The Main Line Women Keeping Us Fit & Sane During the Pandemic

There are numerous aspects of 2020 that we couldn't control, so when our workout routines - that we loved pre-pandemic - were abruptly interrupted, we had to figure out a way to adapt. Many PA and New Jersey fitness facilities were faced with having to close last Spring, so they had to get creative & figure out how to serve their clients, and ultimately save their businesses. I spoke to three powerhouse fitness entrepreneurs about how they adapted to the new normal.


Jen Cohen Crompton, Fuel Cycle Fitness


1. What do you offer? How has that changed during covid?

"As of March 16th, we started offering virtual classes. We offered hybrid classes (indoor/outdoor) and outdoor classes at Linwood Park in Ardmore, PA starting in July. Currently we are offering virtual classes 6 days/week, outdoor fitness classes at Linwood Park (Ardmore, PA) 3 days/week, small group, 1:1 sessions, and a 90-day customized training/coaching program (virtual/in-person)."

2. Most of us realize the value of exercising regularly for our physical health. Why is exercise important to maintain mental well being as well?

"In my experience, I learned the connection between the mind and body is deeper than we think. The way you feel mentally affects what you do physically and vice-versa. When we created FUEL Cycle Fitness, the goal was to “fuel the cycle of fitness” by focusing on healthy habits including physical fitness and beyond. Often times individuals engage in fitness programs when they want to improve their life overall or are in a transition. There is often a trigger moment that prompts them to focus on themselves and they usually focus on the outer before they dig deeper into the inner. I recently earned a certification in positive psychology, which taught me about the connection between resilience and achievement and feeling fulfilled. When it comes to physical fitness, the hormones, the excitement, and the physical changes often fuels a person’s confidence level. And as their confidence improves, it spills into other aspects of their life and they begin to incrementally transform for the better. I am obsessed with helping people find this balance and achieve personal and professional fulfillment through fitness training and mindset coaching - it’s the acceptable crossroads of self-improvement."

3. How have you been staying engaged with your clients and community during covid?

"When covid hit, I felt a great (and welcomed) responsibility to keep our community together. I immediately created a Facebook group and launched our virtual classes. I found ways to keep in touch through Facebook messages and posts, emails, safe in-person fitness classes, and simply reaching out to those I knew might need some support. Our virtual classes were pay-as-you-wish so finances weren’t a barrier for those who may have been concerned or unable to afford fitness."

4. What advice do you have for someone who has gotten off track with exercise during covid?

"Focus on the next step and not the entire staircase. Make small changes everyday because incremental changes make a big difference over time. And don’t expect to immediately get back to where you were pre-covid. It takes time, but you will get there. Be patient and give yourself grace. We are all in a weird place and there is no reason to beat yourself up or look backwards. Focus on what is ahead and give yourself the time and self-care you need. But please please, do not beat yourself up - just start making those small changes."

5. What keeps you motivated?

"The impact. I do this and I am in this industry to help others. I love when I get little notes about how fitness has helped them or how my coaching has improved their daily lives. I do what I do because helping others be their best helps me fulfill my mission. Our FUEL Fam fuels me as much I fuel them."


Website: fuelcyclefitness.com

Insta: @fuelcyclefit, @jencocrompton



Christine DeFilippis, Pop Fit Studio


1. What do you offer? How has that changed during covid?

"When we closed our doors on March 14th we quickly started offering clients live workouts via zoom on March 15th. We are currently livestreaming 2-3 classes per day on zoom as well as offering outdoor classes and a few in studio classes with limited participants and individual workout pods with masks. Prior to Covid we did have an online site that gave clients access to recorded workouts when they couldn't make it into the studio. We quickly gave the site a facelift and recorded dozens of additional workouts and began to add about 20 workouts to the site each week."

2. Most of us realize the value of exercising regularly for our physical health. Why is exercise important to maintain mental well being as well?

"As a HAES studio (Health at Every Size) we have a slightly different perspective on fitness than most studios and gyms. We have always taken a more WHOLE-listic approach to fitness. We feel that movement is medicine and has greater benefits than just the way we look but really how we feel: our mental clarity, our overall mental health, our emotional well-being, how we deal with stress. When we were on stay at home orders the pressure on parents became even stressful: homeschooling kids, no breaks from kids, the kids were missing their school, their friends and activities. We created family friendly workouts and for many of our clients the workouts were the only hour they had to themselves, for self care."

3. How have you been staying engaged with your clients and community during covid?

"We host daily live workouts not just for the workout but to also check in with clients and clients are then able to connect with each other before and after their workouts. Anyone can find a workout online (often times for free) and complete that workout but for clients that are at home and not seeing other people, our workouts provide a community connection they are likely missing. We also have a private facebook group for our clients and we’ve hosted a number of happy hours and special events. We host a weekly trivia night every week with Johnny Goodtimes and that is something many of our clients and staff look forward to every week. We also started a challenge for the last quarter of 2020. Our goal is to encourage clients to move their bodies every day. Even just 5 or 10 minutes of movement can improve ones mood and create a better day. Our 30/60/90 club is an opportunity for clients to commit to moving every day and be rewarded for creating daily habits."

4. What advice do you have for someone who has gotten off track with exercise during covid?

"First find something you enjoy doing. Working out doesn’t need to be difficult, painful or something you dread. Joyful movement is not only much more sustainable but also enjoyable. Next, find someone to workout with. This helps provides accountability and it is just more fun to workout with a friend, even on zoom. And if you schedule your workouts like an appointment you are going to be more likely to stick with it if it is on your calendar and you are “meeting” a friend. That's another reason why our live workouts are perfect for our clients. They are at scheduled times and people show up. And showing up at the start is really the hardest part."

5. What keeps you motivated?

"Being of service to others keeps me motivated. There have been many mornings when the alarm goes off and with everything going on in the world and owning a business during COVID, I really just want to stay under the covers and go back to sleep. But I remember those who rely on me. It might sound silly but for many of our clients, our workouts have provided much needed stress relief, connection and joy. When I opened up Pop Fit Studio our mission was to create space that was welcoming and motivated our community to fall in love with movement. That mission hasn’t changed even though we can’t be all together in our beautiful 6000 sq ft studio. Our location may have changed but our mission hasn’t and that mission to serve our community keeps me from pulling the covers over my head and staying in bed all day. The feeling I get at the end of a class, seeing all those sweaty smiles staring back at me - that’s everything."


Website: popfitstudio.com

Insta: @popfitstudio



Michelle Collier, Performance Fitness


1. What do you offer? How has that changed during covid?

"Pre-Covid we offered small group and personal training focused on strength-based workouts and kettlebells in our studio in Wynnewood, PA. Once the shutdown happened, we immediately moved all of our offerings to Zoom. We re-opened on June 29th, but continue to offer sessions on Zoom. I also started a new 12-week online strength training-based program this summer called Strong Women's Academy."

2. Most of us realize the value of exercising regularly for our physical health. Why is exercise important to maintain mental well being as well?

"So many reasons - exercise releases serotonin which helps to regulate mood and increase energy. Exercise is a wonderful distraction that can give us a much needed break from stressors. It is also a confidence builder which can help to boost mood. Getting physically stronger helps to build mental strength (I've been told this so many times by clients during the pandemic). Finally, being a part of a fitness community helps mental well-being by giving people a sense of connection and community. At Performance Fitness we've seen this happen in the studio as well as on Zoom."

3. How have you been staying engaged with your clients and community during covid?

"We see clients in the studio (limited capacity) and on Zoom. We've been able to maintain our connection with them in both spaces. We also have a private Facebook group for our clients and subscribers. Our clients also have the opportunity to have monthly check-ins. Those have continued on Zoom and a handful of people still come to the studio to do the check-ins. I also check-in via email and phone with several clients each week just to see how they're doing and how we can support them better. Community and charity are two of our core values. We also continue to fundraise in order to help lift up our surrounding communities."

4. What advice do you have for someone who has gotten off track with exercise during covid?

"Pick one thing to focus on and get comfortable with that one thing. It could be exercising a certain number of days per week, going on a daily walk, or planning your meals. Getting good at that one thing will help you avoid overwhelm and build confidence. From there you'll feel capable of adding in other actions, and those small actions will add up. Be patient with that process."

5. What keeps you motivated?

"My son is my primary motivator for everything I do. I keep myself healthy because I want to be around for him for a long time. I also want to set a good example for him by being active, fit, eating well, being responsible, and giving to our community and to other communities. My Performance Fitness team and our clients are also huge motivators for me. They've all been so gracious, loyal, and supportive during all of this. I always want to be my best for them because I'm so grateful for all of them."


Website: performancefitnessllc.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/performfitness

Insta: @performancefitnessstudio


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