Published March 7, 2016

FHITspiration: Danielle, Darren + Angelina

Danielle, Darren, and Angelina have formed their own FHITfam. Twice a week, the Fhitting Room team at Flatiron gets to see this trio in action. Read on to see why these three FHIXers love to HIT it together and what The Fhitting Room has done for them.

Danielle, FHITpro Simon, Angelina, Darren and FHITpro Daury before the trio's weekly Sunday FHIX

1. When did you begin working out at The Fhitting Room?
Angelina: About one year ago, February 2015.

2. Who came to Fhitting Room first and who brought who along?
Angelina: Darren and I first came with one of our good friends who I used to spin with. He told me he noticed this gym being built, and when it opened he saw all of these sweaty people coming out of class and wanted to check it out. Darren and I came with him one Thursday night for class with Daury and Carlos. I thought we were going to die during that first class, but we made it through. Two days later, we still could not walk!

Darren: I really struggled in my first couple classes. It was torture, and Daury and Carlos kept pushing me even though I was dying. Now, obviously, I love that dynamic. Daury, Carlos, Simon, Farouk, Julia . . . they know when I’m slacking and give me the extra motivation I need when I’m ready to quit.

Angelina: After that first class, we started coming weekly. After a little while, we stepped it up to taking class 2 or 3 times per week.

Danielle: In April, Darren signed me up for my first class and bought three classes for me. I came and it was really hard. I only came back because I didn’t want to waste the classes he already purchased. After the next two classes,  I still struggled and I didn’t think I could keep it up. Darren saw I needed an extra push and gifted me another class package, so I had to keep coming. One day Darren and Angelina were out of town and I came to my first class alone. Daury and Los picked up on my apprehension and gave me the extra encouragement I needed to make it through on my own. I was hooked!

Angelina: Carlos joked that we weren’t allowed to come with her anymore because she did so well in class without us. Oh well, we always come together. Given our busy work schedules, it’s the one time a week we all get to catch up.

Danielle: Our mom even comes now! Darren told her about it, and she came by herself for her first class with Daury.

Darren: Now she takes class with us whenever she’s in town, which sucks because she puts us to shame every time.

Danielle: Yeah she does! She can do the plyo push-ups with a clap!

Why do you enjoy getting your FHIX together?
Angelina: Misery loves company. Just kidding. But making it through a workout is a lot easier when you share the struggle.

Danielle: I’ve always done delicate and dainty sports, so I never had a desire to lift weights. It seemed scary. Darren is my big brother, so now it’s nice to take class with him and see that I can keep up with what he’s doing. I’m not just trying to keep up, I’m doing it all! We have all seen each other’s growth.

Angelina: That’s what I like too!  We’ve all noticed a change in one another physically. Darren has lost the most weight but Danielle has made the most progress overall. She’s always been in good shape but now she’s much stronger and exudes confidence.

Darren: Class is never easy, so it’s great having friends and family there to cheer you on. A year later, I’m still coming here in part because I have Ang and Danielle to push me.

Angelina: A year later and thirty pounds lighter!

Do you incorporate Fhitting Room exercises into your workouts outside of the studio now?
Angelina: Now I know so many exercises that I can do at home. I do mountain climbers while I’m watching television. When I’m tired at work I’ll do jump squats in the bathroom or squat holds at my desk. Something to get the oxygen flowing after sitting all day.

What has been one of your best “aha!” moments at Fhitting Room?
Danielle: Kettlebell swings! Darren made me get help from Carlos one day because he was sick of watching me do them with bad form.

Angelina: We always rat Danielle out. Carlos just tells us to leave her alone. My biggest “aha!” moment has been everything! I struggled with each workout when we first started. Now I take extra steps to modify the moves and challenge myself.

Darren: Box jumps. I couldn’t do them for the first couple of months, and now I look forward to them.

What are your favorite and least favorite exercises to see written on the whiteboard when you come to class?
Angelina: Least favorite is the ski erg! I hate it, but my muscles love it. My favorite things are planks and hollow-holds, really anything for the abs and core.

Darren: My least favorite is thrusters. I can handle shoulder and leg exercises, but when you combine the two it’s just misery.

Danielle: I also dread thrusters. And renegade rows! It’s hard for me to keep my hips down. My favorite things are kettlebell swings and sumo deadlift high pulls. I like that I can do those now.

Tell me some changes you’ve noticed in your body and attitude, and changes that you’ve noticed in each other.
Angelina: Danielle has had an ultra confidence boost. She’s now this super social butterfly in class and chats with everyone that walks in.  My clothes fit better, and I don’t wear Spanx as much.

Darren: And your arms . . .

Angelina: Yes! My arms are a lot more toned. I’m more confident rocking a short sleeved T-shirt and giving everyone else front row tickets to the gun show! I don’t ever look at a scale. That number doesn’t matter because I feel good, I’m stronger and I’m wearing clothes that are a size smaller and fit me well. I’m pleased with my results.

Darren: I lost 30 pounds. Clothes I haven’t worn in years finally fit, and my posture has gotten a lot better.

Any last words that you would tell future FHIXers?
Darren: A year later, I’m still excited for class even though I know I’m going to get my ass kicked; you can’t ask for more from a program and its instructors. I’ve worked with a bunch of personal trainers over the years, and none of them came close to motivating me like The Fhitting Room has. It’s really the only difficult activity I’ve done over the last few years where my involvement has increased over time.  I went from once a week, to twice a week, and now I’m here three times a week.

Angelina: It doesn’t get easier, but you get better with each class. I am truly addicted and feel guilty when I don’t come! The playlists are great and you know what you’re going to get when you sign up for a certain instructor.

Danielle: The instructors are so patient and energetic, which makes it worth your while because they enhance your performance. The awesome playlists are an added bonus. The class is always good mix of regulars and newcomers and everyone is super friendly and excited to get their FHIX on. It’s the perfect way to end the weekend and start a new week.