Staying fit is hard on a college campus — and so is avoiding the infamous Freshman 15. Penn State CHAARG is trying to change that for women. CHAARG, Changing Health Attitudes & Actions to Re-create Girls, is an all-female health and fitness organization whose goal is to “liberate girls from the elliptical” and make working out fun.
CHAARG was founded by former Ohio State student Elisabeth Tavierne in 2012. She was on a swimming scholarship but realized the pressure of performing took away her love of swimming. So she quit swimming and joined a gym in an attempt to stay active. She was disheartened when she only saw girls on the elliptical and she wanted to change that.
“My mission is to empower every CHAARG girl to be the best version of herself. I truly hope that all of our members find their passion for health and fitness — whatever that means to them.” Tavierne said on CHAARG’s website. Now, the group has 38 chapters across the country with more than 6,000 members.
Penn State alum Alyssa Ardolino applied to be an Ambassador to bring CHAARG to Penn State in 2014, and after an interview process and 100 recruited members, Penn State got its chapter. Now, in its fourth semester in Happy Valley, Penn State CHAARG has more than 250 members.
This isn’t your normal fitness club.
“CHAARG encourages self-love and confidence and prides itself on that” said Nikki Williamson, VP of Membership. “We want to meet you at your level and help you take steps towards your goals, no matter how big or small.”
Members use a variety of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to help motivate each other daily while they trade workout advice and healthy eating ideas.
“CHAARG is an open and honest community — a place where being nice is the norm,” Williamson said.
It hosts weekly events every Wednesday night and partners with local fitness studios and health professionals to provide exclusive workouts including kickboxing, yoga, group runs, cooking events, and more. CHAARG fosters a community with weekly small group meetings where girls can workout, eat, hang out, craft, and just overall get to know one another.
“We want to expose girls to different exercises so they can find ones they love and fit their lives,” Williamson said. “It is never to late to join, new members are always welcome!”
Whether you are a woman who can run a marathon, walk a mile, or want to lift some weights, Penn State CHAARG is for you.