Inspired by Ultimate Fighting Champions, Dethone Basecamp brings its signature 35-minute workouts, aimed at "building strong hearts" (and muscles!) to San Francisco with its fourth studio, now open in Cow Hollow.
Basecamp is the product of a self-proclaimed "average Joe." Better known as creator Nick Swinmurn, he transformed a workout originally designed for UFC athletes and adapted it for real humans. The result is a heart-pumping, muscle-building, killer circuit workout that consists of interval training in multiple formats—cardio mixed with circuit training, suspension training, boxing, weight training, boot camps, yoga and pilates. The primary goal: to build strong hearts. "We believe that a heart can be a representation of something physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental," says CEO Ramon Castillon, "and that is intertwined in everything we do, from the people we hire to the shirts we give away for different milestones.”
Basecamp's non-stop 35 minute classes are comprised of 15 mat exercises and 15 minutes on the aptly named “Assault Air Bike,” with a welcomed 10-second transition between the two. Combined with energetic instructors, high fives, and shouts of “StrongSF,” Basecamp focuses on three experiences: Welcome, Encourage and Celebrate. “You are at home when you walk through the doors, it just happens to be a great workout,” Castillon explains over the eclectic soundtrack, which includes the Top Gun theme and Beyoncé tunes. (Did someone hack my iPhone?)
The 3,800 square foot, multi-level studio was packed when we arrived for the San Francisco flagship studio's grand opening. Enthusiastic staffers stored our bags, provided towels, showed us to our Assault Air Bike, and assigned us to a group. Large flat screens hanging throughout the studio, forecasted kettle bell squats for group B, and imminent burpees for the folks in group C, as well as rotating mat exercises and strength-training movements for all. Don't be fooled by the fun-looking Assault Air Bikes: The harder you pedal, the faster the fan rotates, creating more air resistance.
Despite the open studio set up and group environment, the energy was cohesive rather than competitive. “Because class participants are usually either looking at the instructor or the TV, it helps everyone feel like it’s their own little world,” Ramon explains. “We want to make sure that at no point does someone feel intimidated in our studio. It’s all about building people up. We always stress to all guests and members that the moves shown on the TV screens are just a point of reference. They know they can adjust for their own needs.”
In fact, I was relieved when an instructor suggested I ditch the weights for lunges on account of my bad knee—a small adjustment that hardly compromised my results. At the end of the 45-minute class (an extra 10 minutes for abs!), we were drenched in sweat and shared about 20 high fives on the way out the door. Hard to believe that was only 45 minutes out of our day.
Freebie shirts for achieving milestones are worth working for: Founder Swinmurn also founded Zappos and the clothing line Dethrone Royalty. Admittedly, we spent nearly as much time pursuing the studio’s retail section after class as we did on the Assault Air Bike. // Basecamp classes start at $30 (discounts available with packages and memberships), 1501 Filbert Street, dethronebasecamp.com
GEAR TO PACK:
- Wear fitted clothing comfortable for cycling and floor exercises, and be prepared to sweat!
- Towels and a water filling station are provided
Want to mix it up? Check out The 2015 Big Sweat: 50 Ways to a Rockin' Bod