The Secrets To Building Lean Muscle Mass

There is no one way to measure your wellness results — it’s all about your individual goals and how YOU feel! If your goal is to look and feel more lean (we hear this from a lot of people in our community), then the key is building lean muscle mass. The first step is understanding body composition, what lean muscle mass is, and what might be holding you back from creating it. 

We’re breaking down all the science-backed details below, plus sharing 3 secrets on how to see and feel transformative results!

What is body composition? 

Your body composition tells you your body’s unique makeup. It is the percentage of muscle, bone, and fat in your body. These measurements are much more important than numbers on a scale because they impact how you look and feel, and they give you a clearer picture of your overall health. The goal is to have a healthy ratio of fat to muscle. 

What is lean body mass? 

Another important term to know is lean body mass, so let’s break it down. When we talk about lean body mass, we mean bones, ligaments, tendons, organs, water, and muscles — basically everything in your body that’s not fat. The weight of your organs and tendons do not really change, so changing your lean body mass really comes down to muscle. The more muscle you form, the more lean muscle mass you’ll build. 

Why is lean muscle mass important?  

It determines how you look

Two people with the exact same height and weight can look completely different because they have different body compositions. If your goal is to look lean, the key isn’t necessarily losing weight or blasting fat — the real secret is gaining muscle (aka lean muscle mass). You can diet or do cardio (more on that in a minute), but if you’re not targeting your muscles in an efficient, effective way, you will not see the kind of transformative results you’re looking for. 

That’s why Physique 57’s approach isn’t about depriving yourself, running yourself into the ground, or taking anything away from your wellness routine — it’s about adding things that will help you build strength and confidence. 

It impacts your metabolism 

Your lean muscle mass determines your resting metabolic heart rate (RMR), or the number of calories your body burns at rest. That’s why increasing your lean muscle mass is the ONLY way to permanently boost your metabolism. Muscle tissue burns 15 times as many calories as fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day, even when you’re not exercising. Translation: Your metabolism will be revving as you sit at your desk, drive your car, run errands, and watch Netflix. How amazing is that? 

It affects your heart health

Studies show that people who have more lean muscle mass have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health issues ¹.

How you can lose lean muscle mass

Now we know how important it is to build lean body mass, but it’s actually trickier to do than you might think. For many years, strength training was considered the number 1 way to create lean body mass. The drawback: lifting heavy weights (more than 10 pounds) can stress your joints and lead to injury over time. Plus, those same repetitive moves can get boring and lead you to a plateau. Fortunately, your Physique 57 trainers change up the choreography and sequences every class to maximize your results and keep you safe.

Another thing to consider: certain forms of exercise can actually decrease lean muscle mass. If you go all in on cardio — for example, your workout consists entirely of running or aerobics — your body will break down muscle tissue to generate fuel (carbohydrates) for all that cardio. 

You can also lose lean muscle mass if you pair an intensive workout schedule with a super low-carb or no-carb diet. Old school diets made carbs seem like the enemy, but the truth is, our bodies NEED carbs! Without sufficient carbs to fuel your workouts, your body will break down muscle to get the fuel it needs. You’re essentially working against yourself! This is one reason people can be working out frequently but still not be seeing results. 

How you can build lean muscle mass

Rock your Physique 57 workouts

The amazing news is that Physique 57 was designed specifically to build lean muscle mass. In fact, a study done by the Department of Exercise Physiology at Adelphi University showed that Physique 57 produced greater changes in lean muscle mass over a four-week period than aerobics, Pilates, yoga, and running.

The secret is Physique 57’s innovative Interval Overload Training method (you can read more about it here). It is a combination of high intensity interval training and muscle overload. With our interval training sets, your muscles are targeted and overloaded to the point of fatigue, then stretched for relief. 

Numerous studies have shown that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective at creating lean muscle mass and transforming body composition compared to lower intensity steady training ². Be sure to check out our Physique 57-style HIIT workouts On Demand. Get all the intensity your body needs, sans the impact.

Additionally, our interval training sets are designed to push muscles all the way to the point of overload — leaving them burning and shaking — which actually changes your muscles fibers to increase your strength and power. Translation: more lean muscle mass. 

Make sure you’re joining us in class On Demand and in the studio to get all the benefits!

Refuel with protein 

Protein is a powerhouse nutrient for forming lean muscle. When you eat protein, your body breaks it down into amino acids, which are used to repair muscle fibers post-workout and grow new muscle fibers. When you get enough protein in your diet, your body gets into an anabolic (a muscle building) state ³. Some of our favorite sources of protein are lean beef and chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, legumes, hemp seeds, chia seeds, chickpeas, navy beans, and quinoa. Check out more of our favorite foods to build long, lean muscle here.

Rest & recover 

This is a major tip, so don’t sleep on it! Getting quality rest is essential for repairing and forming muscle. In fact, a study found that skimping on sleep decreases the activity of protein synthesis, which leads to muscle loss and inability to repair damage ⁴. When we sleep, our bodies release a hormone that helps our muscles grow. Plus, quality rest means you’ll have the energy to get after it at your next workout! 

Sources: 

  1. https://jech.bmj.com/content/74/1/26
  2. https://dc.etsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1173&context=etd
  3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-amino-acids-build-bigger-muscles/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21550729/

The Best Beginner Barre Workouts from Physique 57

2 women at the barre

If you’re new to Physique 57, welcome! We are so happy you’re here! We know it can feel intimidating jumping into a new workout class. If the thought runs through your mind, “Does everyone know what they’re doing but me?” trust us, we’ve all been there. 

First thing’s first, be proud of yourself for trying something new. It’s so powerful to get out of your comfort zone, and just by being here, you’re doing something amazing for yourself!

Also know that we have your back, and we’re here to help you feel confident and strong. Physique 57 welcomes everyone at all stages in their fitness journey. So, whether you’re new to working out altogether, new to barre, or getting back into it after a break, we’ve got you.

We have routines designed specifically for beginners where we teach you the fundamentals and get you comfortable with the moves. These workouts are beginner friendly while also being challenging and fun! 

We’re sharing some of our favorite at-home beginner barre workouts to kickstart your journey. You’ll be a pro in no time! 

Our Favorite Programs & Workouts for Beginners:

Physique 57 Collection Rentals: 

With our Collection Rentals, you can kickstart your fitness journey with easy-to-follow programs.

Accelerate To Great Program 

This 4-week program is designed specifically to help you hit the gas and rev up your workout routine. It comes with a downloadable calendar that lays out exactly what to do each day. The workouts target your total body, so you’ll sculpt from head to toe. By the end of the 4 weeks, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident at the barre!

Try Accelerate To Great here

Physique 57 Video On Demand: 

We created a special category on our On Demand platform called Great for Beginners just for you! Check it out here

Any of these routines are an amazing place to start. Here are a few of our favorites: 

Barre 101 Series

This collection of short videos teaches you the fundamentals of our most common moves and positions. It’s the perfect way to perfect your form. 

Sculpt: Classic 57 with Morgan and Torrey

This full-body 57-minute routine gets back to the basics and teaches you form techniques. 

Sculpt: Cardio Confident with Jennifer

This 30-minute cardio workout will get your body moving, your heart rate up, and energize you. 

Sculpt: Thighs and Glutes with Morgan and Torrey 

You’ll fire up your lower body and get your legs shaking in this quick 20-minute routine. 

Sculpt: Arms with Christina J

This 10-minute beginner-level upper body workout targets your beautiful biceps and triceps. 

Looking for more? 

 You can find hundreds of On Demand routines to choose from on our Video On Demand platform! 

Counting Macros Was a Game Changer for Tanya – Here’s How She Did It

Co-founder Tanya Becker

Physique 57 co-founder Tanya Becker has always been consistent in her workouts and clean eating. Still, she reached a point when she wanted to shake things up. As she approached perimenopause, she wasn’t feeling quite as healthy and confident in her body — and no amount of healthy eating or exercise was helping. That is, until she discovered the magic of macros!

“I’ve never been a diet person so I thought, ‘Why would I want to count macros?’ Tanya says. But when her husband ordered a book about it, she decided to give the macro counting a try and customize it to make it her own. 

For support in this, Tanya reached out to a former training client, Michelle Waranoski, who works as a Nutrition Coach for Stronger U Nutrition. Together, they calculated Tanya’s target macros based on her body composition, exercise routine, and goals, and made a personalized plan for her. 

Now 18 months later, Tanya will never look back! “Focusing on my macros has been life changing,” she says. “We all want to feel good and confident in our bodies, and this is one of the best tools to do that. Combined with workouts and mindfulness practices, it’s transformative!” 

So how did Tanya do it — and how can you incorporate counting macros into your own life? We break down everything you need to know! Everyone is different, so we encourage you to listen to your body and do what works best for your diet. Here Tanya shares her personal experience of what worked for her. 

What are macros?

Macros is short for macronutrients. All food is made up of macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients — protein, fat, and carbohydrates — are what we use in the largest amounts, while micronutrients are all the other essential nutrients that our bodies need to perform, according to Tanya’s coach Michelle Waranoski, who lost 18 pounds herself counting macros. 

Counting macros essentially means keeping track of how much protein, fat, and carbs you are consuming per day and the percentages of each. 

Why focus on macros?

Knowledge is power — and having knowledge around macros is a major educational tool for your healthy lifestyle. “I think everyone should at least be aware of their macros because most people don’t know what they’re taking in,” Coach Michelle says. “Even the healthiest eaters may not be getting enough protein or may not realize how much fat and carbs they’re having.” Tanya personally noticed that she was having way more fat than protein or carbs. 

Balancing macros also takes the focus off eating or limiting whole categories of foods like low-fat or high-protein diets. “We don’t live in a society where food is made up that way,” Michelle says. “There is delicious food that contains all macros! With this method, we’re not taking anything away from you. We’re teaching you how to eat the right amounts at the right time.” 

The benefits of counting macros

  • It can work for everybody and every body: “What’s so great about this is that it can work for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, meat eaters, everyone!” Tanya says. Michelle works with clients of all ages, genders, body types, and dietary needs. 
  • It’s simple: Once you get into the swing of counting macros, it becomes second nature. There aren’t strict rules or complicated formulas, and you can’t mess it up, Michelle assures. “The beauty is that you can’t really make a mistake. If you eat more of your macros at one meal, you can course correct it at the next meal or the next day.” 
  • You can still enjoy your life: Counting macros isn’t about depriving yourself. “If I want pizza one day, I can go for it and balance out my macros at other meals,” Tanya says. Michelle adds: “I want everyone to enjoy their life and enjoy their food!” 
  • It will help you lose weight and maintain consistently: Counting macros is not a quick-fix diet. “I don’t recommend quick weight loss ever,” Michelle says. However, the method will help you steadily lose weight and build lean body mass. 
  • Your overall nutrition will be on point: When you focus on macros, you will naturally be getting tons of veggies and nutrient-packed foods, so your overall nutrition will improve. Tanya now eats more veggies than ever before! 
  • You’ll improve your sleep quality: “We often overlook sleep, but if you can get that in line, that habit is everything,” Michelle says. 
  • You’ll have more energy: Balancing macros helps prevent blood sugar spikes and dips that lead to exhaustion and fogginess. 

How to count macros

Your ideal macro balance is unique to your body, your goals, and your lifestyle. For example, if you want to build lean muscle, having more protein will be important. If you’re an endurance athlete, you might need more carbs and a little less protein, Michelle advises. 

You can calculate your macros by yourself online, but Tanya suggests working with a coach if that’s available to you. “With a coach, you get accountability, guidance and support,” Tanya says. 

Once you know your individual macro breakdown, you can easily track your intake with apps like MyFitnessPal, Cronometer, and Lose It! Once you have a baseline for how much you’re taking in, you can start to adjust your levels to meet your goals. 

Tanya’s incredible results

“I feel healthy, confident, and great in my clothes again!” Tanya says. “I lost about 9 pounds, but the number on the scale isn’t what this is about. It’s about how I feel!” After 18 months counting macros, Tanya also has more energy, sleeps better, has more mental clarity and sharpness, and her skin is glowing! 

Tanya’s sample day of eating 

Every day is a little different, but here’s a peek at what Tanya eats on a typical day: 

  • Breakfast: Protein shake with protein and almond milk
  • Lunch: Egg white omelet with spinach, onions, pepper, garlic, kalamata olives, and cashew milk cheese with a wrap or Ezekiel english muffin 
  • Afternoon snack: Celery juice and broccoli or cauliflower with seasonings like garlic powder and sprinkled cheese
  • Dinner: Protein like shrimp, chicken, or turkey with a sweet potato, veggies, and lots of seasonings
  • Dessert: Yogurt parfait with blueberries and granola and an herbal tea 
  • Tons of water all day long!

Interested in learning more about macros from Tanya’s coach? You can sign up for Stronger U and ask for Coach Michelle Waranoski. 

And of course, healthy eating pairs perfectly with Physique 57 workouts to achieve your goals!

What Trainers Really Eat After a Workout

avocado toast on a plate

Have you ever wondered what foods your favorite trainers eat after they lead you through some major sculpting and toning? We got you! 

We asked a few of our amazing trainers what foods they eat to refuel post-workout. They each have different go-to meals and snacks, but they all have a few things in common — plenty of protein, healthy complex carbs, and nutrient-packed whole foods to hydrate the body and replenish muscles. 

Check out their favorites below, and try these out after your next Physique 57 workout class On Demand or in the studio. These bites will have you feeling satisfied and energized, plus they’ll maximize your toning and muscle building results!

“After a workout you want to try to get a post-fitness snack that refuels and rebuilds your body. To do this you want to aim for something that’s a 2 to 1 carb to protein ratio that will help restore your glycogen stores (that bit of you that really pushes during those last 10 counts) and helps to rebuild your muscles back stronger. For me, that’s a protein smoothie, whole grain peanut butter toast, or simply chocolate milk! Don’t forget to hydrate too!” — Will 

“It’s all about replacing electrolytes (electrically charged minerals) for me, so my post-workout beverage and meal are packed with these. As an island girl, I have to have coconut water. It’s one of the best go-tos to replace the electrolytes you may have lost during a workout. Your body inhales it and you can feel every cell absorbing it. For a post-workout meal, I love a big scrumptious Sweet Green salad, which is walking distance from the studio. Most veggies like kale, spinach, broccoli, avocados, and beans are packed with electrolytes. Remember that salads and eating clean don’t have to be boring. They can be delectable and satisfying!” — Kameica 

“I don’t have a specific go-to meal after a workout, but I always make sure it’s balanced with healthy carbs and protein. This allows me to fill me up without making me feel overly stuffed. My biggest advice is don’t feel guilty eating after your workouts! Your body needs to refuel and you want to make sure you can nourish it so you have the energy to do the things you want to do!” — Erin 

“My favorite post-workout food is a smoothie with peanut butter, banana, oats, and vegan protein powder or an avocado toast! And remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and rest. I can always feel a difference physically and emotionally when I have not properly hydrated! And rest days/stretch days are a huge part of your body’s capacity to recharge itself!” — Shannon

Want to learn more about how to refuel with foods that build muscle? Read our “Best Foods To Gain Long, Lean Muscle” blog post!

Quick & Effective At Home Workouts For Your Busiest Days

Some days, your schedule is jam-packed and a full 57-minute workout (or even 30 minutes) is just not doable. We get it — life happens!

The good news is that even a short workout can have major perks. A study found that a quick 10-minute workout with one minute of sprints delivered health benefits similar to a 45-minute workout at a moderate pace ¹. 

The key is high intensity interval training, which is the cornerstone of our interval overload training method. In every Physique 57 workout — no matter the length — we combine bursts of high intensity cardio with targeted muscle overload and stretching so you achieve the maximum sculpting and boost your metabolism fast. It’s the most efficient and effective workout method out there, so even if you only have 10 minutes, you can still see results! 

On our Physique 57 platforms, we offer workouts of all lengths so you can choose what works best for you. We’re sharing some of our favorite super quick and effective workout routines that you can squeeze in on your busiest days. 

No matter how much time you have, make it count!

 Our Favorite Quick Workouts: 

Physique 57 Collection Rentals
With our Collection Rentals, you can kickstart your fitness journey with targeted, easy-to-follow programs for just $1 a day!

Bites of Bravery Program 
This 10-day program is designed specifically for people with busy schedules. It includes a calendar of 10 quick, power-packed workouts that are all 15 minutes or less. This powerful combination of routines targets your total body, so you can tone from head to toe! 

Physique 57 Video On Demand
With our On Demand platform, you can choose from hundreds of workout routines of all levels, lengths, and types (from Power Sculpt, to Pilates, to Dance Cardio). For our busy babes, we designed a special category called Quick Workouts. The Bites of Bravery Program is also included in your membership.

The fitness routines are all amazing, but here are a few of our favorites: 

Got 15 minutes? 

Power Sculpt + Core Stability with Brooke
Chisel your core and boost your balance with this equipment-free ab blast. 

Dance Fit Fire with Kameica 
Rev your metabolism and up your heart rate fast with this fun, feisty dance party.

Power Sculpt: Lower Body Ball Blast with Jennifer 
Grab a ball and tone your entire lower body — your legs will be shaking in the first few minutes!

Got 10 minutes? 

10-Minute Core with Morgan 
Bring all your focus to sculpting a strong core — the foundation for your whole body and every other workout! 

Power Sculpt: Thighs with Sydney 
This intermediate level, equipment-free workout class will tone and tighten your thighs for lean, gorgeous strength and definition.

Power Sculpt Lab: Express Cardio with Julie  
This fast-paced, cardio-packed routine targets your abs and thighs while raising your heart rate. 

Got 5 minutes?

Sculpt: 5-Minute Arms with Chad
Sculpt your entire upper body in just a few minutes with this quick, fun, and energizing routine. 

5-Minute Abs with Chad 
Grab a ball and get a super quick core burnout you’ll abs-olutely love!

Looking for more? 

You can find hundreds of On Demand routines to choose from.

Sources: 

  1. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075

How We Created The Most Innovate, Effective, and Fun Fitness Method

Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi and Tanya Becker, the creators of Physique 57, standing in front of a Physique 57 banner.

We’re Tanya and Jennifer, the creators of Physique 57. For the last 15 years, we’ve poured our hearts and souls into bringing you the most effective, fun, and supportive fitness program and community. It’s been a wild, incredible, unexpected journey! Today we’d like to share our story, and tell you more about how Physique 57 became what it is today. 

Before we created Physique 57, we were two women just like you who were doing our best to stay fit and active with our busy schedules. We were both dancers growing up — Jennifer was part of a dance company during high school, and Tanya studied dance throughout her school years and later in New York City. But in our 20s, we both picked up some unhealthy habits while living in NYC, and we weren’t feeling like our healthiest, most confident selves. 

We tried everything to find a workout we loved — joined gyms, took step aerobics and spin classes, and tried Pilates. Jennifer even tried running with weights strapped to her ankles (never again!). But everything felt like a chore, so nothing stuck. 

That is until we discovered The Lotte Berk Method®, a dance-inspired fitness technique created by Lotte Berk, a German dancer looking to stay fit after a back injury. Jennifer overheard someone talking about the class at a party, and Tanya responded to a Village Voice ad looking for dancers to teach at their Upper East Side and Hamptons studios. We both vividly remember walking into the pink-carpeted studio on 67th Street for the first time. It changed our lives! 

Jennifer knew within the first 10 minutes of taking a class that this was a workout she’d do for the rest of her life (spoiler alert: she has!). She immediately loved that the method reminded her of dance and that the exercises were made for a woman’s body. At the time, most of the popular workouts (think: step aerobics and strength training at the gym) were hard on the body, repetitive, and not exciting. Jennifer loved that The Lotte Berk Method® felt graceful and healthy, while still being strenuous. 

And it was strenuous! When Tanya went to her first audition, she was shocked to discover that women twice her age were stronger, more flexible, and had more stamina. She thought, “I can’t do any of this. I’ll never get the job!” But they assured her that she would learn and get stronger — and she did!

Both of us experienced transformative results with The Method! We felt leaner, fitter, and healthier than we had in our entire lives. We were hooked! Fast forward to 2005, when Tanya was a Master Instructor and Jennifer was a longstanding Berk devotee, and we were devastated to learn that the studio was closing. 

We both felt that we not only wanted to keep this method alive, we wanted to build on it and make it accessible for even more people. Seeing our own results and how much joy it brought us, we thought, “Why can’t everyone experience this?!”

At the time, Jennifer had earned her M.B.A and was intrigued by the entrepreneurial possibilities. She even tried to buy the fitness studio herself, but when she didn’t have any luck, a staff member suggested the two of us meet. And that’s truly when the magic happened!

From the moment we met, we knew we had something special. We both shared a vision of taking everything we loved about The Lotte Berk Method® and bringing it to the next level. Together, we set out to create the next incarnation of the fitness technique and bring it to a wider audience. Tanya refined and updated the method to make it even more rigorous and effective by adding a larger variety of exercises, along with more strength and stamina-building variations. We added other modern touches, set the moves to upbeat music, and streamlined the workout to take just 57 minutes. And voilà — Physique 57 was born!

At the time, we didn’t realize that Physique 57 was pioneering boutique group fitness, but it was! We were one of the first studios to do monthly memberships, a pay-by-class model, and offer the same class several times per day. It was all new, which made it challenging, exhilarating, and fun!

We poured our hearts and minds (and a LOT of sweat!), into building the business. One of the most challenging (and exciting) aspects was finding the perfect instructors and training them in this completely new method. At the beginning, we held auditions and 0 people showed up! When we did find trainers, they wanted to quit every day because the workout method was so rigorous. But ultimately, we found the exact right people to bring this method to life. That’s what’s so special about Physique 57 — the technique itself is amazing, but it’s really the human experience that comes through the teachers that makes it magic! 

That’s why we believe Physique 57 grew the way it did. Within a few months of opening the studio, clients were pouring in! We’ll never forget a day that first year when our studio manager turned to us and said, “We need a waitlist for our waitlist.” We pulled out a yellow piece of notebook paper and made it happen!

A lot has changed since those early days. The fitness industry itself has evolved, we innovated the method by adding 5+ new formats, we opened studios worldwide (including Bangkok, India, and Dubai), we started Barre Academy to get more people certified in our method, and we created a booming online workout platform where people can take classes virtually from all over the world. 

Still, the heart of Physique 57 remains the same. We are, and always will be, about tapping into the unlimited potential in the lives of those we touch. We are still deeply committed to precision and safety in our fitness method — we’ve had a 0% injury rate since we started! 

We remain a workout that you can do for your entire life. Jennifer has done this workout for 20+ years without injuries, and still feels sore and challenged every time. In all her years teaching this method, Tanya has never taught the same workout class twice, so no one will ever get bored. We have clients who started with us in 2006 who we still see every single week, and they look incredible!

Through everything, we remain deeply committed to growing and getting even better for YOU! We recognize that the fitness industry is always evolving and that your needs change, too. So we wake up every morning as if Physique 57 is brand new and ask ourselves this question: What can we do NOW to make your life even healthier and happier? And then we make it happen!

We’d love for you to feel the heart and passion of Physique 57 in one of our challenging, effective, and fun workout classes! Join us for a workout class On Demand or in our New York City studio. We’ll be looking out for you!

How To Set Wellness Goals For Success — And Achieve Them!

A silhouette of a woman standing in front of a sunset with her fist in the air.

So often in the fitness and wellness world, we hear about going after your goals, but we don’t often talk about how to set them. The way you go about setting your goals makes a major impact in how likely you are to achieve them.

When you create a goal — whether it’s to get stronger, feel more confident, be more consistent in your workouts, nourish yourself with healthy foods, or whatever it may be — you’re making a promise to yourself. That commitment is incredibly powerful! 

We’re sharing our best tangible and science-backed tips on how to set yourself up for success with your fitness and wellness goals. 

Start small & specific 

It may be tempting to set a goal like, “I want to work out more” or “I want to get leaner.” While we usually encourage you to think big, in this case, we want you to start small. Research shows that when your goals are specific, tailored, and set in shorter time periods, you are more likely to achieve them ¹. 

For example, start with a goal like: “I will do two Physique 57 classes this week.” When you rock two classes consistently, you can increase your goal to three and then four classes per week. Also, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals at once. Start with 1 to 3 challenging yet attainable weekly goals. As you achieve these goals, you will build confidence and be even more motivated to keep up your momentum!

Put pen to paper

Thinking about your wellness and fitness goals is just step one. Your next step is writing them down, and this one is so powerful! When you put your intentions down on paper, you are making a commitment to yourself. Writing them out will help you get clear on exactly what you want to accomplish, and you’ll be able to visualize yourself achieving it. 

Research shows that people were 42 percent more likely to accomplish their goals when they wrote them down ². So grab your journal and get writing! We suggest having a special journal dedicated to your wellness journey. Set aside time on the weekends to write out your weekly intentions. 

Use positive language 

When you jot down your wellness goals, instead of writing, “I want to meal prep every Sunday,” instead write, “I WILL meal prep every Sunday.” It’s a small shift, but makes a big difference in your mindset. If you believe it and put it out there, it WILL happen!

Get clear on your why 

Even more important than what your goal is is WHY you want to achieve it. For example, if your goal is to work out consistently every day, reflect on why this is important in your life. Does working out give you more energy to tackle your day? Does it give you more confidence and self-love? Does it keep you healthy to care for your family? Does it support your mental health? Journal on the why behind your goal, and don’t be afraid to dig deep here. 

At times when you feel discouraged or you may not feel like sticking it out, you can always come back to your why for motivation. 

Make a plan 

Now that you feel clear and confident on the what and why of your wellness goals, it’s time to think about how you’re going to make them happen. Look at your 1 to 3 weekly goals and make a specific action plan for how they will fit into your schedule. 

For example, if your goal is to prep healthy meals in advance, block out time in your calendar to grocery shop and meal prep. Think ahead about how you can make this simpler and more fun — can you order groceries in advance? Can you invite a friend over to meal prep with you? If your goal is to take a certain number of Physique 57 classes per week, book your classes in advance, put them in your calendar, and even lay out your workout clothes. The more you plan ahead, the more likely you’ll be to follow through!

Find someone to hold you accountable 

Accountability partners are everything! Share your goals with a friend, family member, or someone in the Physique 57 community, and ask them to gently hold you accountable. You can start a group text chain with your accountability buddies to check in on each other. Remember, the Physique 57 family is filled with supportive and loving friends who are here to cheer you on! Join us in the studio or On Demand to work out with us!

Sources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/06/well/move/exercise-goals.html
  2. https://scholar.dominican.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1265&context=news-releases

Barre vs. Pilates: Which Is Right For You?

A photo of a reformer machine next to a photo of women doing ab exercises with a slash through the middle and the word VS.

We know you have a lot of workout options to choose from, so how do you know what’s best for you? We got you!

A question we hear a lot is, “How is Physique 57 different from Pilates?” It’s a great question because Physique 57 is a Pilates-based barre method, and the two workouts have some similarities. Both focus on controlled movements, strengthening your core, and sculpting lean muscles. But Physique 57 is a one-of-a-kind method that stands out from traditional Pilates and other forms of exercise. 

We’re breaking down what you can expect from both traditional Pilates and Physique 57, the benefits of each, and how Physique 57 will ultimately raise the barre on your results. 

What You Can Expect From Pilates

Pilates is a low-impact workout that focuses on slow, precise movements and breath control. This method, which was developed by Joseph Pilates in Germany during World War 1, is designed to increase muscle tone and improve posture alignment and flexibility. 

Many Pilates moves target the core and trunk (think abs, back, hips), but classes also mix in moves for your arms and legs, making it a full-body workout. 

Classes are typically 45 minutes to 1 hour, and they can involve equipment but don’t need to. In mat Pilates, you’ll be working mostly from the floor on a yoga mat. Reformer Pilates is another variation where you do moves on a reformer machine, which is a sliding platform with a foot bar, springs, and pulleys to provide resistance. 

In both forms of Pilates, control is the name of the game. You use your bodyweight for resistance (the reformer adds a little something extra), and your goal is to move slowly with control. Your muscles are working to lift against gravity, which isolates and sculpts each muscle group. 

Now let’s talk about the perks of Pilates. Pilates helps tone muscles and strengthen your core — the foundation for everything you do. A study found that people who did Pilates three times a week for eight weeks improved their balance, stability, and mobility ¹. 

What you won’t get from traditional Pilates: cardio benefits. Because of its focus on slow and controlled movements, Pilates is not known to get your heart rate up or make you break a sweat. 

That’s where Physique 57 comes in!

What You Can Expect From Physique 57

Physique 57 is a form of barre, a mix of ballet, yoga, and Pilates. It’s fundamentally based on The Lotte Berk Method, a highly respected fitness technique created by its namesake Lotte Berk, a German dancer looking to stay fit after a back injury. 

Like ballet, our workouts are full of beautiful choreography, grace, and femininity. Similar to Pilates, our method is focused on building core strength and forming lean muscle through focused, intentional movements. But Physique 57 takes things to the next level with our revolutionary method. Physique 57 is 100% unique — a one-of-a-kind transformative method designed for maximum results, efficiency, and fun!

Here are the basics: Classes are typically 57 minutes, but you can find shorter workout routines (everything from 10 minutes to 1 hour) On Demand. You will mainly be using bodyweight as resistance, but the workout also incorporates light weights (3 to 10 pounds) and a barre ball. And of course as a barre workout, you’ll be using a dancer’s barre and a mat. 

In the workout, you can expect a combination of cardio, strength training, and dance — this fusion is what makes it so effective! Our formula combines interval overload training, isometrics, and stretching to systematically sculpt and lengthen your muscles while also revving your metabolism. We also use isotonic movements — which are big, dynamic moves — to increase the range of motion and add cardio. This combination is what creates interval overload. 

Interval overload is a combination of high intensity interval training and muscle overload. With our interval training sets, your muscles are targeted and overloaded to the point of fatigue, then stretched for relief. 

Interval training raises your heart rate, enhances your endurance, and boosts your metabolism. Studies have shown that high intensity interval training increases lean body mass ², and it improves aerobic capacity more than jogging or biking ³. How about the overload part? That’s the burning, shaking feeling that actually changes your muscle fibers. (You can read more about interval overload here.) 

Another key ingredient to our secret sauce: isometrics. With isometric exercises, you use your own bodyweight as resistance to challenge your muscles without any visible contractions or movements. Often simply holding a certain muscle can be more powerful than doing 100 reps! The best part: Isometric moves tone your muscles without increasing their size, so you’ll have a long, lean, sculpted shape. 

Almost every move in Physique 57 is an expert blend of interval overload and isometrics, so you get ALL the sculpting and cardio benefits at the same time. 

How Physique 57 Raises The Barre 

Physique 57 takes the best parts of Pilates and other exercise types and brings it up a notch! Here are some of the perks of Physique 57 vs. Pilates and other workouts:

It gets your heart rate up

As we mentioned before, traditional Pilates does not incorporate cardio. With Physique 57’s interval overload method, you get the cardio benefits of high intensity interval training in addition to all the sculpting and lengthening. This will spike your heart rate, boost your endurance, and make you break a serious sweat! 

You’ll get a big-time burn 

Another perk of incorporating cardio AND toning is a major caloric burn. A typical Physique 57 workout burns up to 650 calories depending on your bodyweight and fitness level — significantly more than other forms of exercise, including 1 hour of Pilates (390 calories), 1 hour of spinning (300 calories), running a mile (100 calories), or swimming a mile (400 calories).

You’ll build lean body mass

Physique 57 workouts are specifically designed to build lean body mass, which impacts your metabolism and determines how lean you look. A study done by the Department of Exercise Physiology at Adelphi University showed that Physique 57 produced greater changes in lean body mass over a four-week period than Pilates, yoga, aerobics, and running. 

You’ll never get bored

Our workouts incorporate innovative choreography and we constantly switch up the positions and tempo, so the time flies by! Even if you’re working your thighs for 20 minutes, the variety of exercises will keep you challenged, focused, and entertained. Plus, the choreography is always changing so you’ll never feel bored or hit a plateau. 

You’ll have FUN!

Unlike the slower tempo Pilates, Physique 57 has an energizing pace, upbeat music, and exciting choreography. You’ll be working hard but still have a huge smile on your face!

Try it for yourself!

Experience these amazing benefits in one of our On Demand workout classes or in our New York City studio. See you there!

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6732550/
  2. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.01098.2006
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30622842/

Summer Parties on The Calendar? Here’s How to Stick To Clean Eating

Two slices of watermelon in front of a teal background.

Our calendars are starting to fill up again with summer parties, barbecues, picnics, weddings, and outdoor celebrations. But how do you stick to your clean eating habits when you’re surrounded by processed foods, fried dishes, chips, desserts, and lots of wine?

You CAN enjoy yourself and keep it clean at the same time. Here are 6 simple tips to stick to a healthy diet and feel your best at summer soirees.

Sculpt, pulse, and then party

Squeeze in a Physique 57 On Demand workout the morning of your event. Research shows that when you exercise in the morning, it will help curb cravings later in the day. Exercise reduces levels of the hormone ghrelin (aka the hunger hormone) and increases hormones such as peptide YY and peptide-1 that make you feel more satisfied ¹.

A morning sweat session can also help regulate blood sugar levels ², which prevents spikes and crashes that lead you to reach for sugary foods. Plus, you’ll be in a healthier mindset going into the party!

Start your day with a healthy meal

Before the party, have a nutrient-packed breakfast or lunch with a balance of lean protein, healthy fats, and leafy greens. This will make you feel energized, satisfied, and regulate your blood sugar levels so you’re not starving going into the celebration. We suggest having a protein smoothie, overnight oats, or a big salad topped with protein before you head to the event.

Bring your own dish to share

If you’re going to a barbecue or party that you know will be filled with unhealthy options, make it a bring your own situation! Whip up your favorite healthy side dish, salad, or treat to share with the group. Your hosts will appreciate you bringing something — and you don’t even have to tell the rest of the guests that it’s healthy!

Dip into the healthy stuff

Chips and dip are a fixture at summer parties. The great news: many dips are already smart, clean choices. Guacamole is packed with healthy fats, fiber, potassium, and B vitamins from the avocado. Fresh salsa is light and can be a great source of vitamin C. Just do your best to steer clear of heavy and dairy-filled dips.

It also matters what you dip! Swap chips for sliced veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, and mini carrots. You’ll get extra vitamins from the veggies and feel more satisfied thanks to their fiber. Plus, the dip is the best part anyway!

Cheers to staying hydrated

If you’re going to enjoy a cocktail or wine (and really, wine not?!), make sure you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of H20 before the event and have 1 – 2 glasses of water between each drink. This will help prevent a hangover and keep you feeling energized throughout the party.

If you’re skipping alcohol altogether, you can bring seltzer for some bubbles or bring a pitcher of water with muddled berries and mint for a refreshing sip.

Be easy on yourself & enjoy!

Parties are meant to be fun so please don’t be hard on yourself about what you eat or drink. Do your best to stick to your healthy eating habits, but also remember to relax and be present with your friends and family.

Have fun!

Sources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22617393/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604526/

5 Healthy Travel Tips For Your Summer Getaways

A person laying in a car, holding a map, and sticking their feet out the window.

Summer is in full swing and travel is picking back up, so we’re dreaming of fun and relaxing getaways! Anyone else? 

Whether you’re planning a tropical vacay, road trip, city sightseeing, or a long weekend of R&R, make sure you take your healthy habits with you. 

When you’re in a new place and out of your routine, it can be tempting to skip workouts or get off track with your clean eating. But “out of office” mode doesn’t have to mean out of wellness mode! When you’re on vacation, you want to feel your absolute best. Your fitness and self-care practices will help you feel energized, confident, and radiant as you kick back and enjoy yourself!

Check out our 5 best tips for taking your healthy habits on the road (or on the fly!). 

Work out anytime, anywhere 

The amazing thing about Physique 57 On Demand is that you can do your workouts from anywhere in the world! Crush your sweat sessions from your hotel room, Airbnb, or even take your workout outside so you can soak in the scenery. 

You can find workouts from 5 minutes up to 57 minutes, so no matter how much time you have, we’ve got you covered! Even on your busiest travel days, you can squeeze in a 15-minute sculpt session. 

A workout will help energize you, relieve stress, and boost your mood, so you’ll be ready for whatever is on your travel itinerary! Plus, research shows that exercise can cause changes to your internal body clock, which helps counter the effects of jet lag ¹. 

BYO barre…and more gear

We don’t actually mean bring a barre, of course, but you can easily use a chair or another surface in your hotel room as a DIY barre. 

You can also pack small workout gear like resistance bands and grippy socks in your suitcase. Even easier: Physique On Demand has an entire selection of bodyweight only workout routines that are effective, efficient, and extra convenient for travel. 

Explore your destination 

There’s so much to explore in a new place, whether it’s city streets, parks, mountains, or trails. Go for long walks to take in the sights or rent bikes to tour the area. That way, you can get your steps in, get your heartrate up, and see more of the neighborhood. Walking also increases blood flow to your muscles and can help alleviate soreness ², so it will feel amazing after a long flight. 

Ask for recommendations from locals or you can look up hiking spots on a website like AllTrails

Stock up on healthy snacks

Airport and rest stop food is often highly processed, fried, or full of artificial sugars. Get prepped by packing your snacks in advance. Some of our favorite travel snacks: unsalted nuts, homemade trail mix, dried fruit, and kale chips. 

Hydrated, hydrate, and hydrate some more

Hydration is always key for your health, but especially when you’re traveling. Ever wonder why you’re so thirsty and your skin is dry when you’re flying? In an airplane, the filtration system makes humidity drop drastically (to 10 – 20 percent). Low humidity causes moisture to evaporate from your body quickly, which will dehydrate you faster ³. Changes in climate and altitude at your destination can also lead to dehydration, which makes jet lag symptoms worse ⁴.

Make sure you’re traveling with a reusable water bottle and fill it up often! In general, experts recommend drinking at least 12 cups of water per day for women ⁵. And when you’re flying, aim for about 8 oz of water for every hour you’re in the air ⁶. Drink up!

Sources:

  1. https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/JP276943
  2. https://www.wellandgood.com/is-walking-good-for-sore-legs/
  3. https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/why-do-i-get-so-dehydrated-when-i-fly
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/travel-tips-ways-to-minimize-jet-lag
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20National%20Academies%20of,fluids%20a%20day%20for%20women
  6. https://www.asma.org/asma/media/asma/Travel-Publications/HEALTH-TIPS-FOR-AIRLINE-TRAVEL-Trifold-2013.pdf