CORE Fitness Gives Workout Fanatics a Pre-Dawn or Post-Work Energy Boost

Group fitness classes will help you get your groove back while fostering camaderie and community in the gym.
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Group bootcamp at CORE Fitness with instructor Cristina Lima. Photo by Cristina Lima.

I love working out, but I’ve missed being a part of a team. Last month, I got my groove back by signing up for a month of group fitness classes at CORE Fitness in Providence’s Wayland Square. As a mom of two young kids, I rarely have time to hit the gym in person because I work full-time and have kids’ activities or work events almost every night of the week. I start work by 7 a.m. and evenings are usually out of the question due to work events and shuttling my kids around to Cub Scouts, dance class and soccer practice.

During the pandemic, like many others seeking home fitness, I downloaded the Peloton app and started doing quick HIIT (high intensity interval training), running and strength-training workouts at home whenever I could steal twenty minutes for me (I never sprang for the bike). But, after awhile (hello 500 workouts “alone but together!”), that has really gotten old. I needed a change.

While home fitness worked for me (and still does) over the past twenty-one months, due to the convenience of working out anyplace, anytime, I still missed the camaraderie you build in a gym setting (along with the muscles). CORE Fitness group classes involve boot camp, boxing, cycling, lagree, body-barre, fit bench training and more to get pumped up about tuning up your physique together. The instructors and other participants learn your name and encourage you to keep moving in each class (plus, they celebrate your birthday!). It’s a positive fitness clique I want to be a part of.

CORE owner Denise Chakoian has been in the fitness industry for more than twenty-nine years in the New England area. She always loved group fitness and taught aerobics, step aerobics and total body sculpting classes in many fitness facilities throughout the years, and eventually decided to leave the corporate world to open her own facility in 2006. After she went through cancer treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2018, she decided to create one fitness studio, CORE Fitness, with multiple types of group fitness classes under one roof.

I wanted to try a bunch of different classes. I opted for several pre-dawn options (yes, 5:45 a.m.!) so I could fit in a gym sesh before work. The gym does not have childcare, so I had to sneak out of the house while everyone was still sleeping, and before the kids got ready for school. I found a few other moms were doing the same thing. I never thought I would be an early-morning workout person, but I really loved the positive peer pressure of waking up and heading to the parking lot to do bootcamp while the sun rose in the background during each session. A few of my friends got out of bed, too, and we encouraged each other to make it to class in the morning. The classes were challenging and involved a lot of body-weight exercises like squats, burpees and lunges, plus weighted overhead presses, biceps curls, upright rows and more, plus laps around the building, jumping jacks, jump roping and abdominal exercises.

“Fitness for all and group connection is my every day,” says CORE bootcamp instructor Cristina Lima. “The classes spread the importance and love we have for each other. We need it so much every day!”

The CORE boxing classes feature individual bags, and believe me, it felt good to work out some of my aggression about anything stressful I was experiencing at the moment. Kids won’t get ready for the day or go to bed without being asked fifteen times? Hit the boxing bag. Husband isn’t sharing in the household duties? Roundhouse kick. Too much on your plate at work? Hook and an uppercut. Ahhh. What a release.

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After my workouts were complete, I’d head into the office and feel a burst of morning energy to get my job done. Did I officially become a morning workout person? I’m not quite there yet, but I’m striving to be. I just need friends and acquaintances to motivate me. And with the holidays coming up, we’re all going to need that extra fitness motivation more than ever.

CORE is hosting an upcoming holiday fundraiser. CORE’s fourteenth annual Thanks and Giving Turkey Throwdown is on November 25, starting at 7:30 a.m. All proceeds will benefit Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Kick off the “throwdown” with a forty-five-minute outdoor boot camp workout at 7:30 a.m. and then line up for a four-mile run/walk at 8:30 a.m. The route will take the group down to the hospital (mile two) where participants can wave to the children that are currently being treated. Register here.

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Bootcamp at CORE Fitness.

 

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