Tone-Up Santa Barbara
Sees Women Through Grandmotherhood
Zoom Class Based on
Dance, Pilates, and Strength Training Exercises
By Callie Fausey
Tone-Up Santa Barbara began in 1996 in founder Suesan Lazarus Pawlitski’s garage, introducing to Santa Barbara a communal, easy-to-follow exercise class that could be done even while barefoot.
After 20 years in the fitness industry, Pawlitski’s motivations and practices have evolved. The class has moved from her garage, to a studio on De La Vina Street, to now being held virtually on Zoom, where Pawlitski leads the workouts from her sailboat, Sugar, docked in the Santa Barbara harbor.
“I started because I was working at gyms, and then I just realized that I needed to do something on my own,” she said following a recent class. “Actually, the women who I worked for, who owned the gyms, are still clients of mine. It’s just been a really great journey.”
The workout is still based on exercises derived from dance, Pilates, and strength training, but her clients’ goals now — as most of Pawlitski’s clientele has matured and retired — is “to be able to lift our grandchildren,” she said.
She explained that the workout is designed for anybody, anywhere, with a focus on the development of flexibility, mobility, and strength while keeping participants safe from injury. “It’s not fancy-shmancy,” Pawlitski said. “It’s not like CrossFit, where you’re vomiting in a bucket. That’s not my goal. And it really does work … across the board.”
Many testimonials emphasize Tone-Up’s practice as a form of self-care in the safe space of their own home. But that doesn’t mean it’s limited to Santa Barbara. Pawlitski said she has taught from all over the world, from Europe to Mexico, with women Zooming in from all over the planet, as well. Even though she has some faraway clients she’s never met in person, she said she still feels a connection with everyone who attends her classes.
“It’s always been all women, just because it’s a community, and it’s carried us through a lot of things,” Pawlitski said. “It’s not because the exercises aren’t made for men; it’s the conversation. It’s totally different.”
(805) 682-2736; toneup.online