We are the owners of Open Barre Fitness Studio in Walnut Creek, CA, which officially opened it's doors in January 2016. We use this blog as a place to share our latest findings and research, as well as to answer common questions we get at the studio and in our personal lives. We are just as obsessed with our inspiring and amazing clients as we are with health and fitness and needed another place to channel our passion and organize our research, so here we are! The blog is meant to also be useful for those outside of our physical community as well- and we aim to create a virtual community similar to our studio's atmosphere. We love and appreciate any questions or comments you may have, so don't be shy- we love the engagement! Basically, our blog will include posts about studio events and stories, as well as anything that we think could benefit those of you on your own fitness journey (which ideally would be everyyyyyone, because your health and body should be #1)! Here's a little about us:
I grew up dancing: everything from ballet, to jazz and modern, to the dance team kick-line! I was a bit too awkward for hip-hop, though I tried :P
I always loved being in the dance studio, and never even considered it a workout, though looking back, it kept me in amazing shape. That's the most ideal situation; finding something you can do as exercise that doesn't feel like a chore! When my transition into adult life began to take priority, I gradually phased dance out of my life, beginning in college. I only took one dance class per quarter at Cal Poly, giving me only about an hour of exercise per week. That's all I could squeeze into my full schedule of Biology classes. I ended up graduating with a B.S. in Biology, with a concentration in Anatomy/ Physiology, and a weak, soft body. It only got worse from there. As I began to work an entry-level 9-5 office admin job, barely moving all day, I noticed a huge increase in my body aches and pains, an even bigger decrease of energy, and about 10 lbs of extra body fat - maybe more. I talked myself into a gym membership, and pushed myself to workout at least a few days a week. It helped a bit initially... until I got sick of it a few months later, and stopped going all together. I wished I could find something that I could do that I actually enjoyed so that I could make it more sustainable. If I'm being honest- I don't naturally have the best self discipline (haha). And then I found a solution! It was barre. And I was immediately hooked.
I probably could've kept going to barre at that one studio forever, but I felt like my body was starting to plateau. Each class was pretty much the same, month after month, just using different variations for each exercise (maybe one day we'd tuck and then pulse and then hold, and the next day we'd get in the same position and go up an inch, down an inch, and then do tiny circles one way and then reverse, but basically working the exact same muscles). That's great for people who want to maintain their fitness, but I would have loved more variety to keep my body guessing and to keep progressing and reaching new muscles. At that time, I was growing tired of my corporate job and began to dream of using my dance and Anat/Phys background to learn more about barre fitness to open up my own business and create the most effective classes possible! I went on to get my ACE group fitness instructor certification, attended a barre training course, and spent countless hours studying and researching fitness in general, and not only the benefits of barre, but also it's pitfalls. I'll never be done researching; there is always more to learn and new studies and findings coming out, but I'm so confident with the current (but evolving) method at our studio, and pleased with the amazing results for our clients! The success stories are what make all of the time and energy used worth it. I'm hoping this blog helps reach even more people to help them along their fitness and health journey, beyond the capacity of our small studio's space!