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Wellness
Published Thursday Mar 05, 2020 by Sara Lesher

Career Advice from 8 Female Bar Method Studio Owners

Motivation
Personal Growth
Expert Advice
Beth Hutchinson headshot
Your energy matters.

Beth Hutchison, The Bar Method Lake Oswego Studio Owner

Three words: your energy matters. I'm not necessarily talking about whether or not you're tired and need to make a second Starbucks run today. I'm talking about the energy you bring into a space and how you conduct yourself with others. Each and every one of us has the very real ability to elevate or detract from a situation, not to mention the power to either make someone's day or ruin it. As a studio owner that interacts with hundreds of people in my community, I brush up against varying moods, attitudes and feelings on a daily basis—some positive, some negative, and everything in between. If I allowed my energy to be dictated by others, it would not only be an emotional whirlwind, but I would also risk potentially becoming a negative force in someone else's day. That's not a good look as a business owner. In order to be successful in whatever you do, you must intentionally decide how you're going to show up in the world each day. You never know whose day you could make or who you might inspire to be a better version of themselves.

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Beth Hutchinson headshot
Your energy matters.

Beth Hutchison, The Bar Method Lake Oswego Studio Owner

Three words: your energy matters. I'm not necessarily talking about whether or not you're tired and need to make a second Starbucks run today. I'm talking about the energy you bring into a space and how you conduct yourself with others. Each and every one of us has the very real ability to elevate or detract from a situation, not to mention the power to either make someone's day or ruin it. As a studio owner that interacts with hundreds of people in my community, I brush up against varying moods, attitudes and feelings on a daily basis—some positive, some negative, and everything in between. If I allowed my energy to be dictated by others, it would not only be an emotional whirlwind, but I would also risk potentially becoming a negative force in someone else's day. That's not a good look as a business owner. In order to be successful in whatever you do, you must intentionally decide how you're going to show up in the world each day. You never know whose day you could make or who you might inspire to be a better version of themselves.

Amy Chesterson headshot
Always remember your "why."

Amy Chesterson, The Bar Method Boulder Studio Owner 
 
My "why" has always been the empowerment that Bar Method has allowed me to proliferate amongst my students, my staff, and my community.  I am deeply committed to sparking change and empowering anyone open to it in my circle. So when the day-to-day hiccups of running a small business start to bog me down, I take a deep breath (or 10!) and remind myself of my "why." 

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Amy Chesterson headshot
Always remember your "why."

Amy Chesterson, The Bar Method Boulder Studio Owner 
 
My "why" has always been the empowerment that Bar Method has allowed me to proliferate amongst my students, my staff, and my community.  I am deeply committed to sparking change and empowering anyone open to it in my circle. So when the day-to-day hiccups of running a small business start to bog me down, I take a deep breath (or 10!) and remind myself of my "why." 

Joanna West Headshot
Fake it 'til you think it.

Joanna West, The Bar Method Long Beach Studio Owner 
 
In my heart, I loved Bar, but could I really become a teacher? When I trained with Burr Leonard, the founder of the Bar Method, I admitted my fear, but she gave me the sage advice to “fake it ‘til you make it.”  From owning and running a successful business to raising little humans, as long as your heart is in it, go for it because you may never “think” you are ready. Our minds can change our bodies so, therefore, our bodies can change our minds. And that’s the magic of Bar. The confidence and grit you successfully build in class will help create big changes outside of class and in your life. 

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Joanna West Headshot
Fake it 'til you think it.

Joanna West, The Bar Method Long Beach Studio Owner 
 
In my heart, I loved Bar, but could I really become a teacher? When I trained with Burr Leonard, the founder of the Bar Method, I admitted my fear, but she gave me the sage advice to “fake it ‘til you make it.”  From owning and running a successful business to raising little humans, as long as your heart is in it, go for it because you may never “think” you are ready. Our minds can change our bodies so, therefore, our bodies can change our minds. And that’s the magic of Bar. The confidence and grit you successfully build in class will help create big changes outside of class and in your life. 

Carrie Goodwin Headshot
Be courageous to do what works, and be brave to change what doesn't.

Carrie Goodwin, The Bar Method Salt Lake City Studio Owner 
 
I consider it successful to say, "I gave that idea my best shot, and it didn't work. I'll stop doing it." Or, "that  idea worked! I'll keep doing it, and I'll even make it better." Each year, I design our marketing plan for the following year. I ask myself tough questions regarding our strategies that took place the prior year. Did the strategy meet the objective it was intended for? Next, I determine if it needs to be vetoed from the marketing plan, or if it can remain. If it remains, how can I improve upon it? This pattern to continuously reform our marketing plan to promote change and success has kept The Bar Method, Sugarhouse fresh, fun, and forever changing.

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Carrie Goodwin Headshot
Be courageous to do what works, and be brave to change what doesn't.

Carrie Goodwin, The Bar Method Salt Lake City Studio Owner 
 
I consider it successful to say, "I gave that idea my best shot, and it didn't work. I'll stop doing it." Or, "that  idea worked! I'll keep doing it, and I'll even make it better." Each year, I design our marketing plan for the following year. I ask myself tough questions regarding our strategies that took place the prior year. Did the strategy meet the objective it was intended for? Next, I determine if it needs to be vetoed from the marketing plan, or if it can remain. If it remains, how can I improve upon it? This pattern to continuously reform our marketing plan to promote change and success has kept The Bar Method, Sugarhouse fresh, fun, and forever changing.

Anna and Lara headshot
Instead of FINDING your dream job, CREATE your dream job.

Anna Trepanier and Lara Meehan, The Bar Method Darien and NYC - NOHO Studio Owners 
 
We’re crazy passionate about the product, the results, and the change we can create in people’s lives, and this is what led us to open our two studios. In addition, we have built a work environment that inspires us every day. We have created a workplace culture centered around positivity and empowerment among our staff and clientele. We encourage feedback, continued learning, and lots of laughter along the way. Perhaps most importantly, we’re best friends and get to bring our dogs to work with us every day! Having created our ideal “home away from home,” we find joy and purpose in our work. 

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Anna and Lara headshot
Instead of FINDING your dream job, CREATE your dream job.

Anna Trepanier and Lara Meehan, The Bar Method Darien and NYC - NOHO Studio Owners 
 
We’re crazy passionate about the product, the results, and the change we can create in people’s lives, and this is what led us to open our two studios. In addition, we have built a work environment that inspires us every day. We have created a workplace culture centered around positivity and empowerment among our staff and clientele. We encourage feedback, continued learning, and lots of laughter along the way. Perhaps most importantly, we’re best friends and get to bring our dogs to work with us every day! Having created our ideal “home away from home,” we find joy and purpose in our work. 

Verna Le Headshot
Surround yourself with like-minded and supportive people.

Verna Lin Le, The Bar Method Tustin Studio Owner 
 
Going after your dream job is a great thing, but by no means an easy task. There will be many hard times, and you'll need to rely on others to help you because you can't do everything by yourself. When you have like-minded people in your life (personally and professionally) who are supportive of your dreams, you'll find delegating some tasks easier or asking for help feeling less like a burden. Even though you might be going after your dream job alone, just knowing that you have people in your corner cheering for you to succeed helps you to keep going when times get hard. And when times are good, these are the same people who will celebrate with you!

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Verna Le Headshot
Surround yourself with like-minded and supportive people.

Verna Lin Le, The Bar Method Tustin Studio Owner 
 
Going after your dream job is a great thing, but by no means an easy task. There will be many hard times, and you'll need to rely on others to help you because you can't do everything by yourself. When you have like-minded people in your life (personally and professionally) who are supportive of your dreams, you'll find delegating some tasks easier or asking for help feeling less like a burden. Even though you might be going after your dream job alone, just knowing that you have people in your corner cheering for you to succeed helps you to keep going when times get hard. And when times are good, these are the same people who will celebrate with you!

Mandy Cylc Headshot
Practice active listening.

Mandy Cylc, The Bar Method Wexford Studio Owner 
 
I've been leading teams my adult life, and even before while in college. I spend, and always have, significantly more time listening than I do talking. Witty banter is fun for TV, but in real life, people need to be heard. And as an active listener, I can't be thinking about what I am going to say next, or else I will miss the message being sent by the person talking. Instead, I look people in the eye (not at the computer or my phone) and take in what they are saying. It sounds basic but has enabled me to build lasting, strong relationships both inside and outside the studio.  

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Mandy Cylc Headshot
Practice active listening.

Mandy Cylc, The Bar Method Wexford Studio Owner 
 
I've been leading teams my adult life, and even before while in college. I spend, and always have, significantly more time listening than I do talking. Witty banter is fun for TV, but in real life, people need to be heard. And as an active listener, I can't be thinking about what I am going to say next, or else I will miss the message being sent by the person talking. Instead, I look people in the eye (not at the computer or my phone) and take in what they are saying. It sounds basic but has enabled me to build lasting, strong relationships both inside and outside the studio.  

Stephanie Smith headshot
Don't lose sight of the end goal.

Stephanie Smith, The Bar Method Boston - Downtown & The Bar Method Boston - Back Bay Studio Owner 
 
When going after any dream, it takes a lot of time to bring it to reality.  In order for me to purchase the Downtown and Back Bay Boston studios, I had to prove to the previous owners that I was capable of running them, get approval from Bar Method Headquarters, and finalize a bank loan in order to make the studios my own. This could get discouraging at times. Set smaller goals or tasks and celebrate when those are accomplished. Don't get disappointed if landing your dream job takes a lot of time—as long as you are completing tasks to bring you closer to your goal, then you'll get there!  
 

We hope you are feeling inspired and ready to take on the world! Remember that you are capable of anything you set your mind to, whether that’s getting through an entire set of pushups on your feet, or landing your dream job. Shine your light, barre babes! We hope to see you in the studio soon. 

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Stephanie Smith headshot
Don't lose sight of the end goal.

Stephanie Smith, The Bar Method Boston - Downtown & The Bar Method Boston - Back Bay Studio Owner 
 
When going after any dream, it takes a lot of time to bring it to reality.  In order for me to purchase the Downtown and Back Bay Boston studios, I had to prove to the previous owners that I was capable of running them, get approval from Bar Method Headquarters, and finalize a bank loan in order to make the studios my own. This could get discouraging at times. Set smaller goals or tasks and celebrate when those are accomplished. Don't get disappointed if landing your dream job takes a lot of time—as long as you are completing tasks to bring you closer to your goal, then you'll get there!  
 

We hope you are feeling inspired and ready to take on the world! Remember that you are capable of anything you set your mind to, whether that’s getting through an entire set of pushups on your feet, or landing your dream job. Shine your light, barre babes! We hope to see you in the studio soon. 

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As MINDBODY’s Marketing Content Associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).
woman stretching warm-up
The Latest
Published Tuesday Apr 07, 2020 by Jay Greene

Don't Forget to Stretch: How to Prep for a Virtual Class 

Fitness
Expert Advice

With so many fitness studios and gyms closing their doors in a bid to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, their members are turning to at-home workouts to fill the need for physical activity.  As we’ve mentioned before, there has likely been no better time to prioritize exercise in our daily lives, both for physical and emotional reasons. Luckily, many studios are now recording and streaming virtual workouts so people can take advantage of their offerings at home (Hint: you don't have to just book local, change your location to anywhere you'd like and explore classes all over the world!). But before you move the coffee table and roll out the mat, there’s something you should remember: stretching. 

Ah yes. Stretching. For many of us (though we’d never say it out loud) stretching before and after working out feels a bit like that pile of peas your mom made you eat as a kid: you know it’s good for you, but do I have to? The answer, I’m afraid, is yes—and even more so if you’re working out at home. Here are some best practices to help you prevent injury and make sure you’re getting the most of your incredibly valuable workouts. 
 

Step 1: Show Up Early 

Remember: any workout—even one done in your living room—is still a workout. If you’re about to do a 45-minute virtual class, don’t just give yourself 45 minutes. You need to give yourself time to arrange your space, get your water, and get your mind right before hitting play or joining that livestream. But you also need to give yourself time to get your body right too, and that brings us to… 
 

Step 2: Warm Up 

Wait, what about stretching? Conventional wisdom dictates that you should stretch your muscles before beginning your physical activity, but mounting research is telling us that may not be such a great idea. Stretching your cold, stiff muscle fibers before they’re warmed up can actually hurt them. And because we're spending so much time at home, it’s likely our poor muscle fibers are tighter now than they've been in a long time. 

If you’re following along with a livestream or on-demand workout, there will likely be some sort of instructor-led warm-up. That said, don’t assume that your virtual workout will provide exactly the kind of warm-up that you personally need. Without the trainer right there to keep you accountable and check your form, it’s super important to take steps to protect yourself and ensure you’re warmed up enough to begin. 

According to McAlister Training co-owner and head trainer Michael McAlister, “Warming up is as important, if not more important, than the workout itself. Even from home, I encourage clients to warm-up just like they would at our studio. Before every class, I ask clients to foam roll, do hip lifts, and perform trunk rotations as a pre-warm-up. Then, we’ll warm-up together on-screen.” 

So before reaching for those toes, spend a few minutes getting your blood moving to the areas you are going to stretch and exercise. A few other great ideas for some gentle (but effective) warm-ups include: 

- High knees (or run in place) 
- Push-ups 
- Holding a plank 
- Air squats 

Once you’re nice and warm, and maybe breathing a little heavier… 
 

Step 3: Now You Can Stretch 

Properly stretching your muscles helps keep them long and flexible, improving your range of motion during the coming workout and protecting muscles and joints from potential injury like sprains and strains. But as important as stretching is, you can injure yourself just as easily doing it incorrectly as you can by skipping it entirely.  

Enter your stretches slowly, and don’t overstretch to the point of pain. You should feel a satisfying pull, but if it hurts, you’ve gone too far. Combine static stretching—where you find your stretch and hold it for 30 seconds or more—with dynamic stretches like “cat-cow” where you move fluidly through a range of controlled motions. Feel free to concentrate on an area longer if you know you’re about to work that area out intensively or if you feel a lot of tightness there. And please, don’t bounce in your stretch—just stick with smooth, steady movements to avoid injuring yourself before you’ve even begun your workout. 

 

Virtual workouts now on Mindbody banner

 

Step 4: Work Out 

During the workout, pay attention to areas of tightness/sensitivity you noticed during your stretching session (or any new ones you discover).  Don’t “push through the pain” in problem areas or extend your muscles and joints past their natural range of motion. Basically, if it feels wrong, it is wrong. There’s absolutely no shame in modifying a move to protect yourself. 

“If you’re attending livestream classes at the studio you regularly go to, reach out to your instructor(s), and let them know what you’re experiencing. Just like in a regular class, they’ll be happy to chat with you on the phone or through FaceTime, individually, to provide tips to modify and recover properly,” says McAlister. 
 

Step 5: Cool Down 

Once you've counted down the final seconds of your workout and completed your last rep, you may be (justifiably) tempted to lay on the floor in a sweaty heap for a while before getting up to shower and carry on with your day.  But do that and you’ll miss a huge opportunity to improve your overall mobility and flexibility.  

As soon as your workout is over, cool down with some walking to bring your heart rate down in a controlled manner. Once you’ve caught your breath, it’s time to stretch again—and this one’s at least as important as the first. Think about it: your muscles are about as warm as they’re ever going to get, which makes it the perfect opportunity to work on conditioning those muscles and joints. Stretching can help lengthen and soothe your pumped-up muscles, which are now in a more contracted state after your workout. 

Plus, stretching is just a nice closing ritual for ending a workout. It allows you to decompress after the physical demands you just placed on your body and gives you a moment of calm reflection before changing gears. 
 

Step 7: Stick with It 

Just like working out, stretching only reveals its true potential when you do it consistently.  If you’re inflexible now, you got that way over a long period of time—and that means it’s going to take time to improve it. You can’t expect a single high-quality stretch sesh to undo months or years of tightness. Stick with a good pre- and post-workout stretch routine, and one day you’ll notice those toes aren’t quite so far away, and your back doesn’t hurt so much when you do that one thing anymore. 

Right now, a lot of people are re-evaluating what “normal” means for them, and many of them are finding ways to use this difficult time for self-improvement.  Virtual, at-home workouts are a blessing, giving us ways to stay active and stay connected with our favorite studios and trainers (or try new ones!).  But remember, you can protect yourself while you push yourself—you just might have to stretch yourself a bit. 

Jay Greene
Written by
Jay Greene
Copywriter
About the author
Jay has been proudly wearing his Mindbody lanyard since 2014. When he’s not writing for you fine folks, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors, holding a baby (or two), cooking and/or eating good food, or wading through a dusty old book of Stoic philosophy.