Clearwater, Fla. – Inspired by a question posed by a woman who was a personal training client, Coast Guard veteran and health and fitness instructor Parrish McGrade hatched the C.H.I.M.P. Method two years ago. It has launched what McGrade terms a “fitness lifestyle” that has propelled the volume of clients at Prime-8 Fitness.
Located amid a tall open space in a warehouse facility off State Route 580 in the Countryside area of Clearwater, the private gym is a haven for men and women of all ages and fitness levels who embrace the C.H.I.M.P. Method, a revolutionary new fitness trend which incorporates real-life exercise with a wide range of animal/chimp-like movements.
Brightened by walls adorned with colorful graffiti art enlivened with inspiring messages, Prime-8 Fitness stirs with activity. A middle-aged woman hangs from monkey bars, a high school athlete maneuvers through an obstacle course and a small group encourages one another through a core training class. McGrade scans the gym, smiles and remembers that particular moment that sparked the idea for the center.
“We were at a gym at one of the machines when she saw a woman nearby who was doing a triceps extension with a dumbbell,” McGrade recalled. “My client asked me if that is something she should be doing, and I told her that it is better to focus on compound exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups to get more benefit at one time. That sparked an idea to write a training program that emphasized the benefits of compound exercises instead of isolated routines.”
The acronym C.H.I.M.P. stands for:
C – Compound Exercise
H – Heart Rate Zone
I – Intensity at Max Effort
M – Mindset
P – Primal Eating Habits
“Each of these tenets, when embraced as a whole, will make your workouts more productive,” McGrade said. “They will change the way you live your life, the way you eat and improve your health.”
The exercises illustrated in the C.H.I.M.P. Method replicate real–life movements and range of motion seen in the wild by primates, including chimpanzees. These exercises focus on more than one muscle or muscle group. The squat is one example because it involves quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, the lower back and core muscles.
“For a long time, the focus at many fitness facilities has been on isolation exercises, like a bicep curl,” McGrade said. “Most isolation exercises require expensive gym equipment such as weight machines, where you go work on a single muscle at each machine.
“Compound exercises rely on body weight and don’t require machines,” McGrade added. “Your body weight is the force for exercise. Instead of weight machines, we use items like kettle balls and medicine balls.
Compound exercises are especially beneficial, McGrade says, because they burn more calories than isolated routines, achieve a full-body workout in less time and improve balance and coordination while adding strength and enhancing cardiovascular conditioning.
At Prime-8, members participate in HardCore and pilates classes, experience fitness boot camps and receive nutrition coaching in The Prime Package. Programs like cross training, TRX Suspension Training and sport specific training are among the other options.
After he was raised in the Tampa area and spent five years in the Coast Guard, McGrade worked as an electronic technician and served as a personal trainer in his spare time. Eventually, he recognized that his true passion was helping others with fitness and nutrition. He opened Prime-8 in 2012.
Prime-8’s newest program is the 12-week C.H.I.M.P. Challenge, which is designed to help members increase strength, reduce weight and improve overall wellness.
“This is not about a short-term fix, like a diet,” McGrade said. “The C.H.I.M.P. Challenge is a microcosm of Prime-8. We help our people of all ages and fitness levels incorporate a positive lifestyle change that will reshape their bodies for the long term.
“The variety of exercises is designed to keep people engaged and excited about fitness,” McGrade added. “Exercise should not be dreaded. It should be fun, and that is what the C.H.I.M.P. Method is all about – generating results while having fun.”