Danielle Rogers, studio director/owner of Fitness Fusion, wants women to feel empowered through training, not shamed to get fit. We chatted with her to hear more about her refreshing take on exercise.
Every few months a new workout comes along. What trends do you see in fitness right now?
Body weight training for sure. All of our group classes encourage students to develop and increase their ability to perform body weight exercises. There’s nothing like pushups, pull-ups and lunges to help build total body strength and create beautiful lean muscle mass. In our TRX® suspension strap class, students are using their body as their machine.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is another. We incorporate HIIT circuits into our TRX® and Cardio Sculpt classes. HIIT workouts combine intense short bursts of anaerobic activity with short periods of rest. These types of circuits produce efficient and quick results, while boosting metabolism and improving fat burning capacity.
Digital fitness tracking is a trend that we incorporate and have seen great results with. We encourage the use of Fitbits and fitness apps such as C25K and My Fitness Pal. We find that these tracking devices help students become more aware of their activity throughout the week. This awareness helps change their habits for the better.
If you could only do one exercise which one would you do?
Pushups! I think they are one of the best tests of strength. They can be done anywhere. And they involve multiple muscle groups. Nothing will sculpt a person’s arms better.
What exercise should you do if you want quick results?
Our TRX® Spin Sculpt Fusion class is an incredible workout. All the elements are covered in this workout-cardio intervals, strength building and core centered exercises. This class can boost metabolism significantly, garnering the results students are looking to achieve. And Nicole, our spin instructor, does an excellent job of keeping class fun. Her recent Michael Jackson vs. Prince playlist was a big hit!
There’s been a real shift in women’s fitness lately, where strength and endurance has become the emphasis versus calorie burning. What’s your philosophy?
It has always been important to me to convey to the message that fitness and exercise are uplifting, energizing and strength building. I want women to connect to the positive results that are happening in their minds and bodies when they are exercising. I think when the focus is only on melting calories and burning off fat, one can start to think of exercise as a punishment. I want students to workout to feel good, not to punish themselves because they had too many eating slipups one weekend. I drive the message of self-empowerment, not body shaming.
Your classes build great camaraderie. Tell us a little about how peers are supporting each other.
The absolute best part about Fitness Fusion is the supportive fitness community we have built in such a short time. I constantly hear students encouraging one another during class. We have had students run their first marathon ever together as a result of the close bonds they have formed in our Fitness Fusion Rhode Runner group. I am beyond grateful for the women that come to class each week, they inspire me to be my best self. They truly are some of the kindest, most fun and encouraging group of women I’ve ever been around.
We’re seeing lots of self-proclaimed fitness experts pop up on the internet. What are your thoughts?
Unfortunately there is a trend where some instructors and personal trainers are actually not certified, or obtain a “mickey mouse” certification. I think that puts people’s safety at risk. This year marks 11 years of personal training for me and 13 years of group exercise teaching. I have helped hundreds of people of all ages and fitness backgrounds achieve their goals. I’ve obtained numerous professional certifications and am a lifelong student who believes in continuing education and training. I also encourage my instructors to do the same by attending fitness conferences, classes and working with some of the best fitness professionals in the country. Students can be confident that our instructors and personal trainers are qualified professionals.
Fitness Fusion is hosting Zen Den on March 12 from 6-10pm, a ladies night event that includes a sneak peek of Athleta’s spring collection, mini spa services and other local goodies.