barre3 grows with revival of group fitness classes
“For decades, people have been sweating and stretching as an instructor leads the way (think Jazzercise, step aerobics or Jane Fonda). As long as misery loves company, it seemed group fitness classes would endure. But in the past few years — since the recession — group classes have become even more in vogue, a trend that’s buoyed a Portland-based startup.
barre3, a fitness studio that offers hour-long classes structured around the same kind of “barre” ballet dancers use, opened its first location in Southeast Portland in 2008. Since then the company has sold 22 franchises, four of which are in the Philippines…”
“…Founder and instructor Sadie Lincoln, who launched the company with her husband, Chris Lincoln, says she didn’t anticipate such rapid growth, fueled in part by glowing media coverage in high-circulation publications including Marie Claire, Shape and US Weekly. (US Weekly revealed that Madonna was using the barre3 method to stay in shape.) Not only did the coverage attract new franchisees, but it also propelled sales of Lincoln’s DVD based on the studio’s workout techniques — an extra she originally created for clients who weren’t able to make it to the studio…”
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” — Charles R. Swindoll
As you may have read in my previous post I’ve Got your Back, I struggle with low back pain. I recently went to a spine specialist, Dr. John P. Kafrouni who helped me in a very unexpected way. He suggested that fear was holding me back way more than the pain associated with my flare-ups. I started to cry from frustration as I argued, “But when my back goes out I am frozen. It is like I am in jail.” I was angry because I went to this guy hoping for a magic pill to make this all go away. This coming from someone who won’t even take Advil shows how beaten down I was! I asked him to refer me to the best physical therapist he knows. I was shocked when he told me no. He told me that I have done enough research on what is “wrong” with my back and that I clearly understand how to rehabilitate it at barre3. He had a point.
Instead, he handed me a list of his favorite (and scary) mountain biking trails. I shook my head and told him I don’t do high-risk activities because I am too afraid I will get injured. He responded, “Exactly why you should do this!” When you are flying down a hill you don’t have time to worry about your back and being “frozen” or “in jail”. You have to trust that your body will be there for you and will do just the right thing. Well, anyone who tells me to exercise to solve a problem is my kind of healer! He also had me order P90X to do the Plyometrics DVD. For those of you taking my classes recently, you definitely have heard me channel a bit of Tony Horton. Now you know why!
Long story short, I took his advice and honestly it worked like a charm. In the past when I would start to feel low back pain, I would literally freeze and start a negative cycle of fret and worry. Now when I feel my back start to tighten I shrug it off and do something that empowers me. This mindset shift is working better than anything I have tried.
Now, I am not suggesting that biking and jumping is the cure for injuries or getting through pain. It is important to note that Dr. Kafrouni DOES refer people to physical therapists and more invasive treatments. He studied my MRI, had me do a bunch of exercises and took the time to understand me. He explained to me that out of his 25,000+ patients the ones who do poorly are the ones who wallow in fear and based on his assessment this was my biggest problem.
What I am suggesting is that we all consider how fear drives our decisions and how those decisions undermine our potential. Does it ever really help to make decisions based on fear or does it hold us back? Did you ever not study for a test because if you did poorly you would have an excuse? This decision was driven by a fear of failure versus a love of learning. Fear is connected to an imagined outcome and takes us away from being present.
On the other side of fear we can learn so much about ourselves. I learned earlier this year that my back issues are real. I have a couple of bulging discs. But more importantly, I learned that those pesky discs do not define me. I just got back from a 9-hour flight with my kids in tow. Is my back sore after all that sitting and stress? You bet. Same back problems. The difference is how I am dealing with them. Time to hit the trails!
“Nobody is perfect. And neither are our workouts. From the fitness hangover solution to what not to wear at the gym and how to avoid being “that” girl at the gym, 10 fitness pros (and me) give us their “I wish I’d known sooner” secrets for having a better, more effective and enjoyable workout. So you don’t have to learn the hard way!”
You can have Sadie Lincoln as your at-home trainer with her barre3 DVD.
We caught up with the busy entrepreneur and mom of two to learn about how she entered the fitness world and how she finds balance even outside of the studio.
I’m writing a movie about your life, tell me the plot.
A small town hippie kid gets a good education, marries the man of her dreams, works her tail off for a large company in a big city, has kids and realizes she wants more meaning in her life. She quits the big job, says goodbye to the big house, big career and “keeping up with the Joneses.” She packs the family up, returns to her roots and puts her life savings to work to build her dream company: a family of exercise studios powered by women who share her values to balance both the body and life. After 20 years teaching classes, she puts all her favorite disciplines and yogic philosophy into one workout and is surprised to find it is celebrated by super-moms and super-celebrities alike!
Who would you want to portray you in a movie?
How did you get involved with fitness?
I loved movement and dance at a very young age. My earliest memory of yoga is watching my Mom do yoga in her room out of a paperback book. While attending UCLA, I discovered the power of group exercise classes and ended up leading the instructor training program. This passion led to a graduate assistantship at the College of William and Mary to develop the campus group fitness program while I earned my Masters in Higher Education. Right out of grad school I landed a job with a fast-growth fitness company working direct for the founder and CEO, Mark Mastrov. Little did I know, he would end up being my mentor and one of the most successful fitness entrepreneurs in the world! I am blessed to have a career in fitness and I love helping other women like me find their way in this industry.
For more about Sadie’s top fitness gear pick and a typical day in her life, click below.
barre3 is featured in the March 2011 issue of Marie Claire magazine. Here’s the video version you can do right now! Once you get the hang of it, pick up the pace and duration. You will be surprised at how challenging and effective it is!
Lincoln, whose flagship studio is based in Portland, Oregon, will be in New York City for a quick East Coast jaunt, and she’s set aside time in her packed schedule to train 35 lucky Well+Good readers.
Be sure to circle Sunday, March 13 in your fitness datebook: The class will take place at the Lululemon store in Lincoln Square (1928 Broadway, at 64th Street), at 9:00 a.m. And it’s free for Well+Good subscribers.
Check back on Monday morning when we open the reservation line to attend this very special Workout With Us event!
For more information about Sadie Lincoln and barre3, visit www.barre3.com
“Why we love it: the combo of ballet barre work, yoga and Pilates uses ‘slow and controlled movements’ to make your muscles feel it during and after, our sore testers say. Switch between lower-body focused exercises, like lunges on toes, and upper-body exercises, like mini pulses that make your triceps burn. Then finish on the floor with more butt and thigh toners. The instruction, by Sadie Lincoln – her client Madonna is a fan – helps this DVD feel like a private lesson. Just when you’re thinking ‘Am I doing this right?’ she’ll give you spot-on pointers.”