When Gainesville Health and Fitness was looking to launch a barre class, they wanted to a program that would fit their requirements. It needed to appeal to a wide audience and be space conscious.
“The space that we use at the main center we also share with personal training so when we don’t have classes going on the personal trainers can use that space to train clients,” said Robin Zukowski, Pilates director at Gainesville Health and Fitness. “We needed a barre that could be portable and sturdy, but when we are not using it we can move it out of the way.”
Fluidity Barre was the perfect choice. Each participant uses their own height-adjustable barre, which not only allows the user to adjust the bar based on their height, but the equipment can also be easily be stored once class is finished.
“The first thing we do in class is we show people how to position their pelvis in optimal alignment,” explained Zukowski. “With the Fluidity Barre the nice thing about them is everyone has their own bar so we can adjust the height for that person specifically so that way they can get their body aligned in a position that is best for them.”
The class provides an optimal workout, hitting each muscle group with various exercises aimed to improve posture. “We do a lot of lower body-based movements so we will do anything from lunges to feet work to working on the glutes and hamstrings,” she added. “Then we also incorporate some pulling movements to work the upper body; throughout the whole class we emphasize posture and staying in alignment. Finally, we will also do bands which attach to the bars that we will do shoulder work with.”
To Zukowski’s surprise the Fluidity Barre class has attracted a wide variety of members at the club. She credits this to the low-impact yet high-intensity nature of the workout. “When we started the barre classes I thought we would only get young college girls,” explained Zukowski. “I will have a lot of women 30 and under, but I also have women 50 and older. The movements are so small that you get a good workout, your muscles are burning, you feel things working, but I can literally have someone with no injuries under the age of 20 and a 60 year old woman who just had back surgery in the past year all be able to do the class at the same time.”
Within the last year Barre exploded onto the fitness scene, so the launch of the new class did not require extensive marketing. “If I was to start a class people hadn’t heard of, we would have to spend a lot of time explaining to people what the class is,” said Zukowski. “Nowadays most people have heard of barre classes. When we introduced the class, the majority of people already knew what it was so from there we could promote how our Fluidity brand of barre is different.”
However, launching a popular format can have its challenges. As Zukowski explains, when Gainesville Heath and Fitness incorporated Fluidity Barre into their Group X offering, it was crucial to make their class stand out from the competition.
“I don’t want to be a gym that just offers barre classes, I want it to feel like a true barre studio that just happens to be inside of a gym,” she said. “All of the principles are there, all of the traditions are there and the form is there. We are not sacrificing quality at all, we are taking something that is very high quality with instructors who are super knowledgeable and placing it inside of a gym.”