Make Gains in Your Fitness Journey and Community at AussieFitHQ

How the gym's weight-training and nutrition-focused programs help make full body transformations.
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Christina Pirolli helps a client weight train. Photography courtesy of Aussie Fit/Eric Galano.

I’ve always been an avid runner, but there’s one thing I’ve learned: If you really want to make a physical change, it requires dedicated weight-training and nutritional discipline. Local fitness studio AussieFit HQ helps clients conquer both. 

Ja23ec77curGym owner Chris Whale opened AussieFit HQ over a year-and-a-half ago in the renovated Phillipsdale Landing mill space in Rumford, and since then, he’s guided locals on making massive transformations. 

“We work on body composition through muscle growth — hypertrophy — and using that to change someone’s shape and help them get stronger while focusing on nutrition to lose body fat,” Whale says. “Weight training can alter someone’s shape, and then nutrition reveals that shape.” 

The name for the gym comes from Whale’s origins. The Australia native started his fitness career as a personal trainer in Melbourne, then moved to Toronto, where he continued fitness pursuits while waiting for his visa to move to Rhode Island. He finally received his work permit in 2019 and started training others at a gym in North Attleboro, Mass., and instructed at Orangetheory. But when the pandemic shut down fitness centers, he began coaching clients virtually and writing personal at-home training programs. Eventually, as things improved, he was able to take on one-on-one clients at a studio in East Providence. The huge demand for personal training led him to seek out his own space.

Whale now leads a team of four Aussie Fit HQ personal trainers, including Katie Bailey, Christina Pirolli and Elizabeth Charnley, who help guide clients on high-volume resistance training. Nik Delfino from Providence Power Yoga also teaches yoga once a week. 

I experienced a personal training session with Whale, and there’s something about taking your stress out on a weighted barbell that makes your worries seem lighter. He guided me on good form for weighted walking lunges, barbell squats, hamstring curls, weighted dips, back extensions, bodyweight rows with rings and more. Usually, I pound my problems out on the pavement with running shoes, but this was a whole different positive outlet. I felt a satisfying muscle burn the next day, which is proof that the training is effective even after just one session.

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Katie Bailey leads a training session. Photography courtesy of Aussie Fit/Eric Galano.

The gym attracts like-minded individuals who motivate one another. Whale’s clients cheer each other’s progress, both in person and on social media. “It’s cool because we get a lot of people gravitating from the restaurant industry and from the alternative side, like artists and musicians,” Whale says. “I think it comes from us not being a regular gym, and the music we play has some hip-hop, punk rock and metal. The whole gym has an alternative feel to it.” Whale is also a sound engineer by trade, and he worked in the music industry doing live sound production for bands and got into corporate audio/visual from there. 

Sometimes, this kind of industry camaraderie might be found on a bar stool, but here it’s encouraged under a barbell. 310 Bourne Ave., Rumford, aussiefithq.com