When did you start coming to AX Fitness and how did you hear about it? I started going to AX in the Spring of 2013. Back then, the AX studio was part of a gym I was attending for sprint training. I was early one day and I saw Christine putting a group through their paces and thought, “I have to try this!” I was instantly hooked and I’ve been an AX member since and have been excited to see the gym move to it’s awesome new space.

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? As an ultimate (frisbee) player, most of my training was on the field; lots of sprinting for short periods. I really wanted to improve both my strength and endurance. AX has helped me here immensely. Christine keeps you moving for the entire duration of the class and makes sure that all your muscles (even some you didn’t know you had!) are getting a workout. This has improved my stamina and functional strength hugely, keeping me going at a consistent intensity all through the season.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? It can be hard to describe AX, partly because there is really nothing else like it. I’ve heard it described at “bootcamp” and that’s pretty close. However, the difference is that AX is much more varied and personal; Christine mixes up the workouts weekly and throws in plenty curveballs so that you will never get bored and your muscles will never get used to it. I’ve also heard it compared to Crossfit and that’s also not far off the mark. However, the strength training in an AX class is sustainable. You will be able to go to AX several times a week for the majority of your life. And you will never get injured, rather AX will help keep you healthy, strong, and injury free.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? Don’t be intimidated, or at least don’t let that stop you from going! I was nervous about the intensity of AX classes when I first started. Yes, it’s a challenging workout; it’s supposed to be. But everyone has to start somewhere and it is amazing how quickly people improve and gain fitness. Christine is a patient instructor and, while encouraging you to push yourself, understands that fitness is personal where everyone is on their own level. Also, AX members are super friendly and welcoming and will always take the time to show you a workout if you haven’t done it before.

What is your favorite part of AX Fitness? The quality of the workout. It is simply the best, full body, workout you can do that will improve your cardio, strength, and flexibility simultaneously. Also, I have to mention the camaraderie; there is a perfect mix of competitiveness and motivation in all AX classes.

How do you stay motivated? Routine works really well for me. Having AX scheduled three times a week means I will get three top quality workouts in that week at least. Expanding that scheduling principle to running or yoga or lifting lets me get in even more. Also, Christine has really helped me with self-motivation during training or competition. Personally, I can struggle with mental toughness and getting psyched out sometimes. Christine is a phenomenal motivator and her mantras of “mind over matter; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter” and “your mind gives up before your body ever will” have really resonated with me.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? That AX Fitness is the best workout in town. Whether you are training for a team sport, a solo event, or you just want to get healthier, Christine will make you fitter, faster, and stronger in no time.

Diarmuid recently moved to Chicago. We miss you, D!