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Tanya Becker (left) and Jennifer Maanavi, Physique 57 co-founders

When Physique 57 launched five years ago this month, it was a decidedly New York City brand of fitness. Now it’s expanding to several top spas across the country.

Named after 57th Street—home of its first studio—as well as its signature 57-minute sequence, the growing fitness empire was created by Jennifer Maanavi and Tanya Becker. Maanavi, a Wall Street exec, was a Lotte Berk aficionado. Tanya Becker taught Lotte Berke for nearly a decade and was also a dancer and choreographer.

When the iconic Lotte Berk studio closed its Upper East Side doors in 2005, the business brain and the artist teamed up to create Physique 57—a jazzier, higher-energy version of the beloved barre method. It was a sensation from minute one.  Each class is designed to feel “like you were just at the Cirque du Soleil of fitness,” says Becker. Of course the loyal celeb following of Kelly Ripa and Christy Turlington didn’t hurt.

Soon a Bridgehampton outpost opened, followed by a Soho studio for downtown girls,  and a fourth location in Beverly Hills just last year. But still, healthy travelers and spa-goers wanted the mystique of physique.

Through new partnerships with Canyon Ranch, the Harvard of health spas with a more relaxed outpost on Miami Beach, and sybaritic One & Only Ocean Club, Bahamas, Physique 57 is able to take the fitness show on the road, offering retreats to healthy travelers—and luxury spa-goers—who don’t live near a studio. Retreats include daily classes, nutritious spa cuisine (and gourmet meals at One & Only), and spa treatments.

The five-year old company won’t stop there, according to Maanavi. “Over the next few years we will carry on our expansion in Los Angeles and New York City—and reach men and women around the world with our numerous resort retreats and DVD Workout Series,” she say. Yes, Physique 57 is now making plans to reach the country’s mid-section too. Its growing collection of DVDs is now sold on QVC. —Alexia Brue

For more information about Physique 57 retreats, visit www.physique57.com/calendar_events

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