10 Things You Didn't Know About Openfit Live Trainer Alexis CraigApr 24, 2020
If you’ve ever followed along as Openfit Live trainer Alexis Craig led an Xtend Barre Signature live class, you know her workouts are no joke. But there are a few things you probably don’t know about this trainer extraordinaire. Alexis shares 10 surprising facts about her — everything from her unusual living quarters to her love of circus tricks.
1. She Loves Burpees
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No, really. “If you’ve ever taken a workout class with me, you’ve likely heard me say this,” Alexis says. In fact, she uses it as a mantra to go through the steps of a burpee:
- I = hands on the ground
- Love = step or jump back to a plank or push-up
- Burpees = step or jump your feet forward to the squat position with heels down
- Yay = stand or jump in celebration
“The burpee mantra is an opportunity to reprogram your story around burpees and shift away from hating them, and perhaps toward actually enjoying them,” she says.
2. She Lives on a Boat
Alexis has been a San Francisco resident for more than 15 years — and during that time, she saw her monthly rent skyrocket. “That was a huge motivation to find a different solution,” she says. She had a fascination for tiny houses and a desire to live closer to nature — and living on a boat checked off both of those boxes. Alexis says it’s been a great learning experience: “I’ve learned a lot about electricity, carpentry, mechanics, plumbing, and marine law.”
3. She Was a Private Investigator
Alexis worked as an apprentice under a local private investigator in San Francisco. She had a knack for getting people to confide in her — probably because she didn’t fit the mold of a stereotypical P.I., she says — which led to her being sent on more dangerous missions. While she “lucked her way out” of a few hairy situations on the job, she decided she needed to protect herself with self-defense training.
“Self defense made me feel like I had more tools to deal with the world than ever before,” she says. “I now knew how to dodge, fight back, or run away when I felt that I was being attacked. This totally changed the way I walked through the world.”
4. She Taught a Ninja Cheerleading Class
At the self-defense school, Alexis discovered her love of Krav Maga, a type of mixed martial arts used by the Israeli military for hand-to-hand combat. She also took conditioning, CrossFit, TRX, and strength-training classes. “By dedicating myself to learning self-defense, I got in the best shape of my life so far,” she says.
She felt so empowered that she quit her job and started teaching classes at the defense school — including a kids program called Ninja Cheerleading. “I dedicated myself to becoming a true Ninja Cheerleader,” Alexis says. “I started training to fight competitively, and also started auditioning for every professional cheerleading team in town.”
5. She Won a Tap Dancing Competition
In the summer of 1994, Alexis and her younger sister Erin won first place in the Tap Dance Duo division at a national competition in Las Vegas. She even had a sweet 1990s celeb sighting there — she met Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on Saved by the Bell. Alexis still taps on occasion: “Besides tapping down the hallways in the office, I often perform a solo act in the Cabaret de Amor on Valentine’s Day in San Francisco,” she says.
6. She Has a Few Tricks Up Her Sleeve
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Alexis has a thing for circus tricks. She takes classes at the Circus Center in San Francisco, which is a professional circus school that also offers classes for the public. “I’m most excited about the flying trapeze,” she says. “It’s a great thrill and requires great timing and trust.”
7. She Can’t Live Without Butter
While she sticks to a primarily dairy-free diet, Alexis makes an exception for butter. “If you try a vegetable and you think you don’t like it, that just means you didn’t cook it with enough butter,” she says. Looking for a plant-based substitute that tastes like the real deal? Alexis recommends trying the cashew-based vegan butter made by her friend Miyoko of Miyoko’s Creamery. “I literally could not tell the difference,” Alexis says.
8. She Attended a Silent Meditation Retreat
The 10-day retreat employed the techniques and fundamentals of Vipassana, an ancient Indian form of meditation. Alexis meditated nearly all day — from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. — with breaks for breakfast, lunch, and tea. “Not only are you not allowed to talk, you also may not make eye contact with anyone else or do any reading or writing for the 10 days,” she says. The retreat allows walking, but does not permit yoga or any other formal exercise. “Physically, the hardest part for me was sitting still,” Alexis says. “I’ve never been a sit-down-and-hold-still kind of girl.”
9. She’s in an iPhone Commercial
In the commercial, Alexis appears around the 40-second mark — in an iPhone. See the woman doing TRX mountain climbers? Alexis is the trainer demonstrating the move via an iPhone app. The brief appearance was a huge win for Alexis — it made her eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild and helped finance a trip to Bali for yoga teacher training.
10. Her Favorite Openfit Live Class: Let’s Walk
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“I love this class because there’s no pressure to hit any kind of goal — it’s just pure self-paced fun,” she says. Thanks to the more relaxed vibe, she can chat with everyone in the class and really get to know people. “My favorite part of teaching for Openfit is the people who come to my class,” Alexis says. “I feel so so blessed to be able to teach live on a platform that is accessible to all kinds of people all over the world.”