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Sculpting Peorians into their ‘baddest’ selves

by Madeleine Trolinger | Photos by Ron Johnson |
Micheline Maloof, owner and Bootcamp coach, works with her class at Sculpt Mode Fitness
Micheline Maloof, owner and Bootcamp coach, works with her class at Sculpt Mode Fitness.

Micheline Maloof, owner and Bootcamp coach, works with her class at Sculpt Mode Fitness.

Since opening in 2017, Sculpt Mode Bootcamp’s mission has been “to enhance the quality of life in the community… to inspire and motivate members to achieve their goals by providing a welcoming, positive, and aspirational work environment, and to empower members by making them feel like their most badass selves.”

Sculpt Mode owner Micheline Maloof says her goal is to help people live a healthier, more self-confident life.

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“I was always an athlete,” said the now 32-year-old. “When I was younger, I injured myself dancing. When I did that, I had a chiropractor tell me that I should just get used to walking a treadmill for the rest of my life.

“I didn’t take that as final truth… I decided to kind of be my own advocate.”

As her back injury healed and she began to regain her former strength, Maloof decided to open Sculpt Mode as a passion project aimed at helping others find that same strength.

To that end, Sculpt Mode Bootcamp offers a 12-week program divided into three categories.

“We have four weeks of endurance, six weeks of strength, and then we have a two-week power phase,” Maloof said. “We gauge everyone’s strength over time in these three movements: squat, bench press, and deadlift.”

Once those phases have been completed, the cycle starts all over again. The exercise program works the whole body, emphasizing cardio, high and low rep, and explosive power.

Sculpt Mode has approximately 90 members, with individual plans starting at $105 per month for a year, $165 for couples, with the first month free. At $399, there also is a six-week accountability program with added perks such as nutrition guides and recipes, weekly virtual check-ins, personal coaches, weekly challenges with prizes, and more. A membership provides access to unlimited classes, which are sorted by type of workout. Each day of the week features a targeted exercise area.

“These workouts make them leave class feeling like they accomplished something really hard,” said Maloof, adding that all of the coaches are encouraging, which is something that many people who go to gyms are worried about when they’re first starting to exercise.

What also differentiates Sculpt Mode is its partnership with two other gyms, all operating under the umbrella group The Base Peoria. “It’s three different businesses on the street. So it’s us, it’s The House Peoria, and then it’s another business called The Yard Peoria,” said Maloof. 

Each of the gyms features a different kind of exercise, with Yard Peoria being more sporty and House Peoria being more like your typical gym. In light of COVID, these three titans decided to join together instead of compete against one another. As an added bonus, a membership in one comes with discounts to the others.

Maloof has big plans for the future of Sculpt Mode.

“I would love to see us grow at our current location” at 7920 N. Sommer Street in Pioneer Industrial Park, she said. “You know, continue to sell memberships and just be kind of the hub for Peoria fitness. But I would also love to see us go virtual, go online as well. To be able to access this type of programming from home would be a huge goal.”

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With COVID winding down, more and more people are feeling free to go to gyms to exercise without worry, but that might not be the case for everyone. By starting virtual classes, anyone across the country can experience what it’s like to exercise with hospitable and encouraging Sculpt Mode Bootcamp professionals — 11 coaches in all — any day of the week.

Many clients cite the sense of community that Sculpt Mode offers.

“What I like most about Sculpt Mode is the group of people that go,” said Ashley Gardner. “I used to be intimidated by gyms and actually showing up. It feels good to be a part of somewhere that you don’t feel judged and can move at your own pace.”

Sculpt_Mode_Fitness“I had never been a fan of the group fitness classes where the instructors stand at the front of the class, speed through the movements, and don’t take the time to check form or answer questions. But Sculpt Mode is different,” said Lindsey Plantamura. “The coaches work with you and push you to exceed your own expectations while the other bootcampers are there to cheer you on! It’s so fun to be around that kind of energy.”

“The thing I like the most is the trainings are available early morning to later in the evening,” said Fawn Briggerman. “And it’s so easy to sign up using the mobile app on my phone.”

“It’s really a nice support group,” said Debbie Melerchuk Emanuels. “Everybody encourages everybody. It kind of feels like family.”

For more information on Sculpt Mode Bootcamp, follow the gym on its website at https://www.sculptmodefitness.com and on Facebook.

Madeleine Trollinger

Madeleine Trolinger

is a senior at Bradley University, majoring in English with a Creative Writing concentration. She hails from Marseilles, Illinois.
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