CHAARG Small Group coordinator

All CHAARG exec team leaders are also Small Group Coordinators + some Chapters may have additional Small Group Coordinators that will make up the Small Group Coordinator Committee! The size of this *committee* depends on the number of Chapter members you have. This committee is special because members should apply for the committee + you should have interviews for members of this committee to make sure they understand the commitment of being a Small Group Coordinator.

1] Create An Open + Honest Space. Small Groups should be a safe space for everyone + everyone should feel included ++ safe to speak up as a part of their Small Group. It’s important that as the Small Group Coordinator, you are creating a space that is welcoming + encouraging to members of a variety of fitness levels.

  • How can I get my Small Group members to start asking more questions + open up more?
    • Bolts + Blues: We encourage that you finish every Small Group with discussing your *Bolts + Blues* for the week. A Bolt = a positive thing that happened for you this past week  + a Blue = something you are working on from the past week. After you share, you can encourage others to share theirs too! This is a great way to start building deeper relationships during your Small Groups.
    • Meet in Settings Outside of Workouts: Sometimes it’s great to have a Small Group that is grabbing coffee or brunch together rather than working out every week. These settings help members open up a little bit more + get to know each other more than just a workout every week! [please note: the majority of your Small Groups SHOULD be a workout, though — not a social!]
    • Names: Get to know everyone’s name in your Small Group!

2] Everyone Participates. As a Small Group Coordinator, you are still very much a part of the Small Group + you should ALWAYS be doing the workout or activity with the rest of your group. Remember — you aren’t a certified trainer or fitness instructor, so don’t act like one! Instead, do the workout together the same as you would with a group of your friends. Don’t think of yourself as their *leader*, think of yourself as their equal + their friend!

  • What do we do when we have varying abilities in a group? Modify workouts so that instead of rep based, they are time based. This allows members to go at their own pace + make the workout as easy or hard as they’d like!
  • Why can we not separate groups based upon activity level + fitness level? We think it’s so important that in Small Groups members are able to learn from each other! When you have some members that are more *advanced* on their fitness journeys than others, it’s a great opportunity for them to mentor other members rather than having groups all at the same skill level. CHAARG is all about inclusiveness + supporting each other at current fitness levels, + separating based on fitness levels can make members feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, or excluded.
  • Why can’t we separate groups based on the type of activity they are doing? We don’t do this because a part of CHAARG is trying a variety of workouts! We encourage members to form other groups outside of their Small Group in case they have other passions. For example, members can still form a running or swimming or Zumba group that meets every week but isn’t a designated Small Group!

3] Do Your Best. We don’t expect you to know all of the answers while leading a Small Group! All we want is that you do your best to create lasting relationships with each of your Small Group members + encourage them to live their best life.

  • Small Group Time: Small Groups are on the same DAY + same TIME every single week. We don’t move around the times because members choose that time based on their schedules. Small Group should become a part of someone’s lifestyle + routine [remember — one hour is only 4% of your day]!
  • Don’t Cancel a Small Group: If you are sick or can’t make it, let your VP Membership know + ask another exec team leader or Small Group Coordinator to cover your Small Group for you.
  • Updating Attendance: Make sure to update the master attendance doc with your Small Group’s attendance within 24 hours of your Small Group meeting.
  • Missing Members: Follow up with members who aren’t coming to Small Groups, see what’s going on, + encourage them to come to the next week!
  • Small Group Coordinator Training: This training must be completed by all exec team leaders as well as any extra Small Group Coordinators that the Chapter may have
  • Small Group Coordinator Training Course: Small Group Coordinator Training
    • If you are a current exec team leader, you’ve already completed this through your training modules!
    • This course is required for all Small Group Coordinators that are not a part of exec team

Please fill out the Small Group Coordinator Contact Form if you’re a Small Group Coordinator + are not on the exec team!

Beginning of Semester/Quarter 

  • Small Groups start week 4 of the semester [week 3 of the quarter]: The VP Membership will send you a list of all your Small Group members so you can start contacting them
  • Recording Attendance: Work with your Secretary + VP Membership to make sure you understand how to fill out the attendance doc for your Small Group every week
  • Emailing Your Small Group: Email all of your Small Group members letting them know you’ll be their Small Group Coordinator + remind them what day ++ time you are meeting
  • GroupMe/Text Group: Once you have your Small Group members, create a GroupMe or text message group to stay in contact with each other


  • Emailing Your Small Group: Email your SG members every Sunday by 9PM letting them know where to meet that week! Please cc your VP Membership on this email
    • If you have any themes or challenges for the week, let your Small Group know! Themes + challenges are optional, but can be a fun thing to keep consistent across all Small Groups
    • Themes = an over-arching ideas that all Small Groups are doing for the week [partner workouts, running workout, HIIT, etc.]
    • Challenges = different *tasks* you assign to your Small Group members after every Small Group to accomplish in the next week [drink at least 60 oz of water each day, make a new recipe during the week, get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, etc.]
    • Sample Small Group Email!
  • Messaging Small Group Members: Touch base personally with each Small Group member prior to the Small Group + make sure they’re coming/encourage them to come to the Small Group that week
  • Small Group Workout/Activity: Plan [+ host!] a fun workout or activity to do with your Small Group. Please note, as a Small Group Coordinator, you are still very much a PART of the Small Group! You should be do the workout or activity WITH your group : )
  • Updating Attendance: Update the master attendance doc with your Small Group attendance. This must be done within 24 hours of your Small Group
  • Missing Small Group Members: Follow-up with any Small Group members who did not show up, asking where they were + checking in with them! Encourage them to make it to the next one
  • Regularly Missing Small Group Members: If a Small Group member misses 3 Small Groups in a row or stops responding to your messages, it could be assumed that they are no longer interested in being a part of the Small Group. Let your VP Membership know if this happens — it’s important that they are reached out to in order to see if a different Small Group time is better for their schedule!
    • Small Group Waitlist: If there is a waitlist in your Chapter to get into a Small Group, it’s important that anyone who is not regularly attending Small Groups is removed so someone on the waitlist can join!


  • Meetings: Additional Small Group Coordinators [non exec team leaders] should attend one exec team meeting every month


  • Small Group Coordinator Workshop: All Small Group Coordinators attend a Small Group Coordinator Workshop, which is hosted + planned by the VP Membership. This should happen within the first 2 weeks of the semester/quarter
  • Last Small Group of the Semester/Quarter: The last Small Group is the week before finals. We encourage this to be a social-based one : )

**Small Groups are optional to hold during any weeks your university has 2+ days off!

Each week, Small Group Coordinators should work to have as many of their members at Small Group as possible! Below, we pinpoint what you can do from the beginning to encourage members to attend, + what to do when attendance starts to drop!

  • Control the Controllables: Focus on what you can control — do not take members not coming personally! What can you personally do that makes members want to show up every week?
  • Member Connection: The more connected + personable you are with your members, the more dedicated your members will be to your Small Group
  • Personal Member Reach Outs: Reach out to your members personally before the Small Group to encourage them to come — if someone cannot come, do not allow them to post that in the Small Group chat for everyone to see! This typically creates a chain reaction of other Small Group members saying they are not coming
  • Members Who Did Not Attend: Reach out to any members personally that didn’t come to Small Group for the week + let them know you missed them
  • Point System: Have a point system for Small Group attendance [to attend a formal or retreat, or the Small Group with the highest attendance get a prize from the Chapter]
  • Member Feedback: Get feedback from members not attending — figure out why + what you can do to encourage them to come
  • Getting Small Group Members Involved: Try having different members from the group creating the workout each week. You are not a leader of the group — you are a coordinator
  • Be Organized: Always be organized + know what you’re doing each week. Small Groups should start + end on time
  • Be Mindful of Time: Be mindful of time, especially during midterm weeks! You can do a 30 minute workout + after head to the library together to study

As a Small Group Coordinator, you are going to have close relationships with members in your Chapter. You’ll get to know several of them on an intimate level! It’s a privilege + responsibility to be seen as a role model in your Chapter, which we believe all Small Group Coordinators are ; ) We want to make sure you feel confident handling anything that comes your way or might come up with members in our community, especially with mental health + body image concerns.

If you suspect that any member [or any friend!] you have is struggling, it’s important to find the appropriate resources + reach out! We’ve provided a few guidelines + resources below:

Body Image. Many women struggle with body image — in fact, 97% of women have negative thoughts about their body image. As a CHAARG role model, it’s important that we do our best to model healthy behaviors regarding body image! Here are some tips we have for modeling healthy behaviors: 

  • Avoid Appearance Oriented Fitness + Compliments: For example, rather than saying you’re getting “bikini body ready”, focus on goals for strength
  • Promote Body Acceptance: If you’re negative about your own body or talking about what your body can’t do, others will follow! Try to focus on what you CAN do. If you hear others putting themselves down, try to remind them to focus what they can do, too!
  • Avoid Talking About *Cheating* or *Blowing* a Diet: This can induce guilt about food!
  • Be Ppen: Sometimes, the best thing we can do is to just be open + share our own feelings + encourage others to do the same
  • University Resources: Reach out to your student wellness center + see if they have any educational resources regarding body image or eating disorders. They can be an amazing asset, + most universities have a wide variety of resources
  • Body Image  + Eating Disorder Resources:

Mental Health. As college students, mental health can be put on the back-burner sometimes. With the stress of classes, internships, campus clubs, + trying to have a social life, mental health can be overlooked. It can be hard to prioritize, set boundaries, + take care of yourself! If you believe that someone is struggling with mental health, please reach out to your university, as they can provide you + the person struggling with resources! Check out our Mental Health Resource Guide for more resources + information.

We want to make sure all CHAARG Small Groups are as accessible as possible for everyone! We’ve compiled some great ways to modify your workouts as needed below!

Downloadable PDF: Download our Common Workout Modifications PDF!

Modifications for All Workouts

  • Increase rest: If you are struggling with keeping up in a workout or find yourself needing more rest between exercises, take it! This is a great way to modify a workout to make it more attainable. Even adding 15 seconds of extra rest between exercises can be a great way to reset during your workout ++ finish it strong!
  • Decrease reps/time: Another great way to modify a workout if it’s feeling too challenging is decrease the # of reps or the amount of time you’re doing something. If an exercise is called for 90 seconds but you are feeling extremely fatigued at 60 seconds, then modify the exercise to be only 60 seconds! Another way to modify your workout is reducing the # of times you do a circuit (for example, if it calls for 4x through, change to 3x through!). This is a great way to still get a workout in even when you’re crunched for time, too!
  • Slow down: Think quality over the quantity of your reps. Take your time + focus on your form.

Jumping + Cardio Modifications: Below are some common jumping exercises + exercises you can replace them with if you do not want to or can not jump!

  • Running → replace with: Walking! You’ll still get so many benefits. You can also do a walk-run combo to reduce stress on joints + still build your aerobic endurance. If available, you can also replace walking with biking or swimming!
  • Squat Jumps → replace with: Bodyweight Squats
  • Lunge Jumps → replace with: Bodyweight Reverse Lunges or Donkey Kicks
  • Box Jumps → replace with: Box Step-Ups
  • Plank Jacks → replace with: Plank Step-Outs
  • Jumping Jacks → replace with: Step Outs – remove the jump + instead step in + out one foot at a time
  • Burpees → replace with: Mountain Climbers or a half burpee – step back instead of jumping back + do knee raises instead of jumping at the top
  • Jump Rope → replace with: Mountain Climbers, Plank Step-Outs, Front Kicks

Common Exercise Modividations: These are some common exercises that people will modify for a variety of reasons!

  • Push-Ups: Do the push-up from your knees instead. This is still going to activate your chest + upper body! If a push-up from your knee still isn’t accessible, replace it with a DB chest press from the floor or use a wall or bench to do an incline push-up!
  • Planks: Do the plank from your knees instead! You can still engage your core + get a great ab workout in. If a plank isn’t accessible from your knees, then replace it with Russian Twists or Deadbugs.
  • Supermans: If you have back issues, focus on just lifting your upper body on the floor or use a stability ball to put less pressure on your back. You could also replace this exercise with Booty Boosts.
  • Tricep Dips: If this hurts your wrists, decrease your range of motion by doing these from the floor rather than a bench.  You can also replace these with tricep extensions using the DBs!
  • Any exercise that hurts your wrists: Try doing it on an incline so that will relieve the pressure in your wrist. You can also try balling your hands into fists to add more stability.

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