By Sharon Feiereisen
Bari owner and founder Alexandra Bonetti Perez is one of the youngest entrepreneurs to find success in the cutthroat boutique fitness scene. In fact, when the first Bari studio opened in Tribeca back in 2011 Perez was just 25 years old. With a passion for wellness and a background that includes a finance degree from U. Penn however, Perez has since expanded Bari with new studios in Newport Beach, California, and Summit, New Jersey.
We spoke with the brains behind the cardio-sculpting working to find out more about her fitness regimen, her healthy favorites, and her guilty pleasures.
Best summer getaways?
Terrenas in the Dominican Republic, Amalfi Coast in Italy, and Gocek Bay in Turkey.
Best trip you ever had for your health and fitness and what did you do? Any picture you can share?
I’ve never been on a trip solely for fitness or health, but I do feel trips inspire us to get more fit and healthy. I love being outdoors, and no matter if I’m at the beach, on a mountain or in the city, I like being active, being outside and eating real, local food.
Playlist go tos?
I love following Bari’s Spotify because our trainers are constantly uploading new music and playlists and are always in the know of the latest hits or the classic tunes that should always stay in the mix.
Bari is a unique bands-Pilates-barre-cardio hybrid. How did you develop the method and what do you think makes it so effective?
After graduating from Wharton, I immediately started a job in financial and management consulting in the oil and gas industry. I travelled a lot for work - mostly internationally - and it was during this scattered, always-on-the-go period of my life that fitness became what grounded me.
While working in consulting, I found myself balancing a million different workouts in order to look and feel the way I wanted. I would go for a run one day, do a weights class another day, do pilates another day, try to hit the elliptical another day. The thing is, I didn’t look or feel the way I wanted. I wasn’t getting enough cardio or muscle sculpting because I couldn’t find a method that offered the right recipe, especially if I only had a limited amount of time each week to dedicate to my workouts. I decided to take my fitness plan and my body into my own hands and little by little started crafting what Bari’s method would become. That’s how our method became multidimensional - combining the right amount of cardio with purposeful muscle sculpting - to ensure a smart, strategic and uniquely effective workout every single time you step into the studio. You’ll never leave Bari feeling like we missed a part of your body; you’ll never leave Bari feeling like you need to do more.
What’s a typical workout week like for you?
I try to get to Bari three to four times per week. If I’m having a tough week schedule-wise and I can only sneak in 30 minutes I work myself out, one of the perks of knowing the Bari method inside out!
What are your go-to workout shoes? Accessories? Gym bags?
Right now I’m obsessed with Newtons. I wear different pairs to different Bari classes and they are incredible.
Favorite healthy eatery in NYC?
Butcher’s Daughter and Fat Radish.
Favorite healthy snack?
Avocado with limejuice and sea salt.
Favorite pre and post workout snack?
Before working out, I usually keep it simple and stick to a green juice or smoothie. Post workout, I love Luli Tonix’s Chia Life blend. It’s delicious, filling and incredible for rehydrating.
What’s a fitness myth that drives you crazy?
One of the main lessons we have learned at Bari is what you see is no reflection of how healthy a person is. And everyone’s definition of what healthy looks like is quite different. For us, in order to be healthy, your heart is pumping enough blood to your body at a rate that fits your age and your body is getting ready to work for the rest of your life. So our workout guarantees both health and beauty. We will get you to a place where your body can perform to the best of its ability and also to a place where your body will still be performing to the best of its ability, 10, 20 and 40 years from now.
If we looked in your fridge, what would we always find?
Avocado and olives.
If we looked in your gym bag, what would we always find?
My heart rate monitor and dry shampoo.
How does maintaining a healthy lifestyle affect your everyday life in a positive way?
It clears my mind and makes me more productive, happier and energetic.