Why did you choose to go into the fitness industry? Did you have a sporty childhood?
I was very sporty growing up. I started gymnastics and football at age 5 and played competitive football until I was 18.
You started out teaching yoga - how did you develop Barrecore?
After my years of football, I wanted a complete change in my physical activity and started practising yoga in college. Yoga really spoke to the Southern California hippy within me and I was surprised by the impact it was having on my physique, it started to elongate my bulky soccer thighs and I was inspired to qualify as an instructor.
After teaching yoga for a few years I wanted to develop my experience and knowledge of personal training and dance based fitness. In 2006 I joined the Tracey Anderson Method in Studio City CA and began dance inspired barre. My perception of training changed completely. It was during this time that I really started to get leaner (I lost nearly 10kgs of excess muscle mass and fat) and achieve the body I had always wanted but never achieved through weight training, aerobics or yoga alone.
I was blown away by the ability to sculpt and tone a body using a culmination of the methods I had honed over the years and was driven by the change I saw in my clients. I moved to London in 2009 and it wasn’t long before my private clients were asking me to offer my dance based exercises in a class format because they were struggling to get an appointment - that's when Barrecore classes were born.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I just love the Barrecore community - staff, instructors and clients. It's like hanging out with good friends all day. Everyone is incredibly friendly, helpful and health focused. I truly love being at work!
Is there anything about your job that you find tough?
As a business owner, there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done in rushed time. Naturally, I am a passive and easy going individual so the type A personality I have to adapt to can be challenging for me. I do take time every morning to meditate which definitely helps me manage it all and keep my stress levels down.
What would your advice be to aspiring trainers or fitness instructors?
Teach what you love and what you like to do yourself. In order to be successful in the fitness industry, you need to drink your own 'KoolAid'. If you don't exude wellness and have passion for what you teach, your clients will see straight through it. Oh, and most importantly, listen to your clients. Despite what you might think, they know their own body better than you do.
How and why did you develop your nutrition programme, barreNOURISH?
I have always been passionate about how hormones affect our overall health. With stress and environmental pollution levels at their highest to date, it’s no wonder our hormones are out of kilter and I really wanted to target these root issues with our clients. The goal of barreNOURISH is to take a look at what's going on hormonally, clean out foods that don't work for the individual and support them in making the necessary lifestyle changes to help their body better deal with stressors and hormone disruption. Balancing the diet, detoxification pathways and lifestyle really does create an ideal body composition with ease and vibrancy.
What do you think is the best way to kick-start a healthy lifestyle switch?
Create a sustainable plan that you know you can manage and stick with. Pick a Saturday or Sunday as your start date (Mondays are always the toughest to stick with) and be firm with the changes for the initial first 2-3 weeks to make these a habitual part of your lifestyle. After the initial period allow room for flexibility. If you don't have scope for a treat or a little naughtiness it will feel like jail instead of a positive life change. If you know it's hard for you to get through the first few days of a kick start then ask a friend or hire a trainer or consultant to assist you and keep you accountable. Sometimes investing money towards a goal is the best way of sticking to something.
How do you keep yourself in shape? What’s your personal fitness and nutrition regime?
I do between 3-4 barrecore classes and one restorative yoga class per week plus a few long walks in the park with my dog. I eat a strict gluten free and predominantly paleo (grain free) diet. My meals consist of a lot of clean meats, healthy fats and a ton of phytonutrients.
What are your gym bag essentials?
A pair of Barrecore socks, magnesium to lower post workout cortisol and a lemon rosehip LoveRaw bar.
Who are your top people in health, fitness and nutrition?
I am a huge fan of Chris Kresser for nutrition and holistic wellness. He is at the forefront of the clean eating movement.
What is your greatest indulgence?
Organic dark chocolate!
What’s your favourite way to unwind from the day job?
Taking my dog Bruno for a walk in Battersea Park and leaving the mobile phone behind.
What do you think are the most exciting developments in fitness of late?
Short workouts. I love that you can do a quick 30 minute session like our online barreEXPRESS and HIITcore classes and still get a killer workout. I am so grateful that 2.5 hour gym sessions are long gone.
What’s next for Barrecore? Is there anything in the pipeline that you are really excited about?
We are opening a couple more spaces around the UK in the next few months. Wimbledon and Manchester... get ready to feel the Barrecore burn!