By JERRY HITCHCOCK
Locals with knowledge of the triathlon scene will know the name Shawn Burke, since it often shows up at the top of his age group at local events. He has also made a name for himself as a go-to local fitness trainer, and his current work with many of those returning to civilian life from the armed forces needs to be applauded.
Burke is working with 45 veterans in a program at his business, Foundation Fitness, next door to Le Peep in Riverstone.
“We have a nonprofit here that covers veterans, after-kids programs and tactical forces including police and fire departments,” Burke said in a recent interview at his facility, with views overlooking the Spokane River.
“We are currently seeing this group of veterans three times a week. The reason we came up with that program is veterans who go into the military have a structured day, they are physically and mentally fit to go to war, and when they come out that is taken away from them. So this allows them to have a structured fitness program to get back into society — we’ve had huge success in working with veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or people or who need rehabilitation because they have not been moving around and we get them physically fit to get back into the community. We have had people get jobs who weren’t able to work, people who weren’t able to get out of bed or were physically ill all the time and now they are being productive in society. So it has been a huge success in our program.”
Burke added that until now, the program has been word of mouth. “We currently have 65 veterans on the waiting list, and we are limited by the funding.” He said as soon has they gain more funding, they’ll be able to extend that program.
Also Burke is celebrating a re-grand opening — slated for April 21 — of his facility, which has recently undergone a name change. “We’ll have music and catering by Le Peep,” he said.
Visitors will be able to check out the newest in fitness machinery, as Burke’s operation has three C-Pro stations.
“Each new client who comes through our doors gets a personalized evaluation. We do a body analysis — around 20 different measurements — and some functional movement tests to gauge their range of motion and find out where the tightness is — is it a lower back, hamstrings, etc. At that point, we’ll do a cardio test on the individual.” Burke said they will also incorporate a person’s medical history into the equation.
“All that data is put into our software. C-Pro comes up with a customized program for him or her and we will have a personal trainer take the individual through that program every time they come through that door.”
The C-Pro system provides members with individual training protocols and monitors their progress to ensure continuous gains. No moving to other stations — one machine adapts for a full workout. Vibration platform integrated for advanced stimulation and recovery.
Burke also has a scholarship program for at-risk kids. “We scholarship them in, meaning they are not able to pay for the program on their own. Some may have weight problems, maybe identity problems or their self-esteem is down, but we also work with kids in track programs, water polo, soccer and create programs for those individuals.
Burke said he is also working with Coeur d’Alene and Lake City high schools, with the goal of expanding to other schools. “We probably have 50 kids on our waiting list,” he said.
Burke is a licensed physical therapist and has been a personal trainer for 15 years. He ran his own personal training business for the last 10 years and opened this facility in 2013.
“I can change a client’s program, and I’m always adapting and readjusting a program due to my physical therapy background and personal training background. The other trainer at the facility is Lauren Ketner, who is a personal trainer with a background as a physical therapist aid.
“We thrive on constantly modifying the programs — maybe they have sore knees, or they have total knee or hip replacement,” Burke said. “We are seeing more of that with our vets, they will come to us having no therapy because there is nothing out there for them so we customize a program for that individual and do it in a gym setting.”
Burke said all the programs available to veterans will also benefit anybody. “Anyone who walks in that door, we want to help them the best that we can.”
In the hectic world we live in, Burke said his system can produce results with three short visits per week, in most cases.
Contact Foundation fitness at (208) 660-9378 or visit www.foundation.fitness.
Foundation Fitness will hold a re-grand opening on April 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at 1950 Bellerive Lane Suite 106-A, next door to La Peep restaurant in Riverstone, with tours, music, catering by La Peep and prizes.