Tour of Columbus – barre3 Powell, Ohio
[by t gellenbeck]
I first tried barre3 [Powell] about a year ago when there was a community class posted on our local runner’s FaceBook page. It was a good sweat and we had a great time, but it took me a while to get back there again. When you lead a busy life and are trying to “fit it all in” – I typically opt for the workouts that are a tad closer to home (this is about a 15 minute drive for me) and give me that heart-pumping cardio workout that I crave as a runner.
Now, after almost a year of rehabilitating a nagging lower back/hip injury, I’ve committed to being consistent with cross training & strengthening muscle groups not used during distance running. Enter barre3! I LOVE this workout because it helps lengthen, strengthen & balance muscles that don’t get used as much during distance running, specifically my core and glutes. So much of the movement incorporated into these classes are exercises our Physical Therapists (yes, many of us have ended up in PT from distance running!) have recommended for runners. Don’t get me wrong, I liked working with my PT… but I’d much rather hit up the barre with friends. 🙂
You are greeted by smiling faces as you enter barre3 Powell, usually the instructor or one of the associates. I love studios that welcome you as soon as you walk in and make you feel at home! There is a retail area filled with various brands and apparel items, a locker room area with cubbies and a cute child care area that is utilized by many moms. The studios themselves are bright & clean, with natural light flowing in (unless of course, you’re doing that 5:45AM class we’ve been regulars at!) And bonus for those of you on your way to work or a hot date – there are beautiful, upscale showers fully equipped with all the essentials!
The barre3 method is stated as “where ballet meets yoga+pilates” – a quote from founder, Sadie Lincoln (hoping to recap the podcast I recently listened to soon!) You often start with a dynamic ballet or yoga type warmup, followed by time on the barre and typically ending with seated/floor work. At this location, they provide all the extras for you – yoga mat, ball, weights, towels – so all you need is yourself and some water.
As I begin to ramp up for spring training and hopefully another sub 2 half at Cap City, my personal goal is to get to barre 1-2 times per week, while also getting in 1-2 strength sessions and 3-4 runs per week. I’ve made it an essential part of training and I am hoping it pays off by bringing me to the starting line healthy and injury free!
I was able to catch up with the Powell owner & fellow runner, Suzy Mihocik, and ask her a couple questions…
Why did you decide on barre3 when your entrepreneurial adventure began?
“I found barre3 after my third child was born. I had a background in both dance and running and had recently discovered yoga, but when I came in to take my first barre class, I was hooked. Watching someone move through a 60-minute class, you might assume that barre is an easy, light workout that you could use as a nice warm-up for a run. At least that was my initial impression! However, when I started moving tiny inch after tiny inch, I quickly became aware of muscles I didn’t even know I had. My legs were shaking, my heart was thumping, and sweat was dripping down my face. The workout was low-impact but high-intensity, and after finding a regular practice, I started to notice how I left every class feeling balanced and empowered, rather than wiped out and defeated. It was this feeling that led me to go through the instructor training process.
During my first year of instructing, I started noticing other ways that barre3 stood out amongst its competition: the permission we give every client to make it their own, the focus on mindfulness and self-awareness, and the recognition of imbalances as opportunities rather than failures, all of this in addition to being a full-body workout that combines strength conditioning and cardio bursts. I wanted to be more involved, so I started looking into franchising my own studio. Coincidentally, the owner of the Powell studio where I had been teaching was ready to move onto the next chapter of her life and looking to sell, so the timing fell right into place for me to continue where I already felt so at home. I feel very fortunate to play a part in a company that is so committed to teaching people to be balanced in body and empowered from within.”
What is your experience as a runner and what benefits does barre3 offer to runners?
“I started running in high school, and the first race I ever ran was the New York Marathon in 1998 as a senior in high school. Since then, I have completed two additional marathons, eight half marathons, and several other smaller distance races. As I got into my late twenties, I started experiencing a lot of pain in my right knee due to issues in my IT band. I thought my days of running were done, but after several months of physical therapy, I was back at it. However, I would start to notice the pain again anytime I got up into high mileage during a training season. Six weeks prior to the Columbus Marathon in 2015, it was bad enough to sideline me for three full weeks (but I did end up making it to both the starting line and the finish line of that race!).
When I started taking classes at barre3 shortly thereafter, I noticed that several of the postures we did were reminiscent of the exercises I had done in physical therapy. Barre3 has a prominent focus on core strength, including the naturally weak glutes that contribute to a lot of running injuries. As the strength in my hips and core increased, I felt so much stronger on each of my runs. I had not sought out barre3 to improve my running game, but that is exactly what it did. After aiming for a 2-hour half marathon for years, I finally hit that elusive PR with a 1:50:23. Even more importantly, I was able to get through the next several race seasons injury free, for the first time since my first marathon at age 17.”
We’ve planned a few meetups on our ROAD TO CAP CITY HALF training, we hope you’ll join us! The next time we’ll be at barre3 Powell is one week from today, our barre3 + runners community class next Wednesday, February 27th at 5:45PM! Use promo code RUNB3 and join us for FREE! Suzy will also be offering a special discounted five class pass so you can join us for more drop in classes on our Road to Cap City if you’d like.
That’s it folks, time to go for a run. Hope to see you at the barre!