Cor-Fit celebrates first year

Published on Sunday, 6 July 2014 17:45 - Written by Casey Murphy cmurphy@tylerpaper.com

“Movement Begins Here” — that’s the motto at Cor-Fit in Tyler.

Reagan Harris is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the training studio she opened here after years of working as a personal trainer.

She was an overweight child until she was introduced to running. At age 10, she became an avid runner and was a strong competitor in cross country at Kingwood High School, near Houston.

Mrs. Harris, 33, earned a degree in health education from Texas A&M University and always has been passionate about fitness.

During college, she worked part time as a personal trainer but never thought of it as a career; she wanted to do health promotion in a corporate setting.

She did that as health educator for Austin Diagnostic Clinic and ran corporate wellness programs before becoming fitness director for the YMCA in Austin. She said she fell in love with the positive and encouraging community of people working out because they want to.

Mrs. Harris’ husband, Clay Harris, played football and always has been an avid athlete. The pair met while working out in a gym while at Texas A&M University. They both like to run and compete in triathlons and Spartan races.

“Anything that keeps us moving,” she said. “We want to move as long as we live.”

Mrs. Harris said she likes to stay active because it improves her quality of life.

“There’s so many things I can do at age 33 that other people my age can’t do,” she said, adding that it is important to take care of herself so she can take care of her children.

She often uses running alone as a time of retreat — to pray, plan, organize her thoughts or dream.

“Some of my greatest ideas happen when I’m on a run,” she said.

After moving to Tyler when her husband took a job building hospitals for East Texas Medical Center, she was general manager at Lindale Health and Fitness.

After she had her sons, who are 7 and 4, she felt she could branch out on her own as a personal trainer at gyms across town and a year ago, everything fell into place for her to open her own gym.

Cor-Fit is a training studio that offers one-on-one training or group training. Although similar to CrossFit, Mrs. Harris said CrossFit works on two planes of motions while she focuses on functional training in all planes of motion — pushing, pulling rotating. She can train people at any level — from beginners to athletes — hence her slogan, “movement begins here,” she said.

Angela Bryant, 41, of Tyler, has been working out with Mrs. Harris for two years and said she likes working out in small groups at Cor-Fit. She also likes that she can work out hard or at a slower pace.

“You get out of it what you put into it,” she said. “It’s a great way to build muscle and get in cardio, all at the same time.”

Mrs. Bryant worked as a registered nurse but is now a stay-at-home mom who works out at Cor-Fit five days a week. She said in the year she’s been exercising there, she has lost about 15 pounds while gaining quite a bit of muscle.

“It’s a great place to work out,” she said.

Mrs. Harris said most of her clients at Cor-Fit unintentionally are women.

“It’s a great place where women can come train hard and heavy without being checked out,” she said.

Mrs. Harris’ husband instructs an early morning class, and she recently added a second trainer, Kayla Williams, who has a background in Pilates and yoga. She has plans to soon add another trainer, she added.

There are 18 to 22 group training classes offered Mondays through Fridays. Each class is 45 minutes and clients can sign up for two, three or unlimited sessions per week. She averages four or so per group but can have as many as eight.

“My job is to make the exercises interesting and fun,” she said. “It’s something different every day so you’re always being challenged.”

A suspension strap designed by U.S. Navy Seals is connected to the wall and used to work out backs and abs. Mrs. Harris said it is so versatile, it is used to train soldiers and rehabilitate wounded warriors.

Clients also use weights or tug on a heavy rope tied to a weighted tire.

Sarah Relles, 31, of Whitehouse, is a stay-at-home mom and likes working in small groups because it allows her to be competitive with others.

Before she started exercising at Cor-Fit in February, she couldn’t do a real push up, but can now complete 25 of them. She also now has more endurance, and can run a lot easier, she said.

“It’s different every time,” she said of the workouts, adding that they are never boring. “You don’t know what you’re going to come into.”