All posts tagged pure barre

What does it REALLY take to become a Pure Barre Instructor?

Marni Chaikin 186

If you’re like me, you’ve pondered this question as a svelte, strong, and sexy woman ala Marni Chaikin, a Pure Barre instructor and franchise owner in Los Angeles, California, has led you through an intense, butt kicking class. You’ve wondered, do I have the stuff gorgeous Pure Barre instructors are made of? Could I really leave my desk booty behind and lead others, just like me, through 55-minutes of lifting, toning, and burning? The short answer, yes you can! For the longer answer, Marni was nice enough to share what she looks for in future instructors and how many classes she recommends for those hoping to turn their Pure Barre dreams into a reality. Read the rest of the blog here, on my personal site!



The Ballet Physique DVD Collection – A review

Who doesn’t want to look like THAT?

While recovering from surgery, my Mom and I watched First Position, a documentary about child ballerinas (male and female) who are striving, with every little muscle in their bodies, to become professional ballerinas. Watching this from my couch made me want to move. I craved action. I craved some time at the barre. In particular I wanted to try the second of two workouts in the  new DVD series by The Ballet Physique.

Before the operation, I had tried Signature Sculpt and loved it. So after just 3-days of resting, I was ready for Amped Up, the second DVD.  At the urging of my mom and husband, however, I decided to take more time to heal (though surprisingly I felt fine!). Instead, I stuck to long walks with the dogs, patiently waiting until I could try the rest of The Ballet Physique DVD Collection.

Arms section from Amped Up.

Amped Up

At exactly 10-days post surgery,  I was ready to rock. I fired up Ballet Physique’s Amped Up DVD in my parent’s living room where I was visiting for Christmas. I wouldn’t let the holiday cookie tray stand in my way of a great workout (and you shouldn’t either!).  I was prepared with light (5 lbs.) weights, a chair as my barre, and also the knowledge that I should stop to rest as needed.  I truly believe my pre-surgery healthy living (exercise 5-days a week for at least 45 minutes) helped me heal faster and prepared me for what turned out to be an awesome workout.

Amped Up proved to be an excellent 45-minute barre regime that focused on building strength and boosting the metabolism through the use of heavier weights and fast-paced exercises. The gorgeous Kristin Skordahl, Ballet Physique’s director of training at the Colorado Studio, infused this workout with energy and easy to follow instruction. Intense arms, shake inducing thighs/buns, and a challenging abs series, make this the perfect workout to maximize calorie burn when you’re in a time crunch.

Though doing this DVD was no problem for me, a seasoned barrebirina, I did ask for my doc’s permission first before engaging in any exercise after surgery (even walking the dog). You should too if you have any injuries or concerns about how your health will fare during barre, or any activity.

Me doing The Ballet Physique Amped Up DVD in my Mama’s living room.

Signature Sculpt

It was The Ballet Physique’ s intense Signature Sculpt DVD that made me want to try Amped Up, so it too deserves some attention. After all, Signature Sculpt was my last pre-surgery workout. I literally did it the night before after downing two dark chocolate saltine cookies. I’m pretty sure I burned those cookies right off though. One hour at the barre (or the back of a chair) can burn up to 500 calories!

Signature Sculpt is lead by the founder of The Ballet Physique, Kristen Zurek. This lovely little ballerina studied dance in New York City and performed professionally in Colorado before opening the studio. Her petite, but solid frame, bright blond hair, and up beat instruction make her reminiscent of Mari Windsor. Though Signature Sculpt does draw from Pilates and other barre workouts based on The Lotte Berk Method, Zurek includes some interesting twists. She incorporates real ballet terminology with other interesting variations to the typical barre workout format. For example, before moving on to the other side of seat, Kristen works out other muscles so that the buns are rejuvenated and ready to meet her demands.


The Ballet Physique DVD collection is a high quality, fast moving, but easy to follow barre based workout that will bring you that much closer to the ballerina body of your dreams. The DVDs are available for purchase on The Ballet Physique website or via the links below.

Pop Physique: Hurts So Good

I just sneezed. It was painful. My ribs ached sharply against the “Achooo” reminding me that yesterday I braved the Barre like never before: I tried Pop Physique. My abs and arms are the first to feel it, but the good hurt in my hips and thighs is creeping in like a 6th grade crush. At first you hate that boy who sits behind you, then suddenly you’re madly in love with him.

Pop Physique is my new fitness crush and here’s why.

Click here to read the rest of this blog on, my new and improved barre and boutique fitness blog!


Holiday Gift Ideas for the FitnessWhore in your life!

Two Christmas cuties in matching dresses.I’m a 31 year-old woman, but I still get excited every year when my Mommy (yes, I still call her Mommy) asks for my Christmas list.

However, I DO love gift giving just as much as  I love gift GETTING! Call me cliché if you must, but there’s just something about watching someone you love unwrap or un-bag (hey, gift bags are easy AND eco-friendly) a creative, unique, and exciting gift that comes from the heart. It’s a healthy selfishness – that feeling of gift giving satisfaction.

My favorite gifts to give are those that have worked for me or made my life BETTER – things that have made me smarter, skinnier, stronger, longer, leaner, less lined or more defined. So, I figured I’d share some of MY gift giving ideas. These are things I’d WANT personally. Things I’ve tried or hope to try. Things I’ve loved and still do.  These are things I’d want to GET this holiday season. Do for others, as you’d want done for you, right?

(1.) First on my list, A Month of Unlimited Yoga from Core Power Yoga Wilshire (or any of their other locations if Wilshire isn’t the best spot for you). When you stop by, pick up a Free Week card if you’re a new student – it’s freeeeeee yogaaaa babaaay. And I’d definitely plan it so that you can take a yoga class while there. What’s a better holiday shopping/face stuffing stress and belly busting activity than HOT YOGA! Check out the class schedule: CPY Wilshire Class Schedule.

(2.) While you’re there can you grab me a new yoga mat? Because I REALLY need one. Just ask my friend Tonya. She rolls her eyes in disgust when I plop next to her before each class slapping down the same mat I’ve had since college. Oooo or maybe one of those skidless yoga thingies is a better solution, so ol’ faithful can still remain a part of my practice. YogiToes Goddess slip-resistant towels give your yoga mat a second, water-resistant skin! I’ve seen people use them and I want one bad. So might the yogi or yogini in your life! Slip and slide is fun for a hot summer afternoon after your 3rd round of margaritas, but not so fun when you’re slinking across the room into the stinky yogi in front of you.

(3) Better yet, for the all-encompassing yogic experience, pick up a CorePower Yoga Holiday Bundle: comes with a standard yoga mat, YogiToes Goddess slip-resistant towel (they’re so cool, I just had to mention’em twice), and choose from a selection of instructional DVDs, all for $88!  Visit the Wilshire studio to pick up your bundle: I recommend this gift for any old or new Yogi! In fact, I’d love one too if you’re feeling generous :)

(4.) Fourth, but definitely not least: Pure Barre! Pure Barre! Pure Barre! Did I mention I love Pure Barre? Next door to CPY Wilshire, is the place where beautiful booties are made. I’ve raved about it before and I’ll rave about it now, nothing shapes the derriere like bellying up to the Barre. With that said, I recommend presenting the FitnessWhore in your life with a Pure Barre Package! If you’re in the LA area and Brentwood, my studio of choice isn’t convenient for you, here’s exciting news: NEW studios have opened just in time for the Holidays. There’s now a Beverly Hills location. There’s now a Hollywood location. Pure Barre bodies are taking over Los Angeles!!!!

(5.) Ever heard of brain games? I hadn’t either, until I stumbled upon Lumosity. These are NOT your little brother’s video games. This site has created comprehensive brain exercises that are PROVEN to improve your memory, reaction time, and ability to get home faster in traffic (Really!). Just 10 minutes a day can help your brain reach its full potential. Right now they’re running a 25% off promo. This is the perfect gift for grandmas, grad students, and grumps (healthier brains equal happier brains).

AND NOW, FitnessWhores and Gentleman, drum roll PLEASE….  I present you with #6!

(6.) Skin Owl Infused Argan Oil! This silky and luxurious Argan Oil is brought to you by your very own Skin Owl. I am honored to know the  Skin Owl herself, Annie Tevelin – she’s equal parts skin expert and girl’s girl! Tired of chemical laden skin products, this Skin Owl searched the world for the highest quality infused Argan oil. From fine line smoothing to skin conditioning to split end mending, it does EVERYTHING. I’ve tried this product on my stubborn sun damaged chest lines (college in Hawaii will do that) and seen change almost overnight. The best part about Skin Owl Argan Oil is that it’s cultivated by a tribe of women in Morocco. Help support woman made products brought to you by woman entrepreneurs! Message the Skin Owl by clicking here: Annie@SkinOwl. Or go straight to the Order Form.

Happy Holidays to Everyone! Three cheers for generosity, happiness, and health in 2012 and beyond! I hope you or yours enjoy the yoga, pure barre, slip free mats, brain games and Skin Owl as much as I do!

A Pure Barre enthusiast tries The Bar Method…

Pure Barre Ball

I’m a loyal consumer. When I find something I like, I’ll revisit it for months, even years (I’ve turned many a mexican foodie onto Poquito Mas…  where I once went on a burrito binge that lasted 7 days, back in 2005! To this day I have not yet had a better wet burrito).

But back to the point: any good fitness enthusiast knows that the key to staying fit is C-H-A-N-G-E! And when change is just a 10-minute bike ride away from your home, as is The Bar Method’s Marina Del Rey Studio  from mine, it’s got to happen. Any work out that’s within walking, biking, jogging, and/or roller blading distance gets extra points because if you’ve got desk job/commute booty like I do, the extra cardio is welcome (gotta burn off the burrito somehow, right?)!

Now before I lament the wonders of my first Bar Method class, I must first tell you about Pure Barre. I work in the valley and was easily convinced to break up the long, often depressing, drive home to join my girlfriends at Pure Barre in Brentwood. Pure Barre (PB) Brentwood’s location is PERFECT,  just a quick 5 minutes west off the 405, and with a 5:15 session I could make it right after work.

Click here to read the rest of this post on my personal blog!