May 2012

Jennifer and Kyle inspire moms to take control of their lives and get fit.

Jennifer Pinder and Kyle Furlow

Being a mom is truly a full-time job. Whether you have a newborn, toddler or teen, balancing time between two lives can be a great challenge. And finding the time and the motivation to lose weight after pregnancy can seem like an impossible task.

Sometimes the motivation we seek can be drawn from other people. That’s just what happened with Jennifer Pinder and Kyle Furlow, two friends and moms, who realized their need to change diets and start exercising after adding extra pounds once they had children. “We committed to work out together at the Y, and by supporting and encouraging each other we began getting in shape,” said Furlow, mother of a five-year-old boy. Along the way they met AFAA certified personal trainer Paula Ruff, who Furlow credits with giving them the extra push they needed. “She became our mentor. What started out as a need to get healthy, became a hobby, then a passion…and with Paula’s help, a career,” Furlow said.

Furlow and Pinder lost a total of 100 pounds between them, which for some, may have been satisfaction enough—but these moms took it many steps further. They both became AFAA certified and started Boot Camp Moms to inspire other women, especially busy moms, to take control of their health and get fit.

“Becoming healthy and stronger is more than a physical change. It positively impacts your mental and spiritual well-being and gives women confidence,” Furlow said. “It’s our hope that our program and the community of women involved will provide the resources needed for each participant to accomplish this complete image of healthiness.”

But it wasn’t easy. During the start-up program at Harrington Grove Clubhouse in Raleigh, N.C., the two friends faced more challenges. “Our first challenge was how to get the word out about our company,” recalled Pinder, mother of a five-year-old girl and three-year-old boy. “We did not have any equipment! We put up flyers in neighborhoods, preschools, diet centers and any location that would allow us. We told potential clients all they needed was a set of hand weights, bottle of water and a mat. The rest is history,” Pinder said.

Bootcamp Moms!

Say hello to the bootcamp moms

Now, a year later, Furlow and Pinder have a solid, energizing, group exercise program that concentrates on cardiovascular and strength training, all presented in a fun atmosphere. Pinder feels this boot camp program is unique and that their clients truly benefit from having two AFAA trainers guiding them through their workouts. “We notice the subtle milestones in them and are able to encourage them,” Pinder said. “When they are able to do 10 extra push-ups or sprint faster…we notice and sing their praises.” Ages and experience vary—Boot Camp Moms participants range in age from 25 to 65 and from the elite to beginner exerciser.

In addition, these two moms set the tone with different styles to help motivate and get the most out of their clients. “Jennifer is often recognized as the cheerleader while I am considered the drill sergeant,” explained Furlow. “That balance allows us to get participants beyond their comfort zone in a way that creates a relationship of trust and respect, not intimidation.”

Both moms feel their own story has inspired their children as well. “I am so thankful that this world is all my kids know. Growing up, diet and exercise was never instilled in me. For years I struggled with my weight and had no form of fitness regime. I can honestly say that I never truly ‘got it’ until my 30s,” Pinder said. “My children are outside playing, running, biking every day. That is all they know and all they want to do.” Pinder said they have also instilled good eating habits in their kids with diets that include a portion of fruits and vegetables in every meal. With such high rates of childhood obesity in America these days, Furlow and Pinder hope to pass on good values and lessons to their own children.

“The most important thing for our children is to understand that you need balance in life—and physical fitness is the foundation for that balance,” Furlow said. “A healthy body leads to better mental, emotional and spiritual health which will allow our children to be successful in whatever way they choose to define success.”

In the future, these two Boot Camp Moms are hoping to expand into different programs, as well as different towns. They have already added TRX® Suspension Training, BOSU® and the Lebert EqualizersTM into their classes, and Pinder has added a Zumba® certification to her repertoire. “Expansion would likely come in the form of more classes in surrounding neighborhoods, but we want to keep classes at less than 20 people, so they can remain personal,” said Furlow. “It’s the relationships with each other and with our participants that make this special. Without that bond we wouldn’t be Boot Camp Moms.”