Tammy Opfer is a single mother of two who wants to set a good example for her son and daughter, and she’s putting that desire into practice by opening the newest franchise of Burn Boot Camp this spring in Ahwatukee.
In the interim, she has organized “pop-up camps” throughout February to introduce her business to area women. Once her gym at 4625 E. Ray Road opens, she will offer 30 days of no-fee fitness camps.
Opfer says she identifies with busy women and wants to help them become the best they can be for themselves and their families.
She said after her children were born, she found herself not in the place physically she felt she should be.
“I was a stay-at-home mom, and I was really heavy after having my children,” she said, referring to her son, Caleb,12, and daughter, Teagan, 9. “I wanted to leave a health and wellness legacy for them.”
When her children were younger, she tried various diets and frequented gyms, which often proved more challenging with her youngsters in tow. As her children grew older and headed to school, she entered “corporate America,” but that became more stressful.
Yet this experience would also propel her into owning her own Burn Boot Camp franchise, joining the current 243 locations nationwide established since the North Carolina-based company began franchising in 2015.
“Last year proved to be a very challenging year at my job. It was filled with countless re-orgs and downsizing amid merger talks. Anyone that has been through this knows how unsettling it can be – especially for me as a single mom.
“For the first four months of the year, I worried whether I’d even have a job as I watched many talented and valuable employees get laid off. I was saved, but my job transitioned to a new area, and the new leadership was difficult,” she said.
“I knew I needed to move on and contemplated what I really wanted to do at this stage of my life, what legacy did I want to leave for my children,” she added. “So, I left corporate America to pursue my dream of owning my own business.”
Opfer became acquainted with Burn Boot Camp through her decade-long friendship with Carie Perham, who in January 2018 opened a south Chandler Burn Boot Camp that Opfer attended.
“It has a profound effect on everyone who goes through it,” said Opfer, who aspires to open a second Burn Boot Camp in the area. Perham’s second location, Gilbert East, is planned to open this summer.
Opfer has named Gilbert resident Cullen McLeod as head trainer for her new Burn Boot Camp, and Haley Dennerline, a new recruit from Burn Boot Camp Colorado Springs, as a support trainer.
McLeod, 28, said he has eight years in the fitness industry and prepared for this position with intensive training at Burn University in North Carolina.
He explained that the 45-minute workouts on the floating floor provide new, innovative programs daily so attendees never do the same workout twice.
Each camp or class involves a circuit-style workout comprised of different styles and 20 different formats.
“We don’t use machines – the body is your machine,” he said, adding that dumbbells and kettlebells and other equipment are utilized.
“All our workouts change regularly, and that helps keep the body from getting stagnant,” he said. “We have a mix of challenging exercise, unique programming and a fun atmosphere. You show up, be consistent and you’re going to get results.”
“The 45 minutes is designed to maximize your results. We’re all very busy these days, and here you have 45 minutes of an intense and varied workout, yet you’re in and out. And every member gets unlimited focus meetings with our head trainer – one-on-one where you can talk nutrition or anything specific to you.”
Social media is a big part of Burn Boot Camp, which has an expansion goal of 10 new locations in Greater Phoenix by next year.
“Since we began franchising in 2015, the Burn Boot Camp brand has sold itself. With more than 243 locations operating or in development, our focus has shifted to further developing markets like Phoenix,” said Devan Kline, chief executive officer and co-founder of Burn Boot Camp in a release.
Each Sunday, the Burn Boot Camp App, Instragram account and Facebook (Burn Boot Camp Ahwatukee) page posts the week’s scheduled programming. By design, the Burn Boot Camp program never uses the same muscle group two days in a row.
“What I want people to know is that these are unlimited 45-minute camps, no reservation needed,” she explained. “And we offer complimentary child-watch for ages 12 weeks through 12 years, and that’s child-watch, not childcare; there’s no diaper changes or feeding.
“And we offer personalized nutrition and focus meetings to help you meet your goals.”
Although Burn Boot Camp has targeted women as their main demographic, McLeod said men are welcome in the co-ed specified classes.
This month’s Burn Boot Camp pop-up camps are Feb. 19 and 26 at Kyrene de la Mirada at 5500 W. Galveston St. in Chandler, and Sundance Park, 933 Roosevelt Ave., also in Chandler.
“We weren’t able to partner with the City of Phoenix parks and so we chose alternate park locations as close to our new gym as possible,” said Opfer. “And we look forward to partnering with other schools in the Kyrene School District closer to home.”
Information: BurnBootCamp.com/ahwatukee-az and Facebook.