In the heat of summer, Dallasites prefer to sweat it out indoors for their daily workouts. So when Brandi Marino invited me to check out her Beyond studio in Preston Forest, I readily agreed.
When I walked in for my 9:15 Beyond Pilates class, music was pumping and the studio was already almost full of eager participants. I had done Pilates classes before through another studio, but each machine is slightly different, so my instructor, Brittany Grignon, gave me a quick-and-friendly rundown.
“People get bored — they do,” Marino later told me. “You have to change up your workouts in order to get results.”
And that’s the secret behind all of Marino’s studios: she aims to go “beyond” traditional, predictable workouts by keeping things fresh in her Pilates, spin, and barre classes. The routines incorporate unique elements such as trampoline work and resistance-wall moves.
Back in the studio, my heart rate was climbing with the core, arm, and leg routines. My instructor and fellow class members were friendly, and class ended with rapid-fire movements on a mini-trampoline. Talk about changing it up.
Today, Marino has three locations: Lovers Lane, Forest Lane, and Snider Plaza. But her love affair with fitness began in Los Angeles, where she was active in the bodybuilding community.
Due to her frequent trips to Dallas, she noticed a gap in the market for boutique gyms. So four years ago, she made Preston Hollow her home and opened her first studio with Beyond Pilates on Lovers Lan
“We had wait lists that were probably 10-deep every day,” she said. “People were just happy we were here, and I don’t feel like we’ve lost that.”
At the end of my class, Marino strolled in with Hendrix, a 3-year-old American bulldog. A rescue, Hendrix has two “siblings” at home: Lily and Cadence. Hendrix was quick to greet the workout aficionados with a lick on the hand.
“Our client is a dog person,” Marino said of her usual customers. “There’s such a great connection between fitness and dogs.”
True to their word, the Beyond team is involved in or partnered with a number of nonprofit, dog-friendly events and organizations: DogFit Dallas, Strut Your Mutt, and Paws in the City, to name a few.
But it’s not just Marino’s dogs that feel like family around the studio — the staff do, as well.
Grignon has been teaching at the studios for about two and a half years now. She started out as a customer.
“I would come and just get my butt whipped,” she remembered. Not long after, Grignon got her yoga-instructor certification, but she still longed for something else. “I found myself going back to Beyond, and just seeing them teach something they love so much.”
Marino said Grignon has basically done it all within the company: she’s worked the front desk, she’s instructed pedaling classes, and now she instructs Pilates classes.
“The thing that’s contagious about the studio is the people,” Grignon said. “The clients and the instructors we have feel like family once you start and connect.”
Marino hopes to spread that family-like atmosphere to Fort Worth and Lakewood soon, but she’s cautious. A Southlake location is already in the works.
“It just has to be the right fit,” she said. “There’s no rush for me. It’ll grow.”
This story appears in the July issue of Park Cities People, on stands now.