FINE: Tell us about your background, where you are from, what other cities you may have lived in, family, etc.?
Brooke: I run this studio with my sister, Audrey, and we were born in Michigan and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. I am married with two daughters and have a giant Newfoundland. My degree is in the music business and that’s what I did, working for Sony/ ATV Music Publishing, until I decided I wanted to work for myself. I spent the last ten years in Nashville as a Realtor and a “BarreAmped” Instructor. My most rewarding job, the one that didn’t ever feel like work, was teaching BarreAmped! Audrey is also married and has four children! She is a professional photographer and a BarreAmped addict. Her photography business in Nashville kept her too busy to teach classes so she’s looking forward to starting her dream job as a studio owner and instructor.
FINE: What brought you to Naples?
Brooke: My in-laws have a vacation home in Bonita Springs so I have been visiting this area for several years and fell in love with it. I have always wanted to open up a BarreAmped studio and thought Naples would be a great place to live. I thought that our studio would be an asset to a community that thrives on health, fitness, and fun! After begging Audrey to try this adventure with me, her husband was offered a job in town, without even looking for a job here. We couldn’t help but think it was a sign we should go for it. Audrey moved with her husband in May and my husband and I moved in September. We’ve been working hard on getting the studio, “The Sand Barre,” open ever since!
FINE: How did you first get into the fitness profession?
Brooke: I became interested in BarreAmped after joining a testimonial group for the method’s creator, Suzanne Bowen. I had some baby weight I wanted to lose and had been doing rec-center based group fitness classes and doing a lot of running, but without seeing any results. I was accepted for the small testimonial group and had no idea it would change my life. I had never taken a barre class before. I didn’t even know what a barre was? Long story short, I lost 25 inches and 17 pounds in 3 months. I was blown away with how effective BarreAmped was compared to other methods. I also gained strength and flexibility that I never knew I had! After seeing my success, Audrey started taking classes at her local BarreAmped studio and was hooked just as fast. Through photography, she loves showing women of all ages, shapes and sizes, and how beautiful they truly are. That’s ultimately where her passion lies. The Sand Barre studio is just another extension of that. Audrey is now an instructor and is equally as passionate about encouraging women to work hard at their fitness goals, yet love their bodies during their fitness journey. Not everyone is supposed to be a size 2! We want you to be excited, feel good, and be empowered as you work toward being your best “you!”
FINE: What exactly is The Sand Barre? What do you have to offer, what makes you unique from the other workout places?
Brooke: The Sand Barre is a boutique-style fitness studio, featuring BarreAmped. BarreAmped has several different class formats, which adds a lot of variety to your workout schedule. The most basic class, and the favorite, is BarreAmped. It’s low impact and not cardio based but you WILL sweat and you will see results! You may hear us say the phrase “shake to change”. This is because when you’re deep in a BarreAmped isometric hold or just doing tiny 1″ movements, will work your muscles to the point of fatigue (shaking) and that’s when they begin to strengthen and change! This is good and we like the shake! Other class variations are: BarreAmped Advanced – Same as BarreAmped but featuring more advanced postures BarreAmped Bootcamp – This is done in a circuit style with short cardio segments built into each circuit. This class is great for fat burning as the heart rate is kept at fat-burning level. We are aware that everyone’s heart rate is different, though, so modifications are always offered for different fitness levels. BarreAmped Tabata – This is just like Bootcamp except the cardio intervals are kicked up a notch…or three! The Tabata interval is named after its creator, Dr. Izumi Tabata. It is a type of High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) that consists of 20 seconds of full effort cardio followed by a 10 second rest. This is repeated for 8 repetitions. If you like to sweat, this class is for you! We’re known to fog up the windows in Tabata. BarreAmped Fire – This is probably my favorite class of all of them. It’s an advanced-level class that has a different layout than BarreAmped and ads in a few cardio intervals to keep the heat up. It’s challenging but fun and fast-paced.
FINE: What does this type of workout accomplish?
Brooke: BarreAmped focuses on working a major muscle group to fatigue (shaking) and then going straight into orthopedic stretching to create strong, long, lean muscles. Once we do that with one muscle group, like the thighs, we will move on and hit the next, maybe the “Seat.” As someone who did a lot of running and different fitness classes in the past, I had never been a fan of stretching. Getting the stretching in the middle of class, right when you need it, is such an amazing way to release those muscles while they’re warm and really gain flexibility.
FINE: Do you recommend this for all people? How often should you do this program?
Brooke: Yes! BarreAmped is great for all people! We see clients of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Our instructors are highly trained to give personal attention to each client during class. This is why our classes are kept small. We want to be able to help with form and walk through modifications if necessary due to injury or pregnancy. We are one of only a few barre methods that focus on a neutral spine instead of a “tucked” spine. We recommend taking classes our founding members so I’m sure we will always make them feel extra special throughout the year!
FINE: How can people find out more information about The Sand Barre? Brooke: Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram! We do giveaways through Instagram and updates and client surveys on Facebook so they are important ways to communicate with us. Go to our website at www.TheSandBarre.com and register for classes there. If you have any questions, you can E-mail us at email@example.com
FINE: Have you enjoyed living in Naples? What are some of your favorite restaurants, shops, beaches, parks etc.?
Brooke: Yes!!! We still feel like we’re on vacation! I still pinch myself when I see coconut palms lining the streets. We love Lover’s Key for long beach walks, Vanderbilt Beach for sunsets, and the Naples Pier for people watching. We have been so impressed by the county park system. The activities here are endless! Some favorite restaurants so far are The Bay House (amazing chef from Nashville!), Campiello, The Crust, and Pub at the Mercato has a great happy hour. I don’t know if we will ever run out of new restaurants to try. We love it!
FINE: What should you wear when working out? Do you have a favorite brand?
Brooke: You want to wear form-fitting clothes in BarreAmped. Most people wear leggings and a fitted tank top/workout top and toe socks. We do not make toe socks mandatory but we like them. We do sell them in the studio, too, if you forget yours or want a new pair. I wear a lot of different brands and we plan to grow our boutique beyond branded merchandise to clothing lines such as Onzie and Glyder Apparel. Let’s be honest, workout clothes are comfy. Not only that, sometimes if we put them on, it inspires us to actually work out, right? We like whatever makes us feel pretty and comfortable. You can never go wrong with Lululemon, either!
FINE: What do you have in store for your grand opening?
Brooke: First we want to invite your readers to our soft opening. Shhhh, it’s for friends and family only. We will be having free classes and sip and see’s with cocktails and social time after class!
Those are December 28, 29th, and 30th. The Grand Opening is January 2nd! New Year, new you! Classes that day will only be $1 and everyone who attends a class will be entered into drawings for giveaways that day. It’s definitely going to be fun and full of energy. All of the details on how to register and class times are on our website now, so please check it out.