Building Better Bartender Bodies with Marcia Polas & Ba’Sik’s Russell Dillon!

May 9th

Some jobs are just more physical than others. Actors, dancers, chefs and bartenders beat the shit outta our bodies doing what we love. But we don’t have to.

Today’s show is the first in our OUR BODIES, OURSELVES series, where we explore how our bodies can help or harm our work and how they affect our romantic relationships. Joined by returning guest co-host chef Daniel Holzman , we discuss the physicality of kitchen work, and how your body changes with many years spent over a hot stove. Then we’re joined by occupational Pilates instructor Marcia Polas and one of her students,  bartender Russell Dillon of Ba’Sik in Williamsburg, who’s just gone through Marcia’s THE BARTENDER’S PILOT PROGRAM with Rutte Distilleurs. What wisdom can we steal from how she trains chefs and beverage folks to work more healthfully? And has the 10-week program really helped Russell at work?


Meet Marcia Polas

Marcia Polas - Rutte

Occupational Pilates teacher/movement consultant Marcia Polas has spent the last 12 years studying bodies and teaching their owners to use them correctly. Her practice is focused on helping clients resolve chronic pain, regain complete mobility and flexibility, and build strength within alignment. Her work includes myofascial release techniques, realignment, creating good tension, and providing cues to maintain alignment, no matter the physicality of the job. She specializes in bartenders, chefs, front of house teams, baristas, actors, dancers, and vocalists.

In 2015, she created A Body At Work – The Bartender Series. The series includes over 2.5 hours of interactive workshop material broken up into 16 videos and includes self-myofascial release training, alignment behind the bar within every repetitive activity, and pre and post “game” stretches. Most recently she partnered with Rutte Distilleurs to create The Bartender Pilot Program,  retraining 12 veteran NYC bartenders over three months via a weekly workshop.

Marcia has completed over 25,000 hours teaching bodies since 2004, working with clients in person and virtually throughout the US and Europe.

More at

Meet Russell Dillon


Russell Dillon has been tending bar for about 15 years, in a variety of establishments, bouncing between San Francisco and New York.  As a poet, he is the author of Eternal Patrol from Forklift Books, editor of the arts/poetry magazine Big Bell… and on the liquor-side of things, senior bartender at ba’sik in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in addition to being a free-lance an enthusiast of both daiquiris and tequila. After a lifetime of abusing his body through numerous skateboarding, snowboarding, motorcycle, and self-generated injuries, things have started looking up.

Meet Guest Co-Host Chef Daniel Holzman


Daniel started his cooking career at the age of 15 at Le Bernardin in New York City and remained there for 4 years until, at the suggestion of chef Eric Ripert, he attended the Culinary Institute of America with a full scholarship from the James Beard Foundation. Prior to graduation, Daniel accepted a position at the soon-to-open Palladin in New York City under chef Jean-Louis Palladin and worked alongside such culinary notables as Wylie Dufresne and Sam Mason. Six months later, Jean-Louis asked Daniel if he would be willing to move to Las Vegas, NV, to fill a vacancy at his flagship restaurant, Napa, in the Rio Hotel. Accepting the offer, Daniel began what would ultimately become a 10-year culinary journey through some of the West Coast’s finest restaurants including The Campton Place, The Fifth Floor, Aqua and Jardinière. Daniel stepped into his first management role as chef of the organic bistro, Axe, in Venice, Los Angeles. After a year at Axe, Daniel accepted the position of executive chef at the Inn of the Seventh Ray, a 250-seat restaurant in the Topanga hills.

In 2010, Daniel returned to his hometown of New York City to team up with his childhood friend Michael Chernow and debut The Meatball Shop in New York City’s Lower East Side.  Four more locations of The Meatball Shop opened in quick succession. Daniel also co-authored The Meatball Shop Cookbook in 2011.

Daniel has appeared in countless broadcast segments including ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s TODAY Show, Chelsea Lately,The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and VH1’s Big Morning Buzz. Additionally, he has been featured in an array of widely reaching local and national publications such as The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, People,Food Network Magazine and GQ.

AND he put a gluten-free meatball on his restaurants’ menus after working with Jax on a feature for the gluten-free magazine, Easy Eats. So you know he’s good people. And he’s single, ladies!

Find Daniel at the Meatball Shops, on Twitter and Instagram!

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