Burn Boot Camp Review

I recently discovered there is a Burn Boot Camp 10 minutes away from my house. I might have even squealed a little bit as I drove by and noticed the sign on the building. When you have taught group fitness classes and are also a personal trainer/nutrition coach this is what gets you giddy. I immediately came home, went online, and discovered they were offering a 30 day Groupon for $33. With the Groupon purchased I made plans to redeem my voucher the following week.

Burn Boot Camp had been on my radar for years thanks to Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers and also friends in Tennessee who are members. The location that is so close to my house opened last year and once I started my Groupon discovered that several of my friends are members. I am pretty sure this never came up in conversation because I had just had my third baby and exercising was the furthest thing from my mind.

I am on the last days of my Groupon and ready to give my honest review on Burn Boot Camp.

THE WORKOUTS

Burn Boot Camp is a fun and friendly community style gym that offers multiple camp times throughout the week! No workout is ever the same and all fitness levels will easily feel welcomed and encouraged. To give you an idea on what times the classes are held here is the schedule for the Burn Boot Camp I attended in Gilbert, AZ during the duration of my Groupon.

Monday-Friday: 5am, 5:30am, 6:15am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 4:15pm, 5:30pm (COED), 6:15pm (COED)

Saturday: 7am, 8am (COED), 9am (COED)

The majority of the camps are female only but they do offer several class times that are open to men as well. All classes are 45 minutes long except for 5am which is 30 minutes.

Each week the workout schedule rotates so that you are always surprised and challenged. For example here is what two different weeks looked like during my Groupon.

The workouts are either focusing on specific muscle groups or style of workout and paired with one of the numerous protocols or formats that Burn Boot Camp uses. For example, let’s say you show up and it is leg day. The protocol could be anything from a partner workout to self-paced, timed or rep-based, and either circuit, dropset, HITT, or tabata. There is always a warm-up before and finisher after your workout.

Here are a two of the workouts that I have done over the last 30 days. The first workout shown is a Cardio/Speed/Agility Protocol and was self paced. The next one is a Deadlift/Pull-up/Burpee Dropset Workout that was partner based and we rotated through each set until we had both finished before moving on to the next exercise.

WHAT MAKES BURN BOOT CAMP UNIQUE

Community is a huge part of what makes Burn unique. High fives are encouraged during the workout as you are sweating next to your neighbor. I really love the gym rules that are posted on the walls.

Focus Meetings entail you and a trainer sitting down talking about your goals and nutrition. These 15 minute meetings can be scheduled weekly with one of the trainers . I am not really sure how in detail the focus meetings get because I only had two and I am already very mindful of they types of food I put into my body. I think it is a great addition to their membership but can’t speak on the specifics of this feature. At each focus meeting I was weighed and my BMI and measurements were taken. In case you are curious, over the course of the 30 days my weight stayed the same but my BMI went down slightly.

They sell their own brand of protein, which I do not use, but have sampled their energy balls which were amazing! For reference in case you are curious I use this, this, and this brand. Even my kids liked them! The trainers provide the recipes on a white board for members and also post on Instagram and Facebook.

Speaking of the kids, Burn Boot Camp does include childcare with it’s membership. Childcare is only offered for specific classes and you do not need to sign up your child in advance. The childcare room is a separate space off the main workout area. I didn’t get any pictures but it was clean, the environment was safe, and there were plenty of toys. My kids came with me several times and didn’t complain at all. They also knew several of the other kids in the childcare room so that helped.

There are a few things that make Burn Boot Camp special in my opinion. The floor. I know this seems like a weird thing to like but Burn Boot Camp has a floating floor made up of 4 ¼ inches of foam. I really did feel that the floor made a huge difference on how much impact my joints were taking on during the more higher intensity exercise. They also do an amazing job at building a positive and encouraging community. Even a newbie to exercising would feel welcome here! The staff does a phenomenal job encouraging and motivating during the workouts and praising you for your efforts. The variety of workouts and equipment makes coming here fun and the 45 minutes are over before you know it. It would be hard to become bored here.

MY THOUGHTS FROM A PERSONAL TRAINERS PERSPECTIVE

As a personal trainer there are just a few things that I want to provide as constructive feedback and also what to be mindful of if you are thinking about trying out Burn Boot Camp. Having had three babies I would personally not recommend trying out Burn until you are 6 months postpartum. Here is one of the core conditioning workouts that I did.

Exercises like the ones shown above will create more internal pressure on your abdominal wall which can cause you to still look pregnant even months or years after given birth. I would recommend making sure that you are fully healed before resuming any exercise program. Abdominal separation can be reduced regardless of how long it has been since you have given birth. You can read my review on the program I used HERE.

During the course of my 30 days they started a FREE month long transformation program to celebrate new ownership, which is awesome! I love when gym’s do this! The class size went from 5-10 to upwards of 25. Again this is great! The only problem I noticed was sometimes the class size was larger then what was conducive to how the warm up, workout, or finisher was designed. In the scheme of things this is not a big deal just something I know I had to take into consideration when teaching larger size classes.

This last one is totally my own preference. I have the TRX Suspension Trainer certification and while the suspension trainers at Burn are made by a different company the height they are mounted at feels so off to me. The floating floor shortens the distance from where the suspension trainer is mounted to your feet and doesn’t put your body in a position that allows for a natural progression of the exercises to be made easier or more challenging. I observed so many girls doing the suspension trainer exercises incorrectly. It took everything within me not to want to go and make suggestions on how to correct.

HOW TO TRY BURN BOOT CAMP AND MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION

Overall I had a very positive experience at the Gilbert Burn Boot Camp and would recommend it if you are looking for motivation and a variety of workouts. I would not recommend if you are in the last trimester of pregnancy or are not at least 6 months postpartum. Be sure to speak up and ask for modifications if you need them because they will be given. With a larger size camp it might be hard for the trainer to spot you right away if an exercise isn’t working for your body so be sure to call them over.

If you are interested in trying Burn Boot Camp here are several ways to get started inexpensively. Right now you can sign up for 30 days for $30. Which is an amazing deal! I am not sure how much longer that deal will be going on so you may want to act fast! If you are a new client there is a FREE 14 day trial that is always available and the childcare is included in the trial. Or you could go the route I did and sign up for the Groupon.

There is a 6 month, 12 month, or 18 month option when signing up for a membership contract. The price ranges from $145 to $125 a month depending on the length of your contract. The longer your contract the less you pay monthly. Burn Boot Camp offers FREE Saturday Camps at 8am and 9am every week and also has a $15 drop in if you want to catch a class once your trial is over. If you have a membership you can go to any Burn Boot Camp nationwide.

There is currently a Burn Boot Camp in Gilbert with locations coming soon in South Chandler and Surprise, AZ. Thanks for reading! Have you ever tried Burn Boot Camp?

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Total Body Functional Workout

I think I am finally, hopefully, starting to get back to a somewhat normal exercise schedule. It was so hard for me to get started again after having Jesse. But just like anything else, sometimes you just need to be disciplined and make it happen.

I so enjoyed all the time I spent letting my body rest after having a new baby and I knew it was time to get back to my workouts. Now that I am three weeks in to exercising consistently I am actually looking forward to my workouts again.

I am focusing right now on rebuilding my strength and concentrating on reconnecting muscles (specifically in my core and pelvic floor) back together after having a baby.

This is a workout I put together that takes under an hour to complete. Each movement should be done slowly and with intention and not rushed.

Equipment Needed: Bands (found HERE and HERE)

Exercises:

Let me know if you try this out and what you think! This workout is challenging and some of the moves may surprise you in the level of difficulty. Have fun and get sweaty!

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Why I Stopped Teaching “Christian” Yoga

I have tried to write numerous times over the last two years. Our family Bible verse is:

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

To those of you reading this, I hope that you know that my words are coming from a place of love. Not from condemnation or malice. I enjoy sharing how God continues to mold and shape me, thanks for reading!

A few years ago I wrote a blog post titled “Does Downward Dog dishonor God?” I tried to address the question “Should Christians practice yoga?” Over the last few years my desire to know God has grown so much that last year I finally disciplined myself to read the Bible in its entirety.

Even before I began reading my Bible something had just continued to feel off over the last several years when I would practice and teach yoga. I would have loved to have stumbled across a blog post like this back when I was looking into teaching Christian yoga. The only reason I ever felt comfortable signing up for my 200 hour yoga certification was because the word “Christian” was in the title.

Before I go further let me give you a brief history on how I became involved in the yoga community and started teaching.

How I Started Teaching Yoga

The summer before I entered college I purchased a yoga DVD from Barnes and Nobles. This was back when I still went to the bookstore and didn’t simply Amazon prime everything to my front door. I used this DVD numerous times and began to also take a few yoga classes at the gym.

I continued to take yoga classes occasionally over the next four years and during my senior year of college the Kinesiology department offered a Movement Analysis Lab focusing on yoga. I was so excited! The instructor was very relatable, and told the class up front that she was a Christian, and used yoga as a way to “connect” with God. I felt like I had hit the jackpot, especially because I had never in all my years at Arizona State University had any of my teachers state they were Christians.

Up until this time I had never viewed yoga as a way to “connect” with God and had only used it as a way to exercise. I had only taken yoga classes at the gym and in 2005 the yoga classes being offered at my gym were strictly posture based.

Fast forward to March of 2007 and I became very, very sick. You can read more about the neurological disorder that paralyzed me from the neck down and my road to recovery was HERE.

On the road to recovery in 2009 I signed up for a Chrisitan Yoga Teacher Training. Since yoga had been one of the tools I had used during my recovery, I really wanted to share its benefits with others and the added bonus of sharing the gospel message at the same time really appealed to me.

That summer I learned all about “Christian” yoga. I was fired up and ready to encourage others to experience God more deeply through the practice of yoga at my church and any other church that would allow me to teach. Each class included scripture reading, a playlist that contained praise/worship songs, low impact movements, and ended with prayer. The only problem was that the churches that I approached with this amazing opportunity, my own church included, did not want to offer Christian Yoga classes.

I was perplexed and if I am being totally honest, slightly offended, about the reaction I received from local churches in my area. I felt equipped to teach yoga in a manner that honored the Lord yet wasn’t able to get my foot in the door to teach at any church.

Since I was having trouble finding my own yoga classes to teach, the Christian yoga studio that I took my training from offered me a few classes on their schedule. From there I continued to branch out and seek out more studios to teach. Over the next 4 years I taught at 8 different studios/gyms, became a certified personal trainer, and began to teach group fitness classes as well.

From 2010 – 2012 I was teaching upwards of twenty classes weekly. At this point I was no longer teaching at the Christian yoga studio. My classes didn’t contain scripture or prayer because they were being offered in a secular setting but my playlist did contain a mix of pop and praise music.

Once my second baby arrived in 2014, I was no longer teaching classes or practicing yoga, and the further removed I became from teaching and practicing the more I began to wonder if I should really be teaching yoga anymore at all.

Why I Stopped Teaching Yoga

My initial intentions of wanting to share Jesus with others were soon replaced with only wanting to stoke my own ego. During my time teaching yoga I took many yoga workshops and classes to help me fine-tune my own teaching ability. I began setting goals for myself that had nothing to do with my initial desire to help others. The more I embedded myself into our local yoga community the more yoga began to shape and form my identity.

Instead of being excited to share my faith I began to become prideful over how full my classes were and that I was actually able to contort my body into some pretty advanced yoga postures. I spent hours of my time in front of my camera taking pictures of myself in these advanced postures to post on social media in order to promote my classes.

I allowed my successes to become an idol and overshadow my Savior. While there isn’t anything wrong with being successful or taking pride in our gifts, our ability to use discernment often gets pushed aside when we elevate things or people to a position that only rightfully belongs to the one true God.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

Being a “Christian” yoga teacher made me “feel” close to God. But I can’t say that I knew God. Feeling God and knowing God are two completely different things. Even when I was strictly teaching only Christian yoga I based my classes more off what I was feeling as opposed to what I had been studying in God’s word. Because truthfully, back then, the only time I really opened my Bible was to find a scripture that resonated with me for a class.

As a Christian my actions should point others to seek and find an ever deepening relationship with the Lord which is why I am no longer teaching or practicing yoga. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism and as a Christ follower I can no longer in good conscious be associated with teaching something that may cause others to stumble or open up a path to them that leads them away from the saving grace of Christ’s death on the cross.

God gives us all free will. But a Christian must not merely consider what is lawful, but what is expedient, and to edify others.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23

What About Christians Teaching/Practicing Only Christian Yoga?

There is no governing authority or church body presiding over Christian yoga or Christian Yoga Teacher Trainings. Even with all the best intentions, without this governing authority, there is no elder board or pastoral staff ensuring that the doctrine is sound and inline with what the Bible teaches.

The ability for new and even mature believers in Christ to be able to discern what is or isn’t biblically based can become much more blurry especially when churches are offering Christian yoga classes. If a person really starts enjoying a Christian yoga class there is a high probability that they will start to seek out other classes. Yoga can, in some regards, become a gateway into many new age practices that the Bible specially warns believers to stay away from. (Leviticus 20:6, Deuteronomy 18: 10-12)

Please know, I am not saying that everyone who practices yoga will participate in these activities but they do become much more accessible.

For someone who is seeking more peace in their life or looking for a greater purpose I can see how these things could become very attractive. For several years I had put so much weight in the fact that because I was a yoga teacher I should have zero stress and not deal with anxiety. When I was suffering with postpartum depression and anxiety I didn’t realize I had elevated my yoga practice to a place where I had actually made it an idol. Instead of seeking out God for comfort and wisdom I was looking at myself to calm my anxiety and overwhelming feelings of sadness and fear.

Recommended Reading: 10 Bible Verses for Anxiety and 10 Ways to Deal with Anxiety

As believers we have to stay alert and be mindful of how our actions can be perceived by others.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. 1 Pet. 5:8-9

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Even things that are good can distract us away from God. Taking care of our bodies is a good and even a biblically based practice to follow, but we have to be so careful not to let the pursuit of healthy living become an idol.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

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