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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2008 12:00 am

In 2007 Dawn Franklin helped Ahwatukee Foothills residents shed more than 1,000 pounds and 1,000 inches. "I guess you could say I helped make Ahwatukee lighter," said the program director of Ahwatukee Adventure Boot Camp for Women. Jan. 29 will mark Franklin's one-year anniversary of the boot camp, and the 38-year-old instructor couldn't be prouder. A 1992 graduate of the University of Michigan, Franklin helped open small studios in Avondale and Surprise and worked as a personal trainer for six years until she decided to go out on her own. "After a while I just decided I kind of wanted to do my own thing, so I opened my own camp," Franklin said. The original Adventure Boot Camp is based out of Orange County, Calif. There are currently 10 independently-owned camps throughout Arizona. "It's cool because we all talk to each other and use each other's knowledge," Franklin said. "The main thing is what you are going to do to stand out. We provide all the tools for people to reach their goals and align ourselves with companies that are nutrition-related." Each Adventure Boot Camp instructor must travel to Orange County to be certified to teach. They are also required to renew their certification every two to three years. "It is important to make sure you have a certified personal trainer," said Franklin, who is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI). Each month she hosts an introductory seminar to provide basic nutritional information for new clients. "The nutritional piece is really big," Franklin said. "You're not going to burn 500 calories during a workout and go eat a McDonald's 1,000-calorie meal afterwards. I want to make boot camp safe, fun, challenging and accessible to everyone." She offers two one-hour-long sessions, 5:30 and 9 a.m., five days a week at the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center. "The 5:30 class is more popular because the only excuse you can have is you didn't get out of bed," Franklin said. A three-day class is also available, but she suggests only people with busy schedules choose that option. As for how Franklin structures her class: "A lot of the stuff I do is timed," she said. "No one gets left behind. The people that need to be pushed, I'm pushing them." Franklin is also a firm believer of adding variety to a workout. "I've had clients for a year who say they've never seen the same workout twice," she said. "Boot camp is about building camaraderie. You're going to push yourself more in a group than you would if you were by yourself." For more information or to register, call (623) 640-2680 or visit www.AhwatukeeBootCamp.com. The Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center is located at 4700 E. Warner Road.

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