What happens when a Pilates instructor walks into a Crossfit?


I’m not going to lie- I’ve been hating on Crossfit for quite some time. Here’s the thing…I had never actually been inside a “box” or completed a WOD with AMRAP. Translation: Crossfit calls their gym a “box”, a “WOD” is the workout of the day, and “AMRAP” stands for as many reps as possible.

So it all began when Kevin (my husband)  joined Crossfit RedZone a few months back. He loves it and talks about how great it is. I was annoyed by his love for Crossfit, but after months of seeing Kevin clock 500-700 calories during every workout (yes, we share our workouts with each other via our apple watches, and yes, I know we are annoying), I finally decided to join him. I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss is about. I mean, you can’t exactly judge something unless you’ve tried it, right?

Let me set the scene- it’s a rainy morning and we pull into the parking lot and up to a loading dock. Yes, the “box” is basically in a warehouse and you walk through a loading dock to get there. Once we go in, Kevin introduces me to the owners, Kurt and Kris; brothers and Newtown natives. Oh, and did I mention they are both gingers? They use the hashtag “#gingertrained”. What’s there not to love?

The workout:  So I tell Kurt that I’m slightly apprehensive about losing my crossfit virginity, he assures me that I’m in good hands. We started with some rowing, followed by a warm up strength training portion. Then we did some bench presses, “hollows” (similar to the teaser in Pilates), and pull ups. After three rounds, we moved onto the WOD. Once Kurt started playing ACDC, I knew I was about to get my ass whooped. The WOD consisted of jumping pull ups, box jumps, and kettlebell swings AMRAP for 12 minutes. I have to say that Kurt was paying close attention to form, went over every exercise prior to starting, and gave me modifications as needed. The crossfit veterans in class were encouraging during the workout and showed me the ropes as we went along.

I definitely applied all five of the Pilates principles during the Crossfit workout; breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, scapular stabilization, and cervical placement. I’ll avoid getting technical here, but I will say there is a strong overlap between Crossfit and Pilates. Many of the exercises in the Stott Pilates repertoire focus on strengthening the core, maintaining the natural curvature of the spine, and improving balance. I can see where Pilates would definitely help Crossfitters over the long run.

Overall, my experience at Crossfit was a positive one. I learned that not all Crossfits are created equal, so I can really only talk about my experience at RedZone in Newtown, CT. Kurt, Kris, and Jacqui (Kris’ wife) were incredibly nice and welcoming. These guys definitely know what they are doing and I’ll probably give it another go….just as soon as my body recovers.


Martina is back!

Introduction 2.0

For the 7 people who have actually followed this blog over the past few years, I’m baaaack!!! My life has changed a bit since my last post. My original bio reads as follows:

“30ish, married, one daughter, one husband, one dog, certifying in pilates, helps nancy run equilibrium by doing all the stuff nancy doesn’t like doing. sassy and genetically opinionated. more about her mother later.”

Well, I’m closer to 40 than 30. I have TWO kids, one of which is almost a “threenager”. The other is almost six and has autism spectrum disorder. We moved to the east coast, which means I no longer work for Nancy. I certified in Pilates and have been happily teaching. We built a house. Still have the same husband. Still have the same dog. Still genetically opinionated, but I’ve learned to drop my judgements. Oh, and did I mention my mom almost died? The key word being “almost”. Fortunately, she’s still feisty as ever and an even bigger pain in my ass. Let’s just say our journey has been tiresome, lonely, educational, and amazing all at once. (And my neighbors wonder why I get wine delivered to my house?! ) I’m still the same Martina, just a little older and a tiny bit wiser with a few more wrinkles. Looking forward to sharing our not-so-normal adventures with you!

Martina Sprague
Certified Stott Pilates Instructor
Owner: Balanced Pilates

Facebook Etiquette

Barrechat’s most recent blog posts fB photoinspired me to write about the use of Facebook and the etiquette involved. You see, I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. It is one of those guilty pleasures I indulge in late at night or when I feel like some good old procrastination.

There are some people who annoy me to no end, but I can’t defriend them for the following reasons:

  • I secretly enjoying reading that they are more miserable than me
  • I have a close relationship with the person, co-worker or close friend and I don’t want to hurt their feelings
  • It is my mother and I simply can’t defriend her because what kind of daughter would I be?

[Read more…]

Definition of barre-chat

barre·chat (noun) [ bahr·chat ] – informal conversation characterized by anecdotal facts about life which may completely ignore research or hard evidence: “my thighs were the main subject of barrechat today.”

barre·chat (verb) [ bahr·chat ] – talking in an informal way at the bar, the barre, or while wearing fitness clothing: “they barrechatted as soon as they left class”


Welcome to barrechat!