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Welcome Amped Fitness to The Upper Valley

Oct 14, 2019 03:06PM ● By Gabrielle Varela
On a bright, orange tinted autumn day, Jared Walker just got back from lunch after a morning of
training clients in his newly opened gym space overlooking the river on the Rail Trail in
Lebanon, NH. Amped Fitness is in an industrial-looking brick building shared with a couple other
neighboring businesses. It is unassuming in its storefront; a small wooden walkway scattered
with crisp autumn leaves with a sign overhead reading “AMPED FITNESS”.

Walker is a hometown boy born and raised in Enfield, NH. After years of working as a physical
trainer, the 37 year old dad and former Army sergeant was able to find a space big enough to
launch his brand.

“I hope it’s ok. I only have a weight bench to sit on,” he says welcoming me in. He’s dressed in
athletic sweats and a t-shirt and is no doubt jacked. The weights, mats, high ceilings and a
mirror that runs the length of the wall in this huge open area is just the sort of space prepared
for an all-in workout. But right now, it’s hardcore atmosphere is quiet, clean, and lit up with bright
afternoon light.

Walker opened Amped Fitness in July. A fitness program unique to the Upper Valley focused on
wellness, community, strength and conditioning. Sitting across from me, he seems right at home
in his element.

So you’re open now?
Yes. I bought the space in July. I’m open 5am - 7pm everyday.

What is AMPED?
I do what I call AMPED Camp. It’s a little bit different than your typical boot camp. It’s more
strength and conditioning based. Similar to crossfit but not quite crossfit. I specialize in
corrective exercise so I try to help fix a lot of people through weight lifting stuff so that is what
drives my program.

What is a typical day like?
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday class is at 6am and at 5:15 on Tuesdays and
Thursdays.. I’m in at 5am three days a week with a personal client then I’m personal training
from 8-11am almost every single day. Afternoons are relatively free.

Jesus. How many years have you been a personal trainer?
Ten years in March. I was at RVC for a little over 6 years with a one year break in between then
I started Form Fit Function on the Miracle Mile in November 2016, finished in May 2019 and
started this in July.

Have you always wanted to open your own gym?
Yeah. Yeah, that was my go-to.

What is your personal journey with fitness?
I started working out when I was about 14 or 15 years old at the CCBA. Back then it was a lot of
heavy weight lifters, powerlifters. All we did was back, squat, and benchpress. That sort of stuff.
Then I started reading all the books by Arnold Schwarzenegger and some strength and
conditioning books used in colleges and by football teams. I was a little bit chunky when I was
kid so that kind of fueled my personal need to get in shape. When I joined the army is when I
really got into Crossfit and that style of work out.

What about that style of work out was most beneficial compared to other workouts?
Most people do monostructural workouts working one muscle group at a time and the science
behind a Crossfit workout is you’re working multiple muscles at a time. Muscles work as a chain
so doing one bicep curl is not really beneficial to anything else. Whereas hundreds of reps of
pull ups really works your biceps just as much, if not in a better way than your standard bicep
curl. The term for that is compound movements and are much more beneficial.

So The Army turned you on to Crossfit?
The Army was starting to phase in that stuff in early 2000s and then I did a little bit of furthering
my education in the army doing stuff like that, training other soldiers for their Standard Physical
Readiness test.

What did you do in The Army?
I was a sergeant so I led all kinds of training. Mostly started out with physical fitness sort of stuff
and then moved on to train all other sorts of aspects…

Sounds like you enjoy teaching and training. When did you get out and what did you do?
I got out in 2008. I ran into my godfather Tom LeBrun from the RVC. He’s a bigwig up there. I
was kind of in a transition period of my life. He said come on up here and check it out. So I
started working the fitness floor there. Then almost immediately I started shadowing Matt Newel
so he kind of did a mentor process to get me into physical training. Then I did the six month
online training NASM course.

What do you offer here that you can’t get at other gyms?
One thing that sets me aside from other trainers and other facilities is my personal interest in
making people better. Usually everybody has a goal or a goal in mind. I really take it to heart to
see it through that they meet their goals or that they are at least on the right path for goal
setting. So I have my athletes write down three goals and then I make them write out three
plans of action. I am really vetted in either their journey to wellness or health. For some people
it’s just getting them back to some sort of physical shape from something like knee rehabs
post-surgery. I’ve dealt with quite a bit of back injuries and seeing those people progress
through a debilitating back surgery is pretty awesome.

Absolutely. That’s amazing. And why this space? How did you find it?
I had been looking for a bigger space. Ultimately I want 20,000 square feet of training facility but
you know, I’ll have to go in increments. I started out with 1250sqft which lasted me about a year
and then I got 2,000 square feet and I just outgrew it really fast. My second year was a huge
growth year for me. Then I found this 3,000sqft and the price was right. The location is great
because of The Rail Trail. But, oddly enough, there isn’t a lot of open space available in the
Upper Valley and if there is, it is huge money. So this was the right fit for now. Maybe, I’ll
expand again in another few years.

What role do you feel fitness plays within this community of the Upper Valley?
I think it’s a pretty active community. It’s centrally located and people are really invested in their
health here. And honestly, there isn’t much else to do...

Haha, no doubt.
Yeah, I mean it’s tough being in your twenties and thirties up here. There isn’t much to do which
is why I push for that community aspect of the Amped Fitness class. We run 5Ks together. We
did the Spartan Sprint together. We are doing the CHaD Hero. I’ve made donations through
fundraisers I’ve done for the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). Yeah, so, we’ve done a
bunch of charity stuff so building that community is really important to me as well.

And it helps with the camaraderie of people. They lift each other up. When you have students or
athletes or whoever texting each other “you gonna be there today?” or “I saw you out last night,
make sure you make good choices! I better see you in boot camp!” It’s just great.

Yeah, that is so great. I need that. And so is Amped affiliated with any other fitness
programs or this is a system you have come up with yourself?
So Crossfit is a branded strength and conditioning program of hundreds of strength and
conditioning programs. I’m trying to sort of make my own brand with the Amp Camp. I’m trying
to create that and hopefully create something as big as Crossfit.

So there is no other Amp Camp?

That’s great. So how do we find you?
Ninety-nine percent of the time it is through word of mouth. I do very little social media. It’s all
word or mouth or people who have seen the sign while on the Rail Trail and stopped by. They
see my people out there running.

So is it just you? Or are there any other trainers?
I’d like to bring on another trainer or two eventually. I’d actually like to bring on a female trainer
because it would be nice to have other trainers on board to offer that much more.
To find out more about Jared Walker and Amped Fitness check out their Facebook page or call
(603) 381 4845.

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