STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Madeleine Hasulak opened the doors of Tonic Method, Steamboat Springs’ newest fitness studio, last weekend, and she said she was excited to share her passion for health and wellness with local residents.
“I have been wanting to bring Tonic Fitness to Steamboat for so long, because I believe this community is going to love it,” said Hasulak, who was born and raised in Aspen. “Everyone’s so active in Steamboat — they’re so fit and so healthy.”
Hasulak, who has been a certified Pilates instructor for 13 years, created Tonic Method as a mix of Pilates and high intensity interval training combined with slow and deliberate movement focused around breath.
“Tonic Method is my own method that really combines all the aspects of my favorite modalities,” Hasulak said.
Tonic Method uses customized machines that are based on the Pilates Reformer but that have been modified and enhanced.
“Unlike traditional Pilates where you’re lying on the machines for most all of the exercises, almost everything we do in Tonic is going to be standing or kneeling, which is really complementary to the way we live our lives,” she said. “There is a focus on core strengths and posture, a ton of focus on balance. … It’s a lot more lunging, squatting, planks, things like that.”
Tonic workouts provide a completely unique experience that combines strength, cardio, endurance, balance and flexibility to burn fat and build lean muscle, Hasulak said. Exercises are done at a slow, deliberate pace, with both eccentric and concentric movements to work muscles to fatigue.
“I’ve done some Pilates in the past, and I would say that it’s very similar to that, so I had a little bit of knowledge of the moves, but it was harder and super intense,” said Adrienne Stroock, who took a class Thursday. “I loved how she changed the movements pretty quickly, so that just when you thought that you were ready to quit, she would move to another muscle group. I love that kind of intensity and change.”
Stroock said the classes also fit into her busy schedule.
“I liked the length of the class,” Stroock added. “It’s good to get a hard workout and know that you will be done in 45 minutes.”
Fellow participant Audrey Dwyer heard about the class from a friend in Aspen and decided to give Tonic Method a try.
“I tore my ACL in February, and my doctor said this is a really good way to rehab it and get it back to where it was,” Dwyer said. “I lost a lot of muscle, and they took a graph out of my thigh, and this class gives me the ability to have more range of motion and strengthens muscles that I don’t usually strengthen.”
Dwyer said there is a learning curve but it’s pretty easy to pick up.
“Honestly, it doesn’t matter what age you are,” Dwyer said. “It’s such a good workout.”
Hasulak opened her first studio in Aspen in 2018. She added a second studio in the Vail Valley in January 2020 and was interested in opening in Steamboat prior to COVID-19.
“I thought we would be in Steamboat a year ago,” Hasulak said. “We almost signed a lease in March of last year on Yampa (Street) right before COVID happened.”
She said once COVID-19 started spreading, her studios in Aspen and Vail shut down, and she waited to sign a lease in Steamboat.
“We didn’t pull the trigger and sign the lease just because I had no idea what was going to happen,” Hasulak said. “We ended up losing the space and just decided to take our time, and wait.”
That didn’t stop Hasulak from opening her third studio in Breckenridge, and when the space opened up at 130 Ninth St., this spring she decided to move to Steamboat with her husband, Alex, and the family’s 2-year-old daughter to open her fourth Tonic Method studio. Alex’s mom also made the move to Steamboat to help out as the Hasulaks anticipate the arrival of their second child any day.
Tonic Method is the second business venture for the Hasulaks, who also founded the natural food company, Love Grown, which offers a line of all-natural breakfast foods. Today, the Denver-based company sells its products in more than 11,500 retailers in the U.S. and Canada, including City Market, King Soopers, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Fresh Market and Target.
Hasulak invites community members to experience Tonic Method by attending their first class for free. Classes are limited to seven people, and those who want to participate need to schedule a class time at https://tonicmethod.com/schedule.
More information can also be found at https://tonicmethod.com/steamboat-opening.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.