CHAARG, not your average fitness group

By Samantha Pitkin

The UMD chapter of CHAARG hosted their welcome party and first meeting of the semester on February 12.

CHAARG is a national fitness group intended for college girls and aims to prove that working out goes far beyond the elliptical. CHAARG encourages women of all shapes, sizes and workout experiences to set a goal and push their limits to the max.

The girls all had to write down their personal “Fit Goals” at the beginning of the meeting as a way to remind them what they want to accomplish by the end of this semester. Besides promoting new and fun ways to workout, CHAARG also promotes healthy eating and a large-scale fitness project called “Spring Break FitPlan.”

Claudia Pagan, a sophomore journalism major, is the president of the UMD chapter of CHAARG and one of the chapter’s co-founders when it began three semesters ago. In order to make CHAARG as successful as possible, Pagan joined every possible UMD group on Facebook and posted continuously about upcoming meetings and events.

“Fall ’13 is when I heard about CHAARG and applied to be an ambassador. I really wanted this group on campus,” said Pagan.

Pagan’s dedication eventually paid off, as CHAARG now has over 90 participating girls with even more prospective members looking to join this spring. One of the major draws for CHAARG girls is the variety of different workouts and other things to do.

“It’s a community of girls who workout together, but also do a lot of other stuff,” said Pagan.

This semester, the CHAARG executive board is looking to integrate a sorority aspect by hosting a formal and a weekend retreat in addition to weekend workout trips to Washington D.C. They are also looking to have representatives from Lululemon and Nike come in to talk about fitness and host group yoga and fitness classes for CHAARG members.

Brittney Wood, a junior landscape architecture major, joined CHAARG last semester and is a huge fan of its “encouraging environment.”

“I love CHAARG because the girls who come out here are motivated and want to be here,” said Wood.

To end the meeting, the girls were divided into six groups with one CHAARG member in each group to lead an icebreaker. Every girl went around and gave their name, major, a fun fact, and what they hope to get out of CHAARG. The majority of girls talked about wanting to meet new people and get into shape by trying workouts besides running.

Elizabeth Cardozo, a junior communications major, discovered CHAARG through Facebook when one of her friends liked the CHAARG page and it popped up in her newsfeed. As a commuter student, Cardozo was looking for a way to meet people and also a workout outside of Eppley.

“I just started running, and I like it so far. I think I’ve done like 18 miles,” Cardozo said. “I start out jogging, then running, and if I’m tired then I start walking.”

From yoga to Bollywood Zumba to spin classes, CHAARG is truly pushing the workout limits and making things interesting for girls who want to step up their workouts.

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