Pure Barre

Crazy pop­u­lar ex­er­cise, mod­ify that bod, for guys too

Gulf & Main - - News -

BY NIC K CILETTI

The gym just wasn’t cut­ting it for Lisa Scherff. Some days she’d be in one for hours, lift­ing or spend­ing blocks of time do­ing car­dio. Still no re­sults. “I didn’t know what was hap­pen­ing,” ex­plains Scherff, a life­long ath­lete. But Scherff, who is 49, was about to make a dis­cov­ery that would change her life―and her body―for­ever. “I was hooked within five min­utes,” she ex­plains. “Af­ter that, I was done with the gym.”

So, what made Scherff fi­nally bid adieu to all of that car­dio, lift­ing and forc­ing her­self to drive to the gym? It’s a work­out trend that has swept the na­tion and South­west Florida, show­ing no signs of slowing down. “As long as you can hold a bal­let barre, you can do Pure Barre,” says Jen­nifer His­sam, the owner of Pure Barre in Fort My­ers. For more than two years, Pure Barre has been stretch­ing, ton­ing and im­prov­ing the bod­ies of South­west Florid­i­ans. With fran­chises in Fort My­ers, Naples and Bonita, “it’s the fastest, most ef­fec­tive way to change your body,” His­sam says. “It is in­tel­li­gent ex­er­cise that con­cen­trates on ar­eas women strug­gle with the most―hips, thighs, seat, ab­dom­i­nals and arms.” If you’re new to the move­ment, you may

“There’s noth­ing else quite like it.” —Jen­nifer His­sam, the owner of Pure Barre in Fort My­ers

as­sume (like the name sug­gests) that you’ll be hang­ing from a bal­let barre (said bar) for the class, but get ready for some sur­prises! Dur­ing the 55-minute class, you’ll also be ex­pected to do some light weightlift­ing. Choose dumb­bells of vary­ing weights depend­ing on your skill level. You’ll also in­cor­po­rate ex­er­cise balls and a va­ri­ety of stretches and poses on the floor. “It’s such a unique type of fit­ness,” says His­sam. “There’s noth­ing else quite like it. In Pure Barre, the mu­sic in each class is a huge driving fac­tor and re­ally al­lows clients to lose them­selves in the mu­sic. We change things fre­quently, which keeps the body guess­ing and makes each class ex­cit­ing.”

Got achy joints? Who doesn’t, right? The beauty of Pure Barre is that it al­lows those of us with hip and joint is­sues to en­joy class and still get a rig­or­ous work­out with­out hurt­ing our­selves and pos­si­bly caus­ing fur­ther dam­age.

For Scherff, it was im­por­tant to find some­thing that wouldn’t ag­gra­vate some ex­ist­ing in­juries. “I had a to­tal knee re­place­ment,” she ex­plains. “There are mod­i­fi­ca­tions I can make and still do ev­ery sin­gle bit of the work­out. The in­struc­tors are fab­u­lous about that. They’re all about not hurt­ing your­self! I had a stress frac­ture in my foot and I did Pure Barre for three weeks in a boot. I hate when I have to miss a class!”

And that’s not to men­tion the trans­for­ma­tions Scherff has seen in her body. “I lost two full dress sizes in six weeks,” says Scherff. “[Peo­ple] think I’m 10 years younger. I’m in the best shape of my life.”

With more than 400 lo­ca­tions across the U.S., women all over are brag­ging about the im­pact Pure Barre has had on their physiques. “I re­ally started notic­ing changes in my body,” ex­plains Karen Far­rell, who at­tends classes at His­sam’s Fort My­ers stu­dio. “I’ve al­ways been a slim girl. Af­ter hav­ing two kids, I no­ticed my mid­sec­tion just wasn’t the same. In the last f ew months, I’ve slimmed down, have more mus­cle def­i­ni­tion and I’ve toned up. I love what I’m see­ing!”

And you don’t have to worry about lift­ing or go­ing for a run after­ward―Pure Barre tar­gets the whole en­chi­lada.

And fel­las, de­spite what you may think, Pure Barre isn’t strictly for women. “It tends to be largely at­tended by women,” His­sam says, “but there are sev­eral men who take Pure Barre and even male Pure Barre teach­ers. I think that part of the fit­ness pop­u­la­tion, whether they are men or women, feel that in or­der to achieve cer­tain fit­ness re­sults that they must be lift­ing heavy weights and us­ing ex­plo­sive move­ments and there­fore are less in­clined to try barre class.

“There is also some­times the mis­con­cep­tion that you need to have dance ex­pe­ri­ence to take barre class, which is not the case.”

De­tails are at pure­barre.com. Nick Ciletti is a free­lance writer and fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia. He works as a TV jour­nal­ist in Phoenix.

“[Peo­ple] think I’m 10 years younger. I’m in the best shape of my life.” —Lisa Scherff, Pure Barre en­thu­si­ast

Pure Barre is a fit­ness fran­chise started in 2001. To­day there 450 stud ios na­tion­wide, three in South­west Florida.

Pure Barre is a work­out to mu­sic in seated, prone and stretch­ing po­si­tions. Some 500,000 of us na­tion­wide are in Pure Barre classes.

Pure Barre isn’t lim­ited to the bal­let barre (above). Lisa Scherff (be­low) cel­e­brated her 100th class sign­ing a stretch­ing barre at the Fort My­ers stu­dio. She re­duced two dresses sizes in six weeks, she says.

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