Episode 12: Rhinos, Ninja Warriors and CrossFit, Oh My!


For years, Julie Johnston lived in the world of boot camps. And she hated it.

However, the owner and founder of Camp Rhino – in which Rhino CrossFit resides – knew she wanted to lose weight, so she stuck with boot camps. Years later, she owns a facility in Las Vegas that brings together CrossFit, boot camps, obstacle course training, Ninja Warriors and more under one roof.

Johnston sat down with Box Pro’s Editor, Heather Hartmann, to discuss the long road and how she brings unity between so many different programs. Listen below to her story and how you too, Affiliate, might just find success by thinking out of the box.

Show Notes

  • Julie started out as an overweight boot camp instructor.
  • She marketed for an obstacle course by setting up a competition between two TV stations.
  • At first, Julie didn’t like CrossFit because she had to think too much about it.
  • Her took her six months to get crazy hooked.
  • Each program at Rhino CrossFit has someone running it that is passionate and dedicated. Julie just runs around and plays in each program!
  • Initially, Julie wanted to go to Japan to be part of the show, Ninja Warrior.
  • Trainers at Camp Rhino have been on the show, Ninja Warrior, as well as have education pieces like parkour certifications.
  • All Ninja Warriors are encouraged to start with CrossFit to get a good base.
  • Every Saturday a new obstacle course is set up.
  • The Ninja Warrior finals are in Las Vegas, so the finalists take a field trip to Camp Rhino every year.
  • Julie dreams about filling up a one-mile radius with her rhinos, and then never leaving.
  • Camp Rhino is building a rig for a gym in Nebraska that is 80 feet long and four lanes wide.
  • With all these options, members will hopefully never lose interest.
  • For 10 years, Julie hated boot camp. But she still did it.
  • The difference between the motivation to not be fat versus to be healthy.
  • Secret to happiness? Control everything you have control over.
  • Moving into a retail location where people could see Camp Rhino was a huge challenge.
  • What is Julie proud of? Never being late with a paycheck or having a check bounce.
  • To be a Rhino, you can’t be negative.
  • The front desk staff helps dissolve divisions between the different programs.
  • From the membership, 22 people have been hired. However, they still pay for membership. Why?
  • Road construction almost shut down Julie’s past facility.
  • Camp Rhino’s next-door dentist explains to his customers that dinosaurs cause the noise they hear from the gym.
  • Julie explains why she chose the name Camp Rhino versus Camp Cougar or Camp Hippo.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.