(Abigail Gracie)

Abigail Gracie

Working out with CHAARG: UMass’ female-only fitness group

It's not just working out. It's a community.

October 2, 2019

AMHERST — Countless squats, interval workouts, boot camp training and barre work: I got tired just watching the crowd of students during their 7:30 p.m. workout for UMass’ chapter of the all-female fitness group, CHAARG. 

While only 120 fitness enthusiasts showed up to this event, and another 40 participated in another event off-campus, UMass’ CHAARG group has about 330 members, a stark increase from less than 100 people they had last school year. All the women are involved in the comradery and health benefits of a typical fitness group. However, CHAARG is no average organization.

Abigail Gracie
A group of CHAARG members perform burpees.

The fitness and wellness group is exclusive to women, focusing on both physical and mental health. No matter the size, shape or fitness level, all are welcome to sign up. Members pay $45 a semester and get to participate in large group events, ranging from yoga to powerlifting. Each member is also placed in a smaller group to participate in their own workouts together. 

“The gym can be scary, but you have a group of girls to go with so it’s less intimidating,” said sophomore Thalia Mavrikakis. 

You don’t even have to go to the gym with the number of activities CHAARG offers to its members. Each event is a new workout that keeps everyone on their toes. Some fan favorites include the spotlight events that the group hosts where members travel to off-campus studios to participate in workouts. 

Tonight’s on-campus event was run by chapter president Taylor Beane, who is a certified trainer and group fitness instructor that’s been working for three years at UMass’ Recreation Center.  

“I’m certified,” she said during tonight’s event. “I wasn’t just pulled in off the streets and told to write a workout.” 

Abigail Gracie
CHAARG president Taylor Beane demonstrates a glute bridge to a group of girls.

During the workout, she encouraged all her eager members when things started to become difficult, acknowledging the intensity of the workout. She also displayed how to do each move and offered modification whenever necessary. 

Working out together allows for the women to “form bonds so much faster than a friend you would meet in class because we are all working towards a common goal of living a healthier lifestyle and spend a lot of time together,” said sophomore Danielle Larrabee. 

Abigail Gracie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each member has their own reason for joining, whether it’s for more motivation to work out, live a healthier lifestyle or to be involved in a welcoming environment. 

“[Chaarg is a] nice club that isn’t a huge time commitment, so it’s easy to get stuff done,” said sophomore Kristin Gotthardt.

If you’re interested in working out with open-minded women with similar ambitions, join this up and coming group of powerful health and wellness enthusiasts at Curry Hicks Cage.

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