Upon opening in 1996, Tone-Up fitness studio became a Santa Barbara exercise staple. “People who come in after a bad day leave feeling a lot better,” said owner Suesan Pawlitski, who’s dedicated her life to making exercise fun. At her women-only studio, Pawlitski, along with her two instructors, teach group and individual barre-based classes that combine aspects of ballet, yoga, weight training, and Pilates to focus on strength and toning.
After earning a degree in dance from UCSB, Pawlitski stumbled into the aerobic scene of the 1980s. After years of teaching both dance and aerobics, Pawlitski decided to open her own studio for the everyday woman, one that would teach “the other part of fitness — the connection of people.” She believes her friendly environment allows students to “forget that they’re working out because it’s fun.” Sometimes Pawlitski even catches her students gossiping between pliés.
Typically, Pawlitski’s Tone-Up group fitness classes begin with different exercises at the barre. Students work their calves, glutes, quads, and arms, but get a killer ab workout, too. “The whole culture of the studio is positive and healthy,” said Pawlitski, who doesn’t want the exercise to feel like work.
On July 4, Tone-Up will celebrate its 20th anniversary, a testament to Pawlitski’s tried-and-true methods. “There’s not really any exercise that someone can’t do — that’s my favorite thing,” said Madalena, one of Pawlitski’s most dedicated students. For her, this is “so much better than family.”
3006 De la Vina St., tone-up.com, (805) 682-2736