Motivate in Newburyport

This fitness club offers classes focusing on a mind-body connection designed to push clients toward their personal best.

Photos by Doug Levy


At Motivate (that’s Motivate. barre • cardio • cycle if we’re being formal), the encouragement, desire, and drive to dedicate time to exercise are so important that these elements are not just in the studio’s name, they are the name.

Led by owner and lead instructor Meghan Kinsey, every instructor at Motivate puts their own unique spin on every class, ensuring each day is different while still offering a reliably challenging workout. And while cultivating community and camradery is important to the Motivate staff, Kinsey makes clear that “we are not a social group that kind of works out.” At its core (pun intended, as midsection work is a part of most everything they teach), the studio is a place for real fitness. The instructors have extensive certifications, with classes that approach exercise from a “true barre roots perspective” designed to push clients toward their personal best.

The mind-body connection is another integral component, so whether it’s a cardio, barre, or cycle offering, you are sure to find something that suits your skill level and also provides an opportunity to recharge and reconnect with yourself. The exercises and modifications themselves encourage (and often require) a strong mind-body connection, so you can’t help but leave class feeling recharged and reinvigorated. (You also won’t be able to avoid achieving long lines, sculpted muscles, and overall tone, but the Motivate staff has yet to hear anyone complain about any of that.)

It doesn’t hurt that the studio exudes a hip New York City studio vibe, complete with brick wall accents and tile floors in a warm hardwood tone, or that it’s located in the heart of downtown Newburyport, where Motivators can easily grab a coffee or enjoy some shopping post-class.

For those craving traditional barre, Motivate Barre is a comprehensive full-body workout (Kinsey affectionately refers to it as “physical therapy for Type A personalities set to music”). Set aside any preconceived notions about your body type or fitness level; come to barre and be amazed by how much you can achieve and how far you can push yourself. The classes are filled with people who come from ballet and dance backgrounds as well as those who don’t, and at any given class you’ll find current and former dancers working out alongside others who have never even had a desire to see a ballet, much less considered dancing in one. That’s the beauty of barre—it truly is a fit for every body.

The studio also offers hugely popular cardio classes, including Core & Cardio, CircuitSculpt, CardioBarre, and other high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes. Kinsey and the Motivate staff recognize that while everyone has their own workout preferences, such as a favorite class style, they also have their own learning style. The staff pays special attention to individual needs, and instructors utilize both visual demonstrations and verbal cues to help clients perfect exercises.

Kinsey’s cheerful outlook is evident throughout the program, from the studio’s bright orange accents to the names of the classes. Motivate (wicked hard) Barre runs on Friday mornings and is, in fact, wicked hard. There’s also “Lunch Barre,” a condensed 45-minute class that runs at noon many weekdays and exists to encourage people to fit a workout into their busy schedules.

“Everyone needs to start somewhere, and you only have one body,” says Kinsey. “And it’s so important to prioritize your own health and wellness.” Too often we let our own well-being fall by the wayside; to help remedy this, Kinsey offers up a tip she herself employs, which is to schedule workouts as if they are appointments you fully intend to keep. Scheduling a workout with the mentality that it’s something you “must do” allows you to make time for yourself and follow through on it.

At the end of the day (or the start—Motivate offers 5:45 a.m. classes!), if you can find a workout that fine-tunes your body and mind, as well as an opportunity to “laugh and be part of a community,” you really are doing yourself a huge and necessary kindness, Kinsey says. Need more motivation? You know where to find it. See you at the barre.


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