Equinox Profile of Jennifer Brown, Barre Fit Cardio & EQX Barre Burn Dance Instructor, by E.B. GO Vision Media: The Equinox Fitness Clubs are in a class by themselves in terms of providing an environment of allowing members to get the most of out the training experience, and this starts with the Trainers and Fitness Class Teachers who transmit their knowledge, experience and expertise in a manner which translates into positive results. This is one in a series on Trainers and Fitness Class Teachers in the Southern California area.
The Smiling Assassin of Barre Fitness at Equinox: Jen Brown’s
Beauty Masks a Drill Sergeant Ready to Burn You to the Ground
In nature there are plants and entities, on land and in the sea, that are equipped with colors and designs to lure unsuspecting prey into their clutches. Whether seeking refuge or looking for food, the victim wanders by and wanders in and their Fate is sealed. At the Equinox Fitness Club in Marina Del Rey there is someone who teaches Barre Fit Cardio and EQX Barre Burn, Jennifer Brown, or Jen as many call her, who has a similar modus operandi.
New to this whole Barre form of exercise, I first encountered Jen in my sixth Barre class on October 27 as I innocently strolled into her world. She walks into class like a breath of fresh air smiling in an inviting manner and issuing salutary greetings to the assemblage, gently floating across the room like a brightly lit will-o-the-wisp her soft features and gentle demeanor, atop a petite 5-foot 3-inch frame, lure one into a false sense of security, and thus the trap is set.
Getting settled in, Jen sets the workout watch and cues the music, dons sparkling workout socks under dark stirrup Barre leggings leading to a loose-fitting tank top over a multi-colored sports bra, has her long, dark hair pulled up to frame a lovely oval face graced with hazel eyes and a smile that kills. A mellifluous voice from Heaven fills the studio with a calming effect as introductions, instructions and the game plan are issued, and thus The Smiling Assassin’s trap is sprung as her loving tentacles begin to gently squeeze and digest the innocent prey trapped in a studio whose parquet flooring will soon be strewn with quivering masses of muscle carnage.
Born in Miami and raised in Boca Raton, Jennifer Brown was always active and played tennis seriously for years as a teenager. After graduating from Florida State, she moved to Los Angeles and worked out to counter the sedentary effect of stationary corporate work. Then, in 2012, Jen began to take Yoga Barre classes, not at Equinox, and ended up taking the class training with little of anticipation of being able to teach it professionally. Joining the Equinox Team offered the opportunity and now she teaches Barre Fit Cardio and EQX Barre Burn at three locations in West Los Angeles. She loves the Equinox Culture and is keen to help people get into shape and feel better.
When asked if she considers herself a Healer?, Jen is surprised by the question as she never thought of her fitness teaching in that vein. Hearing my thoughts on that matter, having healed myself from a serious illness thru fitness, this bubbly and upbeat woman gets more so when her mind gets wrapped around the idea of being able to do more than just make her students “feel better.” Revealing how teachers like Dane Sorenson, Amber McMahon, Susannah York, Marguerite Wheatley, Brody Hessin and herself changed my life during a decidedly reckless 9-week 100 group class binge makes Jennifer more effusive as a face and story of physical redemption have been put to the work. Like a songwriter, author, filmmaker or poet who never know when their work might have changed a life for the better, hearing such tales makes all the efforts to become a competent teacher worthwhile.
The Smiling Assassin in Action: Today’s EQX Barre Burn begins innocently enough with squat and stretching warm up exercises while Jen wryly alludes to the Fun and Games about to commence.
First on tap are the arms. Using two or three-pound weights the orders are face the side and get into second position, meaning toes pointed out, legs far apart and squatting down so thighs are parallel to the ground…and one begins a series of arm exercises that seriously tax the shoulders all the way around, plus the knees, thighs and calves get a piece of the action. Jen’s previously inviting voice is the same, but the tone has become insistent and questioning of your ability to take it…
…it is “abs against the spine, shoulders back and arms straight out and small up and down moves and squat up and down 8…4, 3, 2, 1 and how low can you go, now hold 3, 2, 1…arms straight do crossovers slowly, now fast, elbows bent and shoulders back, 8…4, 3, 2, 1, now squat up and down and keep the arms moving and how low can you go”…”now with arms straight to the side and palms facing upwards pulse in and out slowly, 8…4, 3, 2, 1 and hold 3, 2, 1″…”now keep the palms up and move the arms slowly back and forth from front to side while pulsing in and out slowly, and 8…4, 3, 2, 1, keep those shoulders back, and how low can you go”…”now heels up and squat up and down with bicep curls, keep the abs engaged, shoulders back, now hold the weight in front of your chest touching your knuckles, elbows out… and how low can you go and pulse at the bottom, one inch up and one inch down, one-inch up and one-inch down and 8…4, 3, 2, 1 and hold at the bottom 3, 2, 1…now take it lower, pulse 8…4, 3, 2, 1…now even lower, and pulse 8…4, 3, 2, 1 and hold 3, 2, 1″….and on and on and on and when sweet, lovely little Jen says recover there are groans across the room but within seconds new instructions are issued…and the whole time she smiles, makes the rounds and gets the most of those involved.
To follow are gluts, adnominal exercises and thighs, which is when the Body Bar is used for balance, the latter is particularly painful as one has the heels up for an extended period while squeezing a ball between the legs and the workout pattern is similar to that chronicled above. Ab exercises are Pilates style for an extended slow tilt backwards with tiny pulses up and down and across using the arms to keep the muscles massively engaged, and the smiling continues.
That said and in all seriousness, Jennifer Brown has The Gift of Healing; I saw it right away without having to look for it; I knew it right away without having to think about it; it can’t be taught or drilled into you; The Gift, generally strongest in the female, comes from within and radiates outward in a warm glow to those exposed to such a power that’s lies underneath.
New to the fitness training game, her ability to effect positive change in people’s will undoubtedly expand in the months and years ahead. God Speed Jennifer!, aka The Smiling Assassin.