Life is full of challenges of one kind or another, but for women who enjoy the physical rigors of taking part in challenge events that require them to run up mountains, scale 12-foot walls, crawl under barbed wire in thick mud, or wade through a dumpster filled with freezing water, Hallie Tyler can help them get in shape. In the past two years, Tyler said, she has participated in six or seven such challenges, including the Tough Mudder — and she finished all those events.
Tyler, 44, who grew up in Carmel, has opened Empowering Women Studio at 173 Park St., Bangor where she will be available to serve as a one-on-one personal trainer to women who want to get in shape to participate in challenge events such as the Tough Mudder.
“It’s a nice space,” Tyler said of the 2,000-square-feet facility, where she will work with clients by appointment. The ceiling is hung with lights shaped like stars, and the facility has a carpeted floor, a main room containing exercise machines, a cardio room, a changing room, and a rest room.
There also is space for the business to expand. Tyler’s future plans call for a climbing room equipped with ropes to climb, cargo netting and monkey ladders.
A poster of World War II icon Rosie the Riveter hangs on a wall in the main room. Rosie’s message, “We can do it,” reminds women they can, indeed, accomplish their physical fitness and challenge event goals if they put effort into it.
The workout that clients will receive at the studio, Tyler said, is an hour of non-stop cardio and weight training. “It’s one-on-one boot camp training,” she said. “It goes from aerobic to anaerobic, and all in a private setting.”
Working out in a private setting, as opposed to the public space of a gym, is important to some women, Tyler said. In a private setting, women don’t have to worry about how to operate the exercise machines, such as the elliptical, squats, leg extension, leg curl, Smith and free weights equipment, with which Empowering Women Studio is equipped. Other women prefer not to be seen in public in exercise clothing; they want to train for a challenge event, but they want to do so in a private setting, one-on-one, she said.
“It empowers you,” Tyler said of getting in shape to take on challenge events. “If you can do a challenge event, then you can conquer other challenges in your life, whether it is mental or physical. And it has health benefits.”
In the late 1990s, Tyler owned and operated Muscles-n-Motion; after a few years closed the business to focus on her other passion, dogs. For the past 13 years she has owned and operated Canine Camp on Kittredge Road in Bangor, which provides doggie day care, overnight camp for dogs, and dog-grooming services. She will continue to operate that business along with Empowering Women Studio. She also volunteers regularly at Bangor Humane Society to provide grooming for dogs placed at the shelter.
“It’s most satisfying,” she said, “to take a dog with fur matted to the skin, feet burned by urine, and free him from that straight jacket [of abuse].” She has five dogs, all of them rescues: a pitbull mix, a cocker spaniel-beagle mix, two cocker spaniels, and a golden retriever.
Tyler said that working as a personal trainer evolved from her years as an amateur body builder. “That’s what got me hooked on physical fitness,” she said. At 5 feet, 1 inch tall, and weighing 113 pounds she is strong evidence that physical training is a great way to burn energy, to acquire it, and to sculpt one’s physique. Back in her amateur body building days, she said, coach Willie Gavette encouraged her to become a trainer for women.
“Doing the challenge events is really cool. There are women in their seventies and eighties who do it. Some women do it as a family: mothers and daughters and grandmothers. It’s empowering for mind, body and spirit,” Tyler said.
For information about Empowering Women Studio, call Tyler at 941-9663.