Barre None The Best Workout For Men, Too
There are many misconceptions among those who have not yet experienced the wonder and shaking muscles of Pure Barre. Aside from the belief that the 55-minute sessions are filled with a bunch of women in tights giggling and doing pirouettes, there’s a commonly held misunderstanding that the workout (and believe me, it is a workout) is just for the fairer sex. Yes, there are hoards of strong, beautiful women during each session, but they are working unbelievably hard throughout the workout thanks to a combination of Pilates, ballet basics, and yoga stretches. The Pure Barre technique fuses these workouts and throws in the Barre for stability. You won’t find a tutu anywhere in the studio, and the shaking that occurs during each isometric hold is truly awe-inspiring. We don’t bat an eye when we hear of men infiltrating hot yoga studios or spin classes, yet every time I tell someone about the men who rocked it out in my Barre class, there is an obvious sense of shock and/or disbelief. The truth is that Pure Barre isn’t just for the ladies; in fact, the instructors and clients of this upscale fitness studio welcome men to challenge their bodies to lift, tone, and burn at the Barre. And the challenge is certainly being accepted.
Tyson Wood, a regular client at the Homewood Pure Barre studio, had been searching for a low-impact activity that could complement his regular routine when he discovered Pure Barre. “When I heard about Pure Barre and what their technique encompassed, I had to give it a try,” he said. Ben Lancaster, husband of co-owner Lindsay Lancaster and another presence at the Homewood location, was simply looking to support his wife while looking for a workout that could tone the entire body without the use of bulk-inducing weights. For both Lancaster and Wood, the results of participating in Pure Barre have been impressive. “I have seen improvement in the functionality of muscles groups that were not getting isolated in my other daily workout and everyday routine. Basically, I discovered muscles that I forgot had existed,” said Wood. For Lancaster, the effects of Pure Barre were seen immediately. He said, “After taking about 6 or 7 classes, I noticed my body began to transform in a way that I have never seen and I toned up like I never had before. Over a span of a month and a half or so with a combination of healthy eating and Pure Barre classes, I lost 20 pounds and looked better than I ever had.”
In addition to simply elevating overall health and appearance, men and women alike reap the benefits of improved flexibility and the strengthening of supporting muscle groups of the knees and lower back–areas that are often at risk for injury during high-impact activities like running. Wood found the Pure Barre technique a useful program to offset the negative effects of having a desk job where activity is nearly entirely eliminated. “When sitting at a desk all day, there is limited movement and muscle activity, so postural muscles become dormant and flaccid, flexibility lessens, and joints stiffen resulting in decreased range of motion and poor posture. Because Pure Barre isolates each muscle group and the level of intensity can be tailored by the individual, it is the perfect opportunity for the man who needs to change his habits, strengthen his core, and get amazing results over time,” said Wood.
Lancaster has enjoyed the increased flexibility stemming from the Pure Barre technique’s yoga-style stretching that occurs after each individual muscle group has been targeted and fatigued. “I have struggled with lower back pain for some time, and having Pure Barre in a normal workout regimen has enabled me to become very flexible, which in turn has made my back feel considerably better. I went from not being able to touch my toes to now being able to place the palms of my hands flat on the ground,” said Lancaster. Naturally, the stretching of the muscles also serves to create long, lean muscles rather than bulky ones and feels wonderful, particularly after the thighs have taken a beating during a chair position or after the abs have been set on fire during the last six and a half minutes of core work.
For those of you who are still not sold on the idea of a dude doing an intense 55-minute session of Barre-based action, Lancaster provides a bit of insider knowledge, stating, “It is different for a man as far as a workout goes, but there is no need to feel intimidated because of the predominant female clientele or worry about what anyone thinks of you. Trust me, the workout it so hard that you do not care what the person next to you is doing.” So, men, forget what you’ve heard. Pure Barre will kick your butt, and you may just learn to love the burn!
Note: Pure Barre is currently offering discounted monthly rates for males. For more information, contact the Homewood studio at 205-870-7279 or the 280 studio at 205-991-5224.