Weight is a Hormonal Issue not a Calorie Issue

Our understanding of calories in, calories out has been way over simplified over the years. Weigh is much more than the number of calories we ingest in a day and how much we burn.

The recommendation of eat less and move more has been fraught with disappointment and failure. If you ask many who tried to simply reduce calories to lose weight, they will tell you it didn’t work, was difficult or worse, backfired and they actually gained more weight.

A rarely discussed hormonal system is involved in human weight beyond the calorie. There are four hormones involved -one set is involved in storing and burning fat the other set make us hungry or full.  

Insulin is the storage hormone.

Insulin is a hormone released from the pancreas that moves glucose into the cell for energy. When there is excess glucose, from eating too much and too often, the body will continue to raise insulin to help manage the excess glucose. 

This excess glucose comes from carbohydrate, sugar, and to a lesser extent protein in our diet.

The problem with too much insulin and glucose is that the body can only handle so much of each and insulin stops responding to the glucose.

The insulin story of weight gain. Once the cells become filled with glucose, the body will look elsewhere to store the extra calories. The next place is in the liver.

Stored glucose in the liver becomes glycogen. If excess glucose continues to be pushed into the liver, a condition called fatty liver occurs. This will increase triglycerides and liver enzymes, and cause disturbance of cholesterol. Fatty liver leads to cirrhosis and is a leading cause for liver transplant.

Once the liver is full of glucose, the next place insulin will look to store the excess calorie is the belly. All the belly fat is calories stored as fat. Belly fat is particularly dangerous as a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and 12 different cancers caused by obesity.

As the belly is filling with excess calories, the pancreas is next. Causing it to release more insulin, to store more calories and eventually burning out the pancreas from creating insulin all together. Creating a condition called diabetes. Diabetes leads to heart disease, blindness and amputation.  

The scenario above is the making of type 2 diabetes. Too much insulin is caused by too much glucose. What we eat and how much we eat affect this hormone and the higher it goes the more weight we store.  

Glucagon has the opposite function of insulin.

It, too, is produced in the pancreas. Glucagon liberates fat from storage and burns it as fuel. Glucagon only works when insulin is low. Insulin is low when glucose is low. This happens when we are not eating and snacking.

If our body senses constant nutrients in the blood, glucagon never sees the light of day. Fat is not burned. Instead insulin continues to store calories as fat. We have to go without food to have glucagon turn on and start to burn fat. That usually takes about 12 hours.

Ghrelin is another hormone, produced in the intestinal tract. It tells us when we are hungry. It is something that we can consciously push past. Unintuitively, studies show that different forms of fasting can lower ghrelin and reduce hunger.

If hunger forces us to eat more and the food that we choose is refined carbs and sugar then the insulin hormone system gets revved up and fat storage ensues.

The balancing hormone to ghrelin is another hormone called leptin, released by fat cells signal to the brain that we are satisfied and lower our hunger levels. This helps us stop eating.

Like other hormones in the body, these can and often go off track fueling the weight gain, weight loss roller coaster for many until it finally breaks down in middle age and we have a harder and harder time losing weight.

Some solutions include reducing sugar and simple carbohydrates like bread, pasta, potatoes, and sweets. Low carb, high fat diets are showing promise at putting diabetes into complete remission and leading to weight loss. 

Other strategies like intermittent fasting can help bring these hormones into balance, lowering both insulin and glucose.

Contrary to popular belief, different forms of fasting have been shown in pre-clinical and clinical trials, to reduce glucose, insulin, inflammation, and help with weight loss.

Diet and lifestyle can cause hormones to malfunction causing weight to increase beyond calories in calories out. Simple and effective diet and lifestyle modifications can make a big impact on health.

Mark Testa, DC, CAC, MHA. 

Mark Testa is an experienced holistic healthcare provider trained in chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition, and fasting. He uses his experience to help people regain, maintain, and accelerate their health in weeks, not months. His focus is simple, sustainable change for lasting results.  Reversing middle age is possible with just a few small changes.

 Tru Barre Studio has partnered with Dr. Mark Testa and we are offering a 6-week course –

Medina Register Here Akron Register Here

Reversing Middle Age FAST

You will learn how to manage your hormones and stop the yoyo dieting. Our online course will be starting soon and there is still room to be part of this revolutionary approach to nutrition and long-term health. 

Please visit our website at www.tuckburnshake.com  to save your spot today.  Feel free to visit the Tru Barre Studio Facebook page and watch the ongoing video’s Doc Testa is offering to learn more.  Feel free to private message Doc Testa with any questions you may have.  Or contact us at 330-607-1272 for more information.

Get your Teen Moving!

Hello Barre Babes!

Looking to keep your teenage daughter active this summer? Bring your daughter to a class and have a fun day at the barre and start her on her fitness journey for life! Teaching a young adult the importance of movement and its impact on our overall health and wellbeing is more important now than ever. Barre uses movement as a form of meditation. We focus so deeply on our bodies and the sensations that we create during class, there is no room for other thoughts. This is the essence of mediation. Learning this personal skill early has long term health benefits.

Barre is such a great way for young girls to build body confidence. Learning to have great posture at a young age will help them grow with grace and poise. Becoming strong physically helps women of all ages find the mental strength to preserve when times get tough. Barre transcends into so many aspects of our lives.

Introducing a way to work out without risk of injury at an early age, will benefit your daughter to stay active, to continue to build strength each year she ages and to make mindful choices about her diet and nutrition. 

Imagine what it would have been like to have discovered barre at an early age! If she is a budding barre babe after the class, take advantage of our Student Package - $50 for unlimited classes each month!

Happy 2019!

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

-Neale Donald Walsch

Happy New Year! 

We talk a lot about our comfort zone during class.  This is a place where most things feel familiar and easy.  When we ask you to step out of your comfort zone, we are really asking you to be brave and find the courage to try something new or unfamiliar.  It’s outside the comfort zone where the magic takes place and change occurs.  An invitation to try is all we are asking, but you are in total control of your effort and intensity, and that my friends, is very empowering.

As the year comes to an end, I look back for a moment only to remember all the many things I am grateful for.  I look back only for a moment of reflection to acknowledge the mistakes I made, celebrate the many great accomplishments and learn from the lessons life has taught me. 

I choose to look forward into the future rather than back.  2019 will be fantastic!  It’s about being deliberate with your intensions and actions to make what you want to happen in your life come to fruition.  I am excited for the new year and what possibilities it will bring!  I will continue to work to keep the workouts fresh and challenging so your barre practice never plateaus and you become stronger each workout.  Look for subtle changes coming to the format that will push your stamina and endurance while teaching you to find the calm in the chaos.  Teaching your mind to be strong when you feel weak is something to focus on in 2019.

I feel pure joy and gratitude when I think of how far our studio in the Valley has come.  I’m beyond excited to see where the Medina studio is headed.  The studios have become such a safe haven for so many of us.  A sacred space to be vulnerable and honest with ourselves.  To own our truth and stand up for ourselves.  Our hope at Tru Barre is that you use all the lessons you learn in class and attempt to apply them in your life away from the barre.  I thank all of YOU for making my studio such an important part of so many peoples’ lives.  Our barre community has been life changing for many.  To feel fearless and accepted no matter what, is a special place to find.

In our barre method we teach how to become mindful and present in the moment. Our lifestyles have become so full and stressful, it’s my hope in the new year you will commit to more self-care.  Making a commitment to yourself to carve out more ME time.  It’s not selfish, it’s vital for our long-term health.  Maybe you can take advantage of the classes with the extended stretch and mindfulness at the end of class.  You will love how it clears your mind and relaxes your body.  Also, look for Yoga Workshops on the weekends to compliment your barre practice and better your mindfulness training.  The GRID foam rollers are for sale at the studio.  They are available for use before and after class.  Feel free to grab one and roll out on those days you’re feeling tight.

I hope the New Year brings you much happiness and a peaceful soul.  Be kind to yourself and quiet your inner critic.  We support you wanting to resolve to improve, but we hope you resolve to love yourself where are as well. Be okay with where you are in life and know change is always in your control.  Cheers to a healthy New Year!


                  “And suddenly you know:  It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings”

-Meister Eckhart

Should you hang up your running shoes?

Why you should hang up your running shoes...

Cardio based activities are so 80’s.  Back when the fitness industry really started to get some momentum, fitness guru’s believed “cardio” based workouts was what we should be doing.  We did group Hi-Lo aerobic dance classes, STEP classes, Kickboxing classes and Boot Camp classes just to mention a few.  The running craze hit in the late 70’s and Nike, Reebok and other fitness brands, came to be household words.  Hence, the fitness industry was born.  We were convinced that doing “cardio” for an hour at a steady state heart rate was the way to perfect health.  We bought fitness gear to support our habits.  Retail stores that only sell running shoes popped up all over and we couldn’t get enough.  Since that time it was discovered there was no research or science behind the information we were fed about fitness.  After decades of people thinking that doing “cardio” based workouts was where they should put there exercise time, we have come to find out that the experts were wrong.  Current research shows those kinds of activities, over time, tend to cause injuries, wear and tear on our joints and connective tissue issues long term.  None of those activities have any sustainability.  The risk does not reap the reward.

Today’s fitness experts are singing a new song.  Promoting workouts that are focused on strength training.  Workouts that are based on interval training are the most effective for fat loss and increased cardio-pulmonary function.  The concept of interval training is to work hard for a short period of time.  An active recovery follows to slow the system function before the start of a new interval.  We are seeing more mind-body connection exercise modalities increase in popularity.  As we all know now, this is the exact principle Barre Fitness is based on.  Using our own body weight and light dumbbells to create resistance to build strength.  Barre is here to stay.  It is not a fitness trend, it is a sustainable way to build muscle, decrease body fat and look amazing in your skinny jeans!

Research shows that not only can weightlifting improve your body composition and give you a toned appearance, it can also improve your overall health and make you a happier person.  Weightlifting can help you burn fat, reduce your risk of diabetes, prevent back pain and even help you fight depression. 

As you age, you naturally lose muscle and bone mass.  This is of special concern for women, whose bones are smaller to begin with and can become dangerously weakened by age.  Strength training can help fight this.  Just as you muscles adapt to the stress of weightlifting by becoming bigger and stronger, your bones also adapt.  Dr Ledesma, states, “Anytime your bones perceive stress, the response is that more bone will be deposited”. 

Strength training can translate into better performance if you play a sport.  It also improves dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination, all of which will help you be at the top of your game.

Body awareness, or being able to recruit the proper muscles in the right sequence, is key for moving in a way that is both efficient and safe in daily life, according to fitness expert John Carrico.  This is why we focus on technique and form in barre.

The World Health Organization reports that nearly 350 million people have diabetes worldwide and predicts that by 2030, the disease will be the seventh leading cause of death.  You probably know that living a healthy lifestyle-including managing your weight, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and abstaining from tobacco use – can help you prevent becoming a statistic, but you may not know that strength training, specifically, plays a significant role in reducing your risk.   Strength training can help regulate blood glucose too. 


Reducing back pain by strengthening the muscles of your core, those that support your spine can lessen the discomfort and undo some of the damage caused by sitting all day. One of the best exercises to build strength in the core is planking.


Your body has various smaller muscles call stabilizer muscles.  These muscles do exactly what you would think:  They help stabilize you.  Each time you strength train you’re indirectly targeting those little muscles that help keep you upright and take care of everyday tasks such as balancing on one foot to reach a high shelf or stopping yourself from falling on an icy surface.  This is especially important for people as they age. 


When you feel stronger physically, you usually feel stronger mentally.  Fitness experts say, “strength training teaches you the skill of perseverance, the ability to overcome discomfort and challenge yourself. It teaches you to push yourself when everything tells you to stop, when your muscles start to give out and it burns and it hurts.  When we get into those high-intensity situations, we have a choice, we can either stop everything and try to return to our comfort zone, or decide that this level of discomfort is worth the reward.  That decision – that it’s worth persisting through that uncomfortable situation – 100 percent contributes to successful situations in other parts of our lives.”  It is also in that moment the magic dust falls out of the ceiling!


Lastly, plain and simple, strength training is the best way to get a lean, toned, fit body.  This principle is the foundation of our barre method.  It will change the shape of your body and it will change your life!


Happy Tucking  - See you at the barre!

Tru Barre vs Mixed Barre

To Tru or Not to Tru:  Have you tried a Tru Class yet?

We offer 2 different workouts at Tru Barre Studio: Mixed and Tru Barre.  Our Mixed Barre class allows any level student to get a powerful barre workout. In a Mixed Barre class you will begin to understand the poses and exercises done in our workout. Our Tru Barre class is better suited for the advanced client.  

We encourage new clients to begin with the Mixed Barre Class.  There, they will learn the basic principles of Barre. There is an added attention to alignment and the use of modifications, so even the first time beginner can be successful. We understand new clients come to Barre at their own fitness level and this is why we encourage them to be a beginner and learn our technique.

We suggest taking class 3-4 times per week.  Clients will be building their strength and learning the technique to make their practice even better, becoming more familiar with their strengths and weaknesses.  As a client continues with their Barre practice, they begin to understand the poses and how the exercises will affect their body.  They learn that the work is really in the pose, mastering it and maintaining it.  They realize the burn and the shake are a good thing and actually the goal of every interval.  When a beginner client starts to feel those sensations, it is usually very unfamiliar, so they back down or even stop.  They also haven’t built up their strength yet to handle the load in the musculature.  We always encourage anyone in class to take breaks when they need them, then come back into the exercise recovered and able to work with more integrity in the pose.  Over time, with consistent practice, they become very strong, both mentally and physically.  And as they become stronger, they will begin to have the confidence to try the more advanced options in class and test their ability. 

There will be a mix of all client levels in a Mixed Barre class,  a client or two that is just starting their practice, a few who are advanced, and the majority of people are in between.  Our highly trained instructors will help every client get a good workout no matter what their fitness level is.  We want each client to get their best workout, one tailored for them.  Attending the Mixed Barre classes is where you begin your journey.  A journey that has no end - Barre is a lifelong practice. 

The Advanced class, a.k.a. Tru Barre, is for any client willing to try.  We encourage a minimum of 20 Mixed barre classes if you are a beginner.  This will build your strength and endurance and give you a foundation of the technique. Advanced clients have learned how to find their low zone, how to stick their pose, how to stay mentally strong and how to find ways to make the workout meaningful for them. 

A few things that set the Tru Barre class apart from the Mixed class are:

The class moves at a faster pace.  As mentioned, advanced clients know their poses, where they can find their shakes, so there is not a lot of setup time for poses.  The fast paced format also keeps the heart rate up longer.  Another difference is that the intervals are more intense, have more variations, and time under load.  Attempting a Tru class before you build up your strength would result in an unsuccessful workout.  Lastly, the Tru class requires an understanding of poses that can be more difficult and highly technique driven.  The exercises require full body strength, endurance, and stamina.  However, with those differences stated, a client that has attended a number of Mixed barre classes is welcome to attend an Advanced class.  You still are encouraged to take the modifications and work at your own level.  To take breaks and find your own path.  Over time, you will get stronger and the sense of empowerment is incredible!

As a client becomes better at barre, so does their mental ability to stay focused on their alignment and continue to push deeper in the exercises.  The body and mind connection becomes stronger each class.  Remember: the body will always try to find the path of least resistance.  You will begin to understand the connection between how the body reacts to the exercises and how your brain wants to be in control. Learning how to cope with the sensations is truly an advanced mindset in our Barre technique at Tru Barre.  We know this understanding comes with time, patience and practice - but so does a beautiful, sculpted body! 

Commitment & consistency in the new year

Barre Babes,

As 2017 comes to an end, I want to thank all of you, our amazing clients, for your continued support and trust in Tru Barre Studio.  Our Tru Barre community is strong and committed to health.  I love to watch all the positive energy before class with clients chatting and sharing stories.  The energy that pours into the room during our workouts is often times overwhelming, but amazing!  Then ending each class with a sense of pride and accomplishment that sends us out into our day calm, strong, and ready to face whatever comes our way.

I also want to acknowledge how grateful and over-the-top impressed I am by each of my dedicated instructors.  They deliver this awesome workout to you each class.  Their mastery of our technique is obvious.  They show their ability to motivate and encourage each student to be successful. Helping clients find their own path and allowing them to listen to their own body wisdom is our constant focus. They provide a safe, yet effective workout each time they step into the studio. They are excellent fitness instructors and they make me proud every class they teach. 

I hope you reached many of your goals in 2017.  At this time of year we reflect on what was accomplished and what may still need some work. If you have some unfinished business, keep working away at it.  As we know, consistency is key.  Use these first few days of the new year to set some new goals for yourself.  We have a clean slate and a fresh start with the approaching New Year. 365 chances to slay at the barre!

Look for new class formats coming onto the schedule in 2018.  We love how committed you are to your practice.  We recognize that being healthy and fit is so much more than just exercise. In 2018, we want to bring your fitness goals full circle.  We will be offering Foam Roller Release sessions.  Also, a Stretch for Relaxation Express class, to assist with your recovery.  Self-care is such a big part of being healthy. These are just a few ways to love your body even more. 

I am truly blessed to be able to do what I love each day. I am constantly striving to keep the workouts fresh and challenging. I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions, I believe in positive thinking, which equates to long -term lifestyle changes. Focusing on healing your body with food. Heal your soul with whatever your heart desires. Change won’t happen from your comfort zone, but it will take time, patience, and practice.  Remember this is about YOU and about you only. It’s okay to be a little selfish from time to time. 

Cheers to the best, most authentic, healthiest & happiest version of you and all of that #selflove you’re going to find in 2018. 

Happy New Year,


What is Barre?

Barre has origins in dance, but no dance experience needed.  Most barre classes follow the same basic structure:  You’ll start with a warm-up which heats the body and wakes up the brain:  usually knee marches with arm movement.  Then down to the mat for a full set of planks and pushups. Followed by a few yoga stretches and we are back on our feet for a series of arm exercises using light weight or exercise bands.  Continuing at the barre, with a lower-body section to work your thighs and glutes, which are the most challenging sets of the workout.  Finally, you’ll finish the session on the mat with a series of core-focused moves and a relaxing final stretch set.  All exercises come with options to modify.

As for gear, the moves are typically bodyweight only, but you can use light hand held weights (usually two or three pounds) or resistance bands to work your arms.  For lower-body work, a soft exercise ball is often used to help engage leg muscles.  And we do recommend wearing socks with sticky grips on the bottom.

So what’s the difference between barre and a typical strength training class?  Rather than large compound movements (think squats and shoulder press), you’ll perform tiny, one-inch increments called isometric movements.  You will often hear “down an inch, up an inch”, repeated by your instructors.

The isometric contractions that make up the bulk of a barre class occur when the muscle tenses without changing length.  Isometric exercise is a great way to maintain muscle strength.  What’s wonderful about the one-inch movements is that you can hold a posture and benefit from continuously engaging the muscles, but you also get a mini-recovery with each pulse, so can stay in the hold longer.  Isometric movements can help strengthen muscles without straining tendons or ligaments, so there’s less risk of injury compared to more traditional strength training.

Shaking is a sign of muscle fatigue-your muscles are telling you they are feeling it.  You may be tempted to pop out of the work if you start to shake, but try to embrace the shake!  This shaking happens most commonly in thigh work at the barre, as you’re spending an extended period of time in a muscle contraction, while performing an isometric hold to intensify the work.  Shaking is a good thing!

The smaller movements in a barre class can bring a new level of awareness to the body that you don’t get in regular strength workouts.  We focus on the breath and bring the mind to focus on the sensations the body is experiencing.

This kind of functional fitness, creates long-term health benefits, that you will continue to experience as you age.  Aging graceful, with strength and stamina.  Why not give it a try!

Letter From the Barre Boss

Hello Barre Babes! 

As the new season approaches, it is always a good time to evaluate where you are with your goals.  Many of us may have set goals to lose those last 5 or 10 pounds.  Many may have hoped to make fitness a more permanent part of their lifestyle.  Wherever you find yourself today, there are many opportunities to improve or meet those goals in so many ways.
We all know how amazing the results are from a consistent barre practice.  We feel and see the way barre shapes and changes our bodies.  However, it is really common and likely, when new clients are starting their barre practice, that they will actually gain weight.  This is very startling to most, because the whole purpose of exercising is to lose weight in the first place.  I always encourage them to continue their consistent practice.  At around five months of consistent classes, the intramuscular fat will burn away, your muscles will become more compact and elongated, and you will lose inches. You are changing the shape of your body from the inside out.  Your weight may never be what it was when you started because you have changed the composition of your body, from fat to muscle.  So, if you are going through the initial strengthening stage, have faith! A few more months of classes will tighten your muscles, burn away excess intramuscular fat, and give you a new trimmed down shape.
I have also had personal conversations with clients that have been coming for a year or so and are becoming dissatisfied with their body shape and/or their weight.  They express, they don’t feel like they are getting the same results as they did in the beginning.  I always like to dig a little deeper.  One question is, are you still taking the same number of classes each week? You may be surprised to find out, that you may not be getting to class as often as you once were.  We suggest 4-5 times per week.  
Barre is an excellent, results proven exercise regime.  Pairing this awesome workout with a clean diet will bring truly amazing results.  We give you the amazing workout, however, you are in control of what goes in your mouth.
The second factor I like to talk about is, what does your diet look like?  The famous saying: “You can’t out-train a crappy diet” -is very true.  This time of year, and then again after the holidays, is when these conversations take place most often.  Not surprising, we are coming off a great summer of cookouts and fun and soon we will be celebrating at holiday parties  (aka... drinking and over-eating)
So, if you can honestly say that your practice is spot on, your intensity level is high, and you are getting to class often, the real issue is diet. 

The Mayo Clinic, just released research on exercise, they report that, in general, studies “have demonstrated there is no or only modest weight loss with exercise alone”.  As a fitness studio owner that is hard to say out loud.  But, I agree with it.  Tru Barre can give you the best workout, but if you are not fueling and recovering properly, no exercise program in the area can help you.  Studies show that exercise is an important factor in maintaining weight loss and suggest it can help in preventing weight gain.  If weight loss is your goal, eating habits have to change to much lower calorie intake for so many of us. 

Nutrition is what many my clients struggle with the most.  Do you know how to fuel your workout? Do you know what to eat as a recovery meal and when to eat it?  How many meals/snacks do you have?  How much water do you drink in a day?  How much sleep do you get?  How many days a week do you consume alcohol?  Do you know how much sugar you eat in a day?  Do you know how many calories you eat in a meal/day?
The list could go on and on.  This is where the struggle is.  Did you realize – overeating by just 100 calories a day can lead to a weight increase of 10lbs over a year! :( 
Creating true wellness is finding the best exercise program for you and pairing it with a nutrient dense diet.  You have found your exercise -- you have picked the best workout in the city. Exercise is not enough.  Being fit and healthy is more than a number on the scale. So keep working hard in class, get to the studio more days than not, and pay attention to what you put in your mouth.  We have heard all of this before, but if your results are not what you desire, evaluate your diet and your workouts and have a long, hard talk with yourself about how you are managing your fitness. 
Our goal at Tru Barre is to have all our clients feel successful after every workout.  We are here to help you reach all your goals.  Meeting us half way, by doing your part, will put you on the path for success. We hope that you all feel empowered, centered, and calm at the end of class.  So that the next 23 hours you aren’t here at the studio with us, you are staying strong and centered taking all those lessons you learn in your practice and putting them to use in your daily life.
Happy Tucking,