Let’s be honest: everyone wants to “be in shape”. It’s the definition that varies; the means of achieving it being multiple, mysterious and, for many, seemingly out of reach.

Nowadays, gyms and workout facilities can be found everywhere… But if everyone has that secret wish of “wanting to be in shape”, why aren’t these places packed? All the time?

Everyone has their own answer to this question. For some, the prospect of stepping inside a gym without a compass is frightening. For others, the idea of going at it alone is depressing. The fear of injury also comes up, which is quite valid.

Enter Primal CF (for Primal Conditioning and Fitness), a group of five guys who seem to have the answer to every single aforementioned fear.

Operating out of Vankleek Hill’s Zudio (you’ll find them around back), Primal CF offers anyone looking for a healthy dose of fitness exercise a veritable dream come true.

“We call ourselves Primal Conditioning and Fitness because we have a very well-rounded approach to working out,” said Gregory Carpenter, one of the five founding members of Primal CF.

“There’s conditioning, gymnastics, cardio, weightlifting, power weightlifting… We integrate everything. It’s crosstraining, basically.”

Primal CF was founded by Gregory Carpenter, Joey Larocque, Francis Lacroix, Jean-Sébastien Martineau and Shawn Martel.

“We’ve been friends for a while. We used to train together at a previous gym and when it closed up to change hands, we decided to join forces, take our love of working out and all its aspects and open Primal CF,” stated Carpenter.

The Primal guys are adamant about one thing: what they offer is for everybody.

“Whether someone is looking to get in or maintain shape, to lead a healthier lifestyle… Every workout can be modified for people’s capabilities. We have people of all ages, from 16 to 65 years of age, people of any weight; it’s built for anyone.”

One of the great advantages of Primal CF’s formula is the contact with pro trainers. When showing up for a scheduled workout, no one is left alone. Indeed, every workout session is guided by one of the five (or more), paying attention to everyone’s needs and goals.

Moreover, each Primal CF member brings his own specialty to the mix.

“Shawn, Francis and Joey are all certified level one Crossfit trainers. I was into mixed martial arts for 12 years and I fought professionally,” said Carpenter.

The greatest workout

Primal CF has a great space from which to host its workout sessions. When stepping inside for the first time, one can’t help but think of the coolest of playgrounds, the facility having everything any creative workout needs.

(Photo: Cedrik Bertrand)

“Every session starts with a warmup. It’s different every time, but we always make sure to do mobility. Then, we always work on a strength, like squats. Anything to gain some power. We integrate some gymnastics and we end it all with a 15-minute ‘workout of the day’, where we take what we’ve previously done in the workout but throw in some cardio and conditioning. That’s where your heart rate goes up,” explained Carpenter.

Every workout is different, Primal CF ensuring that the week’s scheduled provides a healthy mix of training which ensures well-rounded fitness and prevention of injury.

Born out of passion

“What’s fun here is that everyone quickly becomes a family. After two weeks, seeing what they’re now capable of doing, makes a lot of people smile. The sense of accomplishment everyone is getting from this workout, the encouragement, the atmosphere… Is not something you see everywhere, to be honest. After a workout, when you see everyone high-fiving… It’s hard to find the words for it,” said Carpenter.

For every member of Primal CF, leading these workouts is a second job. A fact that, in itself, proves the passion each has for what they do. Hearing any of them talk about all that is accomplished during their workouts is enough to make any gym-fearing individual want to try it out.

“For me, it’s the smiles, the ambiance. Everyone helps one another, cheers each other on. There’s never any judgement. Ever,” added Larocque.

So much more could be said about this great new local initiative, but one really has to see for oneself to truly believe in what Primal CF is doing.

Showing up for a workout at Primal CF is like stepping into a gym with a compass. You never go it alone.

If any of that resonates, check out Primal CF’s Facebook page (Primal CF – Conditioning & Fitness), send them an email ([email protected]) or check out one of their training sessions at the facility behind Zudio, in Vankleek Hill.