Cross training challenge with Scorch

Happy New Year! I hope your first few weeks of 2019 have been healthy and happy! But wow… guys! I have been running around like crazy since January 1st. All of a sudden our wedding is around the corner (4 months!) and I haven’t been putting in the prep work I should be.. more on that later though. I’m planning a “Day in the Life” post for later this week, but I wanted to share my progress with you about my year long cross-training challenge!

I put a poll up on my Instastory (@handarrowfit) on New Year’s Eve asking you for your input as to what format I should try first for my cross-training challenge. I offered up the options of cycle or Megaformer: and Megaformer won by a landslide. Seventy-eight percent of you wanted to hear more about this method, and also see what happens when I take it consistently for the next two months. So here we go! 

Have you heard of the Lagree Method? Or Megaformer classes? The Megaformer machine itself and the technique/method of class were both created by Sebastian Lagree in 2001. There are over 300 Megaformer locations worldwide.

Instagram (@Scorchfitavl)

Instagram (@Scorchfitavl)

Your movements on the Megaformer are performed as slowly as possible. The concept of Lagree is that slow, controlled movement under constant tension leads to effective muscle stimulation. By keeping the muscles under constant tension, and transitioning quickly from one exercise to the next, you achieve a workout that is both cardio and strength training, from start to finish. 

The interesting thing about Lagree: is that you may have a studio in your hometown and not know it. Since Lagree licensed studios are not a franchise, they can vary by vibe, name, class offerings (etc.). I tried one in Charlotte called HSM Core, and LOVED it!. SLT s a VERY popular one in New York City and I plan to try it the next time I’m up there. Some studios mix the megaformer with a second piece of equipment like at Transform Colorado they mix it with the “versaclimber” and at Sculpthouse (in Atlanta) they add a treadmill.

The Megaformer studio in Asheville (Scorch Fitness) is located in the River Arts District and I was secretly hoping you would choose this format for me to try first. The workout is awesome and the owners are the KINDEST and most amazing people I have met in Asheville. When I told them I was going to own a barre studio in town they welcomed me with open arms and asked if I’d like to collaborate with them. This is basically unheard of in the fitness industry which is known for being SO competitive. I was afraid they wouldn’t let me continue to take classes with them.. but instead we hosted a JOINT Pure Barre and Megaformer class last week! They really live the mantra "community over competition" and that's just so cool and inspiring to me! 



Tomorrow I will meet with Dr. Reena Newton at Get 2 Know your Body for my first body composition analysis and first round of pictures. More to come! Thanks for following along with me throughout this project! At the end of every week I’ll post my workouts for the week, and how I’m feeling throughout the week. I plan to keep my diet as consistent as possible as well to keep that from messing with my data throughout the year <3

Photocred: my friend Ellen and Scorch owner

Photocred: my friend Ellen and Scorch owner

Have any questions for me? I am SO excited to get started! More to come very soon I promise!

Have you started a cross training, or fitness related challenge for the New Year? Share below!

Year Long Challenge

Oh hi!

How is your holiday season? It’s been a while, and that’s all my fault! To be honest with you: I’ve been struggling! Not just in making time to blog, but struggling to respond to my text messages, struggling to keep my house in any sort of order and worst of all: struggling to stay motivated in the gym…Yes: I am a personal trainer, certified to teach you how to lift weights and perform all sorts of movements to make you stronger and I’m not doing really any of them myself. Embarrassing but totally true. It’s been such a weird few months moving to Asheville! I really want to shake things up and challenge myself in new ways this year, as well make MY fitness training a priority again.

Instead of a “New Year’s Resolution” I am going to start a year long (personal) challenge to keep my mind and body guessing. For the next 12 months I want to try a different kind of workout (method etc) consistently, for 8 weeks per training method. I’ll try exercise programs prevalent enough that you can most likely take advantage of this method as well even if you don’t live in North Carolina (cycle, boot camp, crossfit, running, Megaformer, a fitness app etc.)

 For any new challenge and program: you usually see results by the end of the first month and really have measurable change by the 8 week mark.. So let’s see what happens at the end of each training period!  I also plan to take and update my body stats (body composition) for those interested. I’ll report to you how I feel throughout the 2 month periods, describe the classes, report any differences I can feel, who this format may be good for, and for those it may not serve as well. 

F45  is on the list!

F45 is on the list!

So, why do this? Tons of reasons! The main one: this embodies the concept of H & Arrow! An arrow signifies that you can’t go forward (stronger and faster) without pulling yourself “back” first. I think it’s time to pull myself back (by challenging myself physically) to see how much stronger and faster I can fly. Second big reason: I am NEW to Asheville. I want to visit all of the local studios here, introduce myself and support all of the other amazing (and incredible and welcoming) small business owners here. Third: it sounds like fun to me and it makes me excited to think about <3

Excited to try  Madabolic!

Excited to try Madabolic!

Note: I will still continue to take 2-3 pure barre classes a week regardless. Barre is my baseline. I’ve been taking it (consistently) for 6 years and I love what it does for my balance and posture. The studio is my HOME and I couldn't stay away if I tried. Also a personal goal of mine is to create the perfect cross training program for myself and for others who enjoy pure barre classes. I want to know what it feels like if I mix barre with crossfit.. barre with cycle etc.. I’ll take what I love, leave what I don’t and see if I can create the perfect exercise program for me (and others as well!) Consider it research and development :)

 I am starting in January! If you want to try this with me I say go for it! It doesn’t have to be for 12 months, and you don’t have to start January either. Make it work for you. Message me and I can help you design a similar program for the city you live in, and for your schedule.

Do you have any New Years resolutions or goals? Is there any way I can help you? Also! Comment below: what do you think I should try first?

You’ve got this!


DITL 9/24/18

It’s been a while since I’ve made a Day in the Life post! My daily routine is pretty different from what it was back in August, so I thought it was time for a refreshed edition!

I still wake up at about the same time (6AM) to feed Indy and take her for a quick walk first thing in the morning. Once Indy and I finished our morning loop (only about 1/3 mile) I put together my breakfast. I don’t really have a name for it so you can call it trail mix? Or something like that. Basically I just get a Tupperware container and fill it with the following: 1 serving of Life Cereal (plain, approx. 3/4 cup), 1/2 cup raw mixed nuts, and 1 serving of Purely Elizabeth granola (Blueberry hemp is my favorite right now). I mix it all together and snack on it as I get ready in the morning. If I don’t finish it by the time I leave the house I can always seal it with the lid and save it for later!

I’ve really been loving cashews lately!

I’ve really been loving cashews lately!

I left the house by 7:15AM, with Indy. I drop her off at Doggie Daycare most days of the week so she can play all day and I don’t feel as guilty about working most of the day :)

SO: as soon as I tell people I am a studio owner they automatically say “you must be so busy!” but I feel like people probably have no idea what it is that makes a studio owner so busy. Like.. what do we do all day? We aren’t teaching classes all day so what are we doing exactly? Good question! Here’s what I did that morning: 1) I logged into my quickbooks account to enter in a couple of receipts from the day before 2) I e-mailed our contact person for the Scout Guide in Asheville about setting up a photoshoot in November (Yay! We are going to be in the Scout Guide Asheville!) 3) I spent some time working on the November class teaching schedule (looking at everyone’s availability and one by one plugging people into each class time on our software program 4) I e-mailed one of our instructors a question about her availability for November. By then it 9:30AM. I needed a little snack before teaching my class so I tried a blended shake. It’s called Apres. I honestly didn’t like this flavor but I’m going to try the mint cacao one tomorrow.

Have you tried these before?

Have you tried these before?

After my class I met with one of our PB clients for a quick coffee. She is on the PTA committee for her son’s school and I am hoping to plan a special event/class for the school’s parents and teachers! After our meeting I was really hungry for lunch, but needed to stay at the desk for our noon class. I walked to Ingles (grocery store that is basically 3 doors down from us) and picked out what I wanted from their salad bar. I just chose all of my favorite vegetables with some nuts and raisins + a kombucha!

Lunch at the desk: basically a kitchen sink salad with lettuce, spinach, chickpeas, pickled okra, mushrooms, nuts, three bean salad, raisins, baby corn, carrots, cucumbers, red peppers and peas!

Lunch at the desk: basically a kitchen sink salad with lettuce, spinach, chickpeas, pickled okra, mushrooms, nuts, three bean salad, raisins, baby corn, carrots, cucumbers, red peppers and peas!

During and after our noon class I worked on our October playlists (for classes) before cleaning up around the studio space and leaving by 4PM for the gym. There is a Gold’s gym, just a shopping center over from the Pure Barre studio, and it’s become my usual place for weight lifting.

Pre-workout snack: 2 more hand fulls of raw mixed nuts. My workout included the following exercises: barbell split squats, dumbbell bench press, straight leg barbell deadlifts, close grip lat pulldown, dumbbell bicep curls, skull crushers, box jumps, loop band kick backs, and cable kneeling crunches. Message me if you’d like to know resistance and reps :)

After finishing up at Gold’s I picked Indy up from doggie daycare on my way home. I took her on a mini walk before meeting a friend of mine (also named Hannah) for dinner at one of my new favorite spots in West Asheville called Bim Beri Bon. This place is completely gluten free but you’d never know it! They don’t even have it written on their menu. I only found this information out accidentally when I asked them why they only serve wine and cider (and not beer)! If you live in Asheville, I really recommend you try this place! They have everything from sandwiches to Pad Thai and it’s all amazing! I’ll have a separate blog post highlighting them soon.

I had their Thai Larb Salad with sticky rice &lt;3

I had their Thai Larb Salad with sticky rice <3

After dinner I spent some time on my laptop placing a new retail order for the studio, before walking Indy one last loop around the neighborhood with Alex. It was a full day, but I got so much done and I feel fulfilled and ready for bed :)

I hope you have a great night! Unrelated: I’m looking for a new show to get into.. All of my favorites are out of season. Any suggestions?

My decision to become a Pure Barre Studio Owner



Okay so let me start by apologizing… it has been by far the busiest, hardest, most stressful, happiest and most exciting 2 months ever! I want to share so much with you! I think that before I write more of what I have going on right now, I should take a step back and explain my decision to become a Pure Barre Studio Owner. If you follow me on Instagram or facebook, you saw this in a post around August 1st (my first day as owner). I’ve been working on this since March of this year, and I’m so excited it all worked out and it’s finally happened! One of my biggest dreams and goals have been reached!

 I have had a long relationship with Pure Barre and I wish I could say that it’s always been rosy.. Sorry guys that’s not the complete truth and you deserve upmost honesty. I started taking Pure Barre classes back in 2012 when I was a junior in college and started teaching by 2014 (when I started grad school) and loved it from the start. The workouts were different from anything I had ever tried before and every single class was challenging and empowering for me. Despite my love of the class: there was a time when I was really frustrated with the franchise and brand. When barre workouts started to hit the scene they really targeted a certain kind of personality (niche) and (for most studios) body type. I was surrounded by really “skinny” women who just wanted to get “skinnier”. I remember specifically instructors cueing on the mic (when trying to get members deeper into a position) “the higher your heels, the thinner your thighs” and our lead instructor would cue over the mic “imagine getting ready for your shortest summer shorts” talk about body shaming! Not all studios were like this! But there wasn’t as much regulation on the brand and consistency back then either.

In addition: some studios also advocate making Pure Barre a part of your daily routine.. meaning that people should take it literally EVERY DAY. And this my friends, I strongly disagree with. I think that Pure Barre is wonderful for most people 3 times a week. I think that it has value in someone’s exercise routine, but I ALSO think that you should be lifting weights (that weigh more than 5 lbs.) at least a couple of times a week and something that elevates your heart rate (I’m talking running/cycling/ swimming etc). No I didn’t make this up. I’m still a certified personal trainer by NCCPT for crying out loud.

 Let me take step back: If you hate to exercise but love Pure Barre, and it’s the only way you can make yourself move: go for it. Find something you enjoy and stick with it. Period. I also understand that there are outlying circumstances: for example if you are already super active during your week because your job keeps active all day (think masseuse/ farmer/ construction of any sort etc) or if you are recovering from an injury and it’s all you can do, that makes sense. But listen, generally speaking: if you take barre classes 6-7 days a week and nothing else: you are not the epitome of strength and health (sorry to break it to you). This is fact and I’m not going to sugar coat it. Just like your diet, your fitness regimen should be varied and diverse!

 So with all of this angst why did I decide to take the plunge and devote all of my time/energy and love into Pure Barre Asheville? Well first of all: the brand is changing in the best way possible. You’ll notice now in their ad campaigns that they feature women of different colors, ethnicities and (slightly) more diversity of body type. I’ve also been encouraged to see that many Pure Barre owners across the country do not promote the “Barre every day all day” mentality. Many of them teach cycle classes at neighboring studios, train for marathons on the side or contribute to the fitness community in other ways. I also knew that I if I wanted to see more change (in the barre mentality and community) I need to be a part of it instead of just complaining about it.

Most importantly of all: the classes are fun and the method WORKS. I’ve found Pure Barre makes me BETTER at all other forms of exercise. It improves my balance, posture, and core strength: which translate into better running, less necessary recovery time between workout sessions and not to mention it’s so much fun. I miss it when I take time away from the studio and I can’t imagine a day where I stop teaching.

A class in Pure Barre Asheville

A class in Pure Barre Asheville


The Pure Barre Asheville community in particular is incredibly special. The instructors are objectively amazing, and have quickly become my closest friends. The members are equally thoughtful and so welcoming. It’s a community and I’m so lucky to be a part of it! So yes, I love it so much, and I am so thrilled to be here!

Me with some of our PB Asheville instructors in the studio <3

Me with some of our PB Asheville instructors in the studio <3

I just feel like you deserve the backstory. Nothing is ever as perfect as it seems in an Instagram post. I think social media does us a disservice in that way. So I want YOU to know the real full story. I love Pure Barre more than I can describe. I’m thrilled that I can be a part of this community and to use this studio as a medium to help and inspire others to live a happier and healthier life. That’s all I want to do. All day every day!

 Okay so now you are all caught up! I promise I’ll be better from now on with posting. Thank you for following along with me in this crazy and always changing fitness industry! Have a great rest of your week! I’ll touch base again by Monday guaranteed :D

our weekend with house hunters

We made it to Asheville! Almost all of our belongings are still in boxes, but we made it! Our house is beautiful and I can't wait to make it our home. 

We had 1 day in Asheville to unpack as much as we could before we started filming again for House Hunters. We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday wrapping up our show! I can't go into detail about their filming process, and I won't give away which house we choose, but I can at least show you some pictures and tell you about our weekend.

Aside from Alex and I touring the three houses, Alex and I did a lot of awesome activities around Asheville to showcase the city and show our personalities and interests. On Friday we went Canoeing at the Asheville Outdoor Center. If you are interested in renting a canoe or kayak in Asheville, I definitely encourage you check them out.

Yes.. it feels really weird to have people following you around with cameras!

Yes.. it feels really weird to have people following you around with cameras!


Not only do they have any sort of paddle boat you'd want, they also have a breezy locally owned bar where you can relax and stretch out after. They were really excited to have us for the show. They were incredibly accommodating and stayed open late for us. They  gave us free drinks and recommendations for local restaurants for us to try.  


Alex's sister, Liz, stayed with us over the weekend and she brought her goldendoodle (Indy's best friend) Rocky. They love each other! After filming on Friday we took the pups to New Belgium Brewing Company for some beer (cider for me) and fresh air!

IMG_8997 (1).JPG

Saturday was more of the same. We toured one of the potential houses. I can't really give any details about these photos, but I can post them at least. 


So it was a busy, and incredible weekend! I can't believe all that Alex and I have managed to do in a month! Our priority now is to unpack, and get ready for work. Alex starts this week, and I am working on a very big project I'll be able to share with everyone in just a couple more weeks! Stay tuned. More fun to come I promise! 

Have the best Sunday!