Mary Kate and Laura
Work In Progress Group Fitness arose out of Mary Kate Doyle and Laura Keever’s love of bootcamp class. The two friends opened their West Hartford, Connecticut business last April, offering classes targeting both strength and cardio for a total body workout. Client-focused is how they describe it, and their motto says it all: “Get In, Get Out, Get on With Life!”
How did the idea for WIP Group Fitness come about?
We reconnected as friends sampling group fitness classes in our area. We both became addicted to high intensity boot camp style workouts, but couldn't find the encouraging and flexible environment we desired...SO WE CREATED IT!
Why did you name your business "Work In Progress Fitness?"
We were working on our business plan and under business name we wrote "Work in Progress" because we had no idea what we were going to call it. Then it hit us both, that was the name. We loved the double meaning, and the most appealing part of the name is that life is a progression and we are always working to improve ourselves.
What makes you such great partners?
Our passion. We have never worked harder for anything in our lives but we have never had so much fun doing it. We each have our own strengths that compliment and support one another, plus who wouldn't want to work with their best friend every day?
What is your favorite part about running a fitness-based business?
Access to the best workouts in the world! Our trainers make our vision a reality, and we are so lucky to have them as part of our team. An additional benefit is getting to know our clients on a more personal level as we workout alongside them every day.
You say your clients are interested in getting stronger. What do you see in them that makes you proud?
We see our clients getting stronger in the gym everyday; picking up heavier weights, doing a pushup from their toes, completing a core section without dropping to their knees and jumping on a box for the first time. More importantly with strength comes confidence. Having a client run their first 5k, complete the jungle gym at the park with their kids, or try something new because they feel physically and mentally stronger from coming to WIP makes us proud!
How often do you workout? What do you do?
Mary Kate: I try to get in 5 workouts a week. WIP workouts are so efficient and sustainable it’s hard to find anything that competes.
Laura: I also aim for 5 WIP workouts a week. Because our workouts offer both cardio and strength training, and every day brings something new, it's the only workout I need.
What is your favorite pre-workout snack?
Mary Kate: Creamy Skippy peanut butter on toasted Hartford Baking Company raisin walnut toast
Laura: An apple! It's a perfect, portable energy boost without feeling too full.
What is your favorite post-workout snack?
Mary Kate: Latte from Hartford Baking Company
Laura: Low fat Chocolate Milk. Our trainer, Karisa, swears it's better than any protein shake out there, offering both carbs and protein to help your body recover after a tough workout.
What else besides boot camp do you recommend for fitness, if anything?
Anything and everything that gets you moving! We have clients who spin, run, and tap dance; and we love how well rounded they are. We are looking to add YOGA to our schedule and think that it's a perfect complement to our boot camps as well. Our classes are so fast paced, it's nice to slow things down once in a while, give our bodies a chance to stretch and recover, while still being active and strong.
What are other elements of a healthy, happy life?
Being partners allows us to both be able to have some balance. We are able to take vacation, have a night out and meet our kids off the school bus. We also love to cook, so we have a very active blog and social media presence where we share our favorite recipes, review workout gear and share fitness tips etc. Our motto is "get in, get out, get on with life" We want our workouts to help you feel better all the time not just when you are at WIP.
What is your current favorite workout song?
Mary Kate: Icona Pop - I love it! But Laura is the music guru.
Laura: I have to say my current favorite is Katy Perry's Roar. When that song comes on in the gym, especially near the end of the circuit, it pushes me through. It has a great beat, and something about that song makes me feel strong and confident.
What is the ideal outfit for boot camp?
Mary Kate: I love my lucy Perfect Booty Capri Leggings and Perfect Tank (see more on the Perfect Tank below). They stay in place during burpees, have great compression and look great when I leave the gym.
Laura: A quality, high impact sports bra! With all the jumping, squatting, and running we do in boot camp, investing in a good bra is a must! I’m in love with Lucy’s The Girl’s Best Friend Bra.
What is your favorite Lucy item?
Mary Kate: I have been exclusively wearing the Lucy Perfect Tank to workout in for three years...I AM OBSESSED with this tank. I have 13 colors including 2 black and 2 white. Unfortunately, Laura has discovered the allure of the perfect tank and now we have to text each other before a workout to make sure we aren't wearing the same one. I also love that I can wear this tank with jeans and a wrap.
Laura: The Perfect Core Capri Leggings are my absolute favorite workout pant! They never slip in an intense boot camp class at WIP, they make my legs and tummy look slim and smooth, and they are so comfortable! I love to wear them both to the gym and around town!