Behind The Scenes With Refine Method Founder, Brynn Putnam
Former New York City Ballerina Brynn Putnam transformed the discipline and passion of a young dancer into a successful career in the fitness industry. Brynn is the founder and creator of New York City-based Refine Method, the red-hot high intensity, full-body interval training workout that has been anointed as “the smartest workout in NYC.” Brynn answers these seven questions to give us an inside look at her background, her business, and what’s in her gym bag!
*In The Hamptons this weekend? You can join Brynn for a Beach Burn workout at Gurney’s on the beach in Montauk. Saturday, Augst 15th at 9am. RSVP here.*
Q: Tell us more about your experience with the New York City Ballet:
A: NYCB has been a part of my life since I was a little girl, from performing as The Bunny in my first Nutcracker to now watching the tree grow from the seats my family have had for over 30 years.
Refine’s motto, #BeBetter, is actually something that my time as a dancer instilled in me. Unlike most athletes, as a dancer you don’t win or lose; you wake up each day and work to make small improvements. For me, working to master a movement was incredibly rewarding and it’s a joy that I try to pass on to our clients. Each day is an opportunity to make progress–to “Refine.”
Q: How did your experience as a dancer prepare you for the fitness world?
A: Dancing gave me the discipline and drive to excel in whatever my next career was going to be, fitness or otherwise. When it comes to my own fitness, I’ll always be grateful to my time as a dancer — there is a huge amount of coordination and body awareness inherent in dance that has been a great foundation in all my athletic activities.
My fitness journey has left me performing push-ups, rather than plies, but I think the journey has helped me to understand how difficult it is to let go of things you think you know about fitness and try something new. I understand the fears of many of our new clients when it comes to lifting heavier weights than they’re used to or returning to exercise after a long break–fears of looking awkward, fears of getting hurt, fears of your body changing in a way that won’t make you feel confident.
I hope Refine is a place where we give people the tools to make choices for their body out of knowledge instead of fear.
Q: To date, what has been your defining fitness moment?
A: Training with Mike Boyle, the former strength and conditioning coach for the Boston Red Sox, while I was transitioning from a dance career to fitness career. He shattered so many things I thought I knew about how to get strong, burn fat, avoid injury, and workout intelligently. That experience empowered me to try to change how and why people do what they do when it comes to their bodies.
Q: Tell us more about Refine Method and why you created it:
A: Refine Method is a high-intensity, full-body interval training “made smarter.” Smarter means custom, MIT-designed equipment created to optimize group training, workouts researched, tested and “refined” using a proprietary algorithm that analyzes our client’s results and an environment that is intense, not intimidating!
After graduating from Harvard, I returned to dancing and started working at some of the top boutique studios in NYC. I watched clients working out many, many hours each week, but not seeing results. As a former professional ballet dancer, I thought I knew the “right way to workout” but I began to question what I took as “fact” and went searching for help from the top minds in the athletic field.
I spent over a year travelling the country speaking to physiologists, athletic trainers and researchers, all culminating in the creation of Refine Method in 2010. The Refine Method isn’t a piece of equipment or sequence of exercises, but rather a relentless commitment to provide honest, up-to-date answers about health and fitness that make our clients feel empowered in their choices and confident in their bodies.
Q: How would you describe your everyday mantra?
A: Always learning.
Q: As a dedicated fitness professional and dancer, what is one of your best fitness tips?
A: “Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love.” Some of my favorite words of wisdom (from Whole Foods!)
Q: Tell us some of the things we would find in your gym bag!
A: My Refine Red Moleskine notebook–to keep track of all the little things and catch inspiration. My Lenovo Yoga laptop–super lightweight which is essential when travelling between our 3 studios. Always reading material from novels to medical journals–I currently have 2 copies of The New Yorker, which I read religiously cover to cover, but I’m always a few issues behind. Finally, I recently got a Hyperice vibrating foam roller on the recommendation of Dr Abby Bales, a member of our Refine expert team, and it has been so popular with our staff that I’ve been carrying it with me!
I’m so excited to be working with MZ Wallace for #BeachBurn–their Metro Tote is a favorite Refiner gym bag and we’ll be gifting a tote to 1 lucky attendee on August 15th!