Fit for Friday: Meet me at the Barre

It’s Friday! It’s Friday! (yes I am singing this while typing)

And while most people in their twenties spend most of the week looking towards Friday so that they can hit up the bar, I was pretty excited about hitting up the Barre.

Sure sure, I enjoy the feeling of tequila burning my chest as much as the next person but dare I say that I prefer the sort of chest burn that comes with a perfectly toned and motivating instructor yelling encouraging me to bend and stretch my muscles until I think I might have a full on three year old style meltdown in the middle of the class.

Ahh yes.

While Barre classes aren’t exactly new on the workout scene, Barre Belle, which opened just about two months ago (in Los Angeles — on La Brea between first and Beverly)  will take your barre workout (and overall fitness regimen) to the next level.

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Founder and instructor Marnie Alton is your celebrity girl crush, positive you-can-do-anything life coach, BFL (bestie for life) and kick ass trainer all in one.  Seriously, after thirty seconds of being in her class you will do anything she says for as long as she says it because she makes you believe that you can.

Well that and if holding this horrifying thigh bendy position while on my toes and simultaneously squeezing a red playground ball between my legs for an additional sixteen seconds will get me even remotely closer to looking like her then I don’t care if tears are rolling down my face while sweat is dripping down in between by boobs (a look that is cute on no one), sign me up.  Seriously, if there was a Church of Marnie,  I would join. and I’m Jewish. We don’t do churches. I’d still join.  (Surely there would be a (gluten free) wafer or something involved right?)

If you tell me doing the chicken dance while hopping on one leg will get me arms like that, I would do it. With a smile.
Dear Marnie, if you tell me doing the chicken dance while hopping on one leg will get me arms like that, I would do it. With a smile.

The workout is the perfect mix of cardio, sculpting and stretching (so clearly her motto “sculpt, sweat, stretch” makes perfect sense #fancythat), this class includes squats and lunges- a first for me in any barre class, lots of planks and pushups and none of that flat back business that just about every other barre class includes and yet… it feels like you are NEVER doing it right. The whole class from start to finish feels like it has a purpose and there isn’t a true “down” moment. Your heart rate is up and your muscles are on fire (in the best kind of way) the entire time.

The space is serene and chic yet simple. No stuck up prissiness here thank you very much. The decor is adorable and inviting (and makes me think I’d like to hire whomever decorated this place to redo my apt)  and the staff is friendly in a genuine way– none of that “I’m overly friendly because I am trying to get you to sign over your life savings here kind of way”.  The whole atmosphere makes you feel like you just want to sit there all day with an iced coffee and chat (that is until the workout starts). The place and the people who frequent it really evoke a sense of community- which is pretty amazing considering it’s been open for such a short amount of time.

This is the Barre where everybody knows your name. (see what I did there?)

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And most importantly, Marnie is incredibly attentive to every person in the room, If you are kicking ass, she tells you- but even better, if you’re doing something wrong, she corrects you. It is pretty amazing (or rather, horrifying) how many group fitness classes out there are led by instructors who NEVER correct anyone’s form the entire class! Marnie corrected my form and every other person in that room more than once and when she saw that I was about to break my plank, she called me out on it and convinced me to hold it until the end. #likeagoodneighbormarnieisthere

I loved everything about this workout- even the parts I hated– and I loved how I felt afterwards– even the soreness that followed the next day! This is one fitness spot I highly suggest you try. Be forewarned, classes fill up fast so sign up ahead of time at

Happy Friday!




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