My First 7 Days of Burn Boot Camp Knightdale: I Never Knew I Could Be So Strong!

Don't Quit- Burn Boot Camp Knightdale sign

Hey, ya’ll! I have recently decided to focus more on my health and well-being. Once it was obvious to me that I would need additional motivation to start working out again, I asked my neighbors, preschool mom friends, and Facebook followers what gyms or workouts people loved the most.  One of the most consistent responses that I kept hearing was, “You HAVE to try Burn Boot Camp in Knightdale.”

Committing to Trying Burn Boot Camp: Getting Over My Hesitancy

I had been eyeballing Burn Boot Camp for a while, not just because of its easily accessible location in the middle of Knightdale, NC, at 706 Money Ct, but also because of its child watch feature.  One of the biggest excuses that I have told myself over the past few years was, “I don’t have any time for a REAL workout when I’m with the kids.”  Walking, sure.  Leisurely bike rides, sure.  But those were weather-dependent and easy to push back when tired or busy with other things.  They were unscheduled.  And it turns out I actually do much better when I schedule my exercise time. 

Building Entrance to Burn Boot Camp Knightdale

I became much more curious once I heard that some Burn Boot Camp Knightdale sessions offer free child watch during your workout there at certain times.  Then, I ran across a promotional deal: To try a 30-day session for $69.  Then, I discovered that Burn Boot Camp Knightdale offered a free, open-to-the-public workout session within the next day or so of my considering joining.  I also had a gracious offer from a very kind and patient preschool friend to meet me there for my first workout, so the stars all aligned for me.

After giving it some thought and ensuring I was ready to push myself outside my comfort zone, I went for it.  The next bit of writing is going to be me journaling my way through my next seven days at Burn Boot Camp in Knightdale, NC.  Now, I am going to write a few more posts on my experience and progress, so don’t worry. By the time I’m done, you will have been able to experience the entire 30 days right along with me.  

My Dietary Goals Over the Next 30 Days

To lay out the “ground rules,” so to speak, I just want you to know… I will NOT be doing any drastic diet changes during this time.  I plan to increase my fresh fruits and veggies, increase my lean protein intake, change out simple carbs for more complex carbs, drink more water, stop snacking at night, and cut back on eating so much sugar.  By the way, That last one is going to be HARD. My family has a new tradition we started this past summer called “sundae Sundays.”  So yes, I will still enjoy ice cream at least once a week because we all need to find happiness and balance.

I will not ban any foods during this process. My goal is to be healthier, and that includes my relationship with food, so I will try to make healthier meal choices. But I am not going to restrict myself to anything in particular because that is not a sustainable way of life (unless, of course, you have a medical condition that requires you to do so).  And when I am hungry, I’m going to try to fill my body with nutritious food (but it also needs to taste good because I love food!).

Measuring My Progress and Preparing To Work Out at Burn Boot Camp

I’ll not be posting any before measurements, but I will DEFINITELY post my results afterward once my 30 days are complete in terms of inches lost, % of body weight decreased, body fat % decreased, etc.  Maybe a before and after pic, too.  🙂 I will also post any gains I have achieved beyond the physical and let you know how I feel at the end of my session.  Because how we feel about ourselves should matter WAY more than how we look.  

Also, a funny side note: if there was one personally woefully ill-equipped for this workout, it was me.  I had a tank top and exercise pants, but on my first session, my shoes were slip-on Sketchers (I would NOT recommend), and it had taken me over 30 minutes to unearth my sports bra in a pile of tucked-away clothes.  So yeah, it has been a hot minute.  But I didn’t let the fact that I don’t have the coolest workout clothes deter me, so you shouldn’t either!

Alright, without further ado, let’s get going on my first week:

Saturday, September 16th: Day 1- My FIRST Burn Boot Camp!

I walked into the 8 a.m. class about ten minutes early to ensure everything was set up.  I had already signed a waiver online, so I got a quick rundown from the super-friendly and helpful Operations Manager, Bri.

The music was pumping throughout the floor.  This is your place if you enjoy working out to high-energy hip-hop music (which I love when I’m working out hard). The one thing that hit me right off the bat was how EVERYONE around me high-fived each other.  Bri high-fived me; trainers high-fived and welcomed me.  It felt… abundantly friendly.  It wasn’t until the end of class that I understood how incredibly important those high-fives were.

Reel of Burn Boot Camp

The one thing that I really appreciated was how immaculate this space is.  Everything was clean and in its place.  The workout equipment was all stuff I have seen before- no fancy machines or contraptions requiring adjustments and wipe-downs on sweaty seats.  And it has a very bouncy/padded floor right in the middle of the room.  The child watch room is in the back, immaculately clean and organized but also loaded with bright colors and toys.  It has a nice large window that you can go over and peek into to check on your kiddos during your time here.

Burn Boot Camp Knightdale play area

I met the trainer, Cassie, and she warmly welcomed me.  She also asked me if I had any questions, and I told her my one concern was wanting not to injure myself since it had been so long since I had genuinely worked out. She promised that she would come around and help me if she saw anything off with my form and encouraged me to try the modifications of the workouts if things were getting too challenging.

Getting Started

And then, the time had come to start.  Cassie spoke over a headset with speakers that allowed the whole room to hear what she was saying over the music.  She explained the workout today (full-body strength) and the various stations and reps we would be doing for each.  

I’ll be honest.  I was coming here after a night of enjoying a wine-tasting event at Haven Farm.  I might have still been a little foggy. The stations didn’t register with me at all.  I had to look to my partner to help me the entire time (which she patiently did).  Cassie also came over a few times to help with my form and guide me through the exercises.  Considering how many people were there, I felt like I still got a lot of support from the trainer, my workout friend, and the other people around me.

The stations consisted of burpees, planks, shoulder taps, hand weights, crunches, push-ups, jumping over stuff, etc. (can you tell I don’t do much working out?  Lol).   There was nothing overly complicated in each station, but you rotated through them fast.  Thankfully, every station could be modified if the exercise was too difficult for your level of fitness or if you need to be careful about any injuries, etc. (although if you’re worried about an injury, please consult with your health care provider before starting any sort of exercise program like this).

Interior of Burn Boot Camp Knightdale with hand weights and stations

The 45 minutes went by in a blink.  We were rotating so frequently, the music was pumping, and I was trying to keep up.  My brain couldn’t get bored- there was no time! After every station was complete, people would come around and high-five you as they walked by.  Everyone of every body type and gender looked red-faced, was breathing heavily, and was sweating by the end.  I know I was a sweaty, shaking mess (and I was grateful for the clean towels they had there to sop up my sweat).  

By the way, those high-fives that everyone shared, they were doing it because not only were they supporting you, but I realized that they wanted the support, too. That very brief physical connection almost builds this sense of community (Like, “OMG, can you believe how hard this is today? Alright, we’ve got it. High Five”). All of that support felt amazing. 

Burn Boot Camp gym rules

But I felt good, accomplished.  I felt proud of myself for trying something new.  And even though I pushed myself, I handled it okay!  No passing out, no scary injury moments. So, I decided to take the plunge and sign up for my 30 days.  I scheduled my focus meeting for Monday evening with a trainer to discuss my goals and to get some measurements.  And away I went, slowly, stiffly walking toward my car.

Burn Boot Camp Day 2:

With today being Sunday, Burn Boot Camp Knightdale was closed. I honestly didn’t even know that until later in the day because there was no way I was going to be able to go back today.  I woke up so, so, so sore.  I’m talking about need-to-take-one-stair-at-a-time, hard-to-bend-over sore.  I was also very fatigued and a bit worried that I might have pushed myself a little too hard at my first session.

I did some work in our garden for about two hours, and everything that I would normally do with bounce and determination to get it done was completed much more slowly.  I was dragging.

So, I learned to eat more protein and drink more water after my workouts.  And stretch!  I didn’t stretch much afterward yesterday, and I will not make that mistake again if I can help it.  By the way, fun fact: I’m allergic to ibuprofen/Advil.  Lol, so there is no medicating my way out of this soreness!  But a long nap definitely helped today. And I did still enjoy my smaller-than-usual but still delicious Sunday sundae.

Burn Boot Camp Day 3: 

I arrived 20 minutes before my next workout session was to start.  I was still sore, but not nearly as bad as the day before. Honestly, the hardest part about getting up and going today was the time of the class.  By 5 p.m., I am exhausted.  I spent the day running around, doing errands, and taking care of my daughter and son after preschool/playing at Mimi’s house.  5 p.m. was NOT a time that motivated me to move my body.  But having my appointment scheduled helped, so away I went.

I met with another trainer, Nick, at Burn Boot Camp Knightdale for my focus meeting.  Now, Nick looks like he is in his 20s (just guessing).  For a brief second, I was a little nervous talking to a younger male about my weight and physical journey.  But then I realized this wasn’t his first rodeo with helping people train, and he was a professional who deserved a chance.  Within a few minutes of talking to him, my worries faded away.  He was so positive and energetic that it put me at ease.  He seems genuinely eager to help and seems like the kind of guy who is stoked about guiding people to live healthier lives.  

We discussed my kids,  previous workout experience, my challenges, my big Why for being there, and what goals I hoped to accomplish over the next 30 days (I said hopefully lose five pounds, gain strength, gain motivation to continue to stay active, and gain more energy).  He also advised me to increase my protein intake on the days that I did strength training and encouraged me to try a sample of the Burn Boot Camp AfterBurn drink supplement to see if that might be helpful.  Nick then gave me a sheet with some nutritional guidance on it, and we went to start camp.  

Burn Boot Camp members getting ready for camp in Knightdale

Today’s camp was bodyweight conditioning.  It felt pretty cardio-heavy, which I actually prefer over doing weights.   Today was also slightly less confusing, partially because it wasn’t as new and because I rested up and avoided any drinking the night before again (Gotta keep sharp over these next few weeks!). Nick was great with coming around to make sure that if I needed modifications, he was there to guide me.  More high-fives. More sweat, more muscles shaking, and wondering if I can do it.  But then I did do it, and I left feeling proud that I came back.  

Burn Boot Camp Day 4: 

Both of my kids were in preschool today, so I chose to do a 9:30 a.m. Burn Bamp Camp since I learned yesterday that I have no motivation by 4-5 p.m. This was a much better time for me.  My coffee had kicked in, my big morning rush was out of the way, and I was ready to focus on fitness.

I was still a little sore from yesterday, but not as badly as I was on Sunday.  Today was a manageable level of soreness.

Rosie was our trainer for today.  She was friendly and upbeat, and she reminded me that everyone is on a health journey and we all start somewhere.  Today’s workout was for arms and core strength.  This one made my abs burn in places that I forgot could burn.  All I could think of was how those poor muscles got so stretched out from my pregnancies, and now they wanted to wreak vengeance on me for all these years of neglect.  

But, once again, I got through it.  The stations were still tough for me to remember.  Rosie came by and helped me with modifications and making sure I had the correct stance for everything.  I also made sure to really observe the parents and kids who were coming and going from the child watch area.  Every kid seemed happy.  Every parent seemed at ease dropping their kids off.  I decided to fill out the form with my kids’ info so I could bring my son in tomorrow morning.

I remembered Nick’s suggestion, so I also tried a sample of Burn Boot Camp’s very own AfterBurn supplement powder.  Bri gave me a list of flavor options and plant vs. whey protein, and I chose the pina colada flavor.  When I got home and made my AfterBurn shake with oat milk, I was really surprised at how great it tasted.  I might buy more samples to try other flavors because they are tasty, filling, and protein-loaded.

Burn boot camp Knightdale gear and Afterburn

I came home noticing something else, too.  I was starting to have more energy.  I was feeling more positive and more motivated. <3

Burn Boot Camp Day 5: 

Today’s biggest step for me was bringing my son in for child watch.  He’s only two and is going through an “I only want Mama” phase, so I was very nervous to drop him off.  But to my surprise, he went in, found himself a truck, and happily plopped down to start playing.  I signed him in and then headed out to the floor.

Today’s Burn Boot Camp workout was full-body strength and conditioning.  Lots of squat-esque exercises.  We used kettlebells, medicine balls, and hand weights.  My quadriceps were really burning today to the point that I was worried about injuring myself, so I took it easier and didn’t push myself as hard.  

Even with me doing so many modifications, I still left feeling like I gave it my all.  I was sweaty and beet-red.  Nick helped me remember the stations when I felt confused and ensured that my form was good.  He helped me count down for some of my reps, and I appreciated his supportive words and high-fives while still pushing me to keep going.

Afterward, I picked up my little buddy.  He looked genuinely happy.  He said “Yes!” when I asked him if he had fun.  He told me he played with trucks and then said, “Want to do it again, Mama!”  <3.  If he’s happy, then I’m happy!

Burn Boot Camp Knightdale baby play area

Burn Boot Camp Day 6: 

Today was a greatly needed-day of rest from Burn Boot Camp.  I woke up sore and found it very hard to squat down, so I took a boot camp break today to honor my body.  However, I did need to clean my house since my parents are visiting this weekend.  So, I remained fairly active, cleaning the majority of the day.  I could have sworn that my shorts were already feeling less snug than last week.

I had some stressors on my plate today that caused me to have a few emotional moments, and I had promised my daughter that I would take her out for a treat- just us girls.  So we went to a bakery, and I enjoyed a moderately-sized piece of gluten-free chocolate cake.  That indulgence definitely wasn’t in the plan, but sharing that moment with my daughter felt nice. I tried to ensure that I loaded up on more veggies than I normally would to help nutritionally round out my day at dinner time.  I’m hopeful to get one more camp in tomorrow before the family is here for the weekend!

Burn Boot Camp Day 7: 

Today was the “Lower Body Strength w/ Intense ISO Finisher” workout with Brea.  Basically, it was lots of leg workouts, which was a bit rough for me since my quadriceps were still so sore from the other day.  So, I had to take it easy on some of the exercises. However, it felt good to challenge other muscles of mine around my legs.  Of course, I left the camp sweaty and red-faced, slowly walking back to the car.  

Today was great because I brought both of my kids to play in the playroom during the 8:30 am session.  My daughter and son both had a great time, and my daughter even said, “That was fun!  I want to go back! They even had blocks, and an easel, and MOANA!” Lol.  So it really puts my Mama heart at ease knowing that I can do this workout with my kids, feeling so safe and happy all at once.  Talk about being productive!  

Burn Boot Camp Knightdale: Week One Summary

Taylor Norton of Eastern Wake Love posing in work out clothes

I went to five Burn Boot Camp workouts in my first week.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to go that often the rest of the time, but I’ve decided to make it my goal to go every day that I physically can unless I have some other obligation that prevents me from going.

My diet hasn’t drastically changed.  I’ve stopped snacking at night and cut back on my sweets.    I’m trying to eat more protein, fresh fruits and veggies, and drink more water.  But other than that, no serious, drastic dietary changes.

I’m already noticing that my workout pants are not quite as snug as they were last week when I pulled them on.  I also feel like I have a bit more energy, and surprisingly, I haven’t had a single day where I dread going to work out (we’ve all had those days).  Most importantly, this endeavor has made me feel more energetic and confident to keep moving my body in other ways.  I’m more likely to want to go for the family walk, and going up the stairs seems to be taking a little less effort than last week.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the remainder of my 30 days will bring, and I can’t wait to share my physical results with you as well!  Stay tuned! 🙂

Update: Here’s my progress for Weeks Two and Three! I can’t wait to share my final results with you at the end of 30 days!

Author: Taylor

Taylor, the founder of Eastern Wake Love and resident of Knightdale, NC, created the platform to celebrate Eastern Wake County’s community and lifestyle. Driven by the lack of substantial information about the Eastern Wake communities during her move to Knightdale, she wanted to create a resource for this beautiful area's potential and current residents and visitors. In her spare time, she’s chasing after her two young kiddos, getting involved in her community, and laughing with her husband about the chaos of parenthood.


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