The Dark S[l]ide of Barre

If there was a tuck hall of fame, Elise would be the first inductee. Back when we first opened tuck in March 2017, we had a shortage of barre teachers and Callie was teaching 7-8 classes per week while working as a first-year associate at her law firm – not sustainable. Meanwhile, Elise was one of our first members and was happily taking Callie’s class 7-8 times a week, while also doing Crossfit. Neither of those two things is normal.

I guess game recognizes game, because Callie soon offered to train Elise to teach barre, making her tuck’s first-ever homegrown barre teacher. What Callie-wan Kenobi did not recognize then was that Elise had a dark side, and once Elise found her groove, she fully embraced the dark side of the barre.

Enter these fucking things. Those black discs that Elise is making Mickey Mouse ears out of are called sliders. Which, if you think about it, is really fucked up, because real sliders are awesome. Continue reading “The Dark S[l]ide of Barre”

The Barre Bro Goes 1v1 Against Molly Misery

The day job’s been busy lately so I haven’t had much time to work out, but work finally slowed down this week so I could take real lunch breaks again. At the same time, this bro somehow managed to gain 8 lbs. between Saturday and Tuesday, which means it’s time to get back at it. I knew it would be a mistake to jump right back into barre because, in a cruel twist of irony, barre uses a lot of body weight exercises, meaning that extra 8 lbs. would make any barre class I went to much harder than it was 8 lbs. ago.

I did manage to go low carb on some free sandwiches at work yesterday, but that didn’t move the needle on the scale that night so I decided to do a double yoga day, with Callie’s 6am in the morning, and Molly’s 11:45am yoga sculpt. First, let me say that I hate the word combination “yoga sculpt.” At best, it’s a shitty fusion – yoga, something that in my mind should be a nice, relaxing, non-challenging, non-sweating stretching affair, combined with sculpting, which is something that happens in sweaty weight rooms. At worst, it’s an oxymoron, kind of like “salad buffet” or “clean coal.” But hey, at least it’s not barre, right? Continue reading “The Barre Bro Goes 1v1 Against Molly Misery”

Core Barre with Cassie

I woke up naturally this morning at 5:25am – I tried to watch The Mummy on Netflix, but Callie grumbled something about turning the sound down, and The Mummy is just not a low-volume subtitle type of movie. So, I decided to go to Cassie’s barre class instead. Cassmagrass is a tuck OG – she was with us from almost the moment we opened, and she was part of the very first class of clients that took barre teacher training and then started teaching for us.

Here she is rocking out, wearing some Pure Barre gear ironically, kind of the way Netflix employees wear Blockbuster Video t-shirts as a joke. Since taking her barre workouts to a new level at tuck, she hasn’t been back to Pure Barre. At this point, she could be in a coma and still make it through a Pure Barre workout. Continue reading “Core Barre with Cassie”

Spying on Teacher Training, Thai Yoga Massage Workshop

It snowed last week. Outside tuck 2, we usually have a sidewalk sign with some sale advertised, or just “barre & yoga” written on it. It was cold and I thought I was being clever, but Callie didn’t like my pun.

A few weekends ago, I got the chance to spy on a barre teacher training while waiting to go to a Sixers game. What I witnessed confirmed what I had always suspected – the lies spewing from the mouths of barre teachers are planned, intentional, and entirely pre-meditated. Here are some things I overheard: Continue reading “Spying on Teacher Training, Thai Yoga Massage Workshop”

The barre bro goes to Cartagena!

Working full-time while owning small businesses means that vacations are few and far between, but when you can multitask attending a good friend’s wedding with exploring a new country, you gotta do it, right?!?

I always get excited to travel… only to remember that 90% of travelling is waiting in a series of lines. Luckily, it’s also a great excuse to order wine at 8am with breakfast.

breakfast airport
fear not, I ate the sausage not Callie

I have trouble thinking more than a day ahead, so we never got around to googling Cartagena or doing any kind of research at all. Turns out, Cartagena is a party spot known for prostitutes and cocaine! We had no idea about Cartagena’s reputation until the last leg of our flight, when we found ourselves on a plane with at least three groups of 20 dudes each going there for bachelor’s parties. Continue reading “The barre bro goes to Cartagena!”

4:10 AM

Where am I allowed to draw the line? I mean, I understand I should have known this kind of stuff was coming when I married my 6am yoga teacher, but waking up at 4:10am on a weekday before work?

Let’s rewind a bit. “Come be on local TV!” they said. “It’ll be great publicity!” they said. “We’ll do three separate segments!” they said.

“Okay!” Callie said, before even asking when this was happening. And certainly before asking the barre bro if that was a cool bro thing for us to do.

Do you have any idea how awful a time 4:10am is in January in Philadelphia? Not only is it cold, the night/morning isn’t even done getting colder by 4:10am. It’s so early that when I woke up and burped, I could still taste last night’s dinner. It’s so early that the Netflix show I fall asleep to every night hadn’t even asked me yet if I was still there watching.

So yeah, we woke up at the pig crack of dawn, drove to the West Philly studio, and hosted FairyTales The Rescue and PHL17.

Believe it or not, that’s Franklin!! Look how much bigger he is now than last time!!

Franklin in July

Continue reading “4:10 AM”

The Barre Bro Bounces

One thing they don’t tell you about being a small business owner is the amount of time you’ll be spending doing Ikea-style assembly of things. For instance, my wife bought a dozen fitness trampolines without telling me, scheduled a trampoline class without telling me, and then told me all those things about three hours before our first trampoline barre class. So much of my Saturday morning was spent assembling a dozen fitness trampolines while she danced around to music, “supervising.”

I took class and… I didn’t hate it? It was actually really fun, reminds you of being a little kid! In fact, I think the best trampoline barre teachers are probably 12-year olds who haven’t been disillusioned by the real world yet.

You could definitely spend the entire 45 minutes bouncing around like a little kid, but the “workout” portion of it is actually ridiculously hard – you mostly want to keep your head level, and then pound down on the trampoline as if you were a superhero making a superhero landing. Over, and over, and over again.

Let’s zoom in on that Callie face –

close up face

Friday night was one of the greatest nights of my life. About once a year, Callie gets a craving for fast food. Sometimes it’s McDonald’s fries, other times (usually) it’s Sonic, and on Friday night, she saw this article and started craving taco bell!! She got a nachos supreme, no beef, and a cheese quesadilla. I got, like, a taco or something.

We crushed it.

For some reason, I had a nightmare Friday night. Not the type of nightmare you’re thinking of, it was way worse.

Everyone knows that the best dreams are the dreams where you wake up and you’re suddenly at the world’s largest all-you-can-eat buffet, you polish off six or seven plates of chinese, sushi, ribs, mongolian bbq, and some french fries, and then you wake up and you’ve consumed zero calories!

So what nightmare did I have that was worse than anything you could possibly imagine? I dreamt that I worked out. Like, a full hour of hitting a heavy bag. And then I woke up, and I had burned exactly zero extra calories. Worst dream ever.

6am yoga/nap, 7:15am breakfast

Wednesday means Callie’s 6am yoga at Point Breeze – easily my favorite class of the week. Yoga is everything that barre is not – it’s pleasant, relaxing, and nice things come out of Callie’s mouth. Wonderful things, like “Listen to your body,” and “just stay on your knees if that seems inaccessible” and “only do as much as feels good for you.” My early interactions with Callie happened exclusively in her yoga class, which is probably how she fooled me into thinking she was this wonderful, angelic being.

Unfortunately, it was really cold this morning and as my body temperature kept dropping, drowsiness set in. I don’t remember falling asleep, but the next thing I knew, she was cueing shivasana. I can’t recommend napping in yoga class enough – there’s something about drifting away while the people around you are stretching and the teacher is saying pleasant things that makes it 100 times better than any other sleep you’ll ever get.

Since barre was starting right after yoga, I excused myself into the waiting area and made myself a little napping station.

Last night I had every intention of taking barre too, but this morning I woke up and remembered how important rest days are. God does it, The Rock does it, and so should you and I.

Unfortunately, after 20 minutes of vigorous battling pigeon poses, hunger set in. Thankfully, there’s a corner store across the street. One of my favorite things about Philly is that every corner store has solid breakfast sandwiches on some of the best rolls in the country. I mean, look at this beaut!

It was really cold this morning, so it was impressive that everyone who signed up for barre actually showed up! Everyone except for… our own teachers. Nice going, Kate and Ann.

lazy teachers

This portrait is my favorite part of our studio –

As I laid down for my second set of napping, I could hear Callie teaching her class and lying her ass off.

The most annoying thing Callie says in class? “I know it burns!” Oh yeah, you do? So why don’t you do something about it? Don’t tell me my legs are on fire, stop the exercise so they stop being on fire. Callie would be a terrible fireman.

Since I’m annoyed at Callie, allow me to blow up her spot a bit. If you’ve taken barre, you know that she goes around encouraging people by name, calling out people who are resting too much, and checking everyone’s form. But the secret? She only does that because SHE DOESN’T WANT TO DO ALL THE SETS OF THE EXERCISES SHE’S MAKING ALL OF US DO. So next time she says, “I know it burns!” please feel free to retort, “You’re not even doing it Callie!”

The barre bro’s sweat diary!

My wife was recently featured in Phillymag’s ongoing “Sweat Diaries” series. Since they haven’t yet asked the barrebro to do a sweat diary, I decided to volunteer and write one up of my own!

Who I am: Hagana Kim, 35, from Lansdowne, PA

What I do: Paper pusher at Penn Law, owner at tuck barre & yoga

What role healthy living plays in my life: I married someone who does that

Health Memberships: I own a couple barre/yoga studios. I also own a jump rope, and recently bought a heavy bag on January 1st. I’m waiting for it to arrive before I really kick this workout thing into high gear.


4:45am – Callie’s alarm goes off. I ignore it and go back to bed.

7:45am – My alarm goes off. I turn it off, let the dogs out, and throw a few slices of Costco pizza into the toaster oven for breakfast.

8:20am – Walk half a block to my SEPTA bus stop, take three explosive steps upward to elevate my body mass into the transit vehicle while maintaining balance and form.

8:50am – Stop by 7/11, grab a spicy chicken biscuit for $1.29. Anything under $2 hardly has calories anyway.

1:15pm – Take a walk around work looking for free food – find an event that’s ending that had Garces catering, fix myself a plate

6:00pm – Get home to start cooking for Callie. She requests a wedge salad, and I oblige.

I don’t feel like a salad, and there’s a chinese place around the corner that does an awesome half-chicken, fried, with fries for $5.50. So I do that, like a fucking champ.

Daily total: $5.50


7:45am: Alarm goes off. Out of Costco pizza, so I fall back on Totino’s (loving the new square shape!).

1:15pm: Walk around work looking for free food – find a tray of turkey hoagies, and help myself.

6:15pm: Dinner time! Decided to make some pork belly lettuce wraps. Here’s a picture of one. I ate about 25.

10:00pm – Callie is safely asleep. I get hungry again, so I order a charcuterie/cheese board from Domino’s.

Daily total: $15


5:15am – Ugh, actually have to wake up early on Wednesdays to drive Callie to her 6am yoga. I take about 20 minutes of the yoga class, get tired, and leave to drive back home and let dogs out. On the drive home, I see that McD’s has brought back their 2 for 4 breakfast sandwich special! I get four breakfast sandwiches for the dogs, and a coffee for myself.

12:30pm – Callie is free for lunch! So we hit up Terakawa Ramen for their spicy ramen.

6:00pm – Wednesday is our takeout night! Also, we have time to walk the dogs Thursday morning, so I carb load with Thai food to prepare my body.

Daily total: Who cares, it’s Callie’s money


7:30am – Heat up the daily morning pizza. I blot it, since I’m watching my figure.

1:00pm – I’ve been eating a bit unhealthy, so I opt for a salad for lunch.

6:00pm – Dinner time! Made some dukbokki (spicy korean rice cakes)

10:00pm – Callie’s safely asleep and I’m hungry again, so it’s taco time!


8:30am – Whoops, woke up late, no time for breakfast, heading to work!

11:00am – Appetizer salad at Goldie because I’m starving.


1:00pm – Real lunch – go to Shake Shack and get a spicy chick’n shack.

6:00pm – Dinner time! Korean bbq with traditional spread and miso soup. 

Total spent: Stop asking, you sound like Callie interrogating me about my debit card purchases.

Now that I’m at the end of this thing, I’m a little confused… why are these food logs called sweat diaries?

Where to find the healthiest most delicious food in University City – according to the barre bro!

Phillymag recently asked my wife where to find the healthiest food and other things in University City. It’s a shame they didn’t ask me, because I’ve got the real inside scoop. Fear not – I will now happily share “The barre bro’s guide to University City food” –

Abner’s Cheesesteaks – it’s important to get ample protein, and Abner has been dishing up protein bombs for decades!

Zesto Pizza and Grill – hell yeah!

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Happy #nationalcheesepizzaday 🍕 #zestopizza

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Terakawa Ramen (she got this one right) – best addition to the U-City food scene since Magic Carpet in the 80s!

Pitruco Pizza (the truck, not in Franklin Table) – amazing, soft, pillowy crust.

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Happy weekend. Here is a Margherita pizza.

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Federal Donuts (the chicken not the donuts)

Dos Hermanos food truck – tacos and burritos for days

McDonald’s – don’t sleep on this classic!

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A pic so good, you could eat it.

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