Studio Owner Spotlight: Tori Fox

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In this month’s Studio Owner Spotlight, Tori discusses her journey from online subscriber to studio owner, her sources of inspiration, and her strategy for helping her kids not overdo it on Halloween candy. Read on to meet Tori!

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As a kid, I was obsessed with gymnastics. That transitioned into cheerleading through high school. Eventually, a friend introduced to me yoga and pilates, which I loved. I even went through Pilates teacher training to get better as student, never thinking I’d actually teach fitness. Then I discovered barre3, which combines all of my favorite things into one efficient class.

I found barre3 Online first. It was nice to do it in my living room, but I wanted to get the studio experience. I mentioned that to my husband and he said, “Well, open one!” So we headed to DC for the weekend to see a real studio. I felt so much energy when the class was over; I was hooked.

After that experience, I drove to Knoxville, TN to see two more studios. I noticed each studio had amazing customer service, and I couldn’t believe how sincerely nice everyone was. I knew right away I had to bring it to Raleigh.

When I opened my own studio, I was petrified of getting up in front of a large group of people and teaching. Now, I feel giddy when I’m teaching. It’s so much fun to see people shaking and changing.

My body has COMPLETELY changed since finding barre3—it’s crazy. The thing I love the most is how mindful I am about my posture now. My number-one goal for each class is to bring postural awareness to everyone. I’ve also learned how to move better throughout the day and feel so much happier—lots of endorphins running through my blood these days!

As far as nutrition goes, I’m usually teaching in the evenings, so I love barre3’s smoothies and DIY salads. With Halloween around the corner, I have a few strategies when it comes to candy—I only buy candy that I won’t eat. We are fairly strict about food in our house and my kids know they can’t binge on candy or they’ll get sick. (My oldest, Anda, learned that the hard way.) We give them enough to enjoy the holiday and indulge a little, but that’s it.

After having children, I was so focused on taking care of my daughters that I lost touch with the Raleigh community. The best part about opening barre3 is that it’s reconnected me to the community. Our clients are so strong, intelligent, and talented. They motivate and inspire me each day. I love learning about their lives beyond the walls of the studio.

Sadie is another big source of inspiration. I love her mantra, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” from Stephen R. Covey. I’ve found when I use it, things always turn out better!

Interested in having a dream job? Learn more about becoming a studio owner here.

Spicy Apple Cinnamon Smoothie

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Apple season is here! We’re celebrating with this nourishing smoothie created by Meg Roosevelt, a registered dietician at Healthy Grocery Girl. There’s so much to love about this recipe—not only does it taste like apple pie, it’s loaded with good-for-you ingredients. The apples are full of immune-boosting antioxidants and heart-healthy fiber. Cinnamon is great for managing blood sugar levels, while dates are rich in iron and offer a quick energy boost. The coconut water naturally contains vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, making this smoothie a great way to hydrate and replenish after class. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Makes One 16-Ounce Smoothie

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

½ cup coconut water

1 medium apple, cored

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 medjool dates

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

2-3 ice cubes

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high for 20-30 seconds. Enjoy immediately!

barre3 Book Club: Rework

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I feel like Rework authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are literally in my head. This is the first business book I’ve ever read that validates how we do business at barre3. Even though my copy of Rework is pretty new (I just bought it over the summer), it already looks worn because it’s so well-loved. I’ve bookmarked at least 20 of my favorite pages so that I can readily refer to my favorite passages and share them with my team of studio owners.

Rework is so easy to read. The chapters are super short and to the point. There’s no fancy business jargon. I appreciate the authors’ no-fuss, straightforward, we’re-not-going-to-waste-a-minute-of-your-time approach, and I think you will too. While I could go on forever about my favorite messages from the book, I’m only going to share a few of my top points and how they relate to life as a barre3 leader. Here I go:

On workaholism: Although our culture celebrates the idea of the workaholic, Rework argues that “not only is this workaholism unnecessary, it’s stupid. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more.” The authors say it so bluntly, it’s funny. But it’s so true, and I couldn’t agree more. The barre3 mantra “Work Smarter, Not Harder” fits right in with this point of view. Both in the studio and at our Home Office, the mantra reminds us not to work more, but to work more efficiently. I don’t believe in face time (who cares when you show up or when you work as long as you get your job done?). Everyone who works for me runs his or her own schedule. I empower my team to be healthy, balanced leaders.

On focusing on you instead of they: Rework asks “Who cares what they’re doing?” Fried and Hansson recommend ignoring the competition. As I read their advice, I was reminded of the barre3 saying to “love thy neighbor, but ignore thy neighbor.” That’s what we tell clients in our studio classes; if the person next to them at the ballet barre is going lower, deeper, and taking more turbo options, it doesn’t matter. Don’t compare yourself. Focus inwards instead. The same is true for business. I love but ignore my competitors in the boutique exercise-studio space. I love them because they’re helping people just like I am, but I ignore them because I’m focusing on what we’re doing at barre3.

On scratching your own itch: Rework says, “The easiest, most straightforward way to make a great product or service is to make something you want to use.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m not a big fan of focus groups or surveys. Everything that we offer at barre3 stems from a genuine need and want I have in my own life. I started barre3 in 2008 when my kids were babies. That’s why we have childcare. As I started to travel more, I needed barre3 on the go, so now we have online workouts. My body transformed when I started to eat whole foods and meals that balanced healthy fats, fiber, and protein. That’s why we have our recipes. I like hanging out with inspiring women who make me better. That’s how I choose my team. I scratch my own itch.

On picking a fight: Rework states that “Being the anti-_______ is a great way to differentiate yourself and attract followers.” I’m kind of anti-fitness industry because I don’t think it’s working. We’ve all been brainwashed to believe that there’s a certain formula we must stick to in order to be fit. I’m against the idea that the only way to get incredible results and get the body you want is by embracing the “no pain, no gain” mentality. Fitness doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore. It can feel good, easy, and doable. It can be FUN, and it doesn’t have to hurt. Modifying postures gives you even better results. A 10-minute workout is just a good as a 60-minute sweat session. It’s important to find the ease within the effort. That’s how you’re going to get the best possible results (long, lean muscles and a balanced, happier mindset).

Do any of the above statements resonate with you? Have any of you read this book? If you haven’t, I suggest you do so now. Whether you’re a business owner or not, whether you have a career you love or one you dread, get this book. It will shift your perspective and offer you a ton of valuable insight into how you can work and live better.

Why Sitting is Hazardous to Your Health – And What To Do About It

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As you’re reading this, you’re probably sitting down. And if you’re like most Americans, you spend an average of 9.3 hours a day in this position. We sit at our computers, we sit at meetings, we sit in coffee shops, and we sit in the car. In fact, most people sit more than they sleep in a typical day.

That’s bad news for your body: Extended sitting slows the body’s metabolism and can cause your blood sugar to stay elevated, putting you at a greater risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. It also increases fatigue, causes your joints to stiffen, puts you at a higher risk for injury, and wreaks havoc on your posture. When you stand, your mid-back muscles (specifically your rhomboids, mid traps, and lats), abdominals, and glute muscles keep you upright. But when you slump in a chair, they go unused and weaken. As a result, your body loses functional strength, flexibility decreases, and you’re more likely to experience chronic pain in your neck, lower-back, and hips.

So what’s the solution? Exercise is a great start, but unfortunately, it can’t undo all the damage caused by long hours of sitting. The trick is to get up and move, and to do it often. Health experts recommend getting up once an hour from your desk, even if it’s just to walk around briefly or go to the bathroom. You might also consider raising your desk to standing level or turning your next coffee meeting into a walking meeting.

One way to fill your day with movement and break up sitting time is to take advantage our 10-minute online or Mobile App workouts. Studies show that these mini workouts can decrease your appetite, help you focus, and melt stress. They also fuel weight loss. During a typical workout, your metabolism increases during exercise, burning more fat and calories as your heart rate elevates and your muscles work. This elevated metabolic boost doesn’t drop off immediately after exercise. It decreases over the next several hours. So while you may burn the same amount of calories in a 30-minute workout as you would during three 10-minute workouts, you burn calories all day long when you choose to do three shorter workouts. In the long run, you could easily zap more calories after three short sessions than one long one.

Now, we realize that everyone has to sit sometimes. In fact, we’re sitting down as we write this blog. But as soon as we finish, you can bet we’ll be popping up for a quick stretch and a stroll around the block. We hope we’ve inspired you to get up and move too!

Do this free online workout right now to re-energize and combat the negative effects of sitting.

Beyond the Barre: Own Your Inch

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Katie Schrier, owner of barre3 Atlanta – South Buckhead, has a saying: To own your inch. Read on to find out what it means and why it’s so important to her.

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“There’s a new exercise studio in the neighborhood and it’s SO YOU!” A friend had said of the first barre3 studio. Yet as I stood outside the Pearl location and looked beyond the gauzy curtains to the sleek ballet barres, I wasn’t so sure. My lack of grace had dashed my childhood dream of performing in the Nutcracker. I didn’t need another failed attempt on my dance card. To ensure that if I looked clumsy, I’d at least look stylishly clumsy, I’d worn my new favorite top with my old favorite leggings for a class taught by Sadie Lincoln. As Sadie helped me get set up at the barre, she mentioned that she liked my top. I felt better already. Then she asked me to move one inch. I moved five.

If you’ve taken a barre3 class, you’ve experienced our signature three-step formula. Every exercise begins with an isometric hold to focus on building strength and reinforcing proper alignment. Then we layer on small, controlled one-inch movements to break plateaus and continue the benefits of a hold. To finish, we add large-range-of-motion functional movement to elevate the heart rate and increase blood flow.

As a beginner, it’s easy to get excited about the larger-range-of-motion movement. It’s satisfying to feel your heart pump as you do mindful, low-impact cardio-inspired moves. At first, that’s what I was most excited for too. I thought moving bigger and doing more was better—both at the barre and beyond it. In class, I believed large movement would help me get stronger and more fit faster. In everyday life, I thought accomplishing big things would make me happier, healthier, and more productive. Perhaps you can relate.

Everything changed when I committed to the inch. I began to see results, and I realized that it’s those minuscule one-inch movements, not the big, sweeping ones, that strengthen, sculpt, and lengthen our bodies. Although those inches feel far too minuscule to have any real effect, they pay off over time.

The same holds true in life. It’s so easy to set lofty goals: run a marathon, cook all your family’s meals using only whole foods, take five barre3 studio classes in a week. But inevitably, life gets in the way and those goals feel hopelessly out of reach. The first temptation, often, is to bag it and sit on the couch and eat pizza. But the barre3 approach has shown me another option: Take smaller steps—or as I call it, own your inch. Perhaps you sign up to run a 5k, get takeout from a healthy restaurant, or fire up a 10-minute online workout. Although these may not feel as glorious as crossing your finish line, whatever that may be, they’ll bring you one step closer. Even better: When you embrace the small steps, you’ll find that it’s the journey, not the final achievement, that makes you stronger.

The idea of owning my inch has great meaning for me both personally and professionally. It helps me remember to be true to myself, to listen to my body, to know my limits, and to do the best that I can given the situation at hand. My hope for you is that the next time you’ve got your sights set on a goal or accomplishment that doesn’t come to fruition, re-evaluate. Remind yourself that the actions we take every step of the way towards our goals are opportunities to make big changes, grow, and be successful. Think about the small steps you can take toward your goal, and put one foot in front of the other. Own your inch.

barre3 Owners’ Convention

Last weekend, all of our studio owners gathered in Portland, Oregon, for a two-day convention. Read on to get a behind-the-scenes look at the event!

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Sadie and Chris Lincoln kicked off the convention with a State of the Union address. The “Coming Soon” photo of them with their children as toddlers on the big screen is a familiar image to many of our studio owners getting ready to open their doors for the first time. Here, Sadie talked about how her barre3 family has grown from one studio to 77 studios in six years.

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Lauren Ziel (barre3 Newtown and Doylestown owner) and Kendall Carriere (barre3 New Orleans owner) caught up before class. Many of our owners are close friends and stay in touch not just for fun but to bounce ideas off one another. That’s one of the best things about our network of studios. You don’t just get support from Sadie and Chris, you get support from your fellow owners, too.

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Sadie taught class on Friday morning and had everyone shaking and laughing the whole time. Here’s Liz Hay, owner of barre3 Needham (just outside of Boston). She opens her studio on October 20th, and we’re so proud to have her on our team!

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To keep everyone alert, sharp, and energized, we sprinkled in 10-minute barre3 body blasts between lectures and breakouts. Here’s a shot of everyone in Sumo Squat!

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Our team was incredibly focused and learned so much over the weekend. We made the most of every minute we spent together.

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Sadie gave a heartfelt toast to our team of studio owners at dinner. We’re so grateful to have such incredible women leading our company. Our team also loved having our favorite chef Abby Fammartino from Abby’s Table feed us barre3-approved dishes.


A
re you dreaming about coming to our Owners’ Convention next year? Learn more about owning a barre3 studio by filling out our form here. We can’t wait to connect with you!

barre3 Studio to Street Hairstyle: Wavy Hair

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We love hair that’s perfectly tousled and wavy. We asked hair stylist and barre3 client Cherie Gottlieb how to get this effortlessly modern look, and we’re amazed at how easy it is.

Here’s a no-fuss way to make waves:

1. Your hair will probably be a little bit damp from class. If it isn’t, spray it with a water bottle or with Bumble and Bumble Styling Lotion Spray.

2. Take the front part of your hair and twist it away from your face. If you have thicker hair, you may want to divide the hair into several smaller sections.

3. Roll the front section of your hair into a bun, leaving out the ends for a more modern look. Secure the bun with two oversized bobby pins in an x formation.

4. Once you’ve got your first bun rolled, keep going! For an average head of hair, you’ll have about four buns, two in the front, two in the back. If you have long, thick hair, you’re going to roll more buns.

5. When you feel like your hair is dry, take it down and comb through it with your fingers. You’re good to go! Optional: For a little more staying power, spray with hairspray.

Here’s the best part: You can start this look right after your workout, and it’ll style itself as it dries while you’re headed to work/school/wherever. Multi-tasking never looked so good!

Beyond the Barre: Listen to Your Body

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When your body tries to tell you something, how well do you listen? Whether you’re practicing barre3 in a studio class or firing up an online or Mobile App workout, your body is constantly providing feedback. Today, Communications Manager and Master Trainer Kait Hurley shares why it’s so important to tune in to your body for better physical and mental health. Read on and get inspired to listen up!

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“Time for plank! Let’s get right into it and not waste a second.” Veteran clients don’t even wait for my cues; they know what to do. Some press their palms into the cork floors and step their feet back for a full plank. Others come onto their forearms and knees, while a few remain standing, gracefully leaning on the ballet barre. I catch some newer clients looking around uncomfortably as they consider the option best for them.

If you’ve ever done a barre3 workout, chances are, you’ve heard your instructor tell you to listen to your body, which is another way of saying that it’s ok to modify a posture to suit your own needs. While we celebrate modifications and encourage people to tune in to their bodies at barre3, it’s normal to feel insecure when you first put this principle into practice. It takes courage to put your ego aside and do something different than the group. It’s humbling to admit that you have imperfections and limitations, and it can make us all feel vulnerable when we let others see that.

Before barre3, listening to my body was something that terrified me. I knew if I listened, I wouldn’t like what I heard. My years as a competitive distance runner taught me to suppress negative pain and negative emotions and keep on pushing forward. I thought of myself as tough, self sufficient, and driven. Sound familiar? During a workout, we may feel our muscles tense up in a painful way, but we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves or ask our instructor for help. We want others to see us as resilient, strong, and maybe even a little bit perfect. As a result, we let momentum take over and lose some of the benefits of our workout. We also move with force instead of grace and increase our risk for injury.

It turns out, a failure to listen to your body doesn’t just impact your workout, it influences your overall physical and mental health. You might overeat, using food to relieve stress or boredom. You may become sleep deprived because you let your to-do list interfere with much-needed rest. You’re also at a higher risk for depression and anxiety; studies show that when we repress negative emotions and inner conflict, we’re more likely to feel sad or anxious.

I’ve watched hundreds of clients strengthen their mind/body connection and transform not just their bodies, but their lives. I’ve experienced this transformation too. Some days I feel like the turbo athlete I used to be in college. Other days, I prefer to chill out in child’s pose while everyone else commits to their version of plank. Applying this concept beyond the barre has made me a much happier, healthier person mentally too (adios anxiety!).

Your body is your greatest tool for assessing your own happiness and health. So whether you’re in the middle of a barre3 workout or the middle of a busy day, take a moment to check in with yourself. Your body will tell you when you are hungry or tired, when it’s time to push your edge or take it easy. Learning to listen to your body is a skill that takes practice, but as I’ve learned through experience, it’s also a sign of incredible strength.