NYC’s fitness queen, Alexandra Bonetti, sets our pulses racing
She founded one of the coolest boutique fitness studios in New York City when she was just 25, and she now boasts studios on both coasts. Known for her science-based sweat methods that provide hard-core (literally) results, Alexandra Bonetti has also managed to create a safe space that’s a far cry from the elitist culture of today’s workout world.
The Bari method was designed to provide results, but it’s become an addiction for its devotees who love the mix of cardio, trampoline, dance and muscle-sculpting sequences. Bonetti may be getting comfortable in her Lululemon leggings today, but she began her career as a successful financial consultant before making a major life shift.
Frustrated when she couldn’t find an exercise method that provided results and made her feel good, this Wharton graduate and exercise fanatic set out to create her own. Combining her business mind and fitness passion, she built what is now a cult lifestyle brand—an inclusive space for nutrition, culture, art and community. The Venezuelan native who now calls New York City home sat sit for long enough to share her secrets for a long, lean body, her beauty rituals and the secret to glowing from the inside out.
What motivated you to quit your finance job to start a career in wellness?
Passion, and the desire to create a product that didn’t exist.
What exactly is the Bari method, and how does it differ from other workouts?
Named “NYC’s Best Hybrid Workout” by New York Magazine and the “World’s Best Workout” by me, I truly believe that Bari’s method is the best one out there. It delivers on points that no other workout does, because I built it for myself. The method is a combination of dance cardio, trampoline cardio and toning. It’s fun, offers a ton of variety and it works – it really changes your body and clears your mind in a way no other workout does.
You grew up in Venezuela. How does the Venezuelan approach to health and wellness differ from the American way?
There’s less access to products in Venezuela, so people aren’t eating chia kale salads there, for example. However, Venezuela is one the most beauty-obsessed countries in the world, so unfortunately, health and wellness are very linked to superficial wants. I see a stronger tendency in the US towards health and wellness being about feeling good rather than looking like a perfect (unrealistic) ideal.
Do you notice style differences between women in Venezuela and NYC?
Venezuelans are quite stylish. Both Angel Sanchez and Carolina Herrera are perfect examples of our fashion sense. I’m from Caracas, where it’s 75 degrees year round. So you don’t live the seasonal fashion changes we get to enjoy on the East Coast, but no one looks chicer than a Venezuelan at the beach.
What does your daily beauty routine consist of? Any favorite natural beauty products?
I’m a big product junkie and love my beauty routines—in fact, it might be the only day-to-day constant for me. I have ten step processes both morning and night, involving cleansers, serums, masks, hydrators, etc. A natural brand I love right now is Indie Lee, and I can’t get enough of their Squalane Facial Oil.
What’s your food philosophy?
“Eat real food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” Okay, that’s Michael Pollan’s philosophy, but he’s better versed in real food than I am, and those are words I live by when it comes to food.
How do you start your day?
Coffee! I also love to journal in the mornings. Writing down what’s top of mind as soon as I wake up only takes ten minutes or so, and it sets my day off on the right foot. I try to do this as often as possible.
What is always in your gym bag?
Face wipes, moisturizer and SPF.
What songs are currently top of your workout playlist?
Everything on Bari’s Spotify.
What is your typical studio gear?
Lucas Hugh leggings, Lululemon sports bra and a Bari tank. I love Adidas and APL shoes.
What’s your favorite way to dress up?
Lucky for me, two of my best friends, Isabella Behrens and Ashley Avignone, are stylists and have the best style in the world. So I defer to them on all things style-related and feel incredibly lucky that they’re always a text away.
What else do you do to stay beautiful?
Facials, hair styling, manicures—I do it all. But I honestly have to say I feel the prettiest when I feel the most confident, and that’s not necessarily in the most glamorous moments: after a workout, watching a movie in bed with my husband, or practicing a new song on my guitar.
How would you define the typical “Bari girl”?
Whip-smart, adrenaline-seeking, endorphin-loving and always up for a new challenge or adventure. A Bari tribe member makes her own rules and writes her own story.
What changes have you seen in your clients?
Physically? Results galore. On average, clients lose ten pounds and two sizes within their first six weeks on a Bari program. It’s a very results-driven workout, so we love those stats. But beyond the physical, it’s amazing to watch people tap into the newfound confidence and happiness that comes with feeling good in your body and prioritizing self-care. After physical results comes life-changing momentum; this happens when clients develop a self-confidence that empowers them to create a life they truly love.
Can you share a few basic Bari moves we can do at home for a quick Bari break?
The diagonal kickback: The dynamic nature of this movement will get your heart rate up and force you to use your core to move from point A to point B. The diagonal kickback will sculpt your butt in no time—have a look at it here:
Child’s play: Not your average child’s pose, this move breathes life and fire into the well-known stretch. You’ll feel this one head-to-toe.
Any exciting news or expansions coming up in the Bari empire?
We’re launching our annual summer prep program, Baripeel, on April 18. It runs for six weeks and includes an overall program with workout, nutrition and mindfulness components—and our clients see incredible results right in time for summer each year. We’ll also soon be launching an online video platform for people who don’t have access to a Bari studio to do our workouts from home.