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It’s the moment of the fitness mash-up

Barre Bee Fit
Kettlebells in a barre studio?? (Photo: Joshua Schottenstein for Barre Bee Fit)


Girl Talk’s got nothing on the workout world. While classes that combined multiple sweaty modalities used to be rare (and quickly canceled), the moment of the fitness mash-up may have finally arrived.

In the past year in New York, Pure Yoga and Yoga 216 launched classes that combined yoga and boot camp. Flex Studios debuted 30/30 and 30/30/30, classes that combine their previously separate disciplines—tricked-out Pilates reformer, barre, and TRX. Exhale launched Barre+Cardio and Studio 360 opened with a cycling-yoga combo offering.

And when The Movement opens its doors in early April, it will take muscle-building mash-ups to a new level, with an entire suite of classes based around the concept. Think barre-HIIT, yoga-CrossFit, and many more.

The Movement's Magen Banwart is all about fitness mash-ups. (Photo: MB Fitness)
The Movement’s Magen Banwart is all about fitness mash-ups. (Photo: MB Fitness)

“We’re all busy and have full lives. Mash-ups, apart from being more interesting and fun, are more time-, energy-, and cost-efficient,” explains The Movement co-founder and director of programming Magen Banwart. “Why take three or four classes when you can get your fat-burning, cardio, full-body strengthening, shaping, sweating, and stretching in one, super-fun hour?” (I’m exhausted already.)

But can seemingly totally polar opposite approaches to getting fit create sweaty harmony where there should have been cacophany? (We’re applying the Sinead O’Connor and Lil’ Wayne mashup rule here.) Or does everyone just have fitness ADD?

They can work, affirms Ariana Chernin, co-founder of rapidly expanding Barre Bee Fit—which offers barre-HIIT and barre-boxing classes. But it doesn’t always.

“There can be drawbacks if a class wasn’t created with an appropriate ‘recipe.’ Jill [co-founder Jillian Lorenz] and my specific backgrounds in choreography/dance and competitive running/sports have allowed us to come together and perfect Barre Bee Fit’s recipe,” Chernin explains. In other words, there are good DJs and bad ones, and the same goes for workout class designers (as if you didn’t know that).

Also, since you’ll be changing it up throughout the class and spending less time on each workout modality, you have to make sure you’re working as hard as you can during every moment. Intensity is key, says Chernin. “It really comes down to packing a punch with the time you dedicate to fitness.” —Lisa Elaine Held