XIt’s not always easy to stay active when your schedule gets hectic, but I’ve always made physical activity a huge part of my lifestyle. Everyone who knows me would say that I’m a bonafide gym rat, as it keeps my energy levels up and my mood consistently positive. Having studied ballet alongside business in my university days to later become a cheerleader (GO Alouettes!!), training has been pivotal to forming who I am today. I and people around me have noticed an change in my physique (an eternal work in progress!) and I so I thought I’d share what helped me get there - my secret weapon - Xtend Fitness Barre with Alissa Perzow at Victoria Park.
Xtend Barre is a choreographed fusion of Pilates, dance, and barre exercises which will challenge you with your coordination, rhythm and cardiovascular fitness. Be ready to hold that chair position!!! You will also experience some burning in your legs and maybe even shake a little but it's all worth the pain, no pain, no gain!
XTEND BARRE STICK
Xtend Barre stick integrates spring-based resistance from the Xtend Stick attached to the Xtend ballet barre. The workout, like Xtend Barre, is comprised of a cardio warm-up, an upper-body segment, lower-body segment and abdominal focus. The workout draws upon the Xtend Barre fundamentals, toning every angle of the body in an intense cardio-sculpting workout. It's an awesome class and you can't cheat ... you have to keep your balance at all times. You will realize that you have muscles you didn't even know existed!
Needless to say, leading a healthy lifestyle is all about a balance between clean eating and routine exercise regimens. One of the things I love the most about classes with Alissa, aside from her high-energy and positive vibes, is the heavy influence of ballet in her workout that not only brings me back to my time as a dancer, but reawakens muscles that I once trained routinely. Head over the Vic Park for an Extend Fitness Barre session and I’m sure you’ll be hooked!
I also want to introduce you to Caroline who teaches with Alissa Xtend Barre and Xtend barre Stick at Vic Park.
Caroline grew up dancing classical ballet, jazz and tap both in Montreal and Toronto with several dance schools and theatre companies. Her long passion for dance, health and fitness led her to obtain her Xtend Barre and Xtend Mat Pilates certifications.
While she’s busy mother of 3, Caroline continues to share her love of this great method of fitness and body shaping through teaching Xtend Barre classes at Vic Park.
Caroline’s clients say her energetic, bright and graceful personal style is a welcome compliment to the intensity of the Xtend Barre workout. This balance helps those in her classes enjoy the process of strengthening and lengthening muscles resulting in shaping a long and lean physique.
A word from Alissa:
Fitness has changed my world and when I am teaching I am truly in my happy place. With over twenty years experience, 3 kids, a hockey mom & a chauffeur (ladies I know you can relate), I am truly blessed and grateful every day when I connect with my clients.
It's not all about striving for a hot body but pushing yourself without limitations and working your body until it starts moving with purpose - nothing feels better. We need to set goals that are attainable and balanced. I am here to empower and help you achieve them!
I absolutely love what I do and there is nothing I would rather do. I'm constantly pushing myself to learn more about the body and various exercise methods that truly work. Sharing what I have learned is the best part. You need to be relevant and offer insight into the emotional element of teaching and be present at all times. Creating a positive & soulful interaction with clients is important. I do whatever it takes to be be knowledgable about all of the fabulous new fitness trends but also know when to reel it in and remember the classics. Fitness is not a trend, it's a lifestyle and balance is imperative. Creating long and lean muscles and strengthening and lengthening is what it is all about for me (a little Beyoncé bumping in the background always helps too).
Our bodies are meant to move in a certain way, working every muscle in unison is what I strive for and how I teach. It has always amazed me when I hear negative information out there and lack of motivation in the industry. I am here as a mentor, teacher, and most important, a student.
After over two decades of education and practice I have found that Barre is a perfect way to achieve optimal results without hurting your body. I have since added Cardio Jump Barre, a class using mini trampolines with added cardio intervals, as well as a stick class (a pilates stick is attached to the barre during the class). Movement in essence should be fluid and not mechanical. Focus should always be on set up/alignment, then movement, then adding intensity.
Ladies this is important info that you need to be mindful of always - I see time and time again, people performing movements that are too quick with lack of form, leading to injury. Anyone can make a class or training hard but its about being challenged with mindful movements not hurting yourself.
We are woman of all ages, shapes, and sizes, not athletes - you must be the best version of yourself and I am here to help guide you through your journey. I am here to empower woman and my passion for fitness and your desire for it drives me. My search and thirst for knowledge and exercise will never stop to hopefully unlock positive changes on a daily basis.
Come join the movement & become a barre babe! It will change your body & mind forever!
Photography by Patricia Brochu