9:25 pm

Why Mommy & Me Is The Place To Be


Mommy & Me classes have become permanent offerings at both the BBS studios over the last few months and both kinds of babes (actual babies and the hotties who birthed them) are big fans! It shouldn’t really come as any surprise since these classes offer a killer burn without the new mommy participants having to leave their cuties at home, but you don’t just have to take our word on the benefits of barre for new mothers, take the word of a couple of the medical professionals who take these classes at BBS themselves.

Elisabeth Catt is a Resident Physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology, currently on rotations in all four Calgary hospitals and she and her baby girl Liv are fixtures in the Mommy & Me classes. We also have a seasoned Obstetrician and Gynecologist in regularly with her little one, Molly, but she’s a bit shy and prefers to keep herself anonymous. We caught up with both ladies recently to get the medical point of view on the benefits of barre for all the mommies out there.

How long have you been attending classes at Barre Body Studio?
Elisabeth: Two years now. Molly’s Mom: Two months.

Why did you choose to start taking the Mommy & Me classes and how long after giving birth did you get started?  

E: I started the Mommy & Me session when Liv was a month old.  I knew I wanted to find ways to exercise with a baby and to meet other mamas and these classes seemed like the perfect way to do both!

MM: I choose the Mommy & Me class based on a recommendation from a friend who had been to barre classes prior to giving birth and absolutely loved the classes—she said they were a great workout.  I started the Mommy & me barre classes after my six week postpartum check with my obstetrician.

Given your profession, what do you think the benefits of barre are? Why did you choose this exercise program?  

E: I love barre because you get full body toning with the extra focus on abs and glutes, and you're working multiple muscle groups at one time so you get a good workout in an hour long class. In pregnancy you ideally want a workout where you're not at risk of falling and where cardio is a moderate intensity ( you can maintain a conversation through it).  Barre meets both of those requirements and there are always modifications available if sore joints are a problem!  I did barre while I was pregnant and it was inspiring to see instructors who were farther along in their pregnancy than I was and were able to both do the workout and to teach modifications for pregnancy.

MM: The benefits of barre classes are that they are a wonderful opportunity to bond with your baby in a social situation. Furthermore, they are an excellent source of exercise focusing on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and the transverse abdominis which both can be weakened by the growing fetus in pregnancy.  I chose this exercise program for both the social aspect and that it is lower impact by focuses on the core muscles to regain strength postpartum.

What other types of suitable post pregnancy exercise are out there to get your body back (i.e. what muscles should women focus on and why)?

E: Ultimately, you can usually do any kind of exercise you loved pre-pregnancy, as long as you listen to your body and ease your way back into it gradually! That being said, in the first 6 weeks you need to avoid heavy lifting and a lot of ab work if you deliver by cesarean and you should always check with your obstetrical care provider before getting started. Abs and pelvic floor are the muscle groups that go through the biggest stretch with pregnancy and need that extra work to get back in shape!

MM: All exercise (once given the ok by your obstetrical care provider) is extremely important in the postpartum period to assist with losing any excess weight gain that may have occurred in pregnancy.  It is extremely important for the health of subsequent pregnancies that women attempt to start the pregnancy with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI less than 25).  In women who have not been consistently exercising in pregnancy, starting slow and working up is very important for preventing injuries.  A combination of cardio, weight training, core stability, balance and stretching are part of a balanced exercise regime.

How is barre working for you? What changes have you noticed?  

E: Barre has been great for toning, especially abs and glutes!

MM: Barre has allowed me to regain some core strength, improve my posture, increase my strength, bond both with my daughter and make new friends. I’ve noticed my stamina and energy have increased since I started attending the class at the beginning of May.

Would you recommend the barre program to other new moms? Why or why not?

E: Absolutely I would recommend it!  As a new mom it was great to find something like this that both baby and I loved, to get a great workout and meet other mamas and babies all at the same time!

MM: I would most certainly recommend the barre program to other new moms for both the social aspect and the physical activity of the class.  As well, the instructors are very familiar with postpartum exercise and give modifications and cues to improve a mother’s performance in the class.

What do you love most about the Mommy and Me classes?  

E: The munchkins!! They all have such little personalities already and they are constantly learning new things from week to week.  It has been just hilarious and adorable getting to know their likes and dislikes (they really make it obvious!) and watching them learn new things—like the ability to roll off the mat.

MM: I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but I really love both how social and friendly everyone is who attends the class but also how great the workouts have been. The fact you can bring your baby and the class is still challenging is a great way to get out of the house and workout as a new mother.

11:10 am

Barre Favs: 5 Minute Meals

It’s hot out and you’re sweaty from working your butt off (or up, as the case may be) at the B.A.R.R.E. A little rest, rehydration and you’ll be ready to get back after it the next day, but what to eat when you bust through the door starving and in need of nourishment after your leg-quaking workout? Well, look no further than the genius go-to meal ideas that your favourite barretenders swear by when in need of a meal on the fly.

Bon appetite and see you at the barre, beauties!



Barretenders’ Picks: 5 Minute Meals  

Sliced Avocado with a poached egg on whole wheat toast (with a little siracha). ~Mackenzie  

Hearts Choice Vegan Green Curry (find at the Blackfoot Farmer’s Market). Servings come frozen and are a perfect healthy, fast, satisfying meal. ~Adriana  

A straight up banana with peanut butter. ~Lindsay  

Fat-free Greek yogurt with cut up fruit, kashi cereal, chia seeds, hemp hearts and buckwheat. ~Ashley G

A toasted English muffin with peanut butter. ~Felicia  

Scrambled egg whites, a slice of whole wheat toast with avocado and cheese. ~Marlo  

Overnight oats are the perfect grab-and-go breakfast. ~Britt  

Taco Salad! Load up on whatever veggies you have (salad greens, corn, tomatoes, peppers, green onions, cabbage, carrots, radishes, mushrooms, anything!), add beans of some sort or leftover chicken, ground beef, etc., then top it off with cheese, sour cream or plain yogurt, salsa, slices of avocado, and some tortilla chips for crunch! ~Pauline  

Grilled chicken, avocado, tomatoes, peppers, goat or feta cheese with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. ~Amber  

A whole wheat pita with turkey breast, spinach, sprouts, tomato and a little bit of tzatziki. ~Jenna  

Cold Pizza (breakfast lunch or dinner)! ~Hillary  

Rolled oats with egg whites, blueberries and peanut butter. Add the boiling water slowly so the egg whites get mixed in properly and then add the blueberries and pb and mix. I like it super thick and gummy, but more water can be added to reach desired consistency. ~Katrina   

Vanilla greek yogurt with 1 Tbsp of peanut butter, some honey and cinnamon mixed into it and served with apple slices. ~Emma  

Greek salad with balsamic vinegar. ~Toni  

Tara’s Tuna Salad: 1 - Can flaked Tuna (or sub a previously cooked chilled salmon fillet) 1/2 - green pepper (diced) 1/2 - red pepper (diced) 1/4 cup diced cheese 2 - diced dill pickles handful of favorite small nuts (I prefer pumpkin or sunflower seeds)   Drain tuna and flake to separate (if salmon, flake salmon), add peppers and pickles and mix with dressing (I use Kraft Sun Dried Tomato), add cheese and nuts...and enjoy. Optional homemade dressing: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Mrs. Dash seasoning (original), pepper and dry dill. All quantities to personal taste.

5:35 pm

Barre Favs: Post Barre Patios

Though we usually try to keep things light (and tight!), we at BBS take our patio visits quite seriously. Part (ok, most) of the reason we barre so hard is so we can chill equally as hard in the glorious Calgary heat afterwards without experiencing any guilt. So next time the sun is shining and you’ve put in a decent amount of sweat equity, check out one or tender's picks for the city’s best patios and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the odd BBS team member doing the same.


National. 17th and 8th Ave both have great outdoor spaces. -Mackenzie

Corbeaux Bakehouse -Adriana The rooftop of Starbucks on 4th Street & The Toad and Turtle -Tara

Vin Room on 4th Street -Stacie

Oj's -Ashley G.

Ox & Angela or The Living Room -Marlo

National on 8th's rooftop patio or Los Chilitos Taco & Tequila house (they have the best $5 Margaritas during happy hour) -Britt

Boxwood in Central Memorial Park of the Wildrose Brewery -Pauline

National on 17th & The Ship -Amber

National on 17th -Jenna

80th and Ivy's all you can eat brunch buffet! -Jenna

Wurst. All the cute little lights overhead do it for me. -Hillary

I can make a mean Arnold Palmer (sweet tea vodka, fresh squeezed lemon and lemonade) or a dark rum and diet coke with lime, or white wine on my own or a good friend’s deck. -Katrina

My deck! But for a public one I would have to say the Cactus Club -Emma

Los Chilitos on 17th -Toni  

See you at the barre (and then maybe an outdoor bar), beauties!


9:47 am

Fitness Rodeo Challenge – Barre Body Studio, Junction 9 and Studio Revolution


This Stampede, three amazingly positive, client focused boutique studios have come together to create one heck of a fitness party (AKA challenge)! Can you handle committing to nine heart pumping, tush toning, and/or zen balancing fitness classes over the course of 10 days? If your booty, liver, and lungs are all screaming YES then sign up today. Participants who complete the challenge will have their names entered to win a wellness package from one of the three studios. This is one challenge you won’t want to miss!!

Purchase your $99 challenge pass at Barre Body Studio, Junction 9 or Studio Revolution by July 2nd to secure your spot. Purchases can also be made on-line through your existing Mindbody account. Challenge runs from July 3rd to July 12th, 2015. Absolutely, no refunds or exchanges after July 3rd, 2015.




2:05 pm

Surf | Stretch | Burn – Stampede Kick off!


BBS has teamed up with Junction 9, Studio Revolution, Tru Buch Kombucha and (the oh so yummy) Fiasco Gelato to ring in Stampede 2015.

Join us on Junction 9’s rooftop patio for a 90 minute class which brings you the best of THREE amazing workouts rolled into one fabulous party!

Start with a BBS Barre burn, hit the waves on your Surf Set board, and stretch it all out with a Yoga flow! Finish the night watching the fireworks while sipping on a Tru Buch Kombucha Float, featuring a delicious scoop of Fiasco Gelato.

This is going to be on heck of a Stampede kick-off* that you won’t want to miss! Space is limited to 24 participants.


See you there!


*please note that the Stampede kick-off party is separate from the Fitness Rodeo Challenge. Everyone is welcome whether you are joining the Fitness Rodeo challenge or not.

5:26 pm

Barre Star Hall of Fame: Courtney Whitney

It’s been a year since 26-year-old Courtney Whitney hit the barre for the first time and she’s still feeling the burn and loving every minute of it. This Cochrane, Alberta native signed up for the 25 in 35 Challenge this past January in hopes of kick-starting her practice from a few days a week to a full on daily barre addiction and she did just that! “Not only did the challenge get me into more classes each week, but it got me addicted to the Master Classes!” Courtney explains of her challenge outcome. So what’s next for this certified barre addict now that she whooped the challenge’s behind? “Now I’m looking to improve my cardio (with severe asthma, it is a life-long challenge) and flatten my tummy,” she explains. “My next step will be adding in 1/week yoga to my current barre / personal training regime combo.” Sounds like a well constructed plan to us, girl! Can’t wait to see the results continue to roll in.

Ladies and gentleman, meet Courtney:


What was your original motivation for signing up for the challenge?

My motivation behind the challenge was to push myself beyond just coming to class a couple times a week. I've been coming to barre for almost a year and I just had to see if I could really come five times a week for five weeks! The other motivation, of course, was to just say that I did it. I think it was the first time I've ever accomplished a New Year's resolution. My other motivation was all of my friends and family cheering me on while I was completing it. I loved the texts, "So have you been to barre yet today?"

What was the hardest part of this challenge?

The hardest part of this challenge was balancing my work, school and work out schedule every week. I couldn't follow a consistent day and class time every week so I got to try a variety of class times and instructors. Turns out this was actually for the best because I met so many great gals who all have different styles and it really spiced up my routine and made it easier to get through the whole five weeks.

Tell us about those free weights that everyone loves to hate?

Well, my original weight goal was to consistently use 3lbs weights by the end of the challenge. It took me about the weeks, but now I am a consistent 3lbs girl (and I can do tricep dips on the floor)! When Marlo made us take 5lbs weights at the Master Class about halfway through the challenge, I thought I was going to die, but it was a really great to see that I could push my body for one class that hard. I think I'm probably due for another 5lbs challenge!

What are your favourite results from taking part in a BBS challenge?

My favorite result has been just feeling physically great, mentally alert and being able to do normal activities again. Having severe asthma, it's not easy doing cardio workouts and it takes a long time for my lungs to get used to regular physical activity. This ski season, I actually outlasted my athletic friends on the hill, though! I also love how great my butt looks! I know, super cheesy, but it really does look great!

Next goal: working on my cardio blasts!

10:08 pm

Two Really Is Better Than One


You’ve heard the rumours and yes, barre beauties, they are true! This June BBS will be opening our second studio at 4251 Bow Trail S.W. So we can have twice the fun and tone twice as many sets of buns this summer!

And since we’re so excited about this next step for the BBS crew that we are rolling out pre-sale deals like never before.

From May 1st to June 1st, brand new and regular clients alike can score some major value on their pulse-pulse-plie fix.

New clients will do well to add an Intro Pass to their shopping cart. $65 for 40 days unlimited classes—10 extra days for the same low price.

And for our regular barre beauties, all 10 Class Card 10% off, 20 Class Card 15% off and the Auto Pay membership (unlimited monthly classes) are just $130 a month!

Obviously plenty of questions will spring to mind about this exciting new expansion, so we've put together a few insights to help answer them all as soon as possible.

  •  Is there parking? Yes, the building has approximately 20 stalls out front of the studio and the street parking around the studio is all 2 hour free parking.

  •  Are my class card/monthly membership/single drop in classes transferrable? Yes, all passes are transferrable between both locations HOWEVER passes bought during the PRE-SALE will only be valid (at both locations) upon opening of Bow Trail (early June).

  •  Are socks required at the new studio? Yes, the same dress code is in effect. We recommend yoga-ish wear (capris, tights and a tank with grip socks). Socks are mandatory and can be purchased in studio or at places like Chapters, London Drugs etc.

  •  What amenities does the Bow Trail location have? The new location will be stocked with all of the same great amenities that you have come to love at the Ramsay studio aka. showers, towels, lockers, mats, filtered water, blow dryers, parking, with boutique items available for purchase like Cru Juice, Fuel Barres, bottled water, and fitness apparel items. Sorry, no child care.

  •  What classes are suitable for beginners? All classes are a blend of yoga, pilates, and dance. Check out our website for class descriptions here. BBS classes are low-impact and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. (Must be 12 and older to attend)

  •  When can I start to use my Pre-sale passes and how long are they valid for after purchase? Pre-sale passes are available for discounted pricing up to June 1st. These passes are valid at both Ramsay and Bow Trail but will not activate until BBS Bow Trail has opened (early June – check back for a confirmed date or join our mailing list)

  • Will my favourite instructors be teaching at both studios? Yes, you will find that most instructors will be teaching at both locations. Check the schedule to find dates and times and make a date with your favourite barre tender.

We're bursting with excitement and we hope you are too, beauties. We'll see you very soon at our brand new barre! xxo, The BBS Crew

6:32 pm

Barre Star Hall of Fame: Stephanie Smith

With more than 450 classes under her belt (she hit that milestone last month), it’s fairly safe to say that Stephanie Smith is a legitimate barre addict. Especially true when it comes to BBS’s commitment-testing challenges. Partaking in every challenge since the studio opened more than two years ago, this super-fit 40-year-old has demonstrated her commitment to the barre burn many times over.  Here’s what this BBS Hall of Famer has to say about her challenging experiences to date:


“Motivation can be so different for everyone. I have always been an active person, but I am not the type of individual who can self-motivate when it comes to exercise. I’ve had gym memberships in the past, but have always struggled with what to do once I get there. I would stand around, look at the machines, try a couple out. Not really push myself because I didn’t understand how each machine was supposed to work or train my body; and wished there was someone there to just tell me what to do. Trainer led, group exercise has always been the most successful for me. The combination of weight training, ballet, yoga, great tunes and high energy leadership makes Barre a win-win-win-win-win for me!

Therefore, the barre tenders, the other participants and my desire to maintain a healthy relationship with exercise was my motivation to participate in this past winter’s 20 in 30 Challenge (and all the ones before it!). The hardest part of course was squeezing in all the classes, but as with anything, if you don’t love it and if it’s not convenient, you won’t do it. The class schedule at Barre Body Studio is diverse enough throughout the day and weekend to suit my needs; it’s almost easier to go to class then not to (and I love it!).

And if there is a sticker, or a wall chart involved look out! There is nothing more motivating than group commitment and some healthy competition—even if your biggest opponent is yourself (or the sofa, an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and a bag of peanut M&M’s, as the case may be). I’ve enjoyed the challenges very much, and the results were more than just my “obviously” tighter tushy. It was a great way to refocus and renew the commitment I made to myself and my fitness.I can’t wait for the next one!”

8:10 pm

Bangin' Backsides Coming Right Up!

Let’s be honest: Booties are the new boobies. At least pop culturally speaking, anyway. From J.Lo and Nikki to Kim K Iggy, there’s no denying that the emphasis is on packing some perky junk in your trunk these days. And you know what? We dig it. At least the glutes are any area of the body that we can shape and build without having to resort to augmentation (or stuffing!).


With sculpting a bodacious booty in mind, we’re introducing our BBS Bangin' Backside class starts May 6th. Led by two of our enviably bootylicious beauties,  Adriana and Libby on Wednesdays and Saturdays respectively,  this class format is designed specifically to achieve a higher, tighter, rounder butt. We'll run you through the BBS format you know and love, but with extra emphasis on sculpting your seat, toning your hamstrings, and strengthening your back. You’re going to love to hate it, barre stars!

To give you a jumpstart on your tush toning, however, we’ve gathered the top butt blasting tips from some of our BBS tenders. No need to wait until May to start building that backside in time for skimpy summer shorts and bikinis!

Marlo: The original barre star relies on lots of water and two signature moves to pump up her posterior. “I rely on the BBS Little Bridge with weights and Side 'L' H*ll, as Adriana calls it,” she says.

Johanna: “Move through poses with intention and a little slower than you want, so that you can really feel the muscles that are actived and firing up,” says Johanna. “Breath deeply while focusing on the target muscles.  Oh, and smile!”

Emma: When I am trying to get summer (or vacation) ready, I just put a little more focus into eating right and working out more. I unfortunately have no secret tricks other than hard work! I make sure that I eat a healthy breakfast, usually bring a salad to work for lunch as well as plenty of snacks so I am not tempted by all the chocolate and baked goods we get, which I am only successful at avoiding a small fraction of the time. Dinner is usually some form of protein and lots of veggies.

As for working out, I teach three barre classes a week and try to take two on top of that (because it is the best workout ever!) as well as one or two spin classes per week. I've tried all of the diets out there and restricting just doesn't work for me. If I know that I am not "allowed" something then I just want it more. I try to live by the 80-20 rule: eat healthy 80% of the time, but when I have a craving I indulge it with something small so I don't feel cheated out of life :) Oh! Also I looooove water. I keep a 1.5L water bottle on my desk and drink at least one, if not two, a day.

Danna: Danna takes a no pain, no gain approach to booty building—and that’s why we love her! Her top tips:

  1. Work your booty till it hurts HARD

  2. Barre, running, yoga, spin all make my booty hurt HARD, so moderation and modification are key!

  3. Play HARD, work HARD and fun HARD

Yes, ma’am!

Amber: Be outside as much as you can, walking, running, biking, anything you enjoy. Any opportunity you have to move above and beyond your regular workout routine is a bonus!

Stacie: My booty sculpting fave is lunges, with tiny pulses, of course! Working flexibility, strength and balance. They are like the perfect man!

Ashley: Embrace the bridge! Try adding weights for an added challenge and squeeze that booty!

Lauren: Quit the comparisons. It is truly detrimental to becoming the best version of yourself.

Be KIND TO YOURSELF and all of our Barre Stars. The more fun we can all have together and the more we can support each other—the closer we will all get to our goals!

Take a few minutes (at any point in the day) to connect with your breathe and find stillness. Even a few minutes a day can be transformative for your mental, emotional and physical health.

Keep pulsing and plie-ing with dedication and focus and with time that booty will be exactly where you want it!

Meet y'all at the barre, xxo

8:00 am

Form Friday – Foot Placement

Maintaining proper alignment of the feet in barre class is very important. The feet must be balanced and sturdy to support the legs, spine, arms and head. If your base is tilted or collapsed, a reflection of this will appear up through the rest of the body. Problems in the lower body have a way of working their way up, causing issues and even injury in the knees, hips, back, etc. Barre classes are safe and effective because we strive to move with an awareness of what our body is doing (that Mind Body Connection we talk about every class).

The position of the foot is determined by the rotation of the top of the thighbone in the hip socket. Your knees and ankles should always track in the same direction as your feet. Your weight should be evenly distributed between all five toes to avoid rolling inward or outward with the feet and ankles. Over pronation, when your ankles collapse in, distributes your weight unevenly. It is one of the most common foot misalignments. Over supination, when your ankles collapse out, reduces the body's natural shock absorbing capability. We are striving to maintain the foot and ankle in a straight line with the weight evenly distributed.

Let’s review...