• 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!




  • I'm going to be brutally honest...I'm the heaviest I've weighed since owning WIP.

    This may be the hardest blog post I've had to write to date, but I'm going to be brutally honest.   I am the heaviest I've weighed since we opened WIP almost 5 years ago.  I know that the number on the scale isn't necessarily telling the whole story, but I have definitely fallen off track the past year and I feel it. Even with the best workouts and coaches at my finger tips, I realize now more than ever that it takes more than just workouts to reach my goals.  But I feel it in my workouts...and I feel it in my jeans!  My diet is not consistent and I worked out less in 2017 than I have the past 4 years.  2017 was a year filled with amazing trips, memorable times with friends and family, and celebrating (and stressing) over new beginnings (hello Hartford and 40!) but it's taken it's toll.  Sometimes you need to just put it all out there, own it, and then come up with a plan to make the change.

    So here I go. Another year, another reset.  I am going to make some small commitments which I hope will put me on track to feeling my best (and I hope to see the numbers on the scale start to fall).  I've started to track my meals again and pay attention to my macros (check out this past blog post to learn how I lost 10 lbs and how I hope to again), I vow to drink more water (and a little less wine) and get more sleep.  I've also committed to getting in 5 workouts a week.  I vow to make it back into the WIP Top 20 Attendance Ranks for 2018.  What are your 2018 fitness/health goals and what are you going to do to get there?  Put it out there and hold yourself accountable...I'm trying to and would love the company!

    I'm choosing not to focus on where I am but on where I want to be...back in those skinny jeans.  We are all 'a work in progress' after all.  


  • January 2018 Programming Goals

    I hope that your holidays were full of joy and love as you were able to spend time with family and friends! I also hope that those who participated in the Challenge succeeded in their goals and got the most out of their experience at WIP this past month.


    As we enter a season where many people resolve to make health and fitness a priority in their lives it is unfortunate that most of these resolutions will not last more than a couple of months before the old ways take over and sabotage the amazing benefits of what could have been. For some people working out comes naturally to them and is more of a hobby than another dreaded chore, but for others the thought of doing something active on a daily basis is as difficult as watching reruns of Pee Wee’s Playhouse (maybe not everyone ;).


    Over the last few years a substantial amount of research has revealed different reasons as to why making resolutions hardly ever works and there are many opinions as to why this is the case.  If the standard resolution protocol has failed you in the past and you are in search of new ways to stick with your new years goals the research pros suggest that you spend your energy on creating new habits which will have a greater lasting effect. (See link for some ways to foster new habits-


    Below I have listed some ways in which I have kept the fitness habit alive in my life over the years:


    *Get it in early. The longer I wait to workout in the day the more unsettled I feel (which adds to my stress level) and the more likely I am to procrastinate and not workout. I know that this is not practical for everyone due to various schedules but if you can manage to do it you can get it out of the way and move on with the rest of your day’s priorities.


    *Set out my clothes the night before. When I was training for ultra run distances and I had a long run that I wasn’t looking forward to the next morning I would make sure that I had my run gear laid out next to my bed and coffee all set to brew so that it made it easier to get out of bed and get going. Planning things out the night before also prepped my mind for the run ahead which also kept me focused on my goal.


    *Talk to my wife about it ahead of time. Being that my wife and I share the parenting role for a one year old means that I must communicate my workout plans to her ahead of time. If I wait to tell her at the last minute there are things that often come up and get in the way of me being able to have that time to myself as well as having a frustrated spouse which is never good :(


    *Find something I want to shoot for. The great thing about working out at a place like WIP is that it cultivates a high fitness level that allows you to do other fun and cool things. I often don’t like to workout just to workout, but rather, I prefer to aim for something that my fitness lets me do or will let me do someday. It could be seeking to complete an obstacle race, compete in a Wednesday night basketball league, hike Mt. Washington, or aim to hold a handstand for a minute straight. Whatever the goal may be find something that excites and challenges you and work toward it.


    *Use the time that I have and get creative with it. The reality is that life gets in the way and you won’t always have an hour to spend at the gym. You may also be a person who travels for work frequently but your hotel gym only specializes in the Thigh Master and a Shake Weight which leaves you feeling slightly creeped out. If you only have 10 min to devote to exercise that day choose one movement and complete as many reps of it as possible. If you are pent up in your hotel room utilize a chair and your carry on bag as weight to create a mini circuit out of it. There are plenty of internet resources for hotel workouts. WIP has even created on-the-go workouts for you to do anywhere so that you are without excuse.


    Now that you have read my ramblings here is what we have in store for you this month at WIP. Each day of the week will have a different focus in order to allow you to get a variety of workouts in to keep you both interested and fit of course. The workout focus is as follows:


    Monday- Strength

    Tuesday- Metabolic

    Wednesday- Core and Cardio

    Thursday- Agility

    Friday- Endurance


    The goal is for you to work multiple fitness systems in order to 1) stay motivated and enjoy your workouts 2) keep a well rounded and balanced fitness approach. The more we vary up the focus for each specific day the better off your fitness level, athletic capacity, and skill set will be...and who doesn’t want all of those great benefits???


    As we go into 2018 I look forward to hearing about all of the great habits that you have created in order for you to live a more passionate and fulfilling life.


    Cheers to the New Year!




  • Avon location is moving!

    We are beyond thrilled to announce that WIP Avon is moving to the Shoppes at Farmington Valley!  Only a mile down the road, this new location will be Bigger & Better allowing us to offer our WIP Community even more! Grace + Grit, our favorite athleisure clothing boutique will be joining us in our new home and setting up shop in our new reception area.  We have a scheduled opening date of February 1, 2018.


  • Workout Early Morning in Downtown and take advantage of a SWEET DEAL!

    The early bird gets the worm and in this case they get a great deal too. We want you to start the year and the day off right. We are offering 6 weeks of workouts starting January 1 - February 11th at 6 and 7 am in Downtown Hartford for $67. Thats right only $67 unlimited for 6 weeks. Come get WIPped, use our showers and be ready to start your day off feeling incredible. Here's the catch, you may only workout at 6 & 7 am and only in Downtown Hartford. New clients, punch card holders, challenge pass members and/or...anyone is elgible for this deal. If you would like to take advantage of this great deal but you want to occasionally attend a weekend class or another location feel free to purchase or use a punch card for those visits. Dates are firm. Please purchase your 6 and 7 for $67 pass here!

  • December Programming Theme- "Holiday Heatwave"

    “Holiday Heatwave”


    The colder weather is finally upon us and the excitement of December festivities brings about a sense of joy as we spend time with those that mean the most to us. As we draw closer to these fun (maybe stressful) experiences our normal schedules and routines can easily go out the window as we succumb to the “Holiday Helper” syndrome where we tend to have our hand in everything and our busyness takes over. We need to beware of this syndrome as it will easily consume our fitness/wellness/sanity goals if we let it. We need that one hour in our day to live in the moment without any distractions, sweat alongside fellow WIPsters, and to feel alive. This time is necessary for making us better wives/husbands/parents/siblings and overall happier and more productive human beings.


    As we embark upon this Challenge month there will be many temptations to forsake our goals, scrap the whole thing, and just partake in what everyone around us is eating, drinking, or doing, but this is not what we signed up for. We accepted the challenge to be better people this season and overcome our weaknesses. We desire to succeed!


    Now despite how much we desire success we must also realize that these moments with family and friends are precious times which need to be enjoyed and remembered and with that comes balance. The reality of the holiday season is that most of us will stay up a little later at times, commune a bit longer, and eat and drink more delicious delicacies that might plague us with guilt, but the good news is that we have coaches who are looking out for you this month.


    We are kicking things into high gear and keeping you toasty with our “Holiday Heatwave” theme which will focus on more metabolically-centered workouts to keep your heart rate up and guilt a little lower. For the last couple weeks of December we will also tweak some aspect of the workouts by progressively changing the time or number of rounds to make it a little bit more of a challenge when you will want it the most.


    We wish you an enjoyable holiday season and look forward to coaching you toward your own personal success!

    Enjoy the sweat,




  • Volunteering Opportunities

    With the first few days of the challenge underway, we wanted to share a few ideas for where you can volunteer. Volunteering must be documented by emailing with the date, location and hours volunteered. If you aren't sure that your volunteering experience will count for points, please just email or to check. Here are some ideas to get you started. Another great idea recommended by a client is to volunteer at your local nursing home. Please be sure to call ahead to set up your volunteer session.

    Loaves and Fishes- 860-524-1730

    Serving the community since 1984, the mission is to provide food and leadership in the community by uniting and mobilizing resources to empower people to be self-sufficient.

    646 Prospect Ave Hartford, CT 06105

    Donations- In need of winter glove donations

    Gifts of Love-860-676-2323

    Works with individuals and families going through tough times (illness, reduced work hours, financial crisis etc) to help meet their most basic needs through food, clothing, housewares, etc. and enables them to focus on putting their lives back together.

    34 East Main St, Avon CT 06001

    Donations- In need of new and/or used toys and gifts for the holidays, bedding, food donations

    Volunteering – reach out to Nancy Carlson directly (860-676-2323) - opportunities could include working at the food pantry, stocking/storing supplies, working with clients directly, working on organic farm and much more!

    Hands on Hartford-860-728-3201

    Hands on Hartford puts caring into action though food and neighborhood services, emergency assistance, weekend meals for seniors and after school tutoring programs.

    55 Bartholomew Ave Hartford 06106

    Donations- financial and food donations (pasta, rice, beans, peanut butter, cans etc)

    Laura (860-706-1522)

    My Sisters Place- 860-895-6629

    Seeks to end homelessness by empowering women, families and others in Greater Hartford to achieve independence and stability in their community by providing housing and supportive services.

    Donations- laundry detergent, paper products (paper towels, plates, napkins), gift cards (Wal-Mart, Shop Rite $25 dollar increments), household cleaners


    Animal Friends of CT- 860-827-0381

    Work with stray and abandoned animals, recently had to take in 21 abandoned kittens, which has drained a lot of donated resources 

    Donations- cat food (dry –preferably Purina One & wet – preferably Fancy Feast, litter, money donations 

    Volunteering- call Jean directly (Shelter Manager) 860-489-4901- socialize with the cats, cleaning, sweeping, shelter management 

    HARC Inc- 860-218-6000 

    Helps people with intellectual disabilities and their families enjoy lives of quality, inclusion and dignity by providing support, education and advocacy

    Donations- financial donations, arts/craft supplies

    Volunteering- contact Laura Daly ( prefers volunteers be in a group (no more than 10 people), hours are between Monday-Friday 10am-2:30pm.  Interacting with those with intellectual disabilities


  • Owning a Small Business

    Owning a small business is a roller coaster ride. The highs and lows come at rapid fire pace. Seeing pictures of 30 WIPsters working together at Fenway on a beautiful fall day to conquer the Spartan brings such joy to Laura and I. The emails we receive from clients talking about how our coaches and our workouts have changed their lives is the most humbling and satisfying part of the job. On the flip side, this month Laura and I were woken with phone calls at the 5:00 am hour with news of a flood in WeHa, no power in Avon (twice), a broken lock which resulted in a broken window in WeHa, a non-working key in Downtown, and too much heat Downtown. Don't get us wrong, the highs always outweigh the lows, and our amazing coaches that have to handle these things are the glue that binds us together. This month Laura and I are celebrating 5 years of partnership, we filed for Work in Progress LLC in Novemeber of 2012. We are so Thankful for all of you who have been on this amazing ride with us. THis Saturday is Small Business Saturday, one of our favorite days of the year. We will be bringing back our 3 pack of punch cards for $33 (limit 2 person) you may gift an additional 3 pack to a friend or family member as well. This is our lowerst per class price of the year. Whether you purchase a 3 pack with us or not, we hope you will consider spending some of your hard earned money at a Small Business this Saturday.

    We look forward to continuing this ride together. 

    Mary Kate and Laura