One Month at Burn Boot Camp: The Nitty Gritty About My Experience as a Brand New Member

Four weeks ago today I mustered up the courage to walk through the doors of a brand new gym into a room of completely unfamiliar faces and engage in a brutal workout after a long hiatus from regular exercise. 

The 45-minute “camp” (class) at Burn Boot Camp went by in a flash, and nearly 20 workouts later, it’s easy to say that I’m completely hooked on this new-to-me fitness concept. 

Burn Boot Camp is a rapidly-growing fitness franchise that is taking the nation by storm, with new locations popping up left and right. Our Madison location opened just a few short weeks before the pandemic blew into full speed last spring, but they’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other and serve the community and their growing, long list of members well. 

I first learned about Burn Boot Camp last summer when I went in to write a story about them through the lens of how their brand new business was surviving the pandemic. You can read it here. I toured the facility, watched a little bit of a camp, and learned the ins and outs of what it looks like to be a member.

Though I was only there to simply do an interview for an article, I was personally intrigued by everything I saw and learned.

“I could see myself here,” I remember thinking. 

Nearly a year went by before I was ready to carve out time to routinely exercise again. I’d tried exercising at home, jogging around our neighborhood, etc. but I knew that I wanted/needed to be in a place like Burn. I always enjoy fitness more when I’m surrounded by others that are like-minded in bettering themselves by working hard. I also like having a coach tell me what to do so that I don’t have to wander around a gym aimlessly trying to figure out how to use my time. 

And being an extrovert, it doesn’t hurt that my exercise time also couples as social time. Knocking out two birds with one stone is a WIN. 🙂

Around mid-August, I’d made the decision to try out Burn Boot Camp but was dragging my feet with actually doing it. I find that the older I get, the less motivated (and sometimes more intimidated) I feel to voluntarily try something new by myself. Anyone else?

So I messaged back and forth with their Instagram account, and one of their lead trainers Cameron finally offered the direct invitation to have me start a trial that Monday, just three days away. I said yes because I was ready to rip the Band-Aid off!

For my first class, I arrived 10 minutes early. I signed a couple of waivers and then received a tour of the facility (i.e. where to put my keys and water bottle, where are the bathrooms, how to check-in, etc.) I was also directed to meet a couple of women who have been members of the gym for a while who immediately took me under their wing. They stuck with me throughout the workout and made sure I felt comfortable with how to do movements and rotate stations. 

The workout itself had my heart rate sky high, but I loved it. The intensity made the class fly by, and I immediately knew that routinely doing workouts like that would help me reach my physical fitness goals fast. At this point in my life, I simply want to get the most out of life by feeling healthy and being able to get out and do physical activities with my husband and daughters. 

When the 45-minute workout was over, the coach (shout out to Seth!) led us through a few minutes of stretching before dismissing us to go tackle whatever the day held. 

Despite being sorer than I’d been in a while, I came back the next day. And to my delight, the workout was totally different. We worked an entirely different muscle group (i.e. arms one day, legs the next, cardio the next, etc.) which was a welcomed surprise. 

Four weeks later, attending a morning Burn class has become a routine highlight of my day.

I’ve been a member of many gyms throughout the last couple of decades, so I have a lot of experiences to compare Burn Boot Camp to. Here are a few things that make it stand out to me.

  1. The atmosphere is unbelievably welcoming and “non-clichy”. I assumed everyone would have their friends and stick with their “group”, but that’s far from the case. Within the first week, almost everyone in my class took the time to ask me my name and encouraged me as I awkwardly navigated all kinds of new movements. They helped me find modifications and made suggestions when they could see I was feeling a bit lost.
  2. The workouts are designed to push you. People have said to me that they would “die” if they tried these workouts, which makes me laugh because the workouts are, in fact, tough! As aforementioned though, this is such a good thing. If you’re putting in the time and paying the money for a gym, I assume you want to see physical changes in your body from the inside out. You won’t get there if you’re not uncomfortable. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my time will never be wasted at a camp. I’m getting stronger and healthier with each camp.
  3. Burn Boot Camp is also invested in helping each member track their progress with losing pounds, fat, and inches and offers “focus meetings” to discuss these topics privately. Monthly or quarterly focus meetings are free and optional but highly encouraged to ensure improved wellness with nutrition as well as physical fitness. 
  4. The trainers will recommend modifications on an individual level if someone has experienced a pulled muscle or pain of some kind. They are also not afraid to bring a heavier weight over to someone who is ready to level up and lift heavier. I personally appreciate this so much because I need to work out alongside people who are committed to helping me reach my max potential and goals.
  5. And the members… let’s go back to them. I can’t speak for each class because I generally always go at the same time of day, but it’s a really motivating group. Several of my class members have taken a few seconds away from their own workout to help get me set up with heavier weights when I struggled to set up myself. Everyone cheers for each other, laughs, and has a good time. It really is 45 minutes very well spent.

A few other things to note

  1. Childcare is available and included in your membership! Please refer to the list of camps to see what camps offer complimentary childcare. (Psst… your kids can actually watch you work out through a glass window!)
  2. This gym is co-ed! Some camps are women-only while others are co-ed.
  3. Though members get all of the same perks as one-on-one personal training, the cost for a Burn membership is significantly less than one would pay for that same level of personalized attention and help.
  4. Online classes are available and streamed live!

Are you ready to sign up and give it a whirl? I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re ready to start your free 7-day trial, click here! You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook to get a look at what this gym is all about. Viewing on social media will only give you a taste though. It has to be experienced in person to be understood! 

Again, if you are ready to rip the Band-Aid off like me and jump into your 7-day trial, click here.

If you’re intimidated, just know that you have no reason to be (I say that from personal experience!) If you’re feeling out of shape and not ready for a “tough” workout, you will 100% be able to modify. If you’re in great shape and are looking for something to help you get even stronger, this is the program for you. Don’t hesitate to kick off your trial!


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