Fitness Files: Colleen Ketchum from BeyondBarre

Source: Nadia Murdock Fit

Colleen Ketchum is the founder of BeyondBarre. The BeyondBarre method was created with the flexibility to be performed with only a ballet barre (or chair if you are at home) or it can be enhanced with weights, balls, resistance bands and the ice-skating inspired BeyondBarre GlideBoard. NMFIT had the opportunity to interview Colleen for this week’s Fitness Files, continue reading to get the scoop on her fit tips!

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?

Colleen Ketchum (CK):I have always loved to move from a young age. As a competitive gymnast, swimmer and runner in my youth to a mountain biking and hiking and kayaking as an adult I have always been active. I decided to jump into the fitness world making it a career after having my second son. When he was born he needed specialized care due to an illness. At the time I was working as a research scientist. For the first year of my son’s life he needed full time care that daycare could not provide… and at that point the thought of leaving him to go to work in a lab all day was out of the question. As my son grew stronger I did too as I began to workout from home as many moms do with young children. I received my Pilates certification and I began to teach Pilates to my friends from my home. I had a reformer, chair and ladder barrel. From there I opened a small studio, Pilates In Motion that grew and eventually provided the inspiration for me to create BeyondBarre.

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

CK: My go to sweet snacks are dried cherries, cranberries and apricots. I also enjoy fresh chunks of coconut. Each week I open one or 2 coconuts and take out the meat. It’s an easy and satisfying snack to grab whenever I really crave something to chew on. I also drink lots of tea. Green tea, black tea, herbal tea, and even hot lemon water and honey. One of my favorite drinks before bed is Turmeric tea. It has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. To make this soothing elixir I heat coconut milk, turmeric powder, cinnamon, black pepper and local honey. Wisk together, heat and enjoy.


NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?

CK:I like to tell myself “Eat pure, train strong, vibe thanks”. These three components keep me healthy and feeling at the top of my game. Eating in a way that nourishes my family and me while at the same time shows respect for the world around us. Train my body so that it is able to achieve full ranges of motion with optimal balance and agility. And be thankful for all that I have.

I feel so much better when I eat a clean diet of simple, fresh ingredients and exercise regularly. If I stray from this way of living too much I really feel it. My joints get achy, I can’t focus as well, and I feel just plain blah.

If I am traveling and get knocked off of my routine I really feel it. It goes back to the saying that your body is like a machine. If its not fueled properly or run regularly it won’t preform optimally.

Overall feeling good is my motivation. The more I move the stronger and more agile my movements are and the healthier I eat the better my body feels overall. When I feel good I am a happier, more patient mom, wife, instructor and… well… me.

I don’t eat 3 meals a day but instead eat healthy foods when I’m hungry. I have eliminated almost all pre-made/processed food items. I found that once I started eating with whole, fresh ingredients it was pretty easy. I eat full fat yogurt, cream in my coffee and cheese on occasion. There are so many simple to follow recipes today available online. From whipping up salad dressing for the week to throwing oats into my Vitamix to make oat flour for pancakes and cookies. I snack on olives and veggies with hummus (yep I cook the chickpeas not canned) and homemade yogurt in the crockpot making your own yogurt is so easy and tastes so much better you will wonder why you have been buying it all along. I have found with a little planning it is very doable. Even with 3 school age boys and 2 businesses to run I am able to manage making many things from scratch. I’m able to eat foods closer to their true forms. I look for in season local food products that help reduce my overall carbon footprint. I now personally know from farmers markets many of the farmers that grow the fruit and veggies that I buy and the dairy farmers that I get my milk and some meat from. If I have questions or requests they are there to discuss them directly. It really is a good feeling being more connected to and in control of what I consume and feed my family.

NMF:  How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

CK: I workout almost everyday in some fashion or another; whether I am teaching BeyondBarre, going for a run, a hike or jumping in on my favorite sports conditioning class (think weights, ropes, pull-ups, sprints and squats).

I am 5’3”…. almost. Since I am not very tall, if I gain a few pounds I really notice it. And the opposite is true too. If I lose too much I feel weak and a bit emaciated in areas. I like to stay with in 4 pounds of my ideal weight. This way I can easily keep my weight in check and get to my “perfect” weight within a week or two. If I go up too high I cut back on the higher calorie foods I am consuming and add in some extra cardio. If I go too low I grab a jar of my favorite peanut butter and add it to my smoothies along with additional weight training and strength conditioning.

When I do gain weight my body type sends it directly to my thighs. This is why I truly love BeyondBarre. For my go-to fitness favorite leg sculpting exercises I do plies and releves in all varieties of foot positions. I add in small pulses (up one inch and down one inch in a low plie position… a little like sitting in a chair but without the chair), butterflies (little presses back of the knees), dancing hips and hip circles (for a little sassy dancing fun).

Another leg, hip and booty toning exercise series that I find super effective is the side leg kick series. Lying on your side while lifting, lowering and pulsing your top leg. There are so many variations that can be performed in this series. It never gets boring and I always feel the burn in the areas I am trying to target.

  • Colleen Ketchum: Founder of BeyondBarre
  • Owner of Pilates In Motion Fitness Studio