richard giorla – creator of beautiful bodies

Last week I had the privilege and great opportunity of sitting down with Richard Giorla of Cardio Barre.   Richard candidly shared with me his “rags to riches” story and some insider tips we could all use when it comes to diet, fitness and the power of positive action!

First, let me start off by saying I LOVE Cardio BarreNothing has contributed more to my midlife fitness and mental wellness as much as Cardio Barre.  Since I began doing Cardio Barre in March 2010, I have noticed improved muscle tone, increased energy, a longer/leaner feeling in my body and an amazing mental boost!  As an extra-added bonus (and what makes my time there so special)  the class is supercharged by Richard’s enthusiasm,  his knowledge and his overall desire to help clients reach their full potential! (He also hires great staff and wonderful instructors!)  Lately, I have been so inspired by Richard’s energy, his amazing body and the power of the words and quotes he uses in class, I felt a need to go “behind the scenes” and learn more!   I wanted to write about his journey and explore  some of the simple things we could all do to elevate our days and become our best and most beautiful selves from the inside out!

1. Tell me a little about your background…

Originally from Philadelphia, I was classically trained in ballet.  In my twenties, I moved to New York and worked as a professional dancer.  As the years passed I continued to study dance and moved to Los Angeles where I was able to use my skills on stage, television and films.   My life and career took a turn in my thirties when I experienced an injury.  I fell into a two year lull.  I couldn’t do my passion, I was down and out and living on credit cards.  A friend of mine asked me to come teach a fitness class.  I was reluctant, it was not my thing at first, but I began to like it and was happy to have a job.

2.  How did Cardio Barre come to be?

I created Cardio Barre, after purchasing the fitness studio in which I was working.  The business was about to go under, but I saw the potential to change it and make it better.  I scraped together the money to follow my dream.  I had a vision for what Cardio Barre could be…even when others knocked it down and told me it was a bad business move…I listened to my higher self and forged ahead.  After buying the fitness center, I worked my “buns” off!  The days were long…sometimes I would work 10 – 12 hours at a time!  I did whatever it took…taught classes, trained clients privately, ran the business…you name it!  I also tightened the ship…reduced the fax lines, changed the staff and figured out where I could cut costs daily!  I was always doing research!  Even today I find myself always doing research.  What’s it going to take to make it bigger, better, more efficient!  What’s working, what’s not, how can I make this stronger, who’s doing it right that I can learn from and model after?  I also rearranged and tweaked the workout routines.  I incorporated my Chippendale’s training, body builder knowledge and dance moves to create  a whole new style.

3.  What makes Cardio Barre unique in its approach to fitness?

Cardio Barre incorporates it all!  Resistance training, strength training, cardio, dance, great music and most of all fun! (Fun is at the top of the list!)

4.  What inspires you to do the work you do?

I love the work.  I love that I’m creating a legacy and changing one body at a time.  And I LOVE that I am changing lives!  If I can help people boost their physical and mental well being then they in turn can go out and change the world!  I always say “Change yourself first and then find something you love to do and DO IT.”…this makes for a joyous life!

5.  What do you think are some of the most important things, for a woman in her midlife years, to incorporate into her workout routine?

Having some cardio in your workout routine is really crucial…it’s great for health, but it also gets those endorphins flowing!  We need to feel good in our mental state too! Resistance training to keep muscle tone and I would also recommend adding in Pilate’s and ballet stretches.  This keeps the body flexible.

6.  What is your approach to nutrition?                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Every choice we make contributes to our mental and physical state.  I believe in making good healthy lifestyle choices…eating clean, healthy, whole foods like good protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.  I love oatmeal, brown rice, lean meats, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and good oils.  Feed your body good food!

7.  What kinds of foods do you think are good to eat before and after a workout?

For breakfast, I like having some complex carbs like oatmeal with fruit, or an egg white omelet.  After a workout I would say it’s good to have protein to repair the muscles along with some complex carbohydrates.  Remember too – it’s all about portion control and eating every few hours…this keeps your metabolism up.

8.  What’s your ultimate indulgence?


9.  How do you make sure you feel good everyday?

I like to work hard and get things done.  I’m all about “productivity” and “creativity!”

10.  What keeps you motivated to eat well and exercise daily?

Looking well, playing the part and feeling good!

11.  What advice do you have for women who have lost their way and don’t like to exercise?

Getting started can sometimes be a challenge.  You’ve got to break the bad habits.  My advice would be to “just start!”  Just do it!  Find a buddy / partner that will do it with you…this will keep you motivated.  Do it slowly, keep at it and you will gain momentum.  When you start to exercise you will feel better and you’ll want to do it more.   Take it slow in the beginning…baby steps…start walking…see what works.  Then find something you love to do and do it!  Another tip is to surround yourself with successful people because that will continue to motivate and drive you!

12.  Who are your mentors?

Anthony Robbins (love him!), Wayne Dyer, Barack Obama, Michael Josephson.  I enjoy good, articulate, powerful speakers.

13.  What’s next on the agenda for you and Cardio Barre?

An infomercial, book, clothing line, a national presence and possible TV reality show!  We are also currently expanding our franchises…we now have  five and by the end of 2010 we expect to have another five.

14.  Any last thoughts? (for our readers)

Yes…show your uniqueness!  Go change the world!  Have a clear path and know what you want.  Have goals…keep feeding yourself, learn and grow!

Thank you Richard for sharing your time and inspiring so many!

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