Belles: Rumor has it you are creating some new workouts. We are super excited about them- what can you tell us about them?
Ellen: Yes, two new workouts are coming this fall. They are the first two releases in a new series called ELLEN BARRETT LIVE, which captures the real energy of a real class. They were filmed in the space I teach everyday with some of my favorite class regulars. I think the LIVE energy is really motivating and people will want to workout to them rather than force themselves to workout to them.
Belles: Your workouts feature light weights. Do you ever lift heavy weights or are you strictly a light weight/ body resistance type of strength trainer?
Ellen:Heavy weights just don’t feel right to me..so I never lift heavy weights formally, but my daily live with a toddler and a dog and groceries…I’d say I do a lot of lifting. I’m a real naturalist when it comes to fitness, I don’t drink sports drinks, eat power bars or worry about protein. My sister says I’m a hippie fitness instructor.
Belles: What inspired you to create your fusion style workouts? What are the benefits to this type of training?
Ellen: I just feel super strongly about the notion of “exercise as medicine.” Exercise can lift your mood. It can provoke creativity. It can prevent so many diseases. The benefits of fusion fitness, especially, go beyond the body, into the mind and spirit. That’s what I want in a workout and I thought maybe there are other people searching for that completeness too.
Belles: One common myth out there is, “No Pain, No Gain.” How do you convince hard-core exercisers that high intensity isnt always the best form of exercise?
Ellen:There are reasons for hardcore workouts, especially if you play a competitive sport or are training for some over-the-top physical challenge.However, most people just want to look good in their clothes and have energy. Their goal is to be fit and trim and lead a productive life. In that case, pain isn’t necessary and in fact, pain holds you back. Pain is a symptom of disharmony and disharmony is the opposite of health, so create harmony – move towards it – and lose the pain.
Belles: What advice do you have for people who want to start an exercise program but don’t know where to begin?
Ellen: Go for a short walk. Meditate. Pop in a video and just do the warm-up. As the song goes, “Put one foot in front of the other And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor. Put one foot in front of the other. And soon you’ll be walking out the door.”