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FHITspiration: SOTF 2020 Winner, Melissa Whelan

Community • April 6, 2020

We may all be in quarantine mode, but we still want to acknowledge our strong and FHIT community for their efforts at our annual competition: Survival of the FHITTEST 2020. Last month we celebrated our seven year FHITversary by inviting FHIXers to compete in three challenges meant to test them to their limits. The program featured male and female individual challenge winners and one overall male and female winner:

1. CHIPPER  (for time)

20 KB goblet cleans (men 24kg / women 16kg)
20 KB goblet forward lunges ( men 16kg / women 12kg)
Assault bike (20 calories men / 15 calories women)
4 minute cap; score is completion time.


16/12 calorie row (16 calories men / 12 calories women)
12 burpees over the rower
16/12 calorie row
Max burpees over the rower
4 minute cap; score is the number of burpees.


4 minute AMRAP 
24 lateral hops over the hurdle (double count)
12 alternating dumbbell snatches (35 lbs. men / 20 lbs. women)
24 abmat sit-ups
12 kettlebell swings 24/16 kg

Score is number of total reps across all movements.

Our women’s overall Survival of the FHITTEST champ, Melissa Whelan, has been a FHIXer at Fhitting Room since October 2017. Melissa first came to Fhitting Room for a charity class and has been hooked ever since. For Melissa, getting her FHIX is also a FHIT family activity. “One [reason] why I love Fhitting Room is that I do it with my two older sisters. It’s always such a fun way to spend time together and makes the workouts so much more enjoyable when you are doing it with your team,” she says. Below, get to know Melissa and her Fhitting Room journey.

What keeps you coming back to Fhitting Room?

Obviously we all know and love the physical benefits of taking Fhitting Room classes — feeling stronger, faster, and fitter. I love feeling proud and accomplished after a hard class, knowing I was able to do it. But what really keeps me coming back to Fhitting Room is the amazing team you guys have. Everyone at the studio is welcoming, friendly, and encouraging. The instructors are unreal. They give such great individual attention & instruction, and are amazing at motivating you and pushing you to your limit. I love that I can be laughing & smiling even when I am exhausted and doing WAY too many minutes on the assault bike.

Why did you decide to enter the competition?

I went to SOTF last year (2019) to watch with my sisters and we ended up jumping in for one event [at the] last minute. I loved the energy and excitement in the room. After watching last year, I knew I wanted to be a part of SOTF this year and to compete and cheer on my competitors in that environment.

What was your favorite SOTF 2020 moment?

When the four minutes for the rower/burpee challenge were over! Haha, but in all seriousness, I loved the entire event. It is amazing to see so many people in the room pushing themselves, while supported and cheered for by everyone else. The energy is electric and I had a smile on my face the entire time.

How has Fhitting Room helped you crush your fitness goals?

Fhitting Room has changed my fitness goals, and has let me accomplish those goals. Before taking Fhitting Room classes I did a ton of cardio. I had great endurance but not much strength, and definitely did not look as in-shape as I was. Taking class has made me much much stronger (can’t believe the KBs I used when I first started!) and has made me focus so much more on feeling and looking STRONG, not thin. Fhiting Room also re-taught me how to push myself all-out in workouts, something you don’t do when working out on your own. I am now always trying to challenge myself: use heavier weights, do more reps, etc. and that is because of Fhitting Room!

We’d love to hear about how you’re staying FHIT during quarantine. Are you getting your FHIX at home?

I already desperately miss class! But I am doing the best I can to stay in shape during this time. I will be doing lots of at home workouts. I have some dumbbells and kettlebells, so will take advantage of Fhitting Room weight & body weight programs! I’m also using the 305 Fitness live streaming, and trying to get outside when I can (going for a run along the river). Doing my best to stay healthy and active!

Congratulations to all our FHIXers who participated in #SurvivaloftheFHITTEST 2020! You all crushed it! Thank you to all those who came to cheer and to our entire FHITfam. We love celebrating our anniversary with all of you. Till next year!