Meet Xtend Barre trainer, Jen De Leon, and learn why she loves to hit the barre!
Jen De Leon came all the way from Australia and has been teaching at Xtend Barre for 6 years. Jen shares with us how living in Australia has changed the way she works out in NYC, especially once it starts to get warm out!
What made you decide to become a trainer?
I had just moved home from London back to Sydney, a little lost and not knowing what to do with my life! In my travels, I had met the head franchisor and flagship studio owner of Xtend Barre in Australia. Knowing I had a background in dance, she approached me to do the training to become an instructor. I had not much going on and no direction (I also had spent two years in London living a very unhealthy lifestyle!), so I took my first Xtend Barre class and immediately fell in love with the workout. Xtend Barre is a smart, fun, functional, and fast paced workout and I knew instantly I wanted to get involved.
Does your fitness routine change once it (finally) starts to get warmer outside?
YES! When I first moved to the city, I lived a little north of Central Park, so I would run the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Coming from Sydney and living not too far away from the beach where coastal runs are always a must, it’s important for me to get some fresh air and be outdoors.
After being active for so many years, how do you continue to challenge yourself in the gym?
I grew up dancing, and danced professionally in my early 20s. After I decided to hang my dancing shoes, I got in to yoga. I then did a move to London and back to Sydney, which is where I discovered barre. And now I LOVE circuit workouts and running! I think as I enter a new phase in my life, my workout regime changes a little to match! Now I live in a city where there’s a different workout on every corner. I am spoiled! This all keeps me constantly challenged!
Whether they know it or not, do your trainees ever help you learn something new during a session?
Absolutely! I’ve been teaching XTEND for 5.5 years now and with all the review forums, new clients we get into the studio daily, and working in an Xtend Barre studio that’s new to the city, I am constantly learning and being challenged by my clients! New Yorkers are such champions here and work SO HARD! I change my workout all the time to keep our regulars on their toes, while making sure our new Xtenders can follow along as well.
What is your favorite workout to do to switch up your routine?
I am a creature of habit, so I don’t always love doing something new! However, I do miss my yoga practice. So, when I can bring myself to slow down, which is really very hard in New York City, I try and get my booty to a power vinyasa yoga class.
What’s your most rewarding way to relax after a hard workout?
I love good, wholesome, organic food. So cooking/eating a hearty meal to re-fuel feels good to me!
Who’s your pick to win it all this March Madness?
I don’t know! I’m from Australia, and basketball isn’t a big sport back home! You guys are going to have to introduce me to March Madness!