Erica Mallette has always been a runner.

But an injury to a disc in her back sidelined her from the cardio activity. Looking for something low impact, the 24-year-old tried barre classes.

She’d done barre before, but she wasn’t hooked until she tried out the classes and instructors at the west Omaha location.

“This was a way to gain strength without feeling pain,” Mallette said.

The Omaha woman hits the gym four days a week, focusing mainly on strength classes until she can get back to tackling cardio.

Q: When did you start working out and why?

A: I’ve been working out (at The Barre Code West Omaha) for more than a year. They had a free week. I had tried barre at a few different places. I came to this studio, and I loved the classes and the staff.

Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?

A: The workouts for a traditional barre class covers arms, abs, thighs and glutes. It’s based on small, incremental movements. We use hand weights. There’s also a cardio class that’s closer to interval training. I go four days a week, either after work or over lunch.

Q: What is your current fitness goal?

A: I want to maintain and feel body confident. It’s hard for me to go really long without working out.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?

A: Being able to do a whole strength set without taking a break. I’m currently working on pushups on my toes.

Q: What helps you stay on track?

A: It’s a moment to turn off other things and just focus on myself. You’re shut off from the world. After work, it’s a nice release from a long day.

Q: What is your gym pet peeve?

A: Having to wait for other people. I like to do my workout. At other gyms, equipment you want isn’t always available.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?

A: I hang out with friends. I like catching up with people I haven’t seen in awhile. I started swimming. I do freelance work and artsy stuff.

Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?

A: My Apple Watch. I also learned I like to work out in leggings. Before, I had to wear running shorts. I didn’t realize I really liked leggings.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?

A: Be open to trying anything new. Try it out. Especially with barre, people have notions about what it is. It’s different everywhere.

Kelsey covers health and fitness for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @kels2. Phone: 402-444-3100.

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