Tuesday, December 2, 2014

First Step to Losing Baby Weight: Pure Barre

Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is over and now we only have to get past the Christmas candy. How do you get in shape? First step to getting your body back after baby is being ready. Are you ready? I am ready! Second is to stop thinking of our pre-baby body. They are stronger now and we just have to make some adjustments. I don't have the luxury of time with two kids, so I have to make each workout count. So, I begin this mommy journey to getting fit and am sharing with you what works and what doesn't work. My first step is to Pure Barre in Woodland Hills.

Tip: Make sure to stay hydrated. we often confuse hunger for thirst

I tried getting in shape a couple of months ago with a workout video, but it just didn't work. I just wasn't ready. This time I need a little more of a push to get me going. After my first daughter was born, it took me a bit, but I bounced back quickly.  A lot of this was due to good genes, breastfeeding and lots of long walks. This time around, two years later, I am still holding on to some extra weight. I can't take those long walks because I just have so much to do and must get back home in time for nap time. Part of this I am sure is an excuse to just not work out. Pure Barre is what is giving me that jump start I needed especially now that the sweet holidays are here. 

Three former students now teacher at the Woodland Hills location

At my first class at Pure Barre the instructor introduced herself to me and really made me feel at ease. She asked me if I had any past injuries and about what I was looking for in the class. Before babies, I was a runner. I ran three half marathons before getting pregnant, so I thought this won't be too hard. I expected some sweat and a little resistance from my body, but what I got was a whole lot more. Within five minutes into the class I realized that I was no longer that runner, that athlete or that woman. And guess what? I am ok with that, but that doesn't mean I am going to settle for this out of shape body. From the beginning I was pushed to my max. It isn't that the class is too hard, it's that I am working muscles I really haven't been using for sometime.  Each movement is meant to focus on different part of your body, mainly your core and your inner and outer thighs. Those are the ones I found challenging. And let's face it that is what most of us moms need help with the most. At times I found my legs shaking and really feeling the burn.

 "It's a huge misconception that a pill will have any long term effects. A quick fix perhaps (with potentially dangerous side effects) but never, ever can pills take the place of a healthy lifestyle ever." 
Marni Chaikin, Pure Barre owner

I will not lie there are at least three to four time that I have to take a breath. The teachers are so great and notice when you are just hanging on. They really motivate me, come to my rescue when I am not doing a movement properly and have kick ass music. I asked the instructors why teach at Pure Barre and what I learned is that three out of four were former student just like the one of the owners. This lets me know that I am at the right place. By the end of each workout, I think to myself, "I survived, great for me," and then, "I can't wait until the next time." I am going on my 8 of 10 classes and I may not look like Jessica Alba, but I am in better shape then when I started and that is what matters. Don't expect dramatic change right away take it one class at a time. Do it at your own pace. At this point I take one class a week and try to get some small work out during the week, and if I don't I'm ok as long as I make it to my Pure Barre class. 
Marni staying fit as she prepares herself for
the arrival of her second child.
There are many ads  and even celebrities talking about these "wonder" pill. "I absolutely 1000 percent do NOT recommend any diet pill EVER. It is unhealthy and many of them have been proven to cause heart valve damage," says Marni the owner or Pure Barre. "The only ONLY way to maintain healthy weight and body mass index and a good physique  is to eat healthy and exercise. Period"

I contacted one of the owners Marni and asked her a little about Pure Barre. She herself like us is a mother and had the same issues after her first child. Though she was a trained dancer, she found she could fight those remaining pounds. She turned to Pure Barre and is now a proud owner of the Woodland Hills, Brentwood and Santa Monica. Here is what she told me about the power of Pure Barre:

1. You have a strong background in fitness as a former dancer. How did Pure Barre help you get back in shape after your baby? 
In every possible way-Pure Barre focuses on women's' trouble spots-the arms, thighs, seat and abs. Doing pure barre 4-5 days a week throughout my last pregnancy helped me get back to my original size within 4 months. It's intense but super safe in that there's no impact yet you're fatiguing all of your muscle groups and shaping them in the most flattering way possible.  The bonus is that you're in an out in an hour and, as a mom, we all know how crucial that is.  Dancer or not-pure barre is accessible for every body and body type. If you can hold onto a barre you can do pure barre-no dance experience required!

2. Do you ever teach classes at Pure Barre? 
Yes, all the time-currently I'm teaching 5-6 classes a week between the three locations that I co-own in BrentwoodSanta Monica and Woodland Hills

3. How is Pure Barre different from other fitness classes or gym workouts? 
We're a boutique fitness studio. Despite the national name we are still a mom and pop shop- We know our clients and care about each and every one of them and their goals as do our teachers. You're not just another face or membership number at our studios. We limit the class size to 22 people which allows for maximum individualized attention from the teachers..it's a real feeling of community and makes it so that when you achieve your goals at pure barre it's all the more significant because your fellow members, teachers and owners really REALLY care!

4. How do you find your other instructors? What credentials do you require? 
Our instructors come to us from all over-sometimes from other pure barre locations and often times, because they are clients who have quite literally fallen in love with the technique-it has changed their bodies and their lives and they want to do anything they can to share their love and joy of pure barre with the world.  So they become teachers! First and foremost the requirement to be considered for teacher trainee is that the person must have taken at least 50 Pure Barre classes and of course, they must love Pure Barre.  We have people from all different backgrounds-some are dancers and pilates instructors, some are  nurses, school teachers, and run not for profit organizations-but they all have a love for fitness which shines through. We take them through an intense 30 day training program that includes learning about how to teach the technique, musicality and anatomy.  It's quite rigorous but that's how and why our teachers are some of the best around.

5. What do you do to keep your fitness gym clean? 
Individually we have anti bacterial fitness wipes that are used at the end of each class to wipe down all of the equipment and mats and barres.  Additionally we vacuum between each and every shift and have a professional cleaning crew come in several times a week. People are always telling us how pleased they are with the cleanliness of the studio so I think we  are doing a good job on that front.

6. As the holidays just begin, what are some recommendations to keep the weight off. 
Keep your fitness routine up! Don't give it up just because it's the holidays-you'll feel better if you stay in line and it'll be way easier to get that little black dress on.  With all of the holiday parties and temptations that go along with those parties-try and eat something light and healthy before you head out for your evening-some turkey, some carrot sticks, pita chips with hummus, some almonds…some fruit…anything healthy and with some protein..and be sure to drink plenty of water while you're on your way to the party. A lot of times we confuse dehydration for hunger so double check you're not just thirsty.  Most importantly-if you over indulge don't beat yourself up. Know that tomorrow is a new day and you can start fresh.

7. Do you lose weight and inches with. Pure Barre? 
Oh absolutely! I've seen bodies slim and tone beyond anything I could have ever imagined. 100 percent if you stick to it!

8. How many of your instructors are former students of Pure Barre? 
At this point I'd say about 70 percent of them used to be clients!

"My business partner and I love what we do and love sharing our love of fitness with Los Angeles," Marni tells me, "If you haven't given Pure Barre a try-remember that your first class in Woodland hills is FREE! So you have nothing to lose. Now is the perfect time to commit to a better you and carry that with you in to the new year. You'll be glad you did. We look forward to seeing you at the barre soon!"