Amped Up: Pure Barre Macon
It's a fairly new fitness craze that's been around since 2001, stretching its way across the country helping people achieve a low impact, full body workout concentrating on the areas many would like to tone, working the hips, thighs, abs and arms, all in the comfort of a dance studio.
Pure Barre owner Whitney Berry explains, "The focus on Pure Barre is very small movements, so everything is small and isometric. The idea behind Pure Barre is to work all of your muscle groups to fatigue so they are essentially shaking. Then you immediately stretch those muscles out so you're creating long and lean muscle instead of creating bulk muscle."
Women primarily show up to enjoy the combination of yoga, pilates and bar exercises, but men are encouraged to attend as well, so when reporter Chelsea Beimfohr invited me to class, I jumped at chance to get Amped Up and it wasn't nearly as easy as it looked.
"But it's amazing what small movements can do using two-pound weights because they turn really heavy quick", says Berry.
Chelsea couldn't agree more. She's been attending Pure Barre Macon classes faithfully for the past 2 months, revitalizing what she calls an inactive fitness lifestyle since her college days at UGA. Chelsea grew up as a competitive swimmer and is looking to improve her health and get active again, all while balancing her busy work schedule.
"In the first class I came to, I couldn't make it all the way through it," says Beimfohr. "It was so intense I made it halfway, had to step out and drink some water and grab a fitness bar. I was really discouraged at first because I had exercised for the 12 years of my life. I thought I was a great athlete or whatever, so it kind of humbled me for a second."
But she kept coming back and now she's made it a habit. She says working out in the traditional gym setting wasn't for her and encourages other to find out what works best for them.
Beimfohr says, "Fitness class is definitely my kind of exercise. I've been going to the gym for a couple of years on my own and I say, 'Oh, I'll give it an hour,' but then I look at my phone and say, 'Oh, I can walk on the treadmill instead of run,' or, 'I'm not going to do weights today,' and this holds you accountable for the whole hour and, for me, this is the way to go."
And having supportive family and friends around helps keep you focused to maintain the healthy lifestyle.
"Everyone's really supportive. We come in at night when we have a little bit of downtime and talk about what we've been doing and what we've been cooking. Like I said, I came in and talked to everybody about Pure Barre and everybody just suggesting different things you can do to stay healthy and Amped Up," says Beimfohr.
Staying Amped Up, while taking a different approach to the fit life, than the one she once knew before.