This month I finally had the chance to check out a studio that has created chatter among several of my fitness friends. Stephanie Tieman's warehouse studio in Convington is a trainer and a client's dream! From the Water Rowers to the TRX bands and the punching bags to the barre/yoga studio...this place has it all. And as beautiful as it appears, it has the experience and strength in Stephanie and her staff to go with it. I was fortunate enough to get into a couple different classes in a week, plus a special evening class with a "couples" theme for Valentine's Day. My friend Jeni and I took a CoreStrong class taught by Brandon Cook, where we performed sprints on the Water Rowers broken up with burpees and push-ups, TRX and stability ball stations followed by battle ropes (these killed me) and eventually partner exercises with a medicine ball. Though challenging across the board, the class went quickly and had fantastic music and great instruction in a great environment.
A couple of things, aside from your trainers at CoreStrong, that stand out in this studio are the Water Rowers and the Polar Cardio GX heart rate monitor system. As far as I know, this is the only studio in the Cincinnati area using Water Rowers at the moment. These rowers use water as your resistance and do a nice job of simulating rowing on actual water. And using 80% of your muscles during a cardio activity proves to be a pretty awesome workout. CoreStrong offers two types of rowing classes; the Indo-Row class, which is a great way to get familiar with the machines, and Shockwave, a high intensity rowing class which also incorporates strength exercises.
The Polar Cardio GX heart rate system gives you visual motivation on a large screen which shows you calories burned and what heart rate zone you are working in- you also get an e mail with your workout results after each class.
Though the walls are clad with motivational quotes, the true motivation comes from the owner of this studio. Stephanie Tieman has been an athlete all of her life, swimming throughout high school and playing volleyball throughout high school and college. Though she knew how to train as an athlete, she felt she didn't know how to train for "life" and was afraid that after the end of her athletic career her weight would escalate. She battled with weight loss and food addiction but has come out of her experiences as an inspiring motivator and experienced trainer. Shortly after receiving her certification through ACE and taking multiple exercise science classes, she began working as a director of personal training at a gym which led her to opening her own studio, working with clients one-on-one. Years later she began group training and in 2007 bought into a bootcamp franchise and taught bootcamps all over the city. She loved the group setting and knew she wanted to reach even more people and give them the knowledge and strength to pull through experiences which she, herself, is familiar. So she opened CoreStrong, and, boy, are we lucky. You need to check out this special place.
One-on-one with Stephanie Tieman
City Skinny: What qualities do you look for in your trainers and instructors?
Stephanie Tieman: The first quality is loyalty. I don’t want to be the gym where you see different trainers every month. We are trying to build a home here and I would love all my trainers to make this their home. Personality is also important. Everyone is welcome here so I need my trainers to adapt to all kinds of people. Knowledge is also important but I feel I can teach anyone to be a great trainer. But if they don’t have that caring, personable attitude, they won’t fit in here.
CS: What do you want a client to feel when they visit CoreStong?
ST: I want them to feel welcome. People have their own journey and a reason they are where they are. My job is to help them through their journeys no matter what their goals. I also want them to feel inspired and motivated. This is a place where if you can look at your partner and say I don’t want to workout, they will either motivate you or you can look at our many inspirational quotes on the wall and realize why you are here.
CS: What would you say is your fitness philosophy?
ST: This is definitely a journey, not a race, to the finish line and everyone is on a different path. I am going to change your attitude toward fitness and nutrition to a healthy and positive one. We are making life long changes, not quick and easy ones. This didn’t happen to you overnight, so you cannot expect to fix it that quickly.
CS: Who or what inspires you, fitness or otherwise?
ST: Feeling good inspires me. For so long it was about looking a certain way and I am so blessed that is not the way I look at things anymore. For years I struggled with not only not feeling good, but not liking the way I looked.
The way I was working out and the food I was eating were literally killing me. I have been through this journey and I want people to learn from my mistakes so they don’t have to suffer like I did. I feel good now, and when I don’t, that is when I know I need to fix something. I only get one chance at this and I am going to make it count.
CS: Where do you see CoreStrong in 5 years?
ST: Oh wow, that is a great question. I truly believe in what we are about. I believe in people and, while I know it’s going to take time, I truly see it helping people in every way. We not only have the science to take the guess-work out of it, but we also have the heart. We care a lot about seeing people succeed and the beauty of CoreStrong is that we can change and adapt with the times. I hope we can continue to grow and reach more people, but if not, I am happy doing what we do- helping people and changing lives daily!