You can guzzle green juice, study meditation, swap java for matcha, or try one of a million other trendy life-hacks to change your life. Or, you can simply begin to move.
For Kelly Taphouse, founder of MOVE Fitness Club, the newest addition to Fitnessville (aka the stretch of Leslieville’s Carlaw Avenue packed with fitness clubs), that simple action was the first step in changing her life, and the guiding ideology behind her studio.
“My mission, my journey is to help women fall in love with fitness for all the right reasons,” explains Taphouse. “[MOVE Fitness] is not somewhere you go and get your body fat measured and get weighed on the scale, where everything you do is about achieving those numbers or not achieving them. It’s about movement. It’s about feeling strong. It’s about feeling empowered as a woman.”
A former fitness competitor and fitness model, Taphouse is intimately aware of the danger of determining one’s success by measurements. Years of excessive training and dieting, of every workout being designed to achieve the approval of a panel of judges, pushed Taphouse to a breaking point where she fell out of love with fitness and stopped moving. She didn’t start again for several years until one day after the birth of her son she knew it was time to make a change.
“One day I just decided enough is enough,” she recalls. “I decided to just start to move. I decided to move to feel better. I decided to stop eating to lose weight and dieting and I decided to start eating to nourish my body so I could care for my new child. Slowly I started moving more and feeling better.”
Taphouse knew that if the simple act of moving could have such a dramatic impact on her life, perhaps she could create a place where other women could experience that same infatuation – with fitness and with themselves.
A strength-focused studio exclusively for women, MOVE Fitness is intensely committed to the idea that your fitness journey is about more than external appearance, more than measurements.
MOVE has packed its space with equipment designed to help members get stronger, feel better, and have fun while doing it. There is a rig with barbells and plates which also doubles as a set of monkey bars. There are heavy dumbbells, med balls, TRX, kettlebells, rings, rowers, punching bags, an assault bike, and a strip of yellow turf with a prowler waiting to be pushed.
MOVE offers a signature class called GETSTRONG which focuses on strength and conditioning and is capped at 14 people to ensure each member receives individual attention. New members are on-boarded with the Beginner Boot Camp (10-member cap) a four-week program that meets twice a week, where members learn basic movement patterns, body awareness, and how to connect to their core. For those who want even more personal attention, there is also personal training.
But MOVE aims to be about more than just your workout; Taphouse hopes it will be a place where women find a community. There is a juice bar where members can grab pre- and post-workout smoothies, coffee, and healthy snacks, and a lounge area where they can connect with one another. There is a dedicated room for child-minding so busy moms don’t have to find a sitter every time they want to work out. And for moms who want their kids to experience the same joy they get from fitness, there is the Little MOVErs After School Program and the Little MOVErs Tae Kwon Do Program.
Even though MOVE Fitness has just opened its doors (the first class was on Halloween), Taphouse feels that it is part of a larger movement.
“I sense a trend starting to snowball in our industry of moving away from the booty bootcamps and rapid weight loss transformation gyms, to empowering women to get strong,” she says. “Eventually women won’t have to deal with all of this B.S. about working out to get leaner and look a certain way that magazines tell us to look.”
Taphouse hopes that MOVE will be a place where women can fall in love with fitness and to become enamored with the process and not simply the end result.
“I want to help change the face of women’s fitness and I want exercise and movement to become a happy place for women,” she explains. “As women we struggle enough with body image and loving ourselves as it is. Why the hell should fitness be a place for that as well?”
To learn more about MOVE Fitness and how you can join the movement, click here. MOVE Fitness is located at 388 Carlaw Avenue, Unit 105B.