Meet Your Bar(re) Tender: Alexi

You are everywhere - from Pink Barre to Cyc Fitness. Tell me about how you got connected with each of these studios.

A: I started at Cyc Fitness when I first started as a personal trainer at the Forum Athletic Club. I was looking to get connected to more people in the community, as well as to push myself outside of my comfort zone with group instructing. Believe it or not, I used to have the worst group anxiety. Fitness instructing really builds your confidence and helps build public speaking skills, which translates over into the real world. I contacted Pink Barre about instructing when I was looking to add on another studio to my repertoire. Barre is such a great balance to Cyc (or really any kind of cardio) with how efficient it is at sculpting and building a strong core. Besides increased strength, I noticed improvement in my posture, both normally and when riding at Cyc.

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is something that's super important for me. In between work, working out, teaching class, and socializing -- how do you juggle it all? 

A: Honestly, between grad school for occupational therapy, working, working out, and not being a total hermit required me to become excellent at time management. I am total Type A...I make lists about making lists, detailing each obligating with an approximate time frame for completion. It does, however, still come with sacrifice. I have to choose schoolwork over socializing quite often, but that is a commitment that I chose to always prioritize.

I can only imagine your day-to-day schedule, what do you eat throughout the day to keep you going? 

A: I swear there's hardly a moment that I'm NOT eating. I start my day out with my favorite plant-based protein mixed with my coffee (a MUST!), and always have 20-30g of protein at every meal. I eat about 5-6 times a day, depending on my schedule. I try to go based on how my body feels. I have such a sweet tooth, but I try to stay away from it for most of my meals. I get terrible sugar headaches, even with too much fruit, so I typically stick with green veggies, brown rice or oats, and healthy fat with each protein serving.

We all have that one vice, again with the issue of balance, what's yours? 

A: Cupcakes and frozen yogurt. I try to pretend that my frozen yogurt isn't as bad since I choose the sugar-free kind...you know, before covering it in Sour Patch Kids and rainbow sprinkles. And it doesn't help me that Pink Barre is next door to Gigi's Cupcakes!

For those that have never tried Pink Barre, how would you explain the concept to them?

A: Pink Barre is a fusion of Pilates, yoga, ballet, and strengthening components. No, you don't have to be a dancer to fall in love with the method! Pink Barre focuses on small, controlled and isometric movements to fatigue the muscle in a short period of time. It's about time over tension and using your own body for resistance! As for weights, those 2-3lb dumbbells get REAL heavy. Yoga stretches are incorporated while your muscles are warm to focus on lengthening the body and ballet is typically used for your "set-ups" (think foot position, heels together, toes apart). We are big on form and focus on safety with everything we do.

I have been a member at Pink Barre for about a month and a half now and noticed within just a week my body changing. How do you challenge ladies who feel they need a super, sweaty workout in order to see results?

A: That was totally me. I completely underestimated how difficult barre was going to be. I figured I could ride for three hours straight on a bike, I lifted heavy weights, and trained for fitness competitions--how hard could it be?! The muscle shaking with barre really reminds you how hard you're working-- the muscle gets completely fatigued! The class really is always challenging, even for veteran barre clients. Yes, you get stronger, but, as you improve in form, you can actually get deeper into the poses and get to the "shake" even faster. The strength I gained through barre helped me improve my weight-lifting form as well.

As ladies, confidence is something that sadly is hard for some to find. How do you choose to inspire those who take your classes?

A: I try to let my classes know that it is okay to make mistakes, it is okay to slow down or drop out of a pose-- the most important thing is pushing yourself to get back into it. I'll even point out my own mistakes! Don't look at the person next to you as competition--think of them as your new partner-in-crime. Be inspired by their energy and, remember, you guys are in it together! It takes time to improve. No one starts out perfect at barre, or perfect at catching the beat in Cyc. We all have to start somewhere.

You mentioned your love for cupcakes and froyo, so where is your favorite spot in Atlanta to indulge? 

A: Wait, have we talked about the skinny margaritas at Red Pepper yet? Because...#yes.

Between Pink Barre and Cyc, do you workout outside of teaching those classes? If so, how many times a week? 

A: I try to take Pink Barre classes twice a week and as many Cyc classes that I can make it to with my schedule to supplement my workouts! I lift weights about 5 times a week. I absolutely love it--such a great stress reliever. I don't have to think about anything besides my form and the weight in front of me. Also, as a personal trainer, I always am looking to do the workout routines I put my clients through! Practice what you preach!

Last but not least, for those of us that are seeking the "perfect" body -- what would you tell them?

A: I would say to stop comparing yourself to others. Find your own balance. Trust me, being in the fitness competition world, I was constantly picking myself apart and comparing me to what I thought I "should" look like. I would beat myself up about getting off my diet, or struggle with binge eating on sweets after feeling deprived or feeling like I wouldn't be successful anyway, so why did it matter? I finally realized that I have so much more to be proud of than just an outward appearance, and it helped me find my balance. I tell myself to just make one thing better than yesterday. I saw so much more of an improvement in how I felt about my appearance, as well as in my attitude toward myself.

Thank you Alexi for sharing your story with the Kale Me Kelly readers. And be sure to check her out at Pink Barre & Cyc Fitness here in Buckhead!

And just for you, use the promo code 'KALEMEKELLY' for a FREE Pink Barre class! 
Tuck away!


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