The Camp Transformation Center - This is not FREE and your success may be sabotaged by unethical and unprofessional business practices
Let me start out by saying that I was inspired to join The Camp's 6-week challenge because I was impressed the results of some of my friends on Facebook who successfully completed the challenge. Although I am pleased with my weight lost and fitness goals after doing the challenge, I was not successful according the terms of their contract. I decided to post this review to explain how that happened and why I attribute my failing the challenge to unethical and unprofessional business practices. This post is not intended to spew any hate or negativity, but only to give an honest report from my personal experience. Hopefully, it will benefit anyone considering joining so that a decision can be made with both eyes opened.
The old adage goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is." I totally expected that as with anything that is free, there would be a catch. So, when first I inquired about the 6-week challenge, I knew that there would be more required than just losing 20 or more lbs. As stated in prior reviews, there are several terms you must follow in order for the program to be free...You must put down a $497 deposit, lose 20 or more lbs by the end of the 6-week challenge, check-in a minimum of 30 times on Facebook (their free advertisement), work out 30 or more times in 42 days, change your Facebook profile pic to their logo for the entire duration of the challenge (again, free advertisement), abide by all the terms of the contract indicating you will "follow the *** instructions" (FTDI) meal plan with an EMPHASIS on remaining positive (negativity will not be tolerated and would cause you to forfeit your deposit). ADDITIONALLY, it was not simply losing at least 20+ pounds to be refunded your $497 deposit, you have to reach or be below your ideal weight which is determined by your gender and height. (For me being female and 5'7", my ideal weight 165.) Not reaching your ideal weight forfeits your deposit and ONLY makes you eligible to "rollover" into another 6-week challenge (with each challenge having the same success marker of losing at least 20 lbs). Some people completed 5+ challenges in order to reach their ideal weight. Common sense tells you that the closer you are to reaching your ideal weight, the rate of your weight loss per week slows making it that much more difficult to successfully lose 20 lbs in a 6-week period. Hence, you likely will lose a challenge and forfeit your deposit. The only alternative to this would be to apply your otherwise forfeited deposit into a gym membership at the "discounted" rate of $127 per month. (The non-discounted rate is $10 more per month which is hardly a discount, nor does it account for the amount of money applied by the forfeited deposit of nearly $500.) I think most people can read between the lines and see how the advertisement of "free" is clearly misleading. It's no wonder The Camp is such a lucrative business and how they can seemingly "give away" such a valuable service for "free". It's because it is NOT FREE!
What else makes it not "free"? From the time of sign up and every work out you attend thereafter, you will be bombarded with advertisements for protein shakes and supplements by ISO FX. There are announcements at the end of each workout where they also push a supplement of the week. I've even heard staff members claim that the reason some have been more successful than others in losing weight is because they have taken the supplements. It's clear that The Camp gets some sorta kickback from the company from pushing it's products.
What makes the program unethical? The false advertisement that the program is "free" and only requires you lose 20 lbs to be successful. The other piece that I believe makes it unethical is the false claim that they have a 97% success rate. I followed the program to the tee and did not succeed. I was not alone and know this is an inaccurate statistic. The other unethical issue is that the trainers consistently encourage gym members to use heavy weights during circuit training. This builds muscle that will reflect heavy on the scale. Any skilled trainer knows that encouraging high reps with low weight, coupled with cardio, would be better suited for successfully passing the challenge. (I only found two trainers at my gym that followed this training style.) It's hard to believe that this approach to training is not encouraged by the owners who have a vested financial interest in people not successfully completing the challenge.
What makes The Camp unprofessional? I was unfortunate enough to have experienced being kicked out of The Camp's support group on Facebook which connects you with other challengers and offers a wide range of support from recipes, to forums, to anecdotal memes, and success stories and pictures. I was not alone in being kicked out. Apparently Sam, part owner of The Camp, has a reputation (as confirmed by several staff members) of being rude, quick and sharp with his tongue, and impulsive in his reactions towards others. He did not like a comment I made on a thread and kicked me out of the group 2 weeks before the end of my challenge. My comment was in response to him making a comment in all caps, starting with the statement "LOOK PEOPLE", where he goes on to belittle and humiliate someone who in his view asked a *** question about what was allowed to eat. In my response, I mimicked another member (who was also kicked out of the group) stating that this forum should be a place to feel safe to ask dumb questions and to seek support. He shot back a response to the effect that if I didn't like it, I could get out. I didn't even have a chance because he kicked me and the other member out of the group. When I brought this issue to the attention to the director of my camp, I was told that this is how he is and that it was unlikely they would be able to get me back in the group because Sam was the sole administrator. I was told that Sam is fully aware of his rudeness towards customers to the point that he advises the managers and directors not speak to customers the way he does because of the negative impact it has on business. Needless to say, this left a very sour taste in my mouth and upset me that I had even given his company my money.
I just completed my 6-week challenge a week ago and lost a total of 17.4 lbs. I worked out 36 times in 42 days, faithfully followed the meal plan (including the carb-cycling and "Talapigus" plan structured to speed up weight loss toward the end of the challenge) and I still failed to lose 20 lbs. Sure, most of the other challengers in my challenge cycle met their goal, however, most that did had much more weight to lose than I did. I initially weighed in at 187 and needed to weigh 167 or less to met the challenge. At the end of 6 weeks, I weighed in at 170. All and all I am happy that I lost weight, that I am more fit to continue towards my fitness goals, and that I made a lot of great connections with people that I plan to keep in contact with. But, for me, I cannot continue to support a business that I have experienced to be unethical, misleading, and unprofessional. My money will be better spent elsewhere.
Product or Service Mentioned: The Camp Transformation Center Weight Loss Program.
Reason of review: Unethical practices.
Monetary Loss: $497.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I liked: People and the facility.
I didn't like: Super unprofessional, Unorganized.