The 'real' Bikini Boot Camp

The 'real' Bikini Boot Camp

Author: Canadian Living


The 'real' Bikini Boot Camp

Inspired by the outdoor workout regime she had adopted as a student in California, Lindsay Nealon started Bikini Boot Camp© in 2004 as a way for the women she met largely through her Calgary-based chiropractic office to get fit before summer started.

The beginning
"Bikini Boot Camp© started as one group of eight women, then it was two groups of 12, then it kind of ballooned," explains Lindsay. "We made the front page of the Calgary Herald in May of 2005. I had to hire more trainers! It was an exciting but chaotic time."

Lindsay called on her best friend Dawn Kosloski for support. "She helped me with financial resources and became a silent partner," says Lindsay. It wasn't long before both women were boot camping full-time.

"I sold my chiropractic office in April of 2008 to run Bikini Boot Camp©," says Lindsay. Dawn, who was a geologist in downtown Calgary for over a decade, also came on board. "She quit her 'big girl job' last year, too," Lindsay laughs.

There are now Bikini Boot Camps© in nine major centres across the country. "I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I learned the business aspect through my chiropractic office."

As for the secret to their success, Lindsay attributes it to hard work and courage. "Dawn and I put our hearts into it. And I take the approach that if it's not scary, it's not worth doing. There are very scary moments — whether it's meeting people where it's, like, 'Wow! I can't believe I'm meeting this person!', or telling my husband that I'm going to sell my chiropractic office and run Bikini Boot Camp© full-time, there have definitely been scary moments and that is what's propelled us so far."

Here's what to expect when you decide you want to be part of their Bikini Boot Camp©:

• You can sign-up online at

• You'll kick off Camp with an hour-long, one-on-one consultation with your trainer. "This is where you'll start building your relationship with your trainer and setting your goals," says Lindsay. "Most people come in with the goal of wanting to tone up and lose inches. That is definitely do-able. We've had girls who have lost 3 inches, we've had girls who have lost 22 inches, and so it really depends on where you're at."

• Bikini Boot Camp© is comprised of two 75-minute sessions, twice a week for eight weeks. "Bikini Boot Camp© is about balance. Fitness is one part of your life, it is not all encompassing," Lindsay explains. "We have a lot of women who sign up and say 'How much do I have to run?'" There's a lot of different ways to do cardio exercise besides going for a run. We do lots of your typical push-ups and sit-ups, but we also do more 'combination exercises', where you're using your whole body at once. I want to give women a ton of exercises that they can do on their own, that they can go home with, that they don't need a fancy exercise machine or any expensive equipment for. Then they'll be able to get in a workout while their son is having his afternoon nap," says Lindsay, who fits her workouts in around her two-and-a-half year old and her six-month old.

• Workouts take place outside. "In the wintertime, we do use community centres sometimes. We have a -15° C cutoff for working out outside," says Lindsay.

• At the end of the eight weeks, you'll have a follow-up consultation to review your results and talk about your future fitness plans. "I don't want women reliant on Bikini Boot Camp©," Lindsay maintains. "We want them to come in so we can motivate them and teach them some things. Although, we have people who have been with us since 2004 and we love that support. We've seen them get married; we've seen them have babies. It's neat. We've had people e-mail our trainers to ask what style of wedding dress they should get because they value our opinion. That's the greatest compliment," says Lindsay. "'I love working with women. The success of the company has come from this supportive group of women, which is awesome."

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The 'real' Bikini Boot Camp