Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tru Barre Studio in Merriman Valley

Tru Barre Studio in Merriman Valley
by Brit Charek

I hate working out. There, I said it. I hate everything about it. I hate dreading going to the gym. I hate being at the gym. I hate putting on my gym clothes and comparing the way I look in my gym clothes to other people at the gym. I hate all the stupid inspirational sayings that come along with fitness culture. I even hate my bad attitude.

But I love having more energy. And sleeping better. And having better posture. And feeling stronger. And looking good in my skinny jeans. And even sweating-- sometimes it just feels great to sweat.

Basically, I love all the benefits of working out, but I don't want to put the work in, which makes the idea of a quick, painful, effective workout surprisingly appealing to me. Enter Tru Barre Studio.

Tru Barre Studio is located in Parkwood Plaza in Merriman Valley

I've been going to the gym out by my work twice a week since the beginning of the school year (Shoutout to my carpool buddy Jillian and Levels Gym in Plymouth, Ohio!) but after a significant relapse over Christmas break, I started looking for something additional to kickstart my progress. After some searching around, I purchased a series of 10 Barre classes at Tru Barre Studio in Merriman Valley.

I have a bit of a sorted history with Barre. It started when I took a ballet class as my Phys Ed credit in college thinking it would be "easy" and came close to significantly compromising my GPA. Later on, I found myself working the check-in desk and folding towls at the Bar Method Studio in San Francisco in exchange for free classes, which I wouldn't have been able to afford in addition to Bay Area rent on my waitressing salary.

What got me so addicted to Barre? The combination of intense strength training and immediate stretching actually changed the way my body looked. Over time, I sculpted long, lean muscles like a dancer.

A decade later, I want that body back and Sue Costigan is going to help me get it.

Sue Costigan (center) and her staff of instructors

"I fell in love with the technique and the effectiveness of the exercises," says Costigan, founder of Tru Barre Studio, who discovered barre while recovering from shoulder surgery. "I felt my body changing from the first few classes. I knew this was an amazing workout and I wanted to share it with my clients."

After earning a certification in Barre from Barre Company, adding to her long list of accolades and accomplishments in the fitness field, Costigan eventually opened Tru Barre in June of last year.

"I was ready for a change," she explains. "I had always toyed with the idea of going out on my own, but never felt I had the right product. Barre differentiates me from all the other fitness facilities in the area."

Tru Barre also houses a boutique, with stylish and functional fitness and casual attire-- which will hopefully help me with some of my gripes about not feeling confident in my own gym gear. "All our clothing lines come from Los Angeles," says Costigan, who hopes to expand Tru Boutique in the near future. "You wont find our clothing anywhere else in the area."

Almost a year later, Costigan is nothing but enthusiastic about taking the leap from employee to entrepreneur. "My favorite part about what I do is that I am helping people. Assisting them to create a change for the better in their lives. Watching clients become healthier, happier and stronger everyday."

Three weeks into my own Barre classes, I'm still struggling and shaking through the intense workouts, but I do find myself feeling healthier, happier, and stronger, which is a tall order considering my bad attitude. Now I just need to keep it up!

Tru Barre Studio is located at 1474 N. Portage Path in Merriman Valley. You can learn more and sign up for classes at


  1. I'm having a very similar (great) experience--hate working out, and with no time to really devote to it, I love being able to go see Sue once a week and see & feel results--physically and mentally!