Author Archives: studio

Another Fan of Circuit Training! Check out this WSJ Article


Blake Mycoskie Hits a Circuit

The social activist and founder of Toms Shoes took up an invitation for a circuit-style workout. He’s never looked back

April 7, 2014 8:57 p.m. ET

Blake Mycoskie David Walter Banks for The Wall Street Journal

Blake Mycoskie used to tease his girlfriend, Heather, that her personal-training sessions seemed more about “girl time” than actual exercise. So she challenged him to join her and her trainer, Joselynne Boschen, for a circuit-style workout.

“I’ve never been so sore in my life,” he recalls. Mr. Mycoskie, 37, is the founder of Toms, a Marina del Rey, Calif., company that sells shoes and sunglasses and donates a pair of shoes to an impoverished child for every pair sold and part of the profit for each pair of sunglasses to an effort to restore the eyesight of people in developing countries.

Mr. Mycoskie says he often struggled to find time for a workout and to be with Heather, who is now his wife. “After that joint personal-training session a year and a half ago, I thought, ‘Hey, this is another way to see more of my girlfriend,’ ” he says. They married last year and now share a trainer three times a week.

The sessions use medicine balls, free weights, bands, ladders and the TRX Suspension Trainer, which is a pair of suspension straps that can be put almost anywhere, using body weight as resistance. Though Mr. Mycoskie went to the gym regularly, he says he wasn’t used to working out so many small stabilizing muscles and at such a nonstop pace.

He estimates he travels half the year for work. In March, Mr. Mycoskie launched Toms Roasting Co., with the mission to provide clean water to developing communities with each purchase of Toms coffee. This past year, he spent time in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Peru researching his new coffee venture. When he travels, he packs a jump rope, running sneakers and his TRX. “I had kids in Ethiopia running out of their mud huts looking at me like I was crazy doing push-ups from the TRX, which was suspended from a tree,” he recalls.

David Walter Banks for The Wall Street Journal

The Workout

At home in Venice, Calif., Mr. Mycoskie and his wife share a personal trainer at Alpha Venice studio three mornings a week. They start with lower body exercises such as squat hops using the TRX, or lunges. Upper-body work might include biceps curls, triceps dips, and push-ups with the TRX and then crunches with the medicine ball. The exercises change each session. “Sometimes they want to work on improving their golf game, and sometimes it’s just a good old fashion sweat session for all around toning and cardio endurance,” says Ms. Boschen.

Mr. Mycoskie plays golf and polo so Ms. Boschen gives him core exercises with a medicine ball to help improve his golf club and mallet swings.

He says he tries to run for at least an hour three times a week. He frequently bikes to work, which takes about 30 minutes. Two to three times a month, he rides a bike path from Venice to Malibu and back, which takes about an hour. “The entire path is along the beach and has gorgeous views,” he says.

Mr. Mycoskie met his wife at a surf shop in Montauk, N.Y., three years ago, and they enjoy vacations that revolve around surfing and yoga.

Once a Back Injury...Always a Back Injury?

By Jenifer Zeno

Watching Idinara safinandian Wells and Nadal with his “nagging back injury”-according to commentators.  And it got me thinking…

Its such a set back when an injury occurs! -And yes, without proper rehab, you will continue to suffer.   For a professional athlete, it can by career ending.  Sometimes the athlete gets injured, nature of the sport, or age or both, but sometimes its training–or lack of balanced training.  If you are a tennis enthusiast, you may remember Dinara Safina, an awesome physical tennis player.  I watched her get buff-very buff, but you could tell she wasn’t training in a balanced way.  If you look at pictures from when she attempted to get very strong you could predict a back injury.  And in 2009 it happened.  It eventually ended her career.  Sad to witness!  Now to bring this to the level of the recreational athlete or just regular person who wants to workout and enjoys it; please train in a balanced way!  Its not worth compromising your life with a back injury.  I have seen so many people with a lower back injury from entering into intense training before they are ready.  Intense training with weights or other means is great, if you are ready or you enter slowly.   Competing with that crazy advanced person next to you in class is a recipe for a back injury!  To stay injury free pay attention to the core muscles that protect your spine .  Pilates will give you the best chance to avoid a back injury.  And if you are suffering now, check out your nearest Pilates studio for some relief!

Clients Put Circuit 5.0 to the Test!

photo (45)Today we had our first Beta Class of Circuit 5.0!  We had an awesome group of 15 (maximum for this class) who showed up to put themselves and our new workout to the test.  The Circuit 5.0 Class is designed to raise your heart rate and give you a true cardio workout.  In addition to getting the cardio you need, clients also receive a full body strength workout.  From the look of the sweaty participants; I think we had success!  This Beta Class format will continue for 3 weeks with classes 3 times a week.  We will continue to fine tune the class based on the client feedback and have the class on the schedule in April!   See you in Class!

Healthy Winter Beef Stew Recipe

Ingredients- try to find all organic

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, (cut into bite-sized pieces)-Standard Market has great grass fed beef already cut!
  • 1 tsp Salt – Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced 
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 6oz can tomato paste – 
  • 32oz beef broth 
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 Parsnips, 3 or 4 Heirloom carrots,
  • 5-6 fingerling potatoes,cut into bite-sized pieces *see jen change
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley 
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano 
  • 1 cup frozen corn (non GMO organic)
  • 2 TBL cornstarch


1.  Combine beef, celery, parsnips, carrots,  onion, potatoes, salt,  pepper, garlic, parsley, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and tomato paste in the crock pot.   Cook on LOW for 10 hours or on HIGH for 6-7 hours. 

2.  About 30 minutes before serving, mix the cornstarch and ½ cup of broth from stew  in a small pan, thicken over high heat and pour into the crockpot. Mix until well combined. This will add a nice thickness to the stew. Next add in your frozen corn. Continue cooking covered for 30 minutes.

I did the DBP Cleanse, so now what?

The next thing you should do is note how you feel.  Maybe you lost weight, or have slept more soundly or your digestion has fallen into line.  Recognize that these things happened because you changed things…for the better!
Now reflect on what you learned.  Is quinoa maybe a new option for you?  Do you actually like coconut milk?  Ten days without caffeine and alcohol didn’t kill you?  Did you discover a new tea? etc.
Take those reflections into your life after the cleanse to help you stay on track.
You can begin to return to a more varied diet now, maybe not your old diet…maybe a new healthier version of your old eating patterns.  Add one food type every few days and gauge how you feel.  If you missed bread, have some (preferably whole grain) and see how your body reacts. Steelcut oatmeal is a great breakfast option. Continue adding foods and gauging your bodies reactions.  Reactions may be abdominal cramping, intestinal upset, excess mucous production, acne, rashes or sleeping disturbances.  If you notice any of these symptoms, consider limiting or eliminating that food for a few weeks and try again.  If after a few tries the food is tolerated, then add it back in, but try not to consume too much.
Continue to eat organic foods as much as possible.  Add a Vega One shake daily, perhaps it could replace a meal that is often skipped.  Vega One “All In One Nutritional Shakes” contain 50% of the vitamins and minerals that you need each day!  Try adding bananas and other fruits not allowed on the cleanse to your shakes.
Pay attention to your internal hunger cues and portion sizes.  We often eat more than we need just because it’s there, because we’re bored, or are procrastinating and using food as a diversion. Aim to eat consciously.
You may also wonder- When is a good time to cleanse again?  Many people cleanse at the start of each season..that can be a big commitment. (40 days a year!)  Our advice is to cleanse at least once a year and to listen to your body.  When you are feeling sluggish, need to bring some discipline back to your eating, or just not feeling your best, it may be time to reset your body with a gentle DBP Cleanse!


Consistency Works

studio shoot2Just reflecting today, I gazed out at my 5:30am class of DBP devotees…  I know them all because they are here often.  They all look and feel fabulous and I have seen positive changes in all of them.  It’s all about consistency, in exercise and in life.  It may not be as quickly as you like, but changes happen, just stick with it…time goes by anyway, why not do something positive!


Teenage Posture...A New Epidemic

texting postureYes I know, the title was meant to alarm you!  Compared to drug abuse, and other teenage issues- Its not on the top of most parents radar,  but please take a moment to consider the implications of what is happening to your teenagers spine.

Look at your daughter (son too, but this happen mostly in girls…alas, another issue to worry about)!  Does your daughters spine curve forward a lot in the upper portion of her back?  There should be a small curve, her upper back should not resemble a turtle shell.  Next check out her neck is the curve in the opposite direction too severe? This curve counteracts the upper back over-curvature.  Next the shoulders- do they hang to forward on her body, making the space for her chest look narrow. (Particularly the girls trying to camouflage a larger chest)?  Now to the front of the neck, from the point of the chin to the clavicle should not be a straight line..again reminding you of a turtle-and does the head hang too forward of the body?.  Lets take a look at the complications of this new adopted posture:

Fast Facts: The Consequences of Forward Head Posture

    • Long-term forward neck posture leads to “long-term muscle strain, disc herniations and pinched nerves.” (Mayo Clinic Health Letter, March 2000)
    • In regard to respiratory dysfunction in chronic neck pain patients, a recent study “demonstrated a strong association between an increased forward head posture and decreased respiratory muscle strength in neck patients.” (Cephalgia, February 2009)
    • “For every inch of forward head posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.” (Kapandji, Physiology of the Joints, Volume 3) -and losing inches in height too.
    • Loss of the cervical curve stretches the spinal cord 5-7 cm and causes disease.” (Dr. Alf Breig, neurosurgeon and Nobel Prize recipient)
    • “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine,” says Dr. Roger Sperry, Nobel Prize recipient for brain research. Dr. Sperry demonstrated that 90 percent of the energy output of the brain is used in relating the physical body to gravity. Only 10 percent has to do with thinking, metabolism, and healing, so when you have forward head posture, your brain will rob energy from your thinking, metabolism, and immune function to deal with abnormal gravity/posture relationships and processing.
    • According to Rene Cailliet MD, director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Southern California, forward head posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine. This can pull the entire spine out of alignment. FHP results in loss of vital capacity of the lungs by as much as 30 percent. This shortness of breath can lead to heart and blood vascular disease. The entire gastrointestinal system is affected; particularly the large intestine. Loss of good bowel peristaltic function and evacuation is a common effect of FHP. It causes an increase in discomfort and pain because proprioceptive signals from the first four cervical vertebrae are a major source of the stimuli which create the body’s pain controlling chemicals (endorphins). With inadequate endorphin production, many otherwise non-painful sensations are experienced as pain. FHP dramatically reduces endorphin production.
    • FHP(forward head posture) has been shown to flatten the normal neck curve, resulting in disc compression, damage and early arthritis. (Roentgenographic findings of the cervical spine in asymptomatic people. (Spine, 1986;6:591-694)

Personally, this posture is driving me insane to look at!  I have to control myself not to walk up to every girl waiting in line at Starbucks and correct their posture.

If your child shows signs of this new “forward head” posture, that previously was most prevalent in older persons you need to act now!  Educate your child and make him/her aware of the complications they will face.  -My daughter is pretty sensitive to me comparing her to and 85 year old woman!  Talk to a Chiropractor, Physical Therapist or your local Pilates Practitioner to set up a plan to reverse the over curvatures.  I have seen the curvatures correct in many clients but it doesn’t happen overnight and if not corrected, it can only get worse!


Get In Shape for Summer Challenge Details

demibar logo
Your Beach Body is Calling You…
Answer the call!!  
Join our “Get In Shape for Summer Challenge”
Beginning April 22nd thru June 2nd, attend ANY 24 classes over the period (includes private training and Accelerated Rehab circuits) and receive a one month of unlimited classes ($179 value) for either July or August!
BYOB bonus!!!
New this year, “Bring Your Own Buddy” or BYOB!  Bring a friend* to join you in the challenge.  (*Must be a new client.)  If you both complete the challenge, you will EACH receive a Pilates Circuit class 6 pack ($149 value each) in addition to the monthly unlimited!
No special sign-ups necessary for the challenge.  Use your existing packages and sign-up at the desk in the studio to enter your name in the challenge.  We will track your progress.
Join us and make your friends and neighbors envious of your long and lean physique this summer!!!

Demi-Bar Pilates
18 W. First Street
Hinsdale, IL 60521

Creating an Environment for Weight Loss Success

By carolyn_r on Jan 26, 2013 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

By Leyla Shamayeva
Toxic: A word that should not describe your environment if you’re hoping to have positive results in your weight loss journey. A new survey of psychologists says emotional eating is one of the biggest obstacles to weight loss and maintenance. One of the best ways to stave off emotional eating is to create an environment for success. One that feeds you emotionally, which can prepare you to feed yourself physically and spiritually. With a space that’s less stressful, you can stay motivated on your road to a healthy lifestyle.

Use Social Media

Chances are you’re either on your computer or phone at least a few times a day, so why not use it to motivate you? You’ve got the keeping-a-food-log memo, but did you know that using social media could make you more successful at weight loss. A study published this week in Translational Behavioral Medicine found that the number of Twitter posts that weight loss hopefuls posted was positively associated with their success. Whether you blog, post on FacebookTweet, or Pin, finding information, getting support, or sharing your weight loss progress has been shown to be better for your waist line than being silent.

Other ways to use technology to motivate you is by using goal-setting apps to remind you of your goals. You can also use your background for a motivating quote, goal picture, or an activity that keeps your eyes on the prize. Seeing a scenic picture of where you’ll be travelling this summer, that yoga pose that you’ve been trying so hard to get down, or even the finish line of a race you’re working on will push you to work for it.

Design an Achievement Calendar

Achievements are a big deal. Something as small as a 15-minute workout or only having a small piece of that donut at the office (and tracking it!) counts! The more you celebrate your achievements, the more you’ll want to maintain and keep your progress going. You’re probably a pro at pointing out what’s wrong, but make it a habit to track those little wins, too. An achievement calendar will:

Help you recognize track progress from a lifestyle perspective vs. only numbers

Help you get in touch with the positive feelings associated with doing something positive

Help you decide where more work is needed

Keep you motivated to achieve more goals

Like a vision board, you can use a large calendar or white board to list one small nutrition and one fitness related goal each day or a bigger one each week. Whatever it takes to celebrate something you did right each day, do it!

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Group think: you’ve heard of it I’m sure. The team environment is a plus no matter how you look at it. Having like-minded people with similar goals around you and sharing your experiences can help you keep pushing forward when you hit a bump in the weight loss road. Knowing your not alone, and having someone to pick you up with words of encouragement and a you-can-do-it challenge is always better to have as an option, as opposed to nothing all.

Find like-minded people and meet them face-to-face to workout, eat at healthy restaurants, or run a 5k. By creating shared experiences you learn to create a healthier social lifestyle. It took a village to teach you how to eat terribly and sit around and it’ll take a village to change your ways. Create a number of different environments. Check out the community forums here on Calorie Count, get extra support from a dietitian, a group class at the gym, or join up with people at your local park or parents at your child’s school for a healthy activity.

Surround Yourself with Healthy Food

If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food. It couldn’t be truer. If you don’t have temptation at an arm’s length, you won’t have to wrestle with it. Try not to buy junk food when grocery shopping, and leave indulgences at the table so that you don’t find a reason to eat the leftovers simply because it’s in the fridge or pantry. If you share treats with friends socially, they’ll be more enjoyable and you may feel less guilty than if you’d eaten it on your own. Fill your refrigerator with vegetables, fruit, protein, dairy and your cupboard with grains like buckwheat, barley, quinoa, and brown rice. Keep healthy snacks handy in little baggies such as nuts, popcorn, and dried fruit. If you work out at home and use equipment, keep the equipment visible. If you see it rather than have to drag it out of the closet or from under the bed, you are more likely to use it.

An Open Ended Resolution... ~Jenifer Zeno

I watched a program recently about a movement towards health called “The Daniel Plan”.  If you have heard about it, you know, it’s quite successful.  Although it is a faith based group, it has something else going for it that I think gives the participants the most optimal chance for success… and that is community!  And that got me thinking…

Here at Demi-Bar Pilates, we have seen so much success.  Clients come to us with their goals, and of course we try to help them, as much as we can…what really happens though, is that we all help each other!  It is such a rewarding experience to watch people succeed and be healthy.  Its is not always about weight and inches, sometimes its about a shift in focus towards a healthy lifestyle.  Being surrounded on a daily basis by such amazing and supportive people helps to keep us all focused on staying healthy in body and positive in spirit!

So if you are still searching for the perfect “resolution”…maybe resolve to commit to a positive healthy community.  Don’t list a number from the scale or an inch here or there as a measure of success,  just see what happens when you add the Demi-Bar Pilates community to your life in 2013!