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Each of your members have individual goals they’re working toward, whether it’s losing weight or beating a personal record. But sometimes, motivating them to achieve those goals can be difficult.
With this in mind, Janet Bertrand, the director of fitness and small group training at Fitness Quest 10, created the Bikini Boot Camp challenge, which culminates in a bikini photo shoot on a nearby beach for all participants.
“I realized people need something at the end they’re working for that really drives them,” said Bertrand. “I thought, what really would drive women, especially women in San Diego, to want to be accountable, to want to eat better, to want to put their heart and soul into this? Women I was already training said if they had to get into a bikini they wouldn’t eat badly, and by the time the session started and ended I came up with the concept.”
The first Bikini Boot Camp was held in 2012. With 24 participants, the group met three times a week and encouraged each other via a private Facebook group. In addition, Bertrand created a workbook in which members could keep track of their progress. At the end of six weeks, the members took a trip to the beach, where they did a photoshoot in their bikinis, celebrating what they achieved.
Today, the program draws in around 50 participants each year. To participate, members pay a fee, which gives them access to a fitness assessment, three personalized workouts each week, a nutritional guide, weekly motivational emails, a private Facebook group and more.
“We’ve had an enormous amount of success with it — a lot of women love it because they feel this huge sense of almost like a tribe,” said Bertrand. “We ask them to give 100 percent. They feel empowered and think, ‘This is how you get in shape, this is how you feel good about yourself.’ They don’t feel intimidated or insecure.”
In addition to Bikini Boot Camp, Fitness Quest 10 hosts a similar concept called Little Black Dress, where instead of doing a photoshoot on the beach, the challenge ends with a cocktail party, where members wear their favorite little black dresses. “It’s really different when you’re working toward something and you get to get out of these yucky workout clothes and get dressed up and say, ‘Look at this, I worked hard for this.’”
According to Bertrand, creating programs like Bikini Boot Camp and Little Black Dress has been extremely rewarding for her as a trainer. In addition, it’s been a great tool for building community within the gym.
“Honestly this came from the own inspiration in my heart, so maybe other club owners have something or their trainers have something they’re very passionate about, that has some sort of goal at the end they’re striving for — a party or something they’re looking forward to and it’ll be the accumulation of it all, the wrap up and they feel like, ‘OK, I’m going to dedicate myself and I’m going to get to that goal.’ It’s more than just a program, it’s like a movement — you’re a part of something.’”