Taking CHAARG: New student-led workout group takes shape in Corvallis

(Left to right) Grace Darazs, Hannah Summers and Jenna Price demonstrate a cycling exercise at Dixon Rec Center on the campus of OSU on Sept. 14. They are the student leaders of CHAARG, a new-to-OSU athletic club targeted towards female-identifying individuals.
(Left to right) Grace Darazs, Hannah Summers and Jenna Price demonstrate a cycling exercise at Dixon Rec Center on the campus of OSU on Sept. 14. They are the student leaders of CHAARG, a new-to-OSU athletic club targeted towards female-identifying individuals.
Jason May

In the midst of all the clubs and organizations recruiting new members this fall, a new workout program will be starting its inaugural year. 

CHAARG, which stands for “Changing Health, Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls” will be looking for female-identifying students to join its ranks.

“It’s a health and fitness, wellness organization all about getting girls off of the elliptical machine and not just doing cardio at the gym and more about getting into weight training and trying out other things,” said Kelsey Osmus, the vice president of membership. ”We just really want to inform and educate and have people have fun and create a community.”

CHAARG is a national organization that sponsors clubs worldwide, and can be found at over 110 campuses. Two out of three college-aged women do not feel comfortable going to the weight room, and are seeking to change that. 

“(CHAARG) started around 10 years ago at Ohio State University. And originally, their whole mantra was to liberate girls in the gym, just because especially I feel like 10 years ago, gym culture was a lot different, you know, a lot more male dominated and it still totally is like that,” said Jenna Price, ambassador of the club.

“When I came to Oregon State I was so scared to workout and the only thing that I felt comfortable in was going to cycling classes at Dixon just because I love the community with it. And that was something I could do and that was a workout I really enjoyed,” Osmus said. “My boyfriend tried to teach me (weights) but it was so scary. Squats are so scary. I didn’t want to ever do it. And I also think when you’re a boy it’s different, but now being with the girls I want to do it.” 

Osmus met Price through one of these cycling classes, and was introduced to the idea of the club through her, now part of the executive team.  

“I thought it’s kind of an opportunity to get a good leadership experience and really get involved with my school and I just thought it was a really good message I wanted to portray and something I really resonated with,” Osmus said. 

“I have been someone who, as a woman, has gone to the gym by myself and it’s very intimidating. So knowing that there’s this club of women and just everyone who’s there to support you is great,” said Paige Langley, a student at OSU who plans on joining the club in the fall.

The club plans on hosting small weekly workouts led by their executive team in the Dixon Recreation Center. 

“I’m going to be leading a workout for about 10 girls. And that can be different every week. Like maybe one week we’ll do a HIIT workout or maybe next week we won’t be feeling it, we’ll go get coffee. It’s just about creating a community or culture,” Osmus said. 

But the club’s plans are not limited to what Dixon has to offer.

“We’ve definitely been in contact with literally any fitness studio that you can imagine in the Corvallis area. And then, since I’m from Eugene, I’m pretty close with some studios down there as well,” Price said. 

Their $37 registration fee will go to paying for classes taught by local fitness studios and the main weekly workouts will take place all around Corvallis. 

According to Osmus, CHAARG will have one main weekly workout where they drive to workout gyms in Corvallis such as Cycle Lab or Orangetheory fitness and will change each week. 

“We have some cycling lined up. We have some yoga and kind of like yoga with weights lined up. I believe we have a CrossFit one in the works and then kind of like a strength based class,” Price said. “The way it works is either the instructor comes to us if we have the available supplies and space needed, or we will all carpool off campus and go to the studio, if it’s something like Pilates or cycling, something that you can’t bring to campus.”

They are also looking to poll their members and find out what they are interested in doing after the first couple of weeks. 

“The goal of charge is to kind of get people out of their comfort zone and try a new workout that maybe they end up loving. Or maybe they’re like, ‘hey, this isn’t for me,’ but it’s a good thing to always try and see what’s going on,” Price said.

CHAARG will be hosting a booth around the Student Experience Center Plaza and Memorial Union Quad during the first three weeks of the term where interested students can learn more and sign up. In addition to this, students can check out what the weekly workouts will look like during a free-of-charge trial period that goes on for the first week and a half of the term.

“Week three is our new member orientation party. Like get to know everyone what it’s going to look like going here from here on out,” Price said.

CHAARG can be found on Instagram (@oregonstate_inchaarg) and the OSU Clubs & Organizations page.

“If you’re nervous about it, this is the best way to try it because you have a group of people who are already there to support you. You have a group of people who are feeling the same way as you’re feeling. And, you know, we’re all there to just encourage each other and work out together,” Langley said.

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