Whole Body

Stay at Home Bod

A Bristol trainer crafts workouts for home


We Rhode Islanders are notoriously reluctant to drive very far. We’ll pack a lunch for a 20-minute trip and cancel plans over having to cross the Mt. Hope Bridge. Fitness instructor Danielle Rogers of Bristol’s Fitness Fusion training studio seems to get that, and she’s created the perfect option for those who don’t want to travel “all the way” to her studio: stay home.

Of course, Danielle isn’t recommending that you refrain from exercising. Instead, she’s giving you the option to get a great workout in the comfort of your own home with her series of virtual fitness classes. These fast, simple 20-minute videos will take you through a full body workout in less time than it takes to traverse Route 114 on a busy weekday. “I felt that 20-minute workouts were the perfect solution for busy moms and those who want to get in a quick workout while on vacation or traveling for work,” explains Danielle. They’re also perfect for people intimidated by working out with other people.

Danielle is treating the new line of videos as a “virtual fitness studio.” Workouts will cover the same range of fitness options she offers in her actual, physical studio, from her standard Strength Fusion to Barre, Pilates (which will be released this month) and, coming soon, Yoga. I started with the entry-level Strength Fusion video. Danielle plans to keep that one available for free on her website, so anyone can try it out and get a feel for her style.

The presentation is simple and straightforward, pleasantly devoid of any cheesy transitions or iMovie-type effects. It’s just Danielle in her studio providing instruction and encouragement, and doing the reps right along with you. The Strength Fusion workout is divided into the three circuits of five exercises each; Danielle recommends doing each circuit more than once for maximum benefit. “The goal is to keep the heart rate up throughout each of the three circuits. Students receive a total body workout with metabolism boosting cardio intervals,” she explains. “I also love combining upper and lower body exercises, such as squats into an overhead tricep press or lunges with a shoulder raise. It’s a great challenge for students to work many muscle groups at the same time.”

The circuits are breezy and fast-paced, yet it’s easy to keep up. None of the exercises are particularly complicated or require more equipment than a couple of dumbbells (short of any equipment at home, I just used some bricks I found in the yard – for real), and the transitions between them are simple. This isn’t the kind of workout that requires intensive instruction or slowing down to demonstrate a particularly tricky move – Danielle just keeps you moving.

The circuits integrate lots of compound exercises, many of which, as she pointed out, combine upper and lower body, and also engage the core. She wasn’t kidding about those squats and lunges either – get ready for lots of variations on those. In my experience, the moment of truth in a circuit workout is the second time through. The first one always seems like a breeze, but the second one is when the sweat starts. By the second circuit in Strength Fusion, I was positively pouring sweat. After three full rounds of each circuit, my quads and thighs were burning, which continued well into the next day.

“I hope that students will feel great improvements in their strength, stamina, and even how their clothes are fitting with my virtual fitness classes,” says Danielle. “It’s my goal to help as many people as possible believe that they can commit to a workout program and stick with it.” When you don’t even have to leave your house, there’s really no excuse for not sticking with it.

All current workouts are available on the “Virtual Fitness Class Videos” page at www.DanielleRogersFit.com. 20-minutes workouts are $6, and can be downloaded onto your device for future viewing. Workouts are also available through the Vimeo app.

Fitness Fusion
259 Thames Street, Bristol