Take CHAARG of your workout

The Kent Stater Beachbody Coach and Fitness Instructor Jessie Perry leads members of Kent Chaarg in an outdoor PiYo Session on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 outside Tri Towers. Kent Chaarg is a new all girls fitness organization lead by Charrg ambasador and Nutrition major Madison Jordan.

Kelsey Husnick

Despite fitness level, going through the same workouts at the gym or running the same trails every day can get boring. Kent State’s CHAARG group is dedicated to keeping girls out of this rut, with the slogan “Liberating girls from the elliptical since 2012.”

Fitness junkie and former swimmer Elizabeth Tavierne founded CHAARG at Ohio State University. Chapters currently exist at 14 colleges and universities, with a “virtual chapter” for girls who want to join in the movement but don’t belong to one of the chapter schools, according to the CHAARG website.

This is the first semester Kent State will host a CHAARG chapter — the university was chosen to join the community along with four other schools over the summer.

Madison Jordan, the Kent State CHAARG ambassador, said more than 250 girls applied to be ambassadors and bring CHAARG to their schools, and she had to go through an application process that lasted months.

“I found out about (CHAARG) through my friends at UC and OSU. They were posting on social media and saying, ‘Hey, CHAARG is really fun.” So I just started looking at it,” Jordan said.

Once she was chosen as one of the new ambassadors, Jordan put together an executive team and started recruiting members. They all had different reasons for joining CHAARG — the girls listed off their reasons one by one as they introduced themselves to prospective members during an info session on Sept. 26 in Bowman Hall.  Some had played high school sports and missed the team and community environment, some thought running was boring and needed a workout that was more engaging and some joined as way to keep their health and fitness from sliding to the back-burner when stress and schoolwork got in the way during the semester. Others joined CHAARG because they wanted to share their passion for fitness while learning from other girls and to discover new, creative ways to workout.

Rachel Hester, CHAARG treasurer, said she enjoys the community aspect of the group, calling it “an organization for girls who are passionate about health and fitness, and living happy and healthy lives.”

After two weeks of recruiting, Jordan said CHAARG now has 250 members at Kent State. Because the organization is open to anyone, she said there is a lot of diversity among the group.

“Every girl is different, I’ve heard so many different stories,” Jordan said. “I have a bodybuilder who joined our group and I know that she is in way better shape than me and is way more active, but then there are girls who have never been to the gym in their life. “

Jordan said this diversity is what makes it exciting, because the girls can learn from and encourage each other, while forming friendships at the same time.

“I’ve had a lot of the girls email me saying, ‘I’m not that athletic, I don’t run, I don’t have a healthy lifestyle. Can you help me?’ And I will try my best to help you. I’m not like a professional, but it’s my passion. I will do whatever it takes,” she said.

Jordan and Hester agreed that CHAARG set up to be a support system for members.

“A big thing we’re going to try to do this semester is have the girls set goals,” Jordan said. “So we’re going to have them set some time of goal — whether it be health, fitness, school, anything — and we’re going to keep them accountable for that. So each time we see them, we’re going to be like, ‘Hey, what did you do to get closer to your goal? How can I help you? Do you need me to text you at night?’ Anything to help them reach a goal and just be their friend.”

Throughout the semester, CHAARG will host weekly events in the MACC Annex for members, where they will try different workouts each week. In addition, members will be broken up onto small groups with one of the executive team members, in which they will have separate small-group workouts once a week. They’ll keep things interesting by mixing up workouts each week and basing the sessions on the desires of the small group members. Workouts can include anything from yoga and Pilates to jogging to kickboxing and salsa dancing.

“It’s just about helping other girls and getting them into this community, because it’s such a positive community and I just want everyone to be a part of it,” Jordan said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for every girl. It’s a great start, whether you’re really fit or not.”

Contact Kelsey Husnick at [email protected].