We rang Barre Belle founder Marnie Alton to chat about how she created her customized workout class, what keeps her motivated, and a 5-minute workout hack.
Originally from Canada and now a sun-loving fitness goddess in LA, Marnie Alton searched long and far for the perfect workout that combined the levels of cardio a spin class would reward, the hard body sculpting a barre class would offer, and the balance and flexibility a yoga class provides. All of these elements were combined after Alton ardently researched the body from a biological and physiological standpoint, and then created the Barre Belle workout, which is housed in a state-of-the-art studio on La Brea Boulevard.
Can you tell me a little about your background and how you started Barre Belle?
MA: There was a new company [in 2005] called The Bar Method which had just opened up. They were looking for teachers and nobody knew what barre was at all. They asked me to teach and if they could train me. Looking back on what I didn’t realize is that I was getting my opportunity to first discover what I really loved. So, I kept at it. And what I also kept at was teaching and learning, and getting actually incredibly passionate about some of this method and the way it empowered women. I left LA, moved to England for a year, spent some time in New York, I was everywhere and I’m like, I can’t find that class. I can find aspects of it everywhere. And I wasn’t thinking, I’m going to create it. I came back [to LA] and it just hit me, like, this is what I have to do. I have to make this because there’s got to be other women like me out there who need this.
It’s very empowering as a woman to take your class. Do men join the class?
MA: Yes, they do. They absolutely do. A lot of the men that come, they’re like, oh, I’ll come with my girlfriend, or I’ll come to try this yoga-like class, and they get their asses kicked so hard that they’re literally like, I have to go workout so I can come back again. I’ve heard that on so many occasions.
What inspires you and keeps you motivated even on down days?
MA: For me, I know this sounds crazy but this is the first time in my life that I’ve been really aligned with my life’s purpose. I know the misery of trying to force myself into something that I don’t actually want to be or do. I focus on staying in wellness, I focus on gratitude, I focus on taking on time to do simple things. It’s really important to me.
What’s a five minute workout hack that you can do at home when you don’t have time?
MA: I like anything that combines fluid motion. I would say, put on your favorite song, something that’s really upbeat. Do four minutes of alternating plié squats or three and a half minutes then ending in a 90-second plank. That would be a pretty rad five minutes.
What do you love about living in LA?
MA: The sun. I’m definitely solar-powered.