Basecamp Fitness opened its second location in Minnesota at 50th & France’s fitness magnet Nolan Mains in February 2020. Two years and a pandemic later, the California-born chain is poised for further expansion in the years to come with three Twin Cities locations on deck and many more nationwide. Thanks to franchisee Tonya DeGregorio, Basecamp is spreading the love (and sweat!) across the Twin Cities: Apple Valley, Eden Prairie, and Maple Grove.
With more than 40 studios in the pipeline, keep an eye out for the blue-and-black sweat stain, which will debut in 2023 in Jacksonville, Orlando, Detroit, Charleston, New York, and San Diego.
DeGregorio worked in the fitness industry for much of her career before joining Basecamp. “After working for Orangetheory Fitness for five years as an instructor and assistant facility manager, I took a position as facility manager at Basecamp Fitness in Woodbury,” she says. “I immediately fell in love with the brand and its vision and saw firsthand how well it resonated with fitness enthusiasts of all types.”
Although founded in California, Basecamp is now owned by Chanhassen-based Self Esteem Brands, parent company of Life Time, Anytime Fitness and many other fitness spots. BC has three subway locations, but DeGregorio will gain traction for the brand through her three franchised locations. Apple Valley, their first location, is slated to open in early March 2023. The Eden Prairie and Maple Grove locations will follow. “Apple Valley caught our attention because of its proximity to Rosemount and Eagan — not to mention the residential and commercial growth in the area,” she says.
The 35-minute workout is known for its high-intensity, flip-flop structure: alternating a minute of cycling on an airbike (where speed correlates with resistance) with a minute of strength exercises culminating in a core explosion. The brand’s biggest selling point is their brevity: they fit 50 minutes of work into a 35-minute workout. And you can do anything for 35 minutes, right?!
The workout is insanely hard – trust us friends, we’ve tried it! The hottest part of a fire is actually the blue flame, and it’s not lost on us that Basecamp studios are bathed in blue light. Hot, hard, and just enough of “I did that!” dopamine to entice you to come back.
Basecamp aims to tone, define, and build lean muscle through an “evolving mix of TRX, kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, and bodyweight exercises,” says DeGregorio. But community is what knits sweaters together. “At the end of the day, exercise brings people together and builds a community around fitness,” she continues. “I’ve met a lot of amazing and lifelong friends on my fitness journey and I want to create that community in my studios: people who enjoy working hard and celebrating milestones and victories together.”
Ben Camper, who’s been doing laps in the fitness industry since 2009 and momentarily played professional hockey, experienced the contagion of a basecamp workout at OG’s Burlingame, California location. “I knew that Basecamp was the most efficient and effective training out there,” he says. “I liked the boutique fitness positioning.”
Now Basecamp’s Brand President at Self Esteem Brands, Camper is noticing a return to fitness in the wake of the pandemic that has transformed so many facets of our daily lives. “There is no question that the pandemic has forever changed the fitness industry and how people approach their fitness routine,” he says. The increase in virtual content and engagement outside of gym walls is one of those expectations that’s here to stay. “However, we have seen most people return to their local gyms and gyms simply because it is an experience that cannot be reproduced virtually.”
In the age of fitness mirrors and famous peloton instructors, sweating alongside strangers remains irresistible. “People want to fit effective workouts into their busy schedules, and Basecamp does that while nurturing an organic and passionate community of high achievers,” says Camper. “They want to get out of their daily routine for 35 minutes and work up a sweat to get through the rest of the day with energy.”
The next step
There’s no doubt, “It’s been an exciting year for Basecamp Fitness,” says Camper. It has truly been an exciting year for humanity – but especially for gym rats who love their studios and classes and IRL high fives.
Basecamp currently has a deal with a franchisee to bring 20 (you read that right!) new BC studios to Florida, a new frontier for the brand. The first two studios are scheduled to open in Jacksonville and Orlando in early 2023. “Over the next few years, we are pursuing an aggressive development strategy to open over 200 locations in the United States and in some international markets,” said Camper.
Today the Twin Cities, tomorrow the world.