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Building You Up At The Barre

When I'm looking to sign up for fitness classes I look for instructors who are challenging, energetic and FUN! So when I met Joel Cardenas after one of my charity rides at JoyRide I knew I would have to return the favor and take one of his barre classes.

Needless to say I was NOT disappointed with the fast paced, music thumping, booty shaking (literally my booty was shaking because of all the pulses we did) workout he put me through.

I found out Joel's a frequent rider at JoyRide and it made excited because I love to hear when instructors consistently take other instructors classes, it's important for instructors to support each other and I was glad to know that Joel felt the same way.

When you follow him on Instagram you will see a man who's passionate about his fitness classes, boyfriend, puppy and taking the time he needs to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Even though it can be a struggle to balance it all Joel isn't shy about sharing that side and I love it!

In a social media world where everyone seems to filter EVERYTHING it's refreshing to see someone who's staying true to who they're and isn't afraid to show us their true colors.

Let's get to know one of my favorite barre instructors and fellow Britney Spears stan...

What Studios Do You Work For And What Is Your Role?

I work at Pure Barre Huebner Commons and Pure Barre Stone Oak--- I am an instructor and certified in all 3 class formats, Classic, Empower and Reform.

Classic is our standard barre class, Empower is our cardio based format that is a fusion of barre and interval training and Reform is inspired by resistance training using bands, sliders and the barre.

How Long Have You Been An Instructor In The Fitness Industry?

I've been in and out of the fitness industry for about 10 years. I started teaching Les Mills classes fresh out of high school while getting my dance degree. I eventually stepped away from teaching Les Mills to focus on other things. I spent some time in NYC attending dance programs and pursing a professional dance career.

After that I coached dance while attending Texas State University where I graduated with my BFA in Performance and Choreography.

So through each stage of my life and career, health and fitness has been a big part of it. I discovered Pure Barre through my bosses who attend classes there. During my last two years of being a dance director I started teaching at Pure Barre.

I'd Like You To Pick Three Words That Best Describe Your Classes.

Motivating, energetic and personal---these are the things that I want to experience when taking a class so I strive to make my classes the same.

Do You Hold Any Industry Related Certifications Or Have A Specialty You Focus On?

Currently I do not have any certifications outside of the Pure Barre format but I'm looking to start working on my NASM (National Associate of Sports Medicine) certification this year. I am really striving to give more to my clients and myself.

Why Did You Decide To Become A Barre Instructor?

Pure Barre came into my life when I really needed it. Personally I was at the heaviest I'd been after neglecting myself and my fitness goals. I was also at a place professionally where I was looking for something new and fresh where I could be a part of someone else's journey.

I became a Pure Barre Instructor because I loved the workout and believed in the results that I was seeing and feeling. Also being an instructor with a cordless mic gives me my "Britney Spears" moment! I treat every class like a performance with 50 minutes to put my own issues aside and give each client the experience they are paying for.

I have an understanding that some people look forward to this class all day long and this may be the only 50 minutes they have to focus on themselves---I take that very seriously.

Have You Had A Life Changing Or Impactful Moment As An Instructor?

I really focus on trying to make my classes challenging, super fun and motivating for everyone, I never want anyone walking away feeling defeated.

Anytime a client comes up to me and says "right when I wanted to quit you said exactly what I needed to hear so I didn't" or "you said something that I am going to try and hold onto for the rest of the day"---comments like this make me feel connected to my clients and I love when they share their feelings.

The biggest joy is when a client tells me how much stronger they've become and how their strength has physically and mentally impacted their life.

What Is Your Favorite Thing About Being An Instructor?

That I get to share my love of fitness and Pure Barre with everyone. Some people are unsure if they love it and others love it as much or more than I do---it is all amazing! I also get the chance to connect with many different individuals who become friends.

What Is The Most Challenging Thing About Being An Instructor?

The balance of being an instructor and then allowing myself to be the client. Sometimes as instructors we teach so much that we are not able to partake in classes that we like and don't have the time to get our own workouts in. However I am doing better, I'm getting myself back on track and making time for me again.

If You Could Change One Thing About The Fitness Industry What Would It Be?

I would change the fake idea of "wellness" and being "fit", wellness should not be encompassing of only the physical ideal but should focus on the mental, emotional and soul of a person.

In an era where it is all about "doing it for the gram" it is hard to set realistic goals and see what is true and real. I can be guilty of this but I really try to show the struggle bus that I ride to stay fit and feel good about myself.

My Goal With This Series Is To Promote Awareness And Collaboration Between Instructors. Do You Think This Is Needed And If So Why?

To me fitness should be about community. You see hashtags like #FitFam #FitCommunity but what you don't see are people actually being a community, specifically across different fitness concepts.

I think as instructors we need to lead the charge in supporting all of fitness, watching what we say and not speaking negatively about other fitness concepts or instructors.

As instructors we get access to a lot of amazing people. If someone walks out of our class and realizes it wasn't for them their is no reason why we shouldn't recommend another instructor or class to them. As instructors we can learn so much from each other as long as we are open and receptive to it.

At the end of the day there is a workout for everyone and we all win when people are moving and being active.

Other Than Practicing Barre How Else Do You Break A Sweat?

I really enjoy cycling so when I am not teaching I love to hit up JoyRide at Alon and Cyclebar in Stone Oak. If I am unable to get into a class I will go to the gym and focus on weight and strength training. My workouts really depend on what my specific goals are at that time.

Are There Any Other Fitness Classes You’re Interested In That You Haven’t Taken?

I have been wanting to try Next Level Core, I am drawn to anything that has amazing music and fabulous instructors!

Any last remarks you'd like to leave with our readers?

I want people to know that fitness is attainable no matter who you are. Set your goals and intentions and try not to let the noise of other peoples journey's block out yours.

For most people being "fit" is not their full time job, many fitness gurus look the way they do because that is their career. Let working out and staying active impact your life in a positive way and use that time selfishly.

If you think working out is not for you then take the time to discover and try everything that is out there, I guarantee there is something for you! This may mean doing something you like the least until you find the thing that really connects with you.

Where Can Our Readers Find You?

Instagram: @ lifeasjoe_l

You will see a lot of posts of my dog, boyfriend, and fitness stuff. Mostly it is me acting a fool and giving commentary that no one truly asked for! LOL ;)

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