PALMER – The neglected FitClub on the Palmer/Monson line is no longer now that the space has acquired new owners and additional offerings.
Husband and wife fitness coaches/owners of CrossFit Ardor, Derek and Rebecca Casinghino, have moved their business across town to fill the vacant building at 354 Wilbraham St. While the mailing address is Palmer, its physical location is in Monson. Prior to the move, the Casinghinos operated at 1007 Church St. in Palmer for five years.
Derek shared that they became aware of the potential space after the owners of the FitClub reached out to them asking if they would be interested in taking it on. With staffing issues among many others, he said that the previous owners could no longer manage the FitClub’s 24/7 gymnasium.
To keep this offering, Derek explained that they decided to combine the two – CrossFit and 24/7 fitness – to create a more “hybrid model.”
“We are now Ardor CrossFit and Fitness,” said Rebecca.
After three weeks of renovations, painting and moving large pieces of equipment, the new location officially opened the last week of September.
With this new venture, Rebecca shared that they want to “bring diversity” and “offer something for everyone [through] health and wellness.” Oftentimes, CrossFit has a “bad connotation” linked to it, she said. In hopes of changing this, the couple encourages people to watch what they do and give it a try. “You can do a lot more than you think you can,” added Rebecca.
Each CrossFit class is one hour and consists of a structured warmup, strength and mobility training and more. Currently there are four coaches who run the classes. Once they get settled, Rebecca said they will potentially be looking for more. Depending on the day, class sizes fluctuate, although they remain relatively small with about seven to 12 people, she shared.
While the fitness center is always open, the CrossFit classes are scheduled and can be found on their website at https://www.crossfitardor.com/. On Saturday, they host group fitness classes. “We get the work done as a team,” said Derek.
Rebecca added, “We’re here for you. We work together.”
In addition to the CrossFit area, the new space has an exercise room, cable strength room, locker rooms and more. While they purchased the existing equipment with the space, Derek said they did bring in some of their own equipment such as the rowers used for CrossFit. He shared that they also took out a lot of equipment and removed a few doors to open the floor and make it more “organized” and “functional.”
“It seems to be running well,” said Rebecca. “We have a lot of open space.”
On the exterior of the building, she shared that upgrades will also be made including a new sign that has been ordered and refurbishment of the building itself. The entirety of the space will be “getting a fresh new look,” she noted.
Due to the building’s neglect, Rebecca said there have been a few issues to iron out since moving in with a lot of transition. Nonetheless, she shared, “We’re very excited. This is a big step.”
Derek added on to her point and said they haven’t changed much yet aside from making the building “far more clean” than the way it was left.
Throughout this transition period, Derek shared, some of their members assisted with moving equipment from the previous location to the new one. When the Casinghinos made the move, all their clientele went with them, he added. This includes residents of Ware, Palmer, Monson, Wilbraham and Hampden, to name a few.
Rebecca told Reminder Publishing that some of her favorite parts of owning the business are all the people she meets, growing a community and assisting them to improve their overall health and wellness.
Since opening a CrossFit studio out of their home in Brimfield in 2014, the Casinghinos’ business and knowledge has grown exponentially ever since.
Derek has been in the fitness industry for 25 years. “I went to Westfield State [University and graduated] with an exercise science degree.” He shared that his fitness journey began at a health club in New Hampshire followed by serving as a head fitness coach and trainer in Watertown for 19 years. It wasn’t until 2012 that he found CrossFit. After discovering this, he decided to open a small CrossFit training facility out of their home. He said this was a small space that mainly was for their friends, but due to its popularity, has kept progressing to where they are now.
Derek has many certifications, including his CrossFit Training Level Three. By having the education behind it, Derek said he can help more athletes and members get the work done and get it done properly.
Rebecca admitted that she does not have as much experience in the fitness world as Derek. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in microbiology and holistic healing. Throughout high school, she said she was “always active” and played various sports, although never on a collegiate level.
She shared that she found CrossFit when Derek did and became inspired through him. While she does not have all the certifications, she expressed her passion for the sport and the community.
“It’s something to learn. To teach adults is rewarding,” she said. “The level of inspiration you can find is invigorating and empowering.”
She continued, “I’m in love with life and helping people find their passion.” Rebecca believes that everyone should find something every day that they enjoy doing and makes them happy, without feeling remorse or shame. Although CrossFit may not be for everyone, she encourages folks to give it a try.
To become a member at Ardor CrossFit and Fitness, there are three plans to choose from: a gym membership, a CrossFit membership and a membership that includes both. A perk of being a gym member is that everyone gets a free CrossFit class to try.