Written by Tiffany Etterling
Total Body Bar
When Tierney Jeffers isn’t working with personal training clients or teaching classes at Total Body Bar, she can often be found on Facebook posting healthy recipes, offering fitness tips, sharing her personal fitness struggles, and offering words of encouragement.
The founder of Total Body Bar first became passionate about fitness in college. “I’ve always been active and into sports,” says Tierney. “When I got to college I was feeling crappy and lazy; like I needed to do something.”
After enrolling in a weight lifting class at New Mexico State University, she became an on again/off again gym rat and competitive body builder. She loved the challenge of bodybuilding but didn’t love the lifestyle. “I would get down to 15 pounds below my healthy weight, and then I’d gain it all back in two weeks,” she explains. “I just felt horrible about myself. I love a mental challenge, but the idea of being judged solely on appearance didn’t appeal to me. So, I decided to take fitness on as a hobby that was fun, rather than defeating.”
Tierney got certified and started training in her garage, but within two years she was at max capacity, so she took her passion for fitness to the street – Main Street to be exact. Total Body Bar opened its doors at 841 South Main Street in October of 2014, with two of Tierney’s close friends, Joselyn Azure and Bridget Salopek, on board as coaches.
Tierney believes her concept fills a need in the Las Cruces community for a more holistic approach to women-centered fitness. “Even when you’re an athlete, gyms can make you feel insecure. Most gyms don’t feel happy; they’re really intimidating,” she explains. “We never want to create that atmosphere for our girls.”
“I love that our goal is to make people feel welcome,” notes Joselyn, who adds that her life is a testament to the power of fitness. A lifelong friend, Joselyn began working out with Tierney after the loss of her husband. “I could see fitness was giving her a new purpose in life. It was helping her heal and she was getting stronger mentally, as well as physically. Only about a year after we started working out together, Jos decided to get certified and we’ve been each other’s right-hands ever since.”
Joselyn says empowering other women to overcome their own challenges is the best part of her job. “We are women focused, and we work on more than just the body and looking good. It’s really about total fitness in mind, body, and spirit,” she says.
Everything about Total Body Bar is designed to make women feel welcome and at ease. Tierney says anyone, at any level, can take their classes. “We have a few athletes, but we have mostly beginners or people who are just starting their journey,” she says.
Pound, one of their most popular classes, is a 45-minute cardio workout that combines weighted drumsticks, total-body exercises, and music. The constant, simulated drumming burns a ton of calories, and the music makes the workout fly by. “I love Pound, it’s my all time favorite,” says regular
Laura Romanelli. “It’s really good, up-to-date music, and they play it loud which is really fun.”
A hybrid of traditional Pilates and yoga, the popular PiYo class integrates constant movement to increase calorie burn while still offering the benefits of stretch and strength.
TRX is a suspension training class. It might sound intimidating, but Tierney says it’s ideal for all fitness levels. “It’s great for older women and people with injuries,” she adds. “Also, if you’re more experienced, you can really push yourself without risking injury.”
Of all the classes, CrossFit is Tierney’s personal favorite. “CrossFit is where my heart is,” she says. “It’s lifting- and skills-focused, integrating gymnastics, agility, coordination and many other aspects of what I would call full fitness. It’s all about challenging yourself to new levels. You can always grow.”
To get a taste of all the classes, try the weekly 1-hour Bootcamp. “It’s full body, it’s cardio, it’s hard, it’s fun, and it’s team-based,” explains Tierney. “It’s a good butt kicking, which apparently our girls like because it’s really popular.”
One of Tierney’s best success stories is a client who walked into the studio unhappy and down. “Nothing the first couple weeks would even make her crack a smile,” she remembers. “She was defeated. She was having problems at home, and she didn’t see any changes the first month.”
Tierney encouraged her not to quit. “When you are having emotional challenges, fitness can really pull you out of it,” she notes. “Now she is like a new person. She comes in smiling, and talking about her workouts with excitement. She did a total 180.”
As part of their whole-person approach to fitness, Tierney and her team offer on-line fitness challenges, meal plans, nutritional support, and a monthly fellowship for women to come together to exercise and share.
“Our main focus is creating a space for women that’s comfortable and fun; we want it to be like a family,” Tierney explains. “We give them workouts that are different, enjoyable, and effective. We want to make fitness a journey that you want to be on rather than something you dread.”
Total Body Bar • 841 S. Main Street • 505-366-7009 • totalbodybar.com