A fabulous workout and so much more

Alkalign Studios Menlo Park + Los Altos | Barre Fitness | Cardio Align

In 2010, I was introduced to barre class by a friend. To say this was “life changing” may seem dramatic but it is the honest truth! My friend, Eileen, had been taking classes for a few months and I noticed a difference in her body. She looked taller, leaner, more confident. I had to know the secret! I’d recently completed a marathon and was injured (that dreaded IT band!) and needed something to fulfill my exercise requirements and to develop some flexibility so I would be able to get back out there and RUN! So I signed up for a class. Looking back, I recall feeling totally clueless as the class got underway. Thank goodness I had my friend for moral support and an amazing instructor who seemed to sense my cluelessness and was quick with a smile and an encouraging word. I came for a workout but five years later, I have so much more.

 

Fitness has always been important to me. I feel better on the days that I work out. I sleep better,  I have more pep in my step. I get more done. My family will tell you, I am just nicer to be around when I get a workout! But the biggest draw for me is the need to be around others who have a similar relationship with exercise. I found this at Alkalign. I started as the front desk worker on Monday afternoons. I got to know the instructors. I took class more often. I fell deeper in love with the barre format as I noticed a difference in my posture, my strength and my flexibility. The studio became a second home for me. Why did I continue to come back to class? Why did I take the leap to train to become an instructor? Was it simply because I felt better and noticed a difference in how my clothes fit? That I truly saw results? All those things are true and SO much more. I came for a great workout and found a home. I have made so many wonderful friends, both instructors and clients. I am forever changed, forever grateful.

 

You may have noticed that the studio has gone through some changes! Thank you all for being patient throughout the process. What you probably notice is that the space has been reconfigured to provide room to gather and get to know each other. Grab a juice, salad or snack from the new fridge after class and hang out with a friend. Check out the current retail. Once you drag yourself away from the studio, visit our new website. ‘Like’ us on Facebook. Let us know if there are things you’d like to see us add that may foster an even greater sense of community. We are here for you. We want the studio to feel like your home—a place that is welcoming and friendly and that you want to come back to frequently!

Workout Tips

Alkalign Studios Menlo Park + Los Altos | Barre Fitness | Cardio Align

By making regular physical activity part of your routine, you are in the top 48% of Americans that get the CDC-recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity every week. Now that you have experienced the mental and physical benefits that Alkalign’s programming offers, you may have wondered how you can take your practice to the next level. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of your workout:

  • Be prepared: The Boy Scouts are right, showing up to class prepared is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your workout. Drink 8-12 oz. of water before class or bring a water bottle into the studio so that you can sip between sets. Carry a pair of grippy socks in your bag. If you plan on coming during a busy time, reserve your spot so that you can show up, sign in, and grab your spot in the room.
  • Unplug: Leave your phone, work, family, and “to-do” list(s) outside the studio door.  This is your time to focus on you, what the instructor saying, get lost in the music, and find your inner balance. Clinical studies have found that intentionally focusing attention on the muscles you’re working leads to increased muscle contraction, and thus better results. [1]
  • Take the options: Today might be the day that you can do plank on your toes or take the arm release during High-C and stay engaged. But how do you know if you don’t try? According to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, you must fatigue your muscles in order to get stronger. In every exercise, make sure that you are reaching the point of fatigue.
  • Breathe: Not only will effective breathing feed much-needed oxygen to your muscles allowing you to work harder, but it can deepen muscular engagement during abdominal exercises. Exhale sharply to help engage your transversus abdominis during flatback and c-curve to get more benefit from those exercises.
  • Ask questions: Your instructors go through a rigorous training process to ensure that they are experts in each exercise. If you are not sure if you are doing something right, please ask!
  • Stay: You made it to class, you shook through thigh work, and you burned through seatwork. Why miss the reward of the final stretch? Not only is final stretch a great time to reflect on the time spent, but it helps improve flexibility and joint range of motion. It also increases blood flow to muscles which may help decrease soreness, according to Mayo Clinic.
[1] D. Marchant, M. Grieg, C. Scott. Attentional Focusing Strategies Influence Muscle Activity During Isokinetic Biceps Curls. Athletic Insight [online journal].
The Power of Practice

Alkalign Studios Menlo Park + Los Altos | Barre Fitness

We all know that in order to get really good at something you need to practice. It could be a skill you are trying to master or your favorite sport. My son is super humanly good at hula hooping, and let me tell you, he did not get it from his momma. He is good because he practices. My husband is very well practiced at concocting the most delicious mojitos. I was a prodigy pianist growing up. How did I get so skilled? Practice.

Think of some things you are good at… speaking another language, cooking, healthy eating, singing, photography, drawing, texting, complaining, telling yourself you aren’t good enough, disliking your reflection in the mirror, constantly putting your needs last, believing your excuses. How did you get so good at all those things? Uh huh, practice! Not everything we practice is beneficial. In fact, some things we excel at can be downright damaging. I mean, who wants to be good at complaining?! It is time to stop letting ourselves get so good at behaviors that do not uplift or strengthen us. Many of us, including me, have practiced for years the belief that we are not strong enough, smart enough, or important enough.

 

Those negative thoughts begin to affect all aspects of life and can be a detriment to your overall wellness. Not feeling well leads to a lack of motivation, stress, and depression. It is time to change your practice and reset the negative process. Nourish your mind with positive thoughts!

 

Start to become more aware of negative thoughts and edit them to be positive ones. For example, if you happen to catch a glance of yourself in the mirror your first thought may be “my thighs are out of control” or “my arms are flabby” stop! Think “my quadriceps are so strong” or “wow, that abdominal work is paying off”. Practice being nice to yourself. Practice loving yourself. The more you practice the less those negative thoughts will sneak into your mind.

 

To all the parents out there: Stop practicing guilt! So many parents have mentioned to me that they feel guilty for working, taking the time to exercise or simply taking time to relax. Being good at feeling guilty does not service anyone. Instead tell yourself “I am working to provide for my family and to accomplish my personal career goals”. How about “I am a better parent because I am strengthening my mind and body” or even better “I deserve an hour a day for me time”. Commit to redirecting negativity, guilt and self depreciation.

 

While editing your thoughts in a positive way is so important, the ultimate goal is to pursue happiness, contentment, and balance. Practice joy, laughter, and confidence—you will get really good at it. Take the time to practice mindfulness and listen to your true thoughts—you will get really good at it. Practice accepting your flaws and forgiving yourself for negative thoughts. Lastly, do not practice perfection. Strive for the most authentic raw version of yourself.

Practice you!

Not all cardio is created equal: Why Interval training is better

Alkalign Studios Menlo Park + Los Altos | Barre Fitness | Cardio Align

If you have taken Cardio Align, you have probably seen that little orange timer that your instructor clings to like a precious gem. There is a good reason for that; our cardiovascular interval sequencing is specifically designed to ensure that you get the most effective workout during your 45-minute sweat session. Why is interval training better than traditional endurance cardiovascular training?

Interval training is more efficient than traditional cardiovascular training. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that a small group of both fit and sedentary men and women doubled their cardiovascular endurance after only two weeks of interval training. The control group saw no improvement. It gets better… This study also showed that after interval training, the amount of fat burned in an hour of moderate cardiovascular exercise increased by 36% and the heart and lungs’ ability to provide oxygen to the body increased by 13%. The interval training design used in our Cardio Align class will help maximize the physiological benefits of your workout.

 

You burn more calories and boost your metabolism. This is due to a physiological phenomenon called Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC. When you work at a high intensity, your body uses more oxygen than it can take in and that creates an oxygen deficit. That means that your body is burning extra calories (6 – 15% more according to the American College of Sports Medicine) to replenish its oxygen reserves while you are sipping your Peets latte after class. The EPOC window is usually about two hours long, but can continue for up to 48 hours after class!

 

Interval training keeps your mind active. Anyone who has spent time on a treadmill knows how excruciatingly boring cardiovascular workouts can be. At Alkalign, we want to make sure that both your body and mind are active in every class. Interval training not only challenges body, but the quick transitions and exercise variety in our Cardio Align format are designed to keep you engaged and focused and to make the 45 minutes fly by.

 


 

Sources:

Jaret. P. A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion, New York Times, May 3, 2007
HIIT Workout: What It Is And Why It Works
American College of Sports Medicine High Intensity Interval Training

Nourish

Alkalign Nourish Clean Healthy Eating

Reshape the way you think about food. Learn this and more with Alkalign Nourish, a new, innovative nutrition program developed exclusively for our studios with one goal in mind, the individual. Nourish began with Erin and Alene’s mutual passion for healthful food and a belief that what you put into your body is as important as the output.

 

Nourish is an integral part of the Alkalign philosophy and culture. In the past, a variety of programs have been offered but none as individualized as this one. Nourish will offer the ability to work with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist one-on-one, in a group setting, virtually or all of the above. It will have a community component where you will be able to share your journey, recipes, activity and recommendations for those who choose to participate.

 

Alkalign Nourish is launching in May! We are also offering a Grab-and-Go Fridge with healthy meals, snacks and beverages available in studios now! Stay tuned for more and Nourish yourself to a better you.

 

FAQ’s

Erin

We are proud to present Alkalign! We know change isn’t always easy and want to be as transparent about the transition as possible.

 

Q: What is Alkalign?

A: Alkalign represents dynamic balance. We are about balancing the mind, body, and soul by offering highly effective and targeted strength, alignment and nutrition training.

 

Q: What does the name Alkalign mean?

A: We took the word Alkaline, which represents water, well-grounded, balance, and also refers to the ideal pH state of your body, and combined it with our passion for alignment to form Alkalign. 

 

Q: What happened to the previous studio brand?

A: TDM is still an operating franchise in the barre industry. Erin’s contract expired and she chose to leave the franchise to provide more to the communities she’s been personally serving for over six years. You will be amazed by what is on the horizon!

 

Q: What is going to be different?

A: Alkalign will continue to offer the barre and cardio interval classes you know and love. We are modifying the formats and exercises to make the most of your workout time and to continually challenge and change your body. Moreover, we will be evolving beyond the barre with a nutrition program, on-site grab-and-go healthy food options, and additional class formats for a holistic, integrated health experience. 

 

Q: Are my packages transferable?

A: Yes, all of your information with our external software provider MINDBODY will remain the same. Your login and password will remain the same. Additionally, we are eliminating expiration dates on package purchases so if you have previously purchased classes that have expired, you will now be able to use them!

 

Q: How do I book a class? Is there an app?

A: Yes, there is an app available on the iTunes app store and Google Play. Download your way into easier booking!

 

Q: Will there still be childcare?

A: Yes! Please refer to the studio schedules for classes with childcare classes.

 

Q: I heard there is a family pass? Can I bring my husband to class?

A: Core Members can add a family member in their immediate household for an additional $100/month/person.* The family membership ends if/when the primary Core Membership ends unless that family member wants to assume the primary Core Member rate. *Limit 2 per household.

 

Q: Can I take classes at both Menlo Park and Los Altos under the same package?

A: Yes, the Menlo Park and Los Altos locations are still affiliated.

 

Q: Are there going to be classes about food?

A: Yes, we are rolling out a nutrition program, Alkalign Nourish, which will include workshops on food, among other things.

 

Q: Do I have to meet with a nutritionist before I take class?

A: No. Alkalign Nourish is an integral part of what we offer at Alkalign as a part of our holistic approach to health and wellness. However, participation is not required to take class nor do you need to take class to participate in Alkalign Nourish.

 

Q: I’ve never done barre classes because I love yoga. Are you offering a yoga class?

A: Currently Alkalign is not offering its own “yoga” class, but there are many elements of yoga incorporated into the classes. In the months to come we will be broadening our class offerings, which may include additional elements of yoga.

 

Q: Is Alkalign going to open more studios?

A: Yes, that is the plan!

 

Q: What are the plus/minus signs for?

A: The +/- represents a charge. The charge you get from taking care of your body with good nutrition and high quality exercise.

 


 

If you have additional questions, please reach out directly to our owner Erin. Erin@alkalignstudios.com. We will also be hosting Alkaign Open Houses in the coming weeks so you can connect with us in person! Please check your email and our social media feeds on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for all things Alkalign.

Core Membership

Alkalign Studios Barre Fitness Blog

Real. Raw. Superhuman.

Our Core Members are just that, the foundation and the nucleus of our studios. You too can become Superhuman!

Alkalign with Benefits:

  • $199 monthly rate
  • 15% off retail purchases*
  • Discounted workshops
  • Core Member Guest pass

*Some exclusions (ie: food) apply

New Client Special

Alkalign-Studios-Menlo-Park-+-Los-Altos-_-Barre-Fitness_New_Client_Special

New to Alkalign?

Sign up for our new client special and get unlimited classes at our studios for 30 Days. Good for 30 days from first use. Sorry, but offer excludes existing clients.