Sparkly disco balls, colorful and illuminating pink lights and more join the traditional wall-to-wall mirrors in the new BEATS Barre Studio.
The new fitness studio brings a fresh twist to the typical routine of basic workouts. BEATS opened in fall 2023 on Gervais Street in downtown Columbia, and since then, it has created an environment that seeks to eliminate the negative stereotype around fitness and bring the fun back into people's workout journeys, owner and creator Meredith Trout said.
Trout said she used her passion and love for exercise to grow her business as it went from a small studio inside the basement of her home before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to now a complete and versatile location in the middle of downtown Columbia, which she said she hopes will reach more people and bring a new perspective to fitness.
“The goal would be for people to find joy in fitness and to bring the fun back to fitness,” Trout said. "It changed my life in a way that I just love it. It was so powerful for me. I wanted to share that too."
Trout said her initial goal was never to create a business. All she longed for was to find a way to share her joy and passion for exercise and allow people to see the positive difference it makes on their bodies and minds.
“I think exercise and mental health really go hand-in-hand. When you feel better, you do better in every aspect of your life. So you're a better friend, you're a better partner, you're a better mom," Trout said.
Trout created the name of the business through the unique form of exercise her studio focus on — "BEATS" stands for burn, energize and tone sculpt — which is the core mission of the business.
Workouts at BEATS, Trout said, target primary and secondary muscles that are not frequently used or are commonly overlooked in other workout routines.
The studio provides all different aspects of traditional and non-traditional workouts, including barre, mat and even dance-component exercises. Trout said what makes BEATS especially unique is that many of the exercises, classes and workouts are built on exercise research, and BEATS changes workouts every three weeks, which provides a variety of options for clients and prevents a monotonous and boring routine.
Trout said she values the aspect of building a community through her studio with both the clients and the employees of BEATS.
Trish Mauney, a client at BEATS, said she agrees with Trout's commitment to community.
“Ever since the first day, (she has been) very welcoming. All of her new instructors at her new studio are also very welcoming," Mauney said.
Mauney said she believes BEATS stands out from other studios in Columbia as it incorporates a variety of exercises.
“These classes at BEATS are a good supplement as well because they do tone your body in different ways than just all cardio or all weights. So I feel like it's good as a standalone workout and is also really good as a supplemental workout,” Mauney said.
Abby Collins, an instructor and manager at BEATS, said she loves having "a close-knit group" of reliable instructors that want to create a family environment at the studio.
“Making sure that people know that, for all levels of fitness, there's modifications. I just want everyone to feel welcome when they come in,” Collins said. “I want it to be a place where everyone comes, everyone feels valued, everyone can be proud of themselves and everyone supports each other reaching their different goals.”
Mauney said it is important to be open to the idea of trying one class and experiencing the difference between workouts at BEATS and other studios. No matter a person's level of fitness, age or abilities, Trout said BEATS is about inclusivity, being welcoming to all and having fun while burning calories and reaching desired physical and mental goals.
"I think letting people understand this workout, when done consistently, is really fantastic results in terms of how you feel and how you look," Trout said. "I want people to come in and see it for themselves."
BEATS Barre Studio is located at 1835 Gervais St. Interested customers can book and schedule their workout classes on the studio's website.