La Jolla fitness studio raises the bar on health
by Dave Schwab
Published - 12/09/13 - 01:26 PM | 13549 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cardio Barre instructor Amber Gallacher shows some of the moves members learn at the fitness studio. DAVE SCHWAB
Cardio Barre instructor Amber Gallacher shows some of the moves members learn at the fitness studio. DAVE SCHWAB
Cardio Barre instructor Amber Gallacher shows some of the moves members learn at the fitness studio. 	DAVE SCHWAB
Cardio Barre instructor Amber Gallacher shows some of the moves members learn at the fitness studio. DAVE SCHWAB
La Jolla is home to a wide range of cutting-edge fitness concepts, each with its own unique approach and each able to get you looking and feeling your best. La Jolla Today is featuring a different fitness-related business each issue. Be sure to check back often to find the right fit for your lifestyle and goals.

Take a chance on dance.

That’s what clients are doing at Cardio Barre La Jolla, which promises a “no impact” comprehensive workout in one hour.

“Everyone wants a dancer’s body, so we created this workout that incorporates those techniques for everybody,” said Cristiana Jebran, owner of the fitness studio at 7580 Fay Ave. “It has no impact. That’s the greatest part. You do weight training, isolated muscle groups, cardio.”

The program, said instructor Amber Gallacher, “gets your heart rate up there running high without hurting your joints.”

“It’s safe,” she said. “You’ll be breathing heavily. It’s a great cardiovascular workout. It’s about endurance, toning and stretching.”

Class sizes are central to Cardio Barre’s appeal.

“It’s a small-group class so you’re going to get lots of personal attention from the instructor,” said Gallacher. “Every class, you’re going to get new pointers, and you’ll be improving your techniques. You get the absolute best results you possibly can out of the workout.”

The studio itself also factors into the workout’s success.

“It doesn’t get cleaner than this and it’s really nice and roomy,” said Jebran of the studio’s ambiance. “You have a lot of light. It smells nice. There’s a great sound system and you get to sweat.”

Cardio Barre, which began in Los Angeles and is branching out via franchising, was created by dancer Richard Giorla after a hip injury ended his career. Having witnessed an alarming number of injuries caused by high-impact workouts, as well as seeing a growing number of injured athletes and others struggling to find a less taxing workout for their conditions, Giorla ended up creating his own new exercise modality reflecting his passion for both fitness and dance.

“It’s a combination of ballet techniques, Pilates, and stretching and strengthening exercises using light weights,” said Jebran, a walking testimonial who said she lost six dress sizes utilizing the workout technique.

At the fitness studio, everything begins — and ends — at the barre, a stationary traditional ballet handrail.

“We start at the ballet barre with a warmup, where we work in true traditional dance positions,” said Gallacher while stretching at the barre. The studio’s program, she said, is “continual fat-burning motion — always moving, always stretching.”

Gallacher said there are other muscle-toning exercises performed on the plush, carpeted floor.

The Cardio Barre technique is applicable to both genders and any age.

“Our age range is 14 to 80,” Gallacher said. “That’s great. All different ages come in here and we work together and we all have fun and it’s good energy motivating each other.”

Gallacher has also had couples as clients.

“It’s something they can do together,” she said, adding no experience is necessary for anyone to participate.

“We have a lot of clients who are coming here to recover from their injuries,” Jebran said. “Some of them have had things like hip replacements. It’s great for them because they don’t have to put pressure on their joints or jump up and down.”

Cardio Barre has no long-term membership and classes cost $17 for a single one-hour class, considerably less than the per-hour cost for most other workout classes in the area.

“We have a Nieman Marcus product with a Wal-Mart price,” said Jebran.

What’s the best thing about the Cardio Barre workout?

“It feels like you’re dancing the whole time,” said Gallacher. “You don’t even realize when an hour goes by.”

“This doesn’t feel like working out,” agreed Cardio Barre instructor Nicole Cargo. “This is a dance party.”

Best of all, said Gallacher, a Cardio Barre workout, while lots of fun, is all business.

“We have busy moms come in after they drop their kids off at school and they’re here and they need to get everything done in an hour,” she said. “Their time is precious. So we’re working, not wasting time. We go hard.”

For more information about Cardio Barre La Jolla, call (858) 454-1954 or visit
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