Larsen had always loved exercise. He grew up playing sports and said he loved the practices and workouts that his teammates usually hated. When he got to college, he decided to follow that passion and graduated with a degree in exercise and sports science from the University of Utah in 1996.
Meanwhile, Nelson had just become a personal trainer. After marrying and gaining 40 pounds in her late 30s, she said she began attending fitness classes and hired a personal trainer to lose the weight. When she did, she wanted to help others like her.
Now, both Larsen and Nelson work together at One Fitness Camp, an exercise and weight-loss program that combines exercise, nutritional advice and behavior correction.
"Our whole goal is to help people change their lifestyles, be able to include their health and fitness and do it in a place they can get out of their home environment," Larsen said. " staying with us here at the Westgate Resort, they are able to get away from those toxic things that might be holding them back."
People from throughout the country and globe including places like Switzerland, Australia and Puerto Rico sign up for One Fitness Camp and stay at the Westgate Resort for workouts, fitness routines, exercises and educational workshops.
Not only do Larsen and Nelson aim to shape their clients' bodies, they also want to shape their minds. With the help of a therapist, they teach clients how to quit bad diet habits that are perhaps keeping them from losing the weight they need to lose.
Larsen said he began working in the private sector as a personal trainer, dietitian and nutritionist, but meeting with clients two or three times a week wasn't enough to get the results he wanted to see.
"In a camp environment, they're not going anywhere. They're there with you throughout the week, month or couple of months," Larsen said. "That's when you can really make an impact, because you have enough time with them to get them away from the things that could negatively affect their health and get them into a different mindset."
People can attend the camp for anywhere from a day to several months. Larsen and Nelson said their demographic is usually made up of women ages 45-55 or older, but in the summer months, they see younger college students on summer break.
Those attending the camp go on bike rides or hikes around town in the summer and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter. Larsen said they like to utilize all aspects of Park City they can while training.
The Westgate Resort, the camp's headquarters, offers attendees a one-bedroom suite equipped with a king-sized bed, kitchenette and living room. They use the fitness center on-site for circuit and weight training as well as the Park City Municipal Athletic and Recreation Center and the Basin Recreational Fieldhouse.
"We motivate them through caring and encouragement. We're not screaming or demeaning them," Nelson said. "Most people come here already pretty beat up, so we're not trying to beat them up more."
Camp attendees are rewarded with a massage at Serenity Spa every week to relax their sore muscles after training Monday through Saturday. Sunday is their "rest day," which is usually a transition day for those either leaving or "moving in."
All meals are included in the registration fee as well as spa vouchers and room and board for camp attendees from out of town. There is also a locals program available, and meals are still included.
Locals can participate in One Fitness Camp's daily routines and meals, but they get to go home at the end of the day. Out-of-towners eventually go back home, and Larsen, Nelson and other fitness trainers at the camp will keep in touch with attendees for 12 weeks after they leave.
While they are at One Fitness Camp, Larsen and Nelson agree that the goal is to get their clients into healthy habits like eating nutritious meals and snacks and working out regularly.
"We're trying to help them rationally get more confidence and believe in themselves, give them that confidence back so that they can carry it forward once they get back home," Larsen said. "We are trying to build people up, because they come to us already pretty broken."
One Fitness Camp: