Hello World; Here’s What’s Next

When I started my very first blog the short, yet profound, phrase ‘Hello World’ was sitting in the first draft post.  It sat, perfectly simple, in the wordpress template as if it were helping to push me along into the future, a little more open and a little less anxiously than would typically mark the beginning of the unknown.  Granted, I think everyone who started a blog had the same stock welcome note waiting for them on their first post, but in that moment the welcome felt very personal and very real.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about new beginnings – about the difficulties of wrapping up the past and stepping into the instability of the future – no matter how bright it might look.

If you’re standing at the edge of something new, no matter how much certainty you carry in the decision, you’re bound to feel vulnerable.  New jobs, new relationships, new businesses — and even just new routines.  It’s far too frequent that people tell me that they’d love to try out MAD, or they are really excited about b:core but they are afraid they wouldn’t be good at it, aren’t fit enough, or will try it ‘next month’ (when, clearly, all the rest of the world will have aligned around them to make the adjustments to their current schedule seamless and powerful).  Obviously I’m joking a bit there because I’ve never known any phase of my life, or even any day really, to perfectly align in a way that makes my goals easy (can goals be easy?).  If I learned anything during my tenure at lululemon and the hundred some goal setting sessions I conducted, it’s that if you’re not really reaching for a big goal– and maybe reaching, finding a step stool or ladder, and creating a pulley system to get to that top point — you’re not aiming high enough.  And if it scares the pants off of you? Great.  You’ll thank yourself later.  In short, you’ll have to create your own perfect alignment, your own power, and your own conviction to go after that next goal.

fuel sweat grow: b:core

Today as I sit here, amidst quite a bit of the anticipated ‘new’ and a list of far too many to-do’s, I’m embracing it all.  I have endless opportunities, a handful of things that are all building quickly, and powerfully, to lead to wherever it is I’m going to end up — but I can’t complain.  The good far outweighs the bad, the creative outweighs the mundane, and the strengths outweigh the weaknesses.  We are finally on the brink of being exactly where we anted to be with ALL the businesses, and it’s time to appreciate their energy, success, and communities – in a big way.

Today we announced another exciting piece of our b:core lineup – b:elite.  The b:elite program is geared towards developing high school and college athletes looking to build, or enhance, strength and endurance fundamentals through personalized and focused skills development and conditioning.

fuel sweat grow: b:elite programming

This training and programming is expertly developed, implemented, and paired to bring a well rounded and effective curriculum to the athletes it serves.  Stay tuned for more detailed information about the coaches programming, and partnership (yep, b:core and MAD will be teaming up to make sure these athletes are getting the benefit of the well rounded training regimen and lifestyle we promote through our barre, core, and interval programming. Questions? email belite[at]bcoremethods.com for more information or to sign up.

This summer is already off to a full and amazing start, and it’s just the beginning of May — not too shabby.  Between our MAD locations in Charlottesville and Charleston, b:core coming also to Charlottesville, and a few other things up our sleeves, there’s never a dull moment, but there are a lot of exciting moments filled with amazing friends, exciting new partnerships, and of course…..fitness + food.

Hello (again) World; I’m back and it’s time to embrace all the positive that comes with change, and walk eyes wide open into the next chapter.  Things will never be the same, but sometimes can mean a lot of beautiful things.

b:core – THE Announcement

So here it is: the announcement you’ve been waiting for…or really the one we have been itching to get out for a long time.  b: is for barre, but core is for….Lagree.

We’ve been following this method for a while now, both at it’s foundational level through creator Sebastien Lagree, and also through some of the current top-trending brands that deliver the method globally (try: solidcore, core40, SLT, and over 100 others).  If you’re dialed in to the fitness scene even just a little bit, you’ve heard of it — and if you really have your finger on that pulse, you’ve probably gone out of your way to sweat your face off in a class somewhere, just like we did.

Want to learn a little more? Check out some of these articles from well+good that can give you a little bit more info on some of their top Lagree studios and why they love to sweat at them.  Our studio will have our local b:core branding and a strong athletic vibe, so you can expect some intense sweating to perfectly compliment everything else that you do — at least that’s what my plan is.

When I left Charlottesville after college and began my fitness career outside of college athletics (in tandem with my business career) I viewed the combination as part of my ‘real world’ immersion.  It began as a way to create balance in my new grown up life, and quickly started to set the foundation for my lifestyle.  I travelled often, always finding the ‘best’ place to sweat wherever I was, and was lucky to live in both Philadelphia and Charlotte where fitness is both a focus and something that is done exceptionally well.  I learned the importance of investing in my health, and tapped into my passion for not only teaching, but also building community with that same lifestyle focus.  Part of that path was  pushing myself physically to try everything while continuously learning and evolving beyond passion to establish that solid base for what I believed in and why.  That part of course has continued to evolve, and will hopefully only get stronger.

fuel sweat grow: lagree fitness b:core

The other side of that path was the one leading me back to Charlottesville.  I wanted to live here, that was without question, but I wasn’t willing to give up the fitness and health aspect of my lifestyle to make that happen.  So, of course, the only real logical course of action was to build what I wanted in Charlottesville, and that’s the root of this all.  Basically, what we have now is my ideal world, paired with Dar’s own dimensions and passions, and a community that is transforming before our very eyes.  I think I can also speak for Dar here when I say that we could not be more excited to finally have what we believe are the top foundational, innovative, and expertly designed methods out there all perfectly packaged to compliment each other — and we promise, we’ll never be complacent.

We’ve still got a lot more brewing over here, but now that this cat’s out of the bag, it will all make much more sense.  Charlottesville I hope you’re ready, because things are about to get pretty intense….in a good way.

5 Pieces of Life Balance: Training Edition

I never used to take rest days.  In fact, I rarely listened to my body.  When I was rowing in high school and college, it was normal to workout 6 -7 days a week, sometimes even twice a day.  It was normal because we were all training at high levels, pre-elite and elite levels, that demanded that kind of training regimen.  The difference then was it was essentially a job, and we had some of the best strength coaches and trainers in the country supervising our programming and skills (and also, we were barely in our twenties).

Now I’m 29, I have a real job (or 3), and training is not a demand – at least not at that level.  So, the most important thing for me in my ‘adult’ life,  was to find a healthy balance of training for fitness, and living life.  At MADabolic we frequently say ‘we don’t live to train, we train to live,’ and as cliche as I’m sure it could sound, it’s actually a really honest statement.   I don’t have the time to revolve my life around training, and honestly I don’t want to.  There’s no balance in trying to train for an imaginary career in elite athletics, so now I train for the life I want to have, with the time I have, and don’t sacrifice actually LIVING.

MADabolic Cville

I also train smarter.  Some days I think I train harder, others I know I don’t, but I have the balance and formula to maximize my efforts, and that has made all the difference. I look better, I feel better, and I actually perform more consistently now than I ever have.  I don’t have quite the same power and endurance as I did when I was rowing at 18 and 19, but to be healthier and happier heading out of my twenties – that’s a different kind of power and endurance.

This is a blog where I talk a lot about eating clean and smart, but the same is true for training.  When you workout, make your time count.  If you want results, you’re going to have to work for them, but also make that time work for you.  Find good coaches with actual resumes and credentials — not just the ability to sit through a weekend pay-for certification.  And ask about their experience — actual experience: who were they trained by, where have they been, and what have they accomplished.  There’s no such thing as an inexperienced training savant — so do your due diligence.  It’s not just about programming, it’s about actual applied knowledge, fundamentals, and safety.  It takes about 5 minutes for me to determine if a coach or instructor is a seasoned athlete or someone spitting out learned terms and phrases, and the latter is the biggest danger to clients and the fitness industry on the whole.


There was a great article in Huff Post this week about 5 Things You Need to Know if you’re searching for a personal trainer – definitely worth the read.

And now, to round out my rant and bring it back to the personal: listen to your body.

If your body isn’t changing and you’re not getting stronger – either work harder or find something else. If you’re training constantly but not losing extra weight, change how you eat.  If you’re getting injured and nursing chronic pain – stop doing what you’re doing.  And if you’re tired or overtraining yourself and your body asks for a break, give it one.  You’ll do more damage than good if you keep pushing your body through such high demands when it’s telling you it needs a break (trust me, I’ve learned that the hard way.  many times).  Seven days a week of mediocre and half-assed workouts will never compare to 4 days of high efficiency.  The same is true with 90 minute cardio pacts versus high intensity intervals and scientifically programmed interval cycles.

So, here are my own 5 points of guidance to give balance to your training and life:

1. Train for your life.  Not for someone else’s – very few adults suddenly develop into elite athletes, but many will develop chronic injuries from improper and unsafe training. Be smart.

2.  Give yourself a break when you need one: mentally or physically.

3.  Know your trainer.  Don’t blindly accept inaccurate advice.  Seek out knowledgable and experienced trainers and know who THEY were trained by.

4.  Listen to your body.  It will tell you what you need.

and last but not least…

5.  Have a good damn time.  Seriously, enjoy your workouts.  Look forward to them.  Mix them up, and make sure you smile and laugh.  Life’s too short.