Business & Real Estate

MIXXing it up: Rancho studio blends cardio, Pilates

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Melissa Hartman/Town Crier
Nellie Brook recently moved to Los Altos from New Jersey and opened MIXX Fitness at Rancho Shopping Center.

MIXX Fitness officially opened for business at Rancho Shopping Center in Los Altos last week after a four-month soft-opening phase.

“It was a combination of us learning to run the business and building a client base,” studio owner Nellie Brook said of the delayed ribbon-cutting, which occurred Thursday. “We got to know the community here, got to know fellow business owners. ... I think there’s a need here for us. I feel like it’s a good community to create a small boutique studio.”

Private, semi-private and group sessions are available for a range of customers, from those recovering from injuries to those training for a marathon. The studio, located at 640 Fremont Ave., was previously home to the in-home care chain HomeCare Assistance.

Prices run from $198 for four drop-in classes per month to $995 for 10 private sessions. MIXX is offering an opening special of 20% off a customer’s first package.

Brook, who recently moved to Los Altos from New Jersey, said classes at MIXX mix fitness regimens and are a complete program – they don’t need to be supplemented with other gym memberships.

“It’s very challenging to have a gym membership, and then a (membership) for a Pilates studio and budget to do all these different activities,” she said. “But you need to find a way to do it all because we need cardio, but we also need strength and flexibility. … So how can we mix it up and create a program that’s going to give us everything we need in one hour? That’s how I came up with this concept.”

Personal attention

After dancing for several years, Brook studied exercise and sports science at the University of Sydney in Australia. She spent nearly 15 years working directly with people attempting to reach their full potential again after suffering from chronic back pain, spinal stenosis or hip or knee replacements. Brook took her experience and merged it with Silicon Valley’s most-valued currency, apart from money: time.

“One of the things that I realized is that people are trying to get everything done, and our time is very, very limited,” she said, noting on her website that she is a mom of two with a husband and her own career ambitions.

Through the small classes, Brook or her certified instructors watch each participant closely to ensure they are using correct form and performing the exercises in ways that work for them.

“There’s a lot of personal attention, so it’s almost like you’re doing your own individual program in a group setting,” she said. “So you can enjoy the company, and people really like to work out with other people. It’s very motivating, it’s fun. But if people are coming in with specific injuries, goals or conditions, then we can still make sure they’re doing the right thing for them.”

In the MIXX Fitness studio, Pilates students use three main pieces of equipment during the Pilates MIXX and Complete MIXX classes: a NordicTrack bike, a Pilates Reformer and a Pilates Tower. After participants choose which virtual country they’d like to ride through or studio they’d like to cycle in, they move to the Reformer after 20 minutes of cardio. Exercises done with the help of the Pilates Tower follow.

“When we move to the Pilates equipment, because of the transition, we try to keep the heart rate high,” Brook said. “Today I can see very clearly when people come in wearing their Apple watches; I can see their heart rates. … Pilates is holistic work training, so you work the entire body at the same time.”

MIXX also offers a stretching class, Brook said, a much-needed reward for the work put in during the 50-minute Pilates classes.

There are different teaching styles; even within Pilates studios, you’ll find different ways (of teaching),” she said. “My focus is in making the program appropriate for the person who is in front of me, for the body at work in front of me.”

For a class schedule and more information, visit


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