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River Falls boot camp allows no excuses

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Bikini season is just around the corner and most of us are looking upon it with dread.

New River Falls business, Look Good Naked, is hoping to make swimwear season less intimidating.

Operated by River Falls native and 1992 River Falls High School graduate, Molly Brenna Severson, Look Good Naked is an eight-week boot camp that started in January.

After sending her youngest child off to kindergarten Severson, who had been a stay-at-home mom, decided she needed something else in her life.

Having a passion for fitness, she embarked on the Lifetime Fitness Academy for personal training -- husband Shawn is the manager of the Woodbury, Minn., LifeTime Fitness.

After eight months of training, she was approached by a friend to open a Look Good Naked franchise in River Falls.

According to the website, , "Look Good Naked Boot Camp is an intensive life changing course with challenging workouts customized for all fitness levels."

The eight-week book camp is held three-four days a week.

"With four days, you get the optimal results," said Severson.

The one-hour class focuses on different parts of the body,

"One day we have an arms day, another day is legs day," she added.

"We are always changing what we are doing -- we use body bars, jump ropes, picnic tables, we run the stairs at Glen Park. I try to make it fun."

The boot camp is open to everyone -- men and women.

"I have people who are thin, but trying to gain strength and people who need to lose 75-80 pounds," she added.

Anybody can try it for free. She likes to meet with her clients before the first session, so she can get a better feel for the type of person they are and their goals.

"Boot camp is not easy," said Severson. "It will kick your butt."

The boot camp is "...not about just about coming to class, it's about a lifestyle change." Severson added, "I am like a life coach. I am not there for myself, I am there for them (the boot campers) to succeed."

The boot camp encourages nutrition as well as fitness.

"There is a newsletter and recipe exchanges," Severson said.

Everyone gets measured, from body fat percent to waist size. Before photos are taken, and there are weekly weigh-ins -- progress measurements and photos are taken throughout the eight-weeks.

Participants are required to log their food intake and Severson checks the logs weekly.

Food is a very important component to success: "80-85% of success is food," said Severson.

"If one person eats a bad food, I give a consequence to the whole group."

Another service Severson offers is a grocery store tour. During the tour Severson will come to your home and go through your cupboards and fridge. She will throw the "junk" out.

"I don't just throw out stuff, I also explain why you need to throw it out," she added.

After cleaning your home out, she takes you to the grocery store, looking for smart choices -- encouraging whole, non-processed, super healthy food with small ingredient lists.

"I believe knowledge is power -- the more you know, the better you will be," she said.

"I am teaching you, your family and your children. It's a lifestyle change for everybody."

In the last eight-week session, Severson had ten participants of all different physical fitness levels.

Participants started in January and just finished their first boot camp session.

"Boot camp has been a great experience -- not always easy or fun, but you will be amazed what you can do," said boot camper, Colleen Jahnke, who in eight weeks lost 16 pounds and 13 inches.

According to Lisa Weiss, who lost 19 pounds and 12 inches in eight weeks, "Another benefit of the Boot camp is meeting new people, and how everyone cheers you on and keeps you going."

Severson describes herself as a very motivating trainer, "I give high-5s, we go over goals. I try to remind them of their little successes. I give quotes of the week and try and find articles to help."

Weiss said, "Molly (Severson) is a great motivator and she is very good at mixing up the exercise program so it doesn't feel like the same old thing every time."

Jahnke agreed, "She motivates you to do your best, achieve your goals and is your number one cheerleader."

Severson helps her clients manage their time and de-stress, "I want them to get the 'I can't' out of their head."

"The biggest compliment I ever received was, 'Thank you so much for giving my sister her confidence back.' To give someone their self-worth back is the greatest compliment."

"Everyone has to be ready," she said. "Fitness is not a destination, it is a journey."

This session's classes, which runs from April 9-June 3, are held on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

"People can join at any time during the eight-week session -- I will prorate the payments," Severson said.

"I don't want people not to do it because of the money, I will work with them."

During the summer the boot camp will be held Monday-Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from June 4-July 26. There will be childcare available at the meeting location.

For more information about Look Good Naked visit . Severson can be contacted at 715-426-1665, 651-261-4607 or

Look for more in the April 12 print edition of the Journal.

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
(715) 426-1046