Mariah MacDowell sees fitness from different angles
Women In Strength, a women-only fitness studio, was opened with the intention of building a community.
After working as a coach in various fitness facilities, MARIAH MACDOWELL says something that kept those businesses successful was having strong community bases.
“Coaches knew all of the members whether they were their own or not, members were comfortable going to any of the coaches for questions or guidance, members always showed up for organized events outside of their training sessions, and that’s what I’m striving for with Women In Strength,” MacDowell says.
While coaching teenage girls through a strength and conditioning camp a few years ago, MacDowell became inspired.
As part of the eight-week training program, she provided the girls with a journal question each day to write about and then discuss when they returned to the next session.
She says that over those weeks, it was inspirational to see the changes within the girls – not only in their fitness abilities but also how their mindsets changed toward fitness as well as themselves.
Thus, the idea to have this but on a larger scale to reach more women was born.
The plans for creating a fitness studio where women came not just to work out, but to build relationships, create solid, supportive connections, learn lifelong nutrition habits, and be part of a solid community were put into motion.
MacDowell and personal trainer MORGANN SWANN had clients who stuck with them as they transitioned to the studio’s opening while allowing space for new members.
“As coaches, we understand that stepping into a personal training program or group class is a very vulnerable experience,” MacDowell says. “So, we want to make that experience as enjoyable and pain free as possible – although we can’t promise there won’t be soreness following a workout!
“We work with our members wherever they’re at on their fitness journey because we understand that everyone is starting at different levels,” MacDowell adds.
With this in mind, she prefers more one-on-one settings compared to large group situations. Women In Strength focuses on each member’s goals.
Besides offering personal training and small group classes, they also offer fitness for pre- and postnatal mothers.
Women In Strength also offers remote training and corporate events. MacDowell says the beauty of remote training is that it can be done anywhere and usually on your own time. The program can be carried out through an online training program designed ahead of time for each individual or completed through live training, such as through Zoom.
Nutrition and exercise are lifelong habits necessary to be healthy, and if someone is feeling like they need a personal jump-start into this lifestyle, Women In Strength offers an individualized 12-week challenge to get her headed in the right direction.
The goal of this is to create better habits, increase physical activity, learn about personal nutrition and what is necessary for the individual, and finish the challenge feeling better and more confident than when she began.
Women In Strength has only been in its current location at 505 South 17th Street since May, and MacDowell says they are already planning a move to a bigger location within the next year.
This will enable them to offer more fitness options, add more coaches, and hold seminars surrounding fitness, nutrition, pre- and postnatal topics, and possibly even a Mommy and Me-type class.
“We strive,” MacDowell says, “to go beyond just fitness by looking into nutrition, lifestyle habits, stressors, and more to help the women we work with get the most out of their fitness and wellness journey and create something that they’re able to maintain for their life, rather than a quick fix solution.”
To view more of photographer Aris Harding’s work, go to arisharding.com.
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