• Mad Skillz

    First things first, CONGRATS to everyone who stuck with their goal of completing the WIP Challenge this past month! It was incredible to see the energy that you all brought into the gym each and every day. Within just a 5 week period of time we had more people than ever before experience positive results in their health, strength, muscle gain, fat loss, and overall well-being. As you can see, when you are consistent and driven to change, good things will follow. We look forward to helping you reach your next goal on your fitness journey!


    As for June’s focus, we will spend more time concentrating on skill related movements such as rope climbs, pistol squats, and handstands since many of you have expressed a desire to practice these and improve upon them. Mondays and Thursdays will be the day that we will integrate these skill specific movements into our workouts and the goal is for you to experience progression in these by the end of the month.


    The reality of skill work is that it is tough and can oftentimes be frustrating, yet it is incredibly rewarding when you finally achieve your goal! Skill development takes a lot of time to learn along with countless repetitions to get the patterns down. Unlike traditional weight training where you just pick up heavier weight to get stronger, being proficient in a highly skilled movement requires a heavy dose of strength, balance, control, and body awareness to be successful in it.


    Instead of trying to write out and explain the progressions for each of these particular movements I have found some videos that can be of help to you. By no means are these the only ways in which you can achieve these skill sets but I have used many of the methods myself and I will say that if you practice them consistently, you will see results. So, grab your popcorn, sit back, and get ready to be skill schooled! Since you know your own current skill level, take notes and make sure to begin practicing these in your next workout session or even at home.


    What to expect:


    - Mondays you will get to spend some time honing your rope climbing skills, whether you are just learning your first steps or you desire to progress to the coveted legless climb.


    - Mondays and Thursdays you will get see the Pistol Squat implemented as well. Other exercises such as the split squat, lunge, and standard squat (specifically hips below parallel) also assist in supplementing the pistol squat practice.


    -Thursdays you will practice handstand work but you will also do other drills on Mondays that strengthen your handstand such as the Pike Press and Handstand Shoulder Taps from the box.


    Rope Climbing: (Spanish Wrap) (Russian Wrap aka J-hook) (Legless step 1) (Legless step 2) (Strict Legless step 3)


    Pistol Squat:



    Your week will look like this:


    Monday: Strength/Skill

    Tuesday: Metabolic

    Wednesday: Core & Conditioning

    Thursday: Strength/Skill

    Friday: Metabolic

    Saturday: Coaches Choice

    Sunday: Endurance

    Our coaches are a wealth of knowledge so if you need further understanding of a particular skill please don’t hesitate to ask. We want you to be successful...and look cool doing it too :-).

    To mad skillz,




  • Challenge Check-In

    Challenge is well under way. OVer 250 people particiapted in this year's challenge and we have been so inspired by all of you. We all have different things we commit to during this time and for Laura and I it was getting our nutrition on track. We are very lucky...we work at a gym; getting 5-6 workouts a week is a lot easier for us than for most people so adding more WIP was not part of our Challenge Goal this year. This year we focused on getting our nutrition in check. We have been participating in the nutritional challenge with Shana and it has been a huge support for us. We have taken turns packing lunches for each other, we have reduced the amount of beer we drink and taken miimum 3 days off a week from any alcohol, we have even replaced our favorite afternoon pick me up with Cold Brew and Califa almond milk creamer. Here is the crazy thing, it doesn't feel like a sacrafice, it feels incredible. 

    Here was the big surprise to both of us. In addition to the amazing effects of eating right and really planning out and spending time concentrating on our nutrition, this new control started affecting other parts of our lives unrelated to our diet. First of all, we are killing workouts, lifting heavier and more energetic beginning to end. We are reading books before bed instead of snacking and drinking wine. Laura even said to me, "my house is cleaner", and i had to laugh as I had just cleaned out a closet I hadn't opened in years. When the kids were little I used to say, "sleep begets sleep" and I feel like "control begets control". When we have control/moderation in one area of our life it permeates other areas, so we are already making plans to have this newfound control transition right into the summer months.  Just becasue the challenge is ending doesn't mean we are letting go of all these improvements. Its not too late to set your intention and just because the challenge is ending doesn't mean you should roll back all the progress you have made. 

    Keep Challeging Yourselves,

    Mary Kate and Laura

  • May Programming Goal-ENDURE!



    These past few weeks have really been great. We’ve had more people than ever before participate in our 5 Week Challenge and it is has been awesome to see how many of you have already improved in such a short amount of time. For those of you who are new to WIP you are probably asking yourself, “Does this ever get any easier?” or “Will I ever not be sore?”, and my encouraging answer to you is both yes and no :). Let me explain.


    Over the last 2 weeks you have most likely noticed some movements that are similar in nature or have been repeated in multiple workouts. The repetition of these exercises gives your body the practice that it needs to learn these key movement patterns that will eventually turn from difficult to simple and efficient (or at least a lot easier). I liken it to driving a car. Whenever you were first learning how to drive you felt overwhelmed by doing multiple things at once such as constantly looking at your speedometer, staying in your lane and paying close attention to street signs all the while trying to carry on a conversation with your friend in the passenger’s a lot! But what happened as you consistently spent more time behind the wheel?  There may have been some accidents along the way, and potentially others to come (I call these “learning moments”), but over time most of you have become so efficient at this skill that you can pretty much organize your entire life schedule while driving and wonder how you made it to your destination safely without even thinking about it. The same occurs when you continue to gain movement experience and focus on learning proper form- it eventually becomes second nature.


    As far as not feeling sore anymore, you can ask any WIPster who has been with us since the beginning of WIP time and they will tell you that the soreness never really ends. Another piece of encouragement for you, right? As you have experienced, WIP workouts are intense and ever-changing and the madness behind this method is not merely just for variety sake but also to keep your body guessing so that it will continue to make solid gains and never get comfortable. As your fitness level increases you will naturally push yourself harder or lift heavier in order to improve, so even though the movements become easier a change in weight or intensity will continue to spur growth and many times will result in soreness. As you become more fit and achieve a higher level of fitness your recovery time between workouts will be lessened and you won’t feel as sore for as long. Always remember that eating well and taking days off are extremely important in allowing the body to heal and recover. Outside of putting in the effort in the gym, a good diet and proper sleep time is really where you make the gains.


    Now as we enter the next phase of our workouts in May we will begin to focus on our endurance and being able to sustain longer work times. For the last 2 weeks the majority of our work times have been shorter (under 40 seconds of work per rd) but this month you will see longer rounds up to 5 minutes long during the week. We will have 2 days each week that are specifically catered towards endurance but there are some other workouts that will have an endurance effect to them as well. WIPsters who have been with us for a while will be familiar with these timeframes.


    What classifies endurance you ask? For WIP style workouts you can experience the benefits of endurance by either performing a movement for a longer period of time (above 40 sec of work time for many of you, but may be earlier for some of you) followed by short rest periods or your overall work time is large with shorter rounds and short rest periods. So one day you may work for 5 minutes straight without any rest and another endurance day may be Tabata style working for 20 seconds and followed by 10 seconds rest, but consistently for 20 minutes without any extra rest between stations. Anytime you work with short work to rest ratios your intensity will always be lower than if you have longer rest rounds. The point is for you to be able to build up stamina by sustaining longer periods of work time with limited recovery time. Due to this the weight that you use on these days should be light to moderate and you should approach these workouts by pacing out your intensity so that you do not burn out quickly. Remember, the goal is sustainable effort and not exhaustion by mid workout. You should have gas in the tank for the second half of the circuit.


    Below is your schedule for the month of May. We look forward to watching you progress this month and being a part of helping you achieve your goals!


    Sunday: Metabolic

    Monday: Strength

    Tuesday: Endurance

    Wednesday: Core & Metabolic

    Thursday: Strength

    Friday: Endurance

    Saturday: Coaches Choice

    “He conquers who endures.”- Persius

    To endurance,




  • 5 years of WIP!

    Today is the 5th anniversary of WIP. How can that be? Those early days seem like just yesterday and a lifetime away. It would be a lie to say that those first few months weren't incredibly stressful. Not that we don't have stressful days now but it was different in the beginning. After being open for 1 month our average DAILY attendance was 7.67 people. Today in WeHa it is 78.9. Some of you may remember those early days where 1 on 1's were common and Laura and I were at almost every class. Suprisingly, looking back at all those early sign-in sheets and thinking about the beginning I don't feel stress, quite the opposite, I can't stop smiling. Laura and I were so driven to make WIP a success that we refused to face the alternative. Laura is off this week enjoying a family vacation so it is my job to write this year's blog about our anniversary. I don't want to speak for her but I would like to think she would agree with me. Simply put, I am just so proud of us. Proud that we went for it and proud that we made it happen. I Love WIP and look forward to celebrating many many more WIPiversarys.

    To commemorate this special year we have created a T-Shirt for all The WIPsters  who have been with us from the beginning. So if you started working out at WIP in 2013 and have attended with regularity through 2018 (list below) you will be given this T-Shirt. We want to Thank every WIPster for WIPping with us and for all your loyalty. 


    Special Thanks to all our OG WIPsters:

    Kerrie Andrews

    Dave Guida

    Andrea Sweeney

    Maura Bey

    Jenn Searls

    Susan Kamin

    Allison Saulsbury

    Kathleen Wiggenhauser

    Christin Gorman

    Chris Corrigan

    Susan Schaffman

    Megan Mehr

    Maura Droney

    Chris Keever

    Karen Kane

    Monica Ahern

    Aileen Busi

    Tim Walsh

    Matt Dodd

    Kristen Bachorowski

    Liz Hanwalt

    Armena Walsh

    Laurie Lewis

    Mary Kate Doyle

    Laura Keever

    John Doyle

    Irene Rietze

    Josh Hughes

    Ann Kuhnly

    Thanks to all of you,

    Mary Kate and Laura

  • April Programming Focus-To Muscle and More

    Are You A Calorie Counting Addict??? I have to be completely honest with you, I quiver a bit when I think of the direction that many gyms are approaching fitness these days. It seems as if the current trend for a lot of places is to get as many people in the door and then beat them to death on a daily basis with brutal cardio workouts that are designed to burn as many calories as possible. Rest? What rest? You just work the entire hour for the end result of telling others that you happily burned 1,000 calories or that your name was posted on the leaderboard ahead of everyone else in the class. When all we are concerned about is how many calories we burn that day or what our fitness status is compared to those around us we miss the entire point of living a healthy lifestyle.

    I completely understand that we all have aesthetic goals in mind that we are striving for, whether it is to be summer shredded or to be able to slip into those new skinny jeans with ease, but if we stop only at that then we don’t envelop the entire fitness picture. There is so much more to being healthy and it’s not just about mere calorie burnage.

    With the above in mind I am encouraged by the survey results we received from you this month. Topping the list, one of the things you felt was most important to you as to why you come to WIP for your workouts was not to burn calories but it was to build muscle and feel strong. Many of your goals that you have posted on the chalkboards at each gym speak this similar message as well. Now this is a great goal to strive for! The benefits of building muscle (not talking about looking like a bodybuilder) and gaining usable strength not only provides ideal shape to your body image but it also fortifies the connective tissue around the joints, helps reduce the muscle loss of ageing, cuts your risk of injury, and increases bone density which is super critical to your longevity of health. The interesting thing about building lean muscle tissue is that it actually burns a good amount of calories just being at rest throughout the day.

    Now I do not want you to think that I am knocking cardio/conditioning as we do a good amount of this as well. Conditioning is very important to have great cardiovascular health, prevent certain diseases, and improve work capacity (the ability to do more work in less time with less effort) but if that is all you are primarily focusing on then you are missing the bigger picture. I believe that you need to have a good balance of strength and conditioning in order to experience the benefits of a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.

    So with all of this said I come to my main point and that is that WIP programming is not designed to be just a calorie factory. Our coaches do not sit down and write out programs with a specific calorie number in mind that they want you to hit for each workout. Rather, we construct a variety of programs built on a foundation of functional movements that will help you build muscle, improve your conditioning, and feel great. Yes you will burn calories. Some days more than others but that doesn’t mean that one workout is more important than the other. It just means that there is a different goal and purpose in mind for the workout that day that will be beneficial to you. This means that there is no need to be holding planks during the instruction time or doing extra credit high knees during the rest break to reap the benefits of 5 more calories burned (Believe it or not, rest is your greatest friend when working out since it allows you to work harder each round... #mindblown!).

    One last thing to get off my chest and then we can move on :). Do not allow your heart rate monitors and calorie counters on your wrist or your phones to distract you from the task at hand. I catch people all the time looking at their watches and stressing out over hitting certain numbers that they often miss out on parts of the workout and/or the entire workout experience of being present and together with everyone else in the class.

    If you are one whose end goal is weight loss then it’s more important for you learn good eating habits in conjunction with a balanced fitness approach which is a sustainable method rather than just trying to rely on high calorie burning cardio workouts. (If you need help with a good nutrition plan check out the nutrition add-on to our challenge this upcoming up this month-

    Now I am not saying that we are the perfect end-all-be-all fitness system (btw there is no perfect system) but I’d say we are a pretty darn good one. Our workouts are always being fine tuned and improved to make sure you not only “enjoy” them but to also make sure they are balanced and that you are getting the benefits of both strength and conditioning each day no matter when you come. It’s just that some days will lean toward a certain focus a bit more than others. Many of the choices for the workout focus areas are a direct result of your survey responses so we definitely hear you WIP Nation! Without further adieu here is what your daily focus will be for April:

    Monday: Strength

    Tuesday: Metabolic “Tabata timing”

    Wednesday: Core and Conditioning

    Thursday: Strength Friday: 1st and 3rd

    Friday- Endurance; 2nd and 4th Friday- Partner Workout

    Saturday: Coaches Choice

    Sunday: Metabolic

    To muscle and more,


  • WIP Nutrition Shape-up Challenge

    WIP Nutrition Shape Up Challenge

    We are partnering with Shana Cerullo, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Dietitian of Integrative and Functional Nutrition for this year’s 5 week nutritional supplemental challenge.

    The WIP nutrition Shape up Challenge cost is $65 for Unlimited members and $70 for Non-members/punch card holders. PURCHASE HERE

    This is how it works

    The Nutrition Shape-up challenge will kick off with meetings in Canton on Sunday, April 15th at 10:30 am and in WeHa on Monday, April 16th at 7:45 pm. Attending the meetings is not a requirement but will greatly enhance your challenge experience and Shana will be raffling off  a “Healthy Kick Off Swag Bag”  for anyone doing the nutrition challenge and attends the kick off meeting.

    Shana Cerullo is a grocery store guru dietitian with a passion for inspiring people to eat well for better health. Shana can provide you with the tools you need to improve your nutrition, while making it fun, easy and delicious. Shana will help you clean up your act and provide you with no nonsense tips and tricks. Learn nutritious secrets for fast and tasty meals, how to reduce sugar and cravings once and for all, how to meal prep like a pro, learn what foods to buy and what convenience “processed foods” are actually good for you, get the skinny on healthy product approved by a dietitian, how to naturally improve your bodies metabolic and detox systems, and overall how to lose weight while maximizing the nutrients from the foods you eat.

    The first 25 people who join the nutrition challenge WILL receive a free bag of healthy goods from Shana the dietitian. As soon as you register you will receive an intake form for you to fill out and return to Shana. If you register more than 3 days prior to the Challenge kick off she will have your personalized calculations ready to return to you at the meeting. You will also be invited to the Closed Facebook Group. Wondering about all the benefits of joining the WIP Nutrition Shape-up Challenge, well here it goes:

    What Will You Get?

    -Kickoff meeting! Enter for a chance to win “The Healthy Kick Off Swag Bag”  in Weha/Hartford and Canton (includes free product, kitchen gadgets & veggies!)

    -The first 25 people to sign up WILL receive a free bag of healthy goods from Shana the dietitian.

    -Nutrition challenge run by a local Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

    -Individual calculated macronutrient and calorie breakdown

    -Individual nutrition advice

    -Facebook private page

    -Private accountability group

    -Weekly challenges

    -Endless content to keep you motivated

    -Endless easy & healthy recipes

    -Meal planning & prepping tips + tricks

    -Flavorful quick fresh cooking ideas

    -Daily dietitian selected grocery store finds

    -Endless product recommendations!

    -Real advice on how to naturally detox your body to improve metabolism

    -Build healthy sustainable habits

    -Cultivate SMART goals to get the results you want

    -Grocery store visit- healthy product highlights and meal ideas

    Shana will lead you through a 5 week program with weekly focus on the following:

    Week 1: Clean Up Your Act

    Week 2: Veggies and Volumetric's

    Week 3: Powering with Protein

    Week 4: Meal Plan Secrets for Success

    Week 5: Boosting Your Bodies Natural Detox and Metabolic System

    Can’t wait to get started, buy NOW to get your goodie bag and get a jump on the “WIP Nutrition Shape-up Challenge”

  • Why DON'T you WIP (and why you should)!

    Why Don't you WIP?

    I hear it all the time..."I'd love to go to WIP, but I have to get in shape first.", "The people at WIP are all skinny and super intimidating.",  "I just don't have the time to go to WIP.", "If I went to WIP I would die."

    Well I'm happy to tell you, all of these reasons are FALSE!  Yup...fake news.  So I'm here to debunk all these rumors and tell you why you SHOULD WIP!

    First of all, I am proud to say that in the 5 years we have been in business,  NO ONE has ever died while at WIP.  Nope, not one (and we plan to keep it that way).  Are the workouts hard?  Yes.  Will you die?  No.  

    I'm always confused when people tell me "they are working out so that they can come to WIP".  Wait, what?  Our coaches do an amazing job offering plenty of modifications of each exercise - so whether you can snatch a yellow kettle bell or have no idea what the heck I just said - our coaches will take care of you!  

    People come in all shapes and sizes (and genders and ages)  and so do WIPsters!!   99% are encouraging, welcoming, and will be routing for you (the other 1% are total badasses and only there for themselves so they won't even notice you anyway).  And remember, every single person there was a newbie at one time too.

    Did you know that WIP is open 7 days a week?  We have early classes, noon classes, evening classes and everything in between.   Do you want to workout at 5:30am?  Me either...but you COULD.  :)

    So by now you must be asking your do I start?  Well I've got some amazing news because NOW is the best time to start at WIP's CHALLENGE TIME (click here for all the details of this years challenge)!!!   5 weeks of Unlimited Classes (April 16-May 20th), community of like minded people offering support (think LOTS of other newbies), Special Challenge Only Events, PRIZES, Nutritional Shape Up, and more (all the intimate details of this years challenge will be shared later this week).  But we are excited to announce NEW this year...prior to the start of the challenge...WIP 101!  A special class designed to walk you through the flow of a WIP Class, help break down the WIP core movements, offer proper form corrections and tips, and help give WIP first timers a little sneak peak into what a WIP class really looks like.   So save the date and register online now for this special WIP Intro Class ( is limited): Tuesday April 3rd, 7:45pm in West Hartford & Thursday April 5th, 4:30pm in Canton.

    I'm glad that I could set you straight and can't wait to start WIPping it up with you soon.

    See ya at the next workout,


  • March Programming Goals! Pushing and Pulling...

    “Split” It Up WIP Style

    If you’ve spent much time in the workout world, or have an obsession with Muscle Magazine, there is a pretty good chance that you are familiar with split routines that focus on certain muscle groups while allowing other muscle groups to rest. For instance you might have one day that you work upper body while the next day is legs or you may even split up the days to focus on specific body parts (e.g. Chest/ Back/ Glutes/ Hamstrings/ Arms/ Abs). Generally, when you split up your workout up like this you tend to really tax that specific muscle group with a number of different exercises, sets, and reps in order to create a specific response be it strength, hypertrophy (muscle growth), endurance, or power, then allow it time to recover.


    A classic example of those who utilize split routines all the time are bodybuilders who isolate each muscle group and sculpt their physiques to the max. I think you can tell in the picture below who uses the split routine appropriately- haha!



    Now I am no nuclear physicist by I am guessing the reason why you come to WIP is not for a future in bodybuilding but rather for great overall fitness, health and wellness gains. Now you may be thinking that a split style routine is not for you because you enjoy some form of a full body workout each day but that doesn’t mean we can’t put more of a focus on certain muscle groups, while allowing others to recover, and still get a great full body workout.


    This month we have adapted our own WIP type of split routine where we will focus one day on pushing movements (both upper and lower body pressing, squatting, lunging variations), the next day on pulling movements (both upper and lower body pulling and hinging variations), and following day that will be a core and cardio day to keep that tummy tight and heart rate up. Saturday will continue to be a coaches choice workout and Sunday will be more of a endurance/cardio day.


    Now because not everyone attends WIP everyday we are making sure that even on your “push” days you are still getting some pull action and on your “pull” days you are getting some pushing. We will continue to focus the majority of our exercise selection on full body movements that give you the most bang-for-your-functional lifestyle-buck while including a little bit of isolation work to keep your winter pump on.


    See below for the weekly schedule:


    Sunday: Cardio/Endurance

    Monday: Push

    Tuesday: Pull

    Wednesday: Core and Cardio

    Thursday: Push

    Friday: Pull

    Saturday: Coaches Choice

    I’d love to keep writing but I’ve gotta “split.” Have fun this month and keep on keepin’ on!




  • Feb Programming Goals...Choose to be Awesome!

    Choose What You Love


    I hope that you have had a chance to fully recover from the holidays and get back on track with your life routine this past month. It’s never an easy thing to discipline yourself and make fitness a priority, so big props to you for this!  For those who came to WIP for the first time we welcome you and are excited about you joining our special WIP family. We know that the workouts are tough, but we want to encourage you to stick with it and be consistent in order for you to see continued progress and solid gains in your overall health and wellness.


    Now for the month you’ve all been secretly waiting for- a month of working out with YOUR love! And I am not talking about working out with your significant or hopeful other (although this is an added benefit). We know that some of you “heart” working on developing greater overall feats of strength while others prefer keeping the blood pumping with metabolic goodness so that is why we are giving you an option every Monday and Thursday this month to work on one or the other. You can even choose to get loco and mix the strength and metabolic movements together to get the best of both worlds.


    We believe that consistently focusing on both strength and metabolic conditioning are essential elements to a healthy fitness lifestyle. Strength obviously helps us to lift heavier objects and do challenging tasks a whole lot easier but it is so much more than that. As we age the things we begin to lose the quickest are strength, power, mobility, and bone density. By lifting heavier weights or progressing to a harder variation of a particular movement we are stressing our bodies, in a good way, to get stronger and to build healthy bones for years to come. Metabolic conditioning or cardio is beneficial for keeping our heart strong, metabolism high, and improving our work capacity (ability to do more work in less time). Working both strength and metabolic conditioning also helps to release and regulate hormones more efficiently and fight against certain diseases, not to mention the improvement of body image and quality of life.


    As we move into this month we hope you enjoy the option to choose what area of your fitness you want to improve the most. It’s your love. It’s your choice.


    Choose to be Awesome!