Students stretch, sweat like celebs

By on March 8, 2006

How to stay “in shape” is becoming a hot topic more and more each day, especially on college campuses, with spring break a week away. But cardio routines can get old fast, and the desire to do them can be quickly lost.

“I get so bored of running circle after circle around the indoor track, so when I don’t feel like doing that I just find a class on the QU fitness schedule and go to that instead,” said Jessica Hurst, a junior psychology major.

But on Wednesday, the Quinnipiac community had the opportunity to mix things up a bit. Celebrity trainer and the face of the best selling “Pilates Crunch” videos, Ellen Barrett, brought her hour-long “Fat-Burning Fusion” class to the university’s workout buffs.

Barrett has become known in the fitness world and has had great success in the industry over the past several years producing exercise videos, novels and offering signature fitness classes. She runs her own studio, located in New Haven, which offers a variety of classes every day of the week.

Barrett’s interest in fitness dates back to the fist classes she participated in.

“I made a career out of something I love. I know this is what I am supposed to be doing. I’ve been working with fitness for 15 years and I haven’t stopped,” Barrett said.

Tami Reilly, the Assistant Athletic Director for Fitness and Wellness at Quinnipiac, has been in contact with Barrett since the opening of her New Haven studio.

“I read an article in a fitness magazine that had an article of clothing for sale from a place called Buff Girl Studios in New Haven,” Reilly said. “I hadn’t heard of it before so I decided to investigate. From there, I contacted [Barrett] regarding her work in New Haven and discovered this celebrity living right nearby.”

Reilly took Barrett’s class in New Haven and has sent two Quinnipiac students and fitness instructors to mentor with her. Angela Hergan and Meghan Hughes now not only teach their fitness classes at Quinnipiac, but also at Barrett’s studio.

From there, Reilly thought it would be fun to have Barrett on campus as a special guest. Apparently so did the students who filled the studio for her class.

“Those in attendance loved her and the class style,” Reilly said. “The workout wasn’t particularly difficult, just different. [Barrett] fuses a bunch of exercise modalities together to make up her signature class – more fluid and flowing than most exercise classes. You almost don’t realize you are working out as hard as you are.”

As Barrett lead the Quinnipiac students through her fitness class combining standing Pilates and simple ballet moves, she not only instructed the girls on the movements and positions, but informed them of how each move was working and improving their body muscles.

According to her Website, the “Fat-Burning Fusion” class is a “barefoot, zen-like, liquid cardio” class. The goal of the workout is to elongate your muscles while burning “lots of fat” through standing Pilates and simple ballet moves. The workout is designed for all fitness levels.

“I take Pilates a lot but this class was a good change because it was a lot more standing poses and even ballet moves. I definitely am considering buying her videos to add some variety to my workouts,” Hurst said.

While Barrett’s class was free to Quinnipiac students, those interested can take the same class at her New Haven studio for $15.

But for those who don’t want to travel or pay for a workout, Quinnipiac offers a handful of classes every day of the week, except on Saturdays, ranging from mellow Pilates classes to more intense Boot Camp classes. The classes are taught by certified members of the QU community, all with a great deal of fitness training and experience.

For more information on Ellen Barrett and a complete list of her available classes, visit her website at


About Erin Elfeldt and Alison Feller