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Burn Boot Camp Transforms Women's Lives in Addition to Burning Calories

By Pamela Sosnowski

For many people, the words "boot camp" in regards to a fitness routine can sound intimidating -- scary, even. Stephanie Drew, owner of Burn Boot Camp in North Durham, used to feel the same way.

"As a client myself, I remember being so nervous my first week," she recalls. "I would drive to the gym with knots in my stomach wondering what we were going to do and if I was going to be able to do it. Looking back, it seems so silly now, (because) our boot camps are absolutely for everybody. There is a modification for every exercise, and our trainer weaves the modifications in so seamlessly that you never feel like an oddball doing something different."

Drew first tried the Concord-based Burn Boot Camp when it opened in 2014 with the intentions of getting into shape again after giving birth. Despite the fact that she had worked out before stepping into the gym, within two weeks she became a member and a few months later was recognized as "Fit Mom of the Month" for her weight loss and transforming her body. "This place changed my life," she says. "It was such a big turnaround, and I wanted to help others learn to love working out as well."

After getting her Certified Personal Trainer license and working part-time at the Concord facility, she then took advantage of Burn's newly announced franchising program and opened up her own gym in North Durham. Like all Burn locations, her facility teaches "Burst Training", which is high intensity classes that burn fat through using innovative equipment. They also offer strength training, which sculpts the body and builds muscle, and whole food nutrition, which gives its members customized meal plans to balance hormones naturally and feel their best from the inside out.

Drew's location also specializes in Bridal Boot Camp to help brides-to-be look and feel their fittest by their wedding day, Burn Yoga, and a kids' camp. And while the classes are popular with women, the North Durham Burn has designed a full-body men's workout.

Burn Boot Camp has been featured on NBC, ABC, Fox, Men's Health magazine and other media outlets. According to Drew, one thing that sets the company apart from other fitness chains is the sense of community and camaraderie the classes fosters with its members. "We know every client's name and we truly care about their story," she says. "It's personal training in a group setting, so everyone gets personal attention from the trainer, but they also get the encouragement and energy from those around them. We are a family."

For Drew, the most satisfying part of being a franchise owner is seeing her clients transform their bodies and their lives through the classes at Burn Boot Camp. Within her first month of operation in June 2016, she noticed women losing up to 20 pounds and reaping the health benefits of reduced stress and blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as making new friends.

"Our focus is on women and moms who too often put themselves last," she says. "At our gym with a 45-minute workout, they are getting their lives back."

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