Even Though the Semester is Ending, This is Not GOOD BYE

Although the end of the semester is approaching, I will continue posting to my blog.  I may not be posting as frequently I was the last several months, but I will still be posting whenever I get the chance to take a unique fitness class. With that said, if any of you (my readers) come across any fitness classes or trends that you find unique, please contact me or leave a comment and I will try to cover that class for my blog.

Throughout this fitness blogging journey I learned to go into each fitness class with an open mind because the classes I originally thought would be easy for me, ended up being the hardest.

Also, in case you just started reading or following my blog here are the links to some of my favorite posts!

Learn More About CrossFit with Michael Gardner, Crossfit 550 Head Trainer

CrossFit 550 in Ocean View, New Jersey, is For All Genders and Ages

Normally when someone thinks of CrossFit, they picture the extreme heavy lifters that are competing on ESPN and immediately think that they could never do that workout. Or the women see the big muscular men and say they do not want to gain too much muscle and look “manly.”

However, all of these generalizations are wrong. Anyone at any age or gender can do CrossFit. The ages in this class ranged from 15 to 58 years old.

“It’s awesome. It pushes us and is a quick workout but you see results fast,” Reid Cowan, 15 years old said

“I started this in July and I am 58 years old,” Eileen Whittington said. “I love that I never know what you are walking into and you just to do it, and do it to the best of your ability and everyone is very supportive. So everyday is a good day when you finish your wod (workout of the day.) I have been running for years and just wanted to try something different that would give me the strength that I wanted and it’s working.”

According to Michael Gardner, Crossfit 550 Head Trainer, Crossfit is very functional and the workouts vary so that they are never doing the same workout.

“We combine Olympic lifting, power lifting and body weight movements, gymnastics, and endurance sports and try to just focus on getting a good stimulus from the high intensity that is created from the workout,” Gardner explained.

Like any workout individuals should slowly ease into it. They also should take a demo class before they take an actual CrossFit class. The demo class allows the individual to learn how to perform all the lifts properly to help prevent injury.

CrossFit 550 offers a free demo class at 10:30am on Saturdays, so you do not need to worry about spending money on your first class. The trainers will also make sure that you start lifting at the correct weight so that you do not hurt yourself trying to lift to much weight your first time. As you get stronger you will increase your weight.

Most of the classes are timed and you try to complete against the clock while working out efficiently but quickly to beat your best time. Sometimes the classes can be done in groups and then the Crossfitters compete in groups against each other to compete for the best time.

However, not everyone competes against the clock. They just workout at their own pace and try to get it done effectively without getting injured. Either way everyone is very supportive in the class, and no one ever looks down or makes fun of you if you are not the first person to complete the workout.

This workout has gained popularity from people seeing it on TV, reading about it in magazines, and by word of mouth. There are still some individuals that are nervous to try it, but Gardner assures them there is nothing to worry about.

“Don’t be intimidated by it, everyone is always saying how intimidated they are because it looks ridiculously hard on TV but that doesn’t mean that your going to be doing those same workouts. It’s going to be scaled down to your ability as long as you have the right mindset,” Gardner said.

 

Leigh Babiasz: Dancer, Grad Student and Pure Barre Instructor in Haddonfield, New Jersey Explains the New Pure Barre Workout

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Leigh showing one of the many leg burning poses in the class. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Leigh Babiasz has been a dancer all her life, and earned her BA in dance performance from Western Michigan University. From there she worked as a professional dancer and performer for different jobs and gigs. Babiasz started getting into personal training and got certified through NASM.

Currently she works as a certified trainer and will be starting grad school to study dance/movement therapy at Drexel next fall. Teaching Pure Barre came unexpectedly to her. She moved into the South Jersey area and saw an online ad for a job opportunity for fitness instructors with a dance background. That sounded perfect for her so she answered it and started teaching. Babiasz loves teaching Pure Barre because it gives her a combination of her two favorite things, dance and fitness. Plus, it gives her a different experience working in a group atmosphere compared to working with one on one training.

Q. Explain what Pure Barre is and how it is different to other workouts.

A. Pure Barre is a workout that incorporates the ballet bare and strength training that focuses on small isometric movements. It is a full body workout but it emphasizes working the thighs, seat, and abs. It is different from other workouts because it is a specific technique that takes a couple of classes to catch on. There is a not a lot of big explosive movements compared to other workouts so it is safe for most people to do.

Q. What muscles are you using in the Pure Barre workout?

A. Pure Barre works the full body but we do focus more on the “problem” areas of women. There is a lot of quad, glute, and core action in a class. We also do lots of body weight exercises and work on flexibility to achieve a longer leaner aesthetic look of a dancer.

Q. What makes Pure Barre unique?

A. It’s unique in the fact that the classes are designed so you get a variety of different exercises in each class. No class will be the same so your body can’t adapt and get used to it, so you will continue to confuse the body and thus see the results continuously.

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Some of the equipment used during a Pure Barre Class. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Q. What should someone wear or bring to Pure Barre?

A. We always suggest to wear long pants and form fitting clothes. Pure Barre also has a line of special socks that have a special grip on the bottom of the foot so there is limited slipping on the floor and that’s helpful to wear in class.

Q. What should someone expect when they take a Pure Barre class?

A. Expect a lot of burning and shaking in the first couple of classes!

Q. Where can they practice Pure Barre and how much?

A. There are Pure Barre locations all over. If you go on the website, they list all the different locations and there are always more studios opening up. A single class is $23 but there are different packages you can purchase as well a new client special. All the prices should be on the website if you click a specific location.

Q. Anything else interesting you would like to add about Pure Barre.

A. Pure Barre is a great positive community of women that are really supportive of each other. I am really proud to be a part of the Pure Barre family!

As usual I had to try this class. I have been taking the class once a week for a few months now. I have to say that I was skeptical of this class when I started. I thought it would not be that hard since I am an avid runner and do other intense boot camps; however, I was so wrong. Every class my legs are shaking and I sweat a lot! I am definitely seeing results from this class just by incorporating it into my workout routine just a few days a week. I recommend it to anyone that is looking to change up their workout and get that long and lean body!

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The relaxing Pure Barre workout room. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Discover the New Workout: Surfset Fitness at Upper Level Fitness Taught by Corrine Schulthesis

Love surfing but do not get a chance to practice it all year because of the weather? Or have you always wanted to try surfing, but are afraid of the ocean?

Upper Level Fitness in Ocean View, New Jersey started Surfset fitness classes this spring. Corrine Schulthesis is one of the personal trainers who introduced Surfset to Upper Level Fitness and their clients.  The class costs $17 per class or  $150 for 10 classes. Each class is an hour long, all an individual needs to bring is a water bottle, wear comfortable clothes, and enjoy the class.