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/

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!

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/

The Best Foods To Gain Long, Lean Muscle

Closeup of two pieces of salmon coated in sesame seeds and seasoning sitting on a plate.

With every Physique 57 sweat session, you’re forming long, lean, gorgeous muscles. And after you’ve crushed your barre workout at home or in the studio you can enhance your gains in the kitchen! Refueling with whole, unprocessed, and nutrient-packed foods is key for muscle growth and recovery. The combination of your workouts and proper nutrition is where you’ll see the most benefits! 

We’re sharing 6 of the best foods to pair with your workouts to build muscle and feel lean, healthy, and energized.

Salmon 

Salmon delivers a double dose of muscle-building perks — it’s high in both protein and omega-3 fatty acids. First, let’s talk protein. Each 3 oz. serving of salmon contains about 17 g of protein, and protein is a powerhouse when it comes to gaining lean muscle. Research shows that protein helps build muscle strength and lean body mass ¹ ². It also helps repair and replenish your muscles after a tough workout, so you can recover faster and get back after it at the barre ³. Here’s how it works: When you’re rocking a workout, your muscle fibers break down. Protein’s amino acids allow your body to synthesize new cells, which repair the damaged fibers and help build new muscle ⁴. 

Salmon is also an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to protecting your heart health, omega-3s have been shown to maintain bone health and increase muscle gains ⁵. 

Eggs

Eggs also pack a lot of high-quality protein — about 6 g per egg. They are particularly high in the amino acid leucine, which has been linked to building muscle and enhancing post-workout recovery. Leucine is essential for regulating muscle protein synthesis, and it may be the key amino acid for optimizing muscle mass ⁶. 

According to research, you may get the most benefits from whole eggs. A study showed that people who consumed whole eggs had more muscle gains than those who opted for egg whites ⁷. This may be thanks to the cholesterol in yolks — a study shows that cholesterol can contribute to muscle building by enhancing your body’s inflammatory response ⁸. If you’re worried about cholesterol for heart health, it’s important to know that the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t seem to raise LDL cholesterol (aka the “bad” kind) the way other foods like trans and saturated fats do ⁹. Still, if you do have heart disease or diabetes, it’s smart to watch your overall intake. 

Quinoa 

While protein-rich foods are important for muscle gains, getting plenty of complex carbs is also essential. Carbs get a bad rap, but if you choose the right kind, they are a major way to feel energized and gain lean muscle. Slow-digesting complex carbs provide the energy your body needs to fuel your workouts and recover ¹⁰. Cooked quinoa, which is actually a seed and not a grain, delivers about 40 g carbs per cup. 

Plus, quinoa is an amazing plant protein for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking to lead a more plant-based lifestyle. Another perk: Quinoa is high in magnesium, which plays an important role in the function of your muscles and nerves and helps protect your bones ¹¹. 

Spinach 

Popeye was on to something! Spinach is a great source of glutamine, an amino acid that is important for muscle growth ¹². Research also shows that glutamine can help your muscles recover faster and soothe soreness post-workout ¹³.

Beets 

This root veggie contains a molecule that enhances muscle power. In a study, people who drank beet juice pre-workout saw an approximately 13% increase in muscle power. The perk comes from the nitrate, an ion found in beets and leafy greens like spinach. When you take in nitrate, it is converted to nitrite and then becomes nitric oxide, a molecule that boosts muscles and may enhance blood circulation ¹⁴. 

Almonds 

In addition to their high magnesium and protein content (16 g per serving), almonds also deliver phosphorus, a mineral that helps the body make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells. Phosphorus also helps your body make a molecule called ATP, which leads you to use carbs and fat for energy during exercise ¹⁵. 

Eat up and enjoy! We’ll see you at the barre!

Sources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25169440/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22958314/
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/112/2/303/5828186
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3381813/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25285409/
  6. https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2009&issue=01000&article=00013&type=abstract
  7. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/106/6/1401/4823156
  8. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080109173717.htm#:~:text=In%20general%2C%20those%20with%20higher,in%20the%20participants%2C%20Riechman%20said
  9. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/cholesterol/faq-20058468
  10. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0189-4
  11. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC426340/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25811544/
  14. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/14/448314966/why-you-might-want-to-be-drinking-beet-juice-at-the-gym
  15. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002424.htm

The Health Benefits of Eating a Plant Based Diet

Plant based diet featuring a purple bell pepper, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, and green bell pepper.

Nutritional science is showing some really exciting ways that a plant-based diet can boost your health. Embracing a plant-based diet has a slew of proven health benefits such as weight loss, glowing skin, increased immunity, and chronic disease prevention.

Additionally, when you combine a stellar nutritional plan with adequate support via coaching and community, your chances of long-term success increase even more.

It’s no secret that the mainstream U.S. diet is pretty problematic. Obesity, mood disorders, and many chronic health issues have all been linked to the standard American diet (SAD). Americans spend about 2.8 trillion dollars per year on chronic disease management, and up to two-thirds of those costs are related to unhealthy food choices. Incorporating a healthy diet plan in your lifestyle will have a significant effect on your health.

Essentially, the Western pattern diet (WPD) is messed up — and it’s making many people sick.

Eating Well For Yourself

The thing is, most people have at least some notion of what it means to eat well, but implementing change can be a really challenging process for a number of reasons.

What it comes down to is this: What you’re putting on your plate each day can either work for or against your most cherished health goals. That’s why we have partnered with Plantable to help educate our clients on how to incorporate more plant-based foods into their daily lives.

Your food choices can stem from a complex set of issues. Affordability, emotional eating, and lack of access to healthy foods can all show up as obstacles at times.

Knowing what’s best for you, combined with sound information and adequate support, can make all the difference when it comes to getting exceptional fitness results. And, simply put — your overall health suffers when you don’t eat well.

Your Food Coach Has Your Back

A coach can help guide you through the process of making major life changes. When you hit a wall or feel stuck, a coach can help you navigate the process.

In fact, a good coach knows that you’ll come up against some hurdles as you commit to eating healthier.

Tradition, family pressures, travel, and just … life will inevitably throw some curveballs your way as you grow. Consider it grist for the mill — a little resistance can make your commitment that much stronger in the long run. But sometimes, you might need someone to remind you of that when you really just want to ditch your plan and eat a bacon cheeseburger already. After all, a healthy diet is all about what you can commit to without torturing yourself as well.

A great coach can help you remember that, not only do you make a killer veggie burger, your *why* for making changes really matters. You want fantastic health and payoff for all your hard work in barre class.

Not ditching your commitment when you feel most tempted to can really make you stronger when it comes to achieving your goals. And, if you do let things slide sometimes, that’s OK too; your coach can help you get back up and stay on track long-term.

Food For Thought…

No matter where your starting point is — whether you’re a plant-based pro or a total newbie — making significant changes usually requires some support while you get the hang of things. Check out my personal routine here.

Once you’re firmly rooted in your new habits, the whole process gets so much easier. But for now, a skilled plant-based nutrition coach can make all the difference between lasting change, and falling back on old patterns that undermine your efforts.

The most important thing to remember is, you’ve got this. And a little support here and there can help keep you up when the going gets a little tougher.

Eat. Pulse. Love.

A camel wearing a colorful saddle and stirrups standing in the desert.

In January 2017, our CEO and Co-Founder Jennifer Maanavi along with Master Trainers Holly Hendricks and Ashlea Potts traveled many hours and many miles to kick off the opening of our new studio in Mumbai, India. They’ve recapped their whirlwind visit in which they met new lifelong friends, auditioned talented teachers and of course, enjoyed the culinary delicacies of India.

EAT
By Ashlea Potts, Physique 57 Master Trainer

Had you asked me a year ago where my life would take me in the next 365 days, I would never have predicted, “I’ll be a Physique 57 instructor traveling to Mumbai to help audition new instructors and teach Master classes.”  Well, flash forward to today, and I have done all of those things.

At the end of last year, I learned I had the amazing opportunity to journey to India. I’m studious so I immediately researched traveling to Mumbai and what the city had to offer. I was a little apprehensive about changing my routines for the 10 days I was traveling, but I was pleasantly surprised by all of my food options!

Mallika, the licensee for Physique57 Mumbai, introduced us to an India that caught me by surprise. After every morning class, we (and the clients too!) were greeted with a carrot and beetroot juice or green juice—complete with ginger, cucumbers, spinach, and pineapple. (It was so delicious; I think we all teared up after the first sip.) There was coconut water, served in actual coconuts; nothing but the fruit and a straw. Dinners consisted of kale, kale, and more kale! I know, right? I felt like I was tempting fate a bit by eating raw veggies, but it was all so delicious and cleansing that I couldn’t resist. (We all couldn’t resist.) One of the big highlights was lunch at a picture-perfect spot called Sequel, where we all shared an organic burrata salad and avocado toast. This was not the diet I had expected. I wanted to make my hipster foodie friends proud and Instagram my toast with some clever hashtag before devouring it, but my avocado was soon a distant memory. To top it off, we got smoothies to go, chockfull of chia seeds, almond milk, and Acai berries.  It was the perfect way to energize us through the rest of the day!

Now, don’t think I didn’t experience the spicy food culture. After our long week teaching and auditioning instructors, we took a short beach holiday to Goa. There we relaxed with poolside drinks and seafood dinners.  (The spiciness in most of the dishes was toned down for us, but it was still a bit too fiery for some palates. I’m looking at you, Jennifer and Holly!) We feasted on seafood platters, curry, palak paneer, and naan galore! The food was not only delicious, but it also physically and mentally fueled us to get through a busy week! Mumbai is not a place I will forget.

PULSE
By Holly Hendricks, Physique 57 Master Trainer and Manager of Talent

Traveling halfway around the world to teach an exercise method in a totally new area felt like a feat in itself, but traveling to said far-off destination looking for the talent to ultimately teach this method was a whole other “barre-game.”

We started our week-long adventure in Mumbai visiting the space of our pop-up Physique 57 master classes, a studio within a residential building in a bustling part of town. Walking in that first day, we immediately felt it: the buzz of something exciting on the horizon. Mallika welcomed us with literal open arms and the excitement was palpable. The Mumbai studio staff displayed signage, building maintenance installed custom barres, a sound engineer set up our sound board, and balls were blown up and tested for the Physique perfect squeezability. We had our studio—now to just fill it!

The next day we got straight to the auditions, 4 rounds to be exact. We had close to 30 applicants, dancers from all over India who were eager, motivated, and inspired by the opportunity to partake in this great fitness movement—even if they knew very little about it. (Some flew in that very day!) Jennifer, Ashlea, and I walked into the room with guarded enthusiasm, not quite knowing what to expect. What transpired over the next day and a half was nothing short of thrilling! These amazing individuals were bringing Physique 57 Mumbai to life. We picked our top five. Now we had our team!

Next up were the Master classes for Physique 57 Mumbai family and friends. The women and men who walked into the studio came with a little trepidation, only trusting Mallika’s passion for this unfamiliar-to-them method. As Ashlea and I made our way around the room meeting and greeting, asking for injuries, offering up some tips on how to handle the burn, we were met with kind pleasantries and questions “What exactly is Physique 57?” “What is a barre class?” “I haven’t worked out in months, can I do this?” We told the clients they were going to shake and burn, in all the right places, but that we were there to keep them motivated and hopefully have some fun too.

And wow, did they shake…and burn…and laugh and yell and whoop! Any hesitations or communication barriers fell after that first set of thighs and for those 57 minutes it didn’t feel like we were halfway around the world. And it didn’t feel like we were teaching a barre class to a group of strangers, 10.5 hours in the future. It was the same incredible feeling we get when we see any of our clients stepping up to the plate, powering through the intensity and getting stronger because of it. It was that same feeling we’ve had from the very first pulse—the burn unifies us all!

LOVE
By Jennifer Maanavi, Physique 57 CEO and Co-Founder

The adrenaline started pumping as soon as I landed at Mumbai airport at 3 a.m. I could feel the energy and mystery of the megapolis as I headed to my hotel in the wee hours of the morning. Throughout the drive, I was pinching myself—I can’t believe Physique 57 has made its way to Mumbai! What was in store for the Physique 57 team and the long list of men and women signed up for our Master Class?

I’ve traveled to many countries to introduce Physique 57 to new groups, and we’ve always fallen in love with our newest clients’ energy and warmth—and they fall in love with our method’s life-altering powers. I wondered if we could recreate that magic in this city, home to 12 million people (only a few of which who’d ever heard of a barre class). Our goal was to get the love-fest going!

At Physique 57, we talk often about being in love with clients instead of simply loving clients. The difference may seem subtle but the outcome of one feeling versus the other is considerable. Being “in love” keeps the relationship fresh and exciting and creates a long-term bond. What do I mean when I say falling “IN love” with your clients? Your happiness and fulfillment literally depend on their happiness and fulfillment; you want them to make you a big part of their lives and you want to see them walk through your doors all the time. You want to be with them as much as possible and get to know them better each day. You want to build a greater, more serious relationship, and of course, you miss each other when you’re not together. I’m happy to say, after a jam-packed, intense time abroad, the love has spread to Mumbai!

One class into the week’s schedule I was convinced of a new love match. A smiling and sweaty Master Class participant told me she’d never experienced a fitness class this exhilarating. She asked me if we could offer Physique 57 classes “every hour, everyday.” Our bond was instant. I knew were making lifelong connections.

We’ve been honored to experience requited love with thousands of clients, many of whom have walked through our doors for more than a decade. It’s been happening in the U.S. for over a decade and has already spread to Dubai and Bangkok. We’re so happy to welcome Mumbai to the Physique 57 community. We are in love with you and we cannot wait to help you unleash your personal potential.