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Welcome to Racked SF's search for San Francisco's hottest trainer. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile a dozen-plus smoking candidates who work at local gyms and studios. (Not only do they look hot in spandex, but if you take their classes, you might someday look nearly as good.) Then, once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which you get to vote for your favorite. Let the games begin!
Photos by Aubrie Pick
Heather Thompson took her first Bar Method class from the work out's founder and decided that very day to become an instructor. That was more than a decade ago, and now, she and her partner Hannah Blue Goetz co-own The Bar Method Downtown in the Embarcadero Center. The intense, muscle toning and lengthening workout is now not only a way of life but how she makes a living. And Thompson is a walking testament to the magic of Bar—this woman gave birth just a little over a year ago. And you won't believe what she can do with her elbow.
How long have you been a trainer?
What prompted you to become one—did you have a different career path in mind prior?
"I was working in the corporate world but wanted to teach before and after my day job to give my body and mind balance. So I tried EVERY workout in San Francisco, looking for what I would teach! Sadly, my search for the "hardest class" was unsuccessful until I heard about a "new workout in town." I took my first Bar Method class from the founder, Burr Leonard, and was hooked. Loved it. Asked to be a teacher that day. Started teacher training shortly thereafter. And here I am, 11 years later, co-owner and teacher of The Bar Method Downtown SF!!"
What classes do you teach, and which is your favorite/why?
"I teach all levels at The Bar Method, which is a one hour group class that integrates the fat burning format of interval training, the muscle shaping technique of isometrics, the elongating principles of dance conditioning, and the science of physical therapy that quickly and safely reshapes your entire body.
My favorite people to teach are the significant others of regular clients. The shocked looks on their faces as the significant others get through their first class is priceless. But even more gratifying is their realization of just how tough their partners are and what great shape they are in do to Bar Method regularly."
Describe your training style: Are you drill sergeant? More laid back?
"Zen. Calm and intensely focused teaching style where clients walk out of class feeling strong, empowered and exhausted!"
What's one piece of advice everyone should hear before beginning a new workout?
"The hardest day of a new workout is the first day because you don't know what is going to happen. Everyone is intimidated on the first day. EVERYONE. All those people in your class who look like they know what they are doing? They didn't have a clue on their first day either. So take some pressure off yourself and be proud of yourself for trying something new?and come back tomorrow!"
Tell us a fun fact about you—the weirder and wackier, the better.
"I can catch 24 pennies off my right elbow using my right hand."
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