[This is from a guest post I wrote for Fitmark September 2013 – see it here.  Now, over a year later, I’ve continued using  Tye4 personally,  with test groups and with my clients.  If I had to rewrite this post, I would not change a word.  More on Tye4 here ]

There is a new fitness love in my life, and it’s called Tye4®. I attended the Official Tye4 Launch and Training Workshop in New York this summer and am now teaching five Tye4 classes a week and can’t stop talking about it! This new fitness tool has my creative exercise juices flowing and has given me a fresh excitement and hope for the health, strength, and the repair of our bodies.

The Tye4 is a wearable resistance. It’s a harness that can be worn higher or lower on the chest, depending on preference, with easy adjusting straps. It has a bungee that attaches to both feet separately, and one that attaches to both hands.

tye4collage.jpgIt was invented by Joan Breibart, Founder and President of the PhysicalMind Institute. She introduced the first Pilates certification program, the first Mat Work Pilates Video in 1991, ‘Working Out The Pilates Way‘ and other books, articles, and inventions that have helped the Pilates Method evolve and benefit our generation.

I teach two different classes: 1. Tye4 Fusion and Tye4 Pilates. The Tye4 Fusion class is a combination of aerobic, barre, strength training, Pilates and stretch. I start with a dynamic warm up that loosens our spine and hips and awakens the body to move. Using Tye4 gives us something to push or reach through (a closed kinetic chain) and enables greater stretch and lengthening. We move from warm up to full on sweaty, aerobic exercise. I give high impact options for some of the moves, but it is optional. The beat of the music is fast and we have fun feeling a full body burn.

Next, the music slows down and relaxes our minds so we can put full focus and concentration into the Barre moves. Here I use the Tye4 to assist in leg lifts and balancing. We don’t over work the hip flexors and because we are able to hold balance so much better and longer with Tye4, we feel a beautiful burn from our glutes all the way down into our calves in the stabilizing leg! I LOVE THAT! Honestly, this is where I start sweating! Hard work.

After Barre, I take my class through a series of strength moves, including pushups and plank. Again, using the Tye4 is changing the game! We use a front cross leg bungee variation when doing a modified pushup. The leg bungee cross “reminds” the body to keep the core engaged during the movement, and the crossed hand bungees provide resistance! I no longer have to nit pick on form. It just happens with Tye4! And modified or “girly pushups” create such a surprising burn!

I wrap up our class with Pilates down on the mat using Tye4 in each exercise. We now can move with more control, stabilize with more awareness, and stretch deeper. As I’ve heard from a few of my clients, “I can really feel my muscles now.”.

I agree with what had to say about the Tye4, “What is so great about the Tye4 is that the lines of resistance feedback to the core of your body. This is very Pilates approach to fitness. It’s an effect we get from much of the larger Pilates equipment like the reformer, but getting that direct feedback with something as portable as the Tye4 is unusual.”.

Tye4 was invented in the Pilates world, but it is a creative, effective tool that can be used with many other types of fitness.

For more information, visit and ‘Like’ my my FaceBook page Nashville Fitness for the latest updates on classes, workshops, and Tye4 talk.

So far, I’m getting great feedback from every one of my clients who have tried it out. It seems to be quite addicting! If you can’t tell, I’m really excited about Tye4 and I hope you take some time to look into it. Maybe it’s something you can incorporate into your exercise routine or use to bring your clients to a new level of health!

Stay fit,
Ashley Benson
Fitmark Ambassador 2013




→ TheMethod Pilates Official Tye4 Launch, Chelsea Studios NYC 2013

→ TheMethod Pilates Standing Pilates Training, NYC June 2014

About My Tye4 Classes

Fusion Fever Story: Pilates Style Magazine

NewsChannel5 – Nashville News – Tye4 Fusion in Gold’s Gym

What to Wear on Your Feet

Photos & Quotes from Tye4 Fusion Class

When I discovered Tye4, Feb. 2012 – Prototype 

NEW from TheMethod Pilates

Pilates Rocks!

TheMethod Pilates

Fitmark Guest Blog: The NEW Tye4


Tye4 Chest/Tricep Workout video – 10 min

Tye4 Mini Leg Workout video- 10 min

Tye4 Mini Pilates Workout video – 10 min

Tye4 Leg Workout – video

Customized Tye4 “Pick a Stick” Workout

Tye4 Inner Thigh Workout – video


Tye4 Pilates Hundred Demo

Tye4 Fusion Demo

Tye4 Stability Ball Demo

Tye4 Pilates Demo

Tye4 Chest/Tricep Workout Demo


Check out this transformation from our friend Nate Winters!

“This is what discipline looks like. I was 235 lbs in the first pic. I have kept off 50 lbs for 2 years. Advocare has changed everything and I am so thankful I said yes. I am finally happy and this year will be our best.”  Nate Winters

10849940_10202822037764326_8743971730151233612_nWe have a group doing the Advocare 24 Day Challenge in January – if you need a fresh start, a new beginning or just a kick in the pants, contact us!  We’d love for you to take this journey with us.

email me: or get back with the person who shared this with you.  This is personalized coaching – we help set a program and walk with you in your journey!








It was a year ago this week that I was flown out to NYC for the Pilates Style Magazine photo shoot that introduced Tye4® to the Pilates world.  This is an experience I’ll never forget.  The shoot lasted 5 hours and I was sore in EVERY SINGLE MUSCLE afterwards … so I know exactly what muscles are engaged while using Tye4!!!  I now KNOW exactly where my CORE is – I was even sore in my intercostal muscles (the one’s in-between the ribs)!  LOL

The atmosphere during the photo shoot was relaxed and it was a lot of fun.
I stayed in the most beautiful room with a view at the Hotel on Rivington.

This was a perfect place to rest, relax and focus on the upcoming shoot.



And of course, I cherished the time with my friend Monica Mendes Bittenbender (also featured in the story), as well as Yuu Fujita-Toews, PhysicalMind Institute Lead Teacher and the most valuable time spent with Joan Breibart – Founder of the PhysicalMind Institute, started the Pilates boom in 1991 and inventor of the Tye4.


Ashley Benson and Joan Breibart

The story was featured in the March/April 2014 edition of Pilates Style Magazine!

View here.


A few months after this, I was back in New York for TheMethod Pilates Tye4 Standing Pilates training – see here.


We are still discovering new ways to use the Tye4 and I am more in love with it today as I was the first time I got my hands on a Tye4 prototype  Feb. 2012 – a year and a half before it was even released!  See my original 2012 post here.

Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me.  I’m grateful and humbled by this experience, and SO EXCITED for what’s to come!!!




One of my favorite people, Jame Swilley, started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge 12 days before Thanksgiving!!!!!  This girl is serious about reaching her goals!  After the first 10 days (the Cleanse Phase) she said, “My clothes are fitting better” and her hubby has been noticing :)  Then the BIG Turkey Day happened…  she ate small portions of all she wanted – “It was good, but not as amazing as I usually think it is… I guess this stuff is working.  It was easy to eat in moderation”

Not only is Jame going strong on her challenge, she is sharing food and meal ideas with us!!!!  Yippie!!!  She shared this Chicken Minestrone Soup with me this week and said I could share it with you :)  Enjoy…


-Low Sodium Chicken Broth
-Can Crushed Tomatoes
-Can White Beans
-Can Cut Green Beans
-2 Large Carrots Minced
-1 Small Onion
-1 Bag Spinach
-2 Cups Quinoa Pasta
-3 Chicken Breast

Sauté chicken in a bit of water in a large pot. Remove chicken and set aside
In same pot sauté onion.
Add broth,tomatoes, white and green beans, carrots, and spinach.
Bring to a boil and add pasta.
Reduce heat once pasta is soft add diced chicken.
Serve with Parmesan cheese.


So THANK YOU Jame for sharing!!!  Keep rockin’ your challenge!!!

I’m totally making this soup this week.

Warm.  Cozy.  Healthy.

I encourage you to share it and try it yourself!



[repost from Feb 2013]

When our kids are young, we teach them to eat, walk and to not touch to the stove. As they grow, we educate them about animals and the sounds they make, we show them how to dress themselves and warn them to not run out into the street. We pass along these skills to protect them and to empower our children to succeed in the world. We should also teach family fitness and health habits.

I want to talk about another area we, as parents, are responsible for: the HEALTH and FITNESS of our kiddos.

We need to be teaching our kids how to take care of their bodies early on. They need to know the real reason we eat food (so our body can grow and repair)! It’s ironic to me that we make sure they take good care of their teeth because, “These grown up teeth are the only ones you will get!” Welllllll… what about our body?

Let’s talk, for a second, about my iPhone.

  • I love it! It’s super useful to me in my work, for my family, and in my social life. It is personal to me.
  • I am the only one who has this screen saver! I change it out depending on my mood or the season.


  • I have all the apps I need and have them organized the way I want them… until my 7 year old gets hold of it!
  • It lets me know when I need to update it. I seem to be improving it all the time. I don’t think I will ever stop improving and updating it.
  • It tells me when it’s low on “energy” and needs more fuel, so then I recharge it.
  • I know it so well. I am aware when something isn’t quite right. Do I really need to get it repaired by an expert? Or do I have the power to fix this myself. If this is the case, it usually requires some research.
  • My phone is personal to me and I try to use it to its full potential!

Now, if only we held our own body with the same regard that we hold our phones!

Now I want to talk about my body:

  • I am thankful for my body! It is super useful to me. I use it for my work, my family and my social life.
  • I am the only me in this world! No one else walks around in this body but me. I get the choice of how I dress my body and it reflects me!
  • I have everything I need to function: a respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous, and musculoskeletal system. I want to keep all of my “apps” updated so they function properly and I get the most out of them.
  • If I listen, my body will tell me when I need to update it. I may be deficient in something, dehydrated or stressed.
  • My body tells me when I’m low on energy: I need to know how to recharge.
  • Sometimes I get a fever or sore throat. I might need a doctor to take a look and medicine to get me past it, but I just might be able to take care of this on my own with the right care.
  • My body is special and I want to utilize it to its full potential!

Ok, now back to our kids. We can encourage this mentality in them early, it’s possible! Parents, let’s start seeing ourselves as health teachers and paying the same attention to our bodies as we do to our iPhones. This may mean that you have to gain some knowledge for yourself first. The good news is there is health and fitness information everywhere! Yes, it seems to contradict itself, but use common sense and do the best you can! Invite your kids in on the journey and learn together. After all, the home can be the most effective hands on class room!

You might be saying, “Well that’s easy for you to say, you’re a trainer!” Yes my kids live with a personal trainer and are exposed to the health and fitness world daily, but it’s me, “Mom”, who teaches them to care for their body because I love them so much and want the best for them! We are all learners, and I love inviting them in on the process.

Here are a few examples of how my family pursues a healthy lifestyle together…


Subject: Iver, age 7 currently, began teaching at age 4

Goal: For Iver to not only eat the healthy food I give him, but to welcome it!

Method: Teach anatomy to my 4-year-old boy, on his level.

Strategy: Early on I started teaching Iver about his immune system. I explained that his immune system isa system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. I wanted him to understand white blood cells.

Although my kids are super smart, I simplified this information a bit: “Did you know that you have an army that lives inside your body? Your army is made up of thousands of soldiers! These soldiers protect you from bad guys that sneak into your body and make you sick! Did you know that every time you get sick it’s because a bad guy has attacked? When they come and invade, your soldiers go into battle! Now we need to make sure they have all the best weapons to fight with. Every time you eat this healthy food, you are making your soldiers strong and giving them the best weapons to fight with!” I tap into his imagination and we continue talking about little people running around inside his body! My son is 7 now, and I get NO resistance when it comes to feeding his soldiers.



Subject: My whole family. My husband, Taylor age 11, Iver age 7, and myself.

Goal: For us to add more vegetables into our day… without a fight

Method: Tap into our competitive side.

Strategy: A few weeks ago I started a contest: Whoever eats the most servings of vegetables in a week gets to eat a donut or cupcake in front of the others. Honestly, I can’t believe how successful this is! I keep a chart in the kitchen and we make tally marks to keep up with our points. It has been one of my favorite joys to watch my 7-year-old boy open the fridge at 7:00 pm and say, “Are there any other veggies I can eat tonight?” or my 11-year-old daughter pack her lunch for school adding veggies without any input from me!

When I cook a meal, I tell them how many veggie points they will get if they finish their plate. It’s just fun to watch my son finish his food, and the amount of snacking has decreased since we began this. He LOVES having the power to make a difference!

Well, I won the first week, but I was so proud of how my kids kept up with me! I took myself out of the race week 2 (I can’t win 2 weeks in a row). Week 2, my kids tied with 24 points each! I’m really proud of them and we will continue getting points for the veggies we eat! It’s fun and bonding to cheer each other on and celebrate victories with one another.


They have learned that health is a choice.


Subject: Me and my kids

Goal: To spend quality time with my kids and grab a workout at the same time.

Method: Play games that will challenge us physically using SandBells. The SandBells provide a fun, safe resistance for our workout.

Strategy: I came up with a few games that would give us varying levels of complexity and skill. For my 7-year-old, Iver, I kept the movements simple like throwing and catching. This worked his hand/eye coordination and kept him entertained. I set up Taylor (age 11) with more complex moves, like tricep presses, jump squats and lateral rotation that would challenge her coordination, but also build her strength and endurance.

In creating these games, I made sure that my position would provide a great workout for myself as well. My workout consisted of sit-ups, push-ups, squat jumps, chest presses, overhead tricep extensions, and core work, all with the SandBells!

At the end of our playtime, I realized I did a lot more repetitions playing with the kids than I would have done if I were just getting in a workout. We had a blast together. The kids are asking when we are getting out to play again… I better start creating more games!


We just spent a great week in the cool little German town my parents live in – New Braunfels, Tx.  It’s a tourism town and a GREAT place to visit!  There are two rivers that run through the town, and I couldn’t help but use both of them as a backdrop for your next workout videos :).  First, we filmed behind Bubba’s Big Deck at Gruene River Co., right on the Guadalupe River.  It’s a gorgeous location with it’s huge old trees, the river rapids and the interesting wildlife all around.  In the summer months, this is an awesome place to tube the river, kayak or just hang at the bar and watch all the river traffic pass.




24 DC = Advocare 24 Day Challenge   SCD = Slow Carb Eating
*** For more great health recipes, check out Holistic Chef Laura Lea

smoothies AND shakes AND working out…


about food…


food reviews


eating out…