather that can completely end a boot camp with many boot camps closing down over the winter months, as training is no longer enjoyable or even safe!
Safety is another big issue, exercises should be performed in stable environments. But a muddy field can turn a simple squat into a painful injury. Snow, rain, and high winds can also cause issues such as illness or injury. Another issue is light. Having a boot camp for 7pm may seem like a brilliant idea during the summer, but come winter it’s going to be impossible to train at this time without floodlights.
A complete lack of equipment may seem quite freeing at first, but the truth is that bodyweight exercises alone just won’t cut it. Working the upper back, shoulders, and arms is very difficult without weights, and there’s only so far you can take a bodyweight squat before it becomes too easy.
The final negative that we should touch on is amenities. If you are training someone in a field and they need to go to the toilet what can you do? What about changing rooms? Or water fountains? What about a plug socket where you can attach your music system? You might strike lucky with some of these things, but you won’t get all of them without paying someone.
Training indoors is the most popular option for personal trainers, and there are many reasons why. There is a lot of equipment available to use, benches, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, exercise mats, and if you are doing a group class you might also have some more exciting pieces of kit available to you (tires, battle ropes, plyo boxes etc).
You can also train year round, because the gym will be (mostly) the same temperature in summer and in winter. There will be no issues with lighting, you’ll have loud music playing (which is great for group training), and access to all the amenities. Toilets, showers, lockers, water fountains, you name it.
If you are using a commercial gym or leisure centre then you will also have access to first aiders, and there will be simple protocols in case someone gets injured (compare that to a field where you’re on your own).
The main downside to training indoors is cost, there is not a single gym or venue around that will let you train people there for free. Not going to happen. Some gym rents for personal trainers can cost as much as £1,000+ per month! Now granted the extra people in the gym will help you to boost your income further – but it is still something to think about.
Gyms can also be crowded places, where you have to limit a lot of running or jumping exercises due to a lack of space. If you’ve ever tried to train a friend in a gym you’ll understand why this can become an issue.
The truth is that both methods can be very successful if used correctly, and there is nothing stopping you from running a summer outdoor boot camp, while spending the winter indoors and concentrating on personal training or small group training in a hall or leisure centre. The key to success in any venture is to identify potential difficulties ahead of time, and then work out how to combat them.
Don’t let any of the negatives put you off following either route (or combining the two as mentioned in the previous paragraph).
Remember that you can learn how to become a group trainer today, just check out our prospectus.