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BCI Burke Playground

Group with Elevate by Burke shirts

Speaking our mind - The “ELEVATE” Experience

Guest Bloggers: Jenn Pontello and DJ Thompson, Trainers, Peak Performance Fitness & Nutrition


PLAY THAT MOVES YOU! That would be their motto, BCI Burke would be their name. If you haven’t heard of them…you will! Last April we got our chance when the Town of Apex, through the recommendation of Barrs Recreation, brought the first obstacle course (ELEVATE) of its kind in the Nation to Apex Community Park.


They could’ve kept it simple: “build it and let them play”, but not Burke. That's where Peak Performance Fitness & Nutrition (Peak) came in. They asked us, to run a group of kids ranging from 13-18 through the ELEVATE course to collect data. It meant more to Burke then just seeing kids have fun, they also wanted to measure their capability to improve their performance while having fun.


We designed an 8-week program consisting of a 3-level curriculum. Using our background in functional training, we monitored the kid’s growth. Functional training, simply put, is training the body for everyday movements within the home, work, general activity and sports. We challenged the kids in all planes of movement, unstable and uneven surfaces and helped them to strengthen both their main and stabilizer muscles. After 8 weeks we tested their speed and the different levels at which the kids could perform the course. The results were as much shocking, as they were gratifying. We saw the kids go from barely hanging on to the monkey bars, to looking like extras from the Planet of the Apes movies. They all improved their 25-yard dash times and breezed through obstacles that had slowed them down before. Whether it was the Wall Clinger, Jungle Pipeline, or Door Knob Jam they took on the challenge and exceeded their own expectations.


There’s nothing better, as a coach, then seeing kids not only have fun and get stronger, but also make new friends. Looking back on it all, GROWTH is the word that sticks out the most. The kids GREW in strength and self-confidence. We as coaches GREW in our ability to adapt on the fly and embrace our creative side, while also gaining a better understanding of what motivates the youth. The Apex Community GREW as well. ELEVATE brought families and friends together from all over to enjoy the American Ninja Warrior-like course. We hope that this is just the beginning for Barrs Recreation and BCI Burke in GROWING this market and selling similar products across the country.


We are so thankful to the Town of Apex, Barrs Recreation, and (especially) BCI Burke for allowing us to be a part of this.


“Play that Moves You” and dare we add…‘Play that Improves You’?