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Basecamp Fitness Bulks Up – Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Basecamp Fitness opened its second Minnesota location at 50th & France’s fitness magnet Nolan Mains in February 2020. Two years and one pandemic later, the California-born chain is poised for more expansion in the coming years with three Twin Cities locations on deck and many more to come nationally. Thanks to franchisee Tonya DeGregorio, Basecamp is spreading the love (and sweat!) throughout the Twin Cities: Apple Valley, Eden Prairie, and Maple Grove.

With more than 40 studios in the pipeline, watch for the blue and black sweat spot to debut in Jacksonville, Orlando, Detroit, Charleston, New York, and San Diego in 2023.

DeGregorio worked in the fitness industry for much of her career before jumping in with Basecamp. “After five years of working as an instructor and assistant studio manager for Orangetheory Fitness, I took a position as a studio manager at the Basecamp Fitness studio in Woodbury,” she says. “I immediately fell in love with the brand, its vision, and saw first-hand how well it resonates with fitness enthusiasts of all kinds.”

Though it was started in California, Basecamp is now owned by Chanhassen-based Self Esteem Brands, parent of Life Time, Anytime Fitness, and many more fit spots. BC has three metro locations, but DeGregorio will gain foothold for the brand through her three franchise locations. Apple Valley, her first location, is on track to open in early March 2023. Eden Prairie and Maple Grove locations will follow. “Apple Valley caught our attention due to its proximity to Rosemount and Eagan—not to mention the residential and commercial growth happening in the area,” she says.

The 35-minute workout is known for its high-intensity flip-flopping structure: alternating one minute of cycling on an air bike (where speed correlates to resistance) with one minute of strength exercises, culminating in a core blast. The brand’s biggest selling point is its brevity: they fit 50 minutes of work into a 35-minute workout. And you can do anything for 35 minutes right?!

The workout is wicked hard—trust us, friends, we tried it! The hottest part of a fire is actually the blue flame, and it’s not lost on us that Basecamp studios are washed in blue light. Hot, hard, and just enough of “I did that!” dopamine to entice you to return.

Basecamp aims to tone, define, and build lean muscle tissue through an “ever-changing mashup of TRX, kettle bells, barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, and body weight exercises,” DeGregorio says. But the community is what knits sweat-ers together. “At the end of the day, the workout brings people together and builds community around fitness,” she continues. “I have met many amazing and lifelong friends through my fitness journey and want to create that community in my studios: people who enjoy working hard and celebrating milestones and victories together.”

Ben Camper, whose done laps around the fitness industry since 2009 and played professional hockey for a moment, experienced the contagion of a Basecamp workout at the OG Burlingame, California, location. “I knew Basecamp was the most efficient and effective workout on the market,” he says. “I loved its positioning in the boutique fitness space.”

Now brand president of Basecamp at Self Esteem Brands, Camper is noticing a return to fitness in the wake of the pandemic that changed so many facets of our daily lives. “There’s no question that the pandemic has forever changed the fitness industry and how people approach their fitness routine,” he says. The swell of virtual content and engagement outside of the gym walls is one of those here-to-stay expectations. “However, we have seen most people return to their local gyms and fitness studios, simply because it’s an experience that can’t be replicated virtually.”

In the era of fitness mirrors and famed Peloton instructors, there remains something irresistible about sweating alongside strangers. “People want to fit an effective workout into their busy schedules, and Basecamp does this while fostering an organic and passionate community of over-achievers,” Camper says. “They want to check out of their daily lives for 35 minutes and get a sweat that helps power them through the rest of their day.”

The Next Move

There’s no doubt about it: “It’s been an exciting year for Basecamp Fitness,” Camper says. It’s been an exciting year for humanity, really—but especially gym rats who love their studios and classes and IRL high-fives.

Basecamp currently has a contract with a franchisee to bring 20 (you read it right!) new BC studios to Florida, a new frontier for the brand. The first two studios are expected to open in Jacksonville and Orlando in early 2023. “In the next few years, we have an aggressive development strategy to open over 200 locations across the U.S., as well as a few international markets,” Camper says.

Today, the Twin Cities, tomorrow the world.

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