Camp Rhino

How Julie Johnston keeps Camp Rhino on the Pulse of Trends

My fitness business and I have both changed dramatically over the last 14 years. What was originally “Boot Camp Las Vegas – the original and the toughest outdoor boot camp of its kind” is now “Camp Rhino – the adult playground filled with happy people (beginners to advanced) chasing fun fitness trends such as Ninja Warrior Obstacles and CrossFit.”

When I first started the business in 2004, my vision was to create a boot camp experience for civilians. I wanted to give them mental toughness, show them they can conquer obstacles in workouts and in life, and help them lose weight in the process. I needed that type of program for myself, and I knew others needed it as well. As I changed, the business changed. I wanted more than just a tough workout, I wanted the challenge of an adrenaline-filled obstacle course race. I went from needing torturous workouts to overcome to needing adrenaline-filled obstacle course races. Then the races got longer and longer and we started doing 24 Hour Rucks. When my body couldn’t handle it anymore, I moved to standardized fitness competitions and a focus on mobility, stability, and strength through Functional Boot Camps and CrossFit.

Through the years, we have been either ahead or started right with every big fitness trend.

The secret? My staff and I have always been our gyms biggest customers. Every year for Christmas, my present to myself is gym equipment from Power Systems. I get bored doing the same things every day, and get excited about the next, newest thing to bring into Camp Rhino. I find trainers who want to change the World through fitness and nutrition with me and we have become a family. I enjoy talking to members and finding out what their goals are. Members schedule ‘happiness meetings’ with me where they can talk about their lives and their goals. These meetings give me amazing insight into what our members want for their futures and help me develop future programs.

The newest idea I am bringing to Camp Rhino is Specialty Trainer Workshops. For our trainer meetings, I’m planning on bringing in specialists in different areas and equipment to put my staff through the exercises as a team building and learning endeavor. They will be learning even more about Kettlebells, TRX, PowerWaves, Core Hammers, The Axle, Pilates, Versa Loops and many more. I even want to bring in a Zumba Instructor. This keeps our trainers excited and knowledgeable about what is out there and helps us bring new programming and equipment to our members. I’m also going to try to bring as many trainers as possible to the next IHRSA or IDEA fitness convention to have them try all the demonstrations at the Power Systems booth.

No matter what fitness trend your gym decides to jump on (or start), the only thing that will ever retain members is a stable, warm culture. In all the meetings I have with members, they are excited about the equipment and the programs, but they are most excited about their trainers and their fellow members. Charge enough to pay your trainers what they are worth, hire full-time trainers who want to help you change the World, and protect your members and trainers at all costs.

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Julie Johnston

About Julie Johnston

Julie Johnston is the founder and owner of Camp Rhino, a first of its kind boot camp, indoor obstacle course, and Rhino CrossFit affiliate, in Las Vegas, NV. Over the past 14 years, Johnston and her team have grown Camp Rhino from one of the first outdoor boot camp classes to a one-of-a-kind fitness experience with two (soon to be three) locations. With 14 years experience as a physical fitness trainer and 17 years experience as an entrepreneur, Johnston stays ahead of the curve with never-seen-before fitness programs and business ideas.