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March 1, 2012 / ShapedforFitness

Meraki Barre & TRX

Thanks to another awesome Groupon deal, I got to try a new fitness studio in Orange County, CA called Meraki Barre (Mur-ah-key).

Located in Costa Mesa/Newport Beach off the 55 & W 16th street, this small, boutique studio offers many fun fitness classes and caters to those looking for the latest and greatest fitness trend. They offer barre, yoga, TRX, barre lux and ABT (abs, butt, thighs) classes.

I was able to take 3 classes at Meraki Barre, 1 yoga, 1 barre, and 1 TRX class and enjoyed all of them. My favorite class was definitely TRX (read more about it below). All the of the instructors were very nice, encouraging, laid back, and led challenging workouts. Even the clientele had a laid back feel to them. No fitness crazies, intense yogis, or people who are more concerned about their workout fashion (very common in OC gyms). I love Lululemon, but do you have to look me up and down when I wear Nike or Under Armour? Definitely none of that going on at Meraki Barre. You’re beautiful as you are!

Meraki Barre Instructors (

The studio is warm and welcoming with a beach inspired lobby, and friendly people who greet you when you come in. The lobby also has lockers to put all your stuff in (very convenient), and you can actually lock the locker.

The workout studio is also very nice with “900 Square Feet of [padded] Sustainable Solid Bamboo Floors because we ♥ Mother Earth as much as we ♥ ourselves!” Says Meraki Barre’s Facebook page. Definitely one of the higher quality studios I’ve been too.

TRX Classes:

One of the main reasons why I was interested in trying Meraki Barre is that they offer TRX classes. I heard from friends that TRX is an amazing, butt kicking workout so you know I had to try it! TRX stands for Total-body Resistance eXercise. Here’s a little summary from the TRX website:

Suspension Training®

Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. It requires the use of the TRX® Suspension Trainer, a highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to enable hundreds of exercises for every fitness goal.
  • Get a fast, effective total body workout
  • Benefits people of ALL fitness levels (pro athletes to seniors)
  • Can be set-up anywhere (gym, home, road, outside)

Check out the demo video on the TRX website.

TRX at Meraki Barre

Meraki Barre offers 4 to 6 TRX classes per week with 10 students max per class.

6 TRX along one wall and 4 on another

TRX handles

The Workout:

Meraki Barre’s TRX instructor, Ambia, is super sweet and very strong, but shows her tough side as she tells you to “get lower!” or “keep holding your plank!” Loved it. The workout starts off with some limbering movements to get the blood flowing and muscles warmed up. Then you immediately move into the body of the workout. We targeted every muscle in the body, but mostly focussed on the upper body that day. I really wish I could’ve tried the lower body workout too. Next time.

The workout is broken in the sets of 4-5 exercises that you repeat for 2 rounds per set. We did squats, rows, push-ups, flys, tricep extension, planks, knee tucks, and many other common exercises, all with the suspension cables. Here are some photos of Ambia demonstrating the moves: (Thanks Ambia!!!)


Reach up tall after squats

Push ups or Flys

Tricep Extension

And then she got all fancy and showed me these crazy hard moves/positions:

Beautiful reach back

One-leg hand stand

Incredible! A suspended plank! I had a hard enough time doing a plank with only my feet in the straps and hands on the ground.

One of my favorite exercises is the pank with your feet in the straps and then knee tucks, alternating side to side.

(photo source)

TRX plank

Knee tucks, alternating sides

The TRX workout is NO JOKE!!! It’s a very powerful workout that uses every muscle in the body, especially the core. When you suspend yourself on the TRX, you have to keep your core strong or you’ll hurt your back and flop around. My abs were the most sore area of my body the next day. One of the toughest things for me was gripping the handles. It takes a lot of forearm strength to grip the handles when you hang from the TRX, and my forearms and hands gave out before the main muscle group did. Ambia said it takes a few classes to build up strength and endurance in your forearms.

Overall, I would definitely do TRX again. TRX is great for athletes looking to build strength and endurance, with very little equipment. Beginners beware, it takes a lot of strength to hold your own body up!

Other Meraki Barre Classes

The other 2 classes I took at Meraki Barre were Power Yoga and Barre. Both were pretty good and I enjoyed the instructors, Kim and Andrea. Andrea’s Power Yoga class was very smooth and my body felt much better after the workout. The barre class on the other hand was a little too easy for me.  I think it’s because I’ve been doing barre classes for over 6 months and we did very basic movements with minimal cardio. Meraki Barre is great for beginners in the barre workout. My friend, Sarah “OUaL”, really enjoyed their barre class and liked how it was less “dancy” than other barre classes. As for me, I like more of the ballet movements.

Overall, Meraki Barre is a beautiful fitness studio in the Newport Beach, Costa Mesa area that offers many wonderful, challenging classes with quality instructors. If you’re looking for a laid back fitness studio with the latest and greatest fitness classes, Meraki Barre is definitely for you! Go check them out!

Thanks for the great fitness classes Meraki Barre!



Leave a Comment
  1. Sarah OUaL / Mar 2 2012 3:53 pm

    I’m so sad I missed TRX 😦 Looks like a real butt-kicker. Considering how sore YOU were, it’s prob a good thing I didn’t go, haha 🙂

  2. ShapedforFitness / Mar 5 2012 10:21 am

    Yeah, you would definitely like TRX, it’s very similar to the college softball workouts we had. Check it out sometime, but make sure you’re not racing within a few days, you’ll be sore!

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