For students looking for a workout partner or group to keep them on track for their fitness resolutions this year, CHAARG aims to give them the energy they need.
CHAARG, which stands for Changing Health, Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls, is an all-female group that meets weekly and partners with local fitness studios to introduce members to new ways of staying active and healthy, according to the CHAARG website.
CHAARG was originally founded at Ohio State in 2012 by Elisabeth Tavierne, a then-second-year in athletic science. Today, CHAARG has more than 70 university chapters throughout the United States, and the Ohio State chapter currently has about 400 active members and 35 different small groups, according to the website.
Following her experience in athletic science and on Ohio State’s swim and dive team, Tavierne said she wanted to continue leading a healthy lifestyle and change gym standards after noticing all the women on treadmills and ellipticals while men dominated the weight area. Determined to “free girls from the elliptical,” Tavierne said she kickstarted the group to create a safe space for women to explore new ways of working out with the support of a community.
CHAARG members meet once a week in their small groups and as a whole organization to work out through either cardio, weightlifting or other combinations, Skylar Armentrout, a fourth-year in accounting and the group’s ambassador, said. Small groups change each semester as new members join.
A healthier lifestyle isn’t the only thing Armentrout gained since joining the group. She said joining CHAARG has positively shaped her college experience and built a more personal community within such a large school.
“I know that if I go to the gym and I run into a CHAARG girl, it’s a girl that I can instantly talk to, even if we haven’t met yet, and it’s just a really great community of girls that are always encouraging and uplifting,” Armentrout said.
Armentrout said her experience with CHAARG has made her feel more comfortable with herself.
“It’s made me more confident in myself and my abilities and trying things outside of my comfort zone,” she said. “It’s made me more confident in my body and myself and taught me more about self love.”
Armentrout has developed a love not only for herself, but other members of the group, whom she said she plans to include in her wedding party.
Caroline Owens, a second-year in psychology, provides another example. She said she has felt welcomed by the group and will be living with six other CHAARG members during the 2020 academic year.
“Even if you have no idea what you’re doing working out, people don’t judge, and they’re cheering you on,” Owens said. “They’re like a sports team that I didn’t have in high school because I didn’t play high school sports and that I miss from other teams that I had been on.”
Lauren Fern, a third-year in speech and hearing science, said her experience with the group has made her more positive and encouraged her to support other women.
“I think it really showed me how, as women, we really need to stick together, and this group does, and it shows,” Fern said.
CHAARG not only influences women on campus, but through social media, The CHAARG Podcast and a featured blog on the organization’s website.
Additional information can be found at chaarg.com/the-ohio-state-university/. The spring 2020 membership fee is $47.