Fitness for Everyone: Burn Boot Camp

When Eddie Arvelo was in the U.S. Air Force, it was easy for him to feel a sense of camaraderie with his fellow troops. And as someone who had always loved physical fitness, it was also easy for him to stay physically fit and active thanks to his military training. But after 10 years in military service, Eddie wasn't sure what his next step would be. After realizing his love for physical fitness could be a career path, he decided to pursue personal training, including returning to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to study kinesiology and exercise science. And there, he met someone who shared his love of fitness – Lindsay.  

Eddie Arvelo and Lindsay Arvelo, owners of Burn Boot Camp in High Point, NC stand in front of their gym.
Eddie & Lindsay Arvelo, Franchise Partners of Burn Boot Camp in High Point.

Fast-forward a few years, and newlyweds Eddie and Lindsay, self-described opposites with a lot in common, wanted to know what legacy they could leave on the world. When Eddie was approached with the opportunity to open a Burn Boot Camp in High Point, NC, the couple decided to leave behind their lives and families in Charlotte to relocate and open their own gym.  

“Burn Boot Camp gave me that same camaraderie and vibe,” Eddie says, comparing the community he and Lindsay found through Burn Boot Camp to his days in the military. “This was bigger than working with one or two individuals in a personal trainer setting, so we took the leap of faith and moved here. We realized God put us here for a reason, and we’re going to impact thousands.”   

Today, Lindsay and Eddie are coming up on their fourth anniversary in High Point, and while they’ve faced their fair share of trials in the last four years, the rewards far outweigh the challenges. Because from the beginning, Burn Boot Camp hasn’t been about just hitting metrics or monitoring results – it’s been about building a community to support the holistic health of the members.  

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“Our mission is to be inspiring, empowering, and transforming,” Eddie explains, “and that’s way more than just the physical.” 

Every Burn Boot Camp member starts with a Focus Meeting, hosted by one of the trainers at the gym. In these meetings, the trainer works with the student to drill down to their “why.”  

“What made you come through the door?” Eddie often asks his clients in their first Focus Meeting. “Now we know we’re going to get you to your goal.”  

Eddie notes that in the first Focus Meeting, trainers and clients don’t even discuss weight loss or measurement goals.  

“We want to connect to that deeper core,” he says. Eddie and Lindsay share stories of clients who have wanted to get into better shape so that they could stay active for their kids, have a more positive body image, take some time for themselves, or even to increase their ability to start a family. The Focus Meetings, which happen every four to five weeks, continue to help clients stick to their goals, and more importantly, their motivations. They also ensure that no matter where someone starts on their fitness journey, they never forget someone is in their corner cheering them on and prepping them to get to the next level.  

A woman performs a stretch at a gym in High Point, NC.

“Everyone’s fitness journey starts at a different point, but we want to be able to cater to any type of fitness level,” Eddie says. The culture at Burn Boot Camp prioritizes small consistent steps over show off-y strides. In fact, Lindsay and Eddie both take pride in the fact that Burn Boot Camp has a diversity of ages and fitness levels, and each person has found a place at Burn Boot Camp.  

“Fitness is for everybody and can be for everybody if it’s done the right way,” Lindsay says. “One of our values is people first and the only way we are able to hold true to that value is to actually make a place where everybody is welcome.”  

Unlike other gyms, Burn Boot Camp sessions or “camps” aren’t separated by level. Instead, each attendee joins together in the same workout, led by a trainer, who will help each attendee find a set and an exercise that is right for them. The attendees are encouraged to make use of the “personal trainer” aspect of Burn Boot Camp, by seeking out the trainer to make modifications to the routine to customize their fitness experience. The trainer, who leads the entire class, can also turn off their mic to work individually with an attendee within the 45-minute camp.  

“We really focus with our trainers on the delivery of their words,” Eddie says. “This camp might be the only time ever in someone’s fitness journey that they take that leap of faith to come. And if it is a bad experience, they’re not going to come back again.” 

A personal trainer at Burn Boot Camp in High Point points to a white board with reps.
A personal trainer shows a woman how to adjust her position during her workout.

And when it came to modifications, Eddie and Lindsay have learned that being adaptable means more than just changing a squat to a lunge or a floor routine to a chair exercise.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Burn Boot Camp was only about 18 months old. And while Lindsay and Eddie were proud of what they had accomplished, there were days when they weren’t sure if it was enough to help them make it through the turbulent waters of 2020.  

“Everything in person went virtual,” Eddie says. Burn Boot Camp offered virtual classes from March to June of 2020. Eventually, they were able to offer some outdoor camps as well. Because of their guiding philosophy that mental and emotional health are also huge components of holistic health and wellness, they also offered other virtual events to support their members. Storytime with Mr. Eddie, Coffee Chats with Rachel (another Burn Boot Camp team member) about mental health, Kids’ Camps, and Focus Meetings were all offered virtually to continue caring for their members during the pandemic.  

“They supported us too,” Lindsay states, saying that they knew it was a commitment for members to hold onto their membership in a time when there were thousands of free workout videos available. “We spent the first 18 months supporting this community, and when it came time for it, they showed up for us.”   

Stories and images of people who's lives have changed through personal training in High Point, NC.

Now, nearly two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that Lindsay and Eddie haven’t just trained their members on how to perform burpees or lunges – they’ve trained their members to see and seek out a deep sense of community. 

Lindsay and Eddie can both tell stories of participants who came to their first camps in baggy clothes, head down, trying to avoid drawing attention to themselves. But as the camps continued, they started to come out of their shell. And other attendees, long-time campers who share Lindsay and Eddie’s passion to support their fellow participants, reached out to invite those members to be their partners for group exercises, offerings hugs and high-fives at the end of the camp.  

“Seeing that person who really hasn’t had a lot of self-confidence in their entire life... For them to be an atmosphere where they are accepted for who they are, realizing that we all have work to do and putting in that work on a physical but more importantly from an emotional and mental standpoint is rewarding,” Eddie reflects.    

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And Burn Boot Camp isn’t just a space for attendees. Thanks to the Kids Watch service offered by Burn Boot Camp team members, kids are supervised in a connecting room, so parents can look in on their kids having fun with each other during the camp. Throughout the year, Burn Boot Camp also offers "Family Camps,” a time for kids and spouses to come work out together.  

“It’s cool to see how the family nucleus is inspired by the mom or dad to work out,” says Eddie. “It becomes a whole family lifestyle.” 

Kids Watch, an area for kids to play in while their parents work out is part of Burn Boot Camp of High Point, NC.
Kids Watch, an area for kids to play in while their parents work out is part of Burn Boot Camp of High Point, NC.

When it comes to family, Eddie and Lindsay have started to feel the family pride of the close-knit High Point community. As relocators from a big city, they both note how the town feels like everyone knows everyone and how much they appreciate the closeness they’ve found, which helps them easily build friendships with their members and other High Point businesses they partner with. 

And for the Arvelos, this perspective is more than just a good business ownership; it’s a lifestyle. While each camp has anywhere for 20-30 participants, Lindsay and Eddie greet each attendee by name, and they ask questions to each attendee about their daily lives.  

“They feel that consistency,” Eddie says with pride. “They see we’re not just trying to get them to become a member... That’s where you start to see the walls come down.”  

"It's more than numbers on a scale; it's changing people's lives."

Eddie Arvelo, Franchise Partner of Burn Boot Camp

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When walls come down, real change can occur. “I’m proud we create a space... for people who probably wouldn’t be in any other fitness class ever,” Lindsay adds. 

“Lindsay and I see this as our legacy,” Eddie says. “It’s more than numbers on a scale; it’s changing people’s lives.” 


Discover our High Points, 

The HPD Team

Photography by Anna Danielle Photography

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