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Columbus Fitness Sampler to return for 10th annual event, offer women a day of empowerment, health and beauty

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Women partake in a group fitness class at one of The Beauty Boost’s previous Cincinnati Fitness Samplers.
Credit: The Beauty Boost

After 10 years, the Columbus Fitness Sampler hopes to put on its biggest event yet. 

The Columbus Fitness Sampler was founded by local health and wellness company The Beauty Boost in 2015 with the objective of creating “a community for women to feel empowered, healthy and beautiful,” said Rachel Kerr, the company’s founder. The event provides women with the opportunity to test various fitness classes, cosmetic services, products, clothing brands and more. 

This year’s sampler, Kerr said, will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be held at The Kee, located at 225 Neilston St. The event will also feature the largest amount of vendors the event has ever hosted with nearly 40 participating health and beauty businesses, including Polaris Fit Body Boot Camp (FBBC) and Club Pilates Columbus. 

Though Kerr said The Beauty Boost started in Columbus, it has since expanded to 29 other cities nationwide, and every branch will be hosting its own fitness sampler throughout the month of May. 

“This particular event is just, for us, one of the larger ones. It just has a lot more community partners, a lot more moving parts and pieces and opportunities for us to allow more attendees to come through the doors,” Kerr said. “It was just an idea I had for a long time and just kind of brought it to life as one of our events, and it was just very well received by the community and has continued to grow.” 

Kerr said this year’s event will be held at The Kee, a brand-new venue in downtown Columbus, for the first time ever. 

“They have a lot of cool things they’re doing, so we’re kind of taking over the entire space,” Kerr said.

Women partake in a group fitness class at one of The Beauty Boost’s previous Cincinnati Fitness Samplers. Credit: The Beauty Boost

Women partake in a group fitness class at one of The Beauty Boost’s previous Cincinnati Fitness Samplers.
Credit: The Beauty Boost

In one of the venue’s rooms, Kerr said trainers from attending fitness studios will instruct classes that will occur back-to-back every 25 minutes. The classes will not be full-fledged but rather focus on their core fundamentals. Attendees are not required to participate, and are invited to enjoy an area filled with vendors, also called “experience stations,” she said. 

“The whole idea is just to bring the fitness community together [and] allow women to have a taste of the variety of fitness classes maybe they would be intimidated to try, or they can just kind of view them,” Kerr said. 

Kerr said other new features will include a DJ and a “fitness passport” that event attendees can access on The Beauty Boost’s website and Instagram page starting one month prior to the event. Leading up to the sampler, participants will receive a check mark on either their virtual or physical “postcards” for every class they attend at certain fitness studios.  

Participants can then bring their cards to the event, where they will be entered into a raffle for prizes, including a grand prize of $1,000 or more. Kerr said the passport will stay valid even after the sampler, and prizes can continue to be won.  

“You can take it into Club Pilates and be like, ‘Hey, I’m participating with the Beauty Boost Fitness Sampler. I know you guys are part of it. Can you check mark off my class that I took today?’” Kerr said.  

Despite Club Pilates being a California-based franchise and owned by the company Xponential Fitness, Caitlin McTigue opened the first Columbus location in Grandview, situated at 1080 Yard St., in April 2019. Since then, McTigue has opened five additional Columbus locations, said Ellen McTigue — Caitlin McTigue’s sister and the company’s regional director of operations.

Ellen McTigue said her sister initially decided to bring Club Pilates to Columbus because her favorite Pilates instructor moved away from the Columbus studio she had attended for years.  

“[Caitlin] was looking for a new studio to attend, and she went to California to visit a few friends that live out there,” Ellen McTigue said. “When she was in California, she took a Pilates class at Club Pilates, and she ended up contacting Club Pilates’ corporate and basically said, ‘Hey, I love this brand. You guys should think about opening in Columbus.’ They came back to her and said, ‘Well, you could open up in Columbus.’ Then basically the rest is history.” 

The company offers members over 70 Pilates classes a week with six different formats, ranging from restorative stretching and strengthening to more high-intensity cardio, Ellen McTigue said. At the studio, reformer — or machine-based — Pilates is taught, but mat Pilates — which relies solely on body weight — serves as a substitute when elsewhere, like the fitness sampler. 

“Any age, any body size — it’s for everybody,” Ellen McTigue said. “Lots of different options from level-one classes for beginners, all the way up to advanced-level classes, as well.” 

The studio opens as early as 5:30 a.m. and closes as late as 8 p.m. on weekdays, and also offers varying weekend classes and private training, Ellen McTigue said. 

Women partake in a group fitness class at one of The Beauty Boost’s previous Cincinnati Fitness Samplers. Credit: The Beauty Boost

Women partake in a group fitness class at one of The Beauty Boost’s previous Cincinnati Fitness Samplers.
Credit: The Beauty Boost

As for Polaris FBBC, company owner Megan Hollern said her business is also a sector of an international franchise, which has over 300 locations in the U.S. and some additional storefronts in Canada. Hollern opened the Polaris location, situated at 1331 Cameron Ave., as her first-ever business only a few months ago on Feb. 10.  

Hollern said FBBC’s main focus is total-body strength training, consisting of three different types of workouts — classic, strength and metabolic conditioning, or “MetCons.” The strength classes concentrate on “control-type strength,” while MetCons focus on cardiovascular health and the classic is a combination of the two. 

Hollern said the inspiration for the gym came from her 18 years as a gymnast, which carried into college until her junior year when she suffered various injuries.

 “I realized that I need to stay healthy and fit — that no matter what our abilities are, in order to keep our bodies optimal and functioning, that working out and staying fit and healthy is still the best for us,” Hollern said. “It doesn’t matter what our limitations are.” 

Hollern said FBBC teaches five 30-minute group sessions a day that members have unlimited access to. It also offers drop-in sessions to non-members, with the first one being free. Any additional sessions cost $20 for adults or $10 for high school students over this summer. 

Ellen McTigue and Hollern said for both studios, Ohio State students and employees can receive discounts for their services. Club Pilates offers 10% off memberships and FBBC allows them to save over $22 per month.  

More information about the Columbus Fitness Sampler can be found on The Beauty Boost’s website or via eventbrite. Kerr said those interested must pre-register for the sampler, and tickets will be available for purchase at $35 until the event.

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