My fitness journey with Pure Barre

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I decided to get in shape as I’m hitting the mid-40’s in a few years.  The fat was playing hide and seek with me—hiding in plain sight (my waistline), but creeping into places that I didn’t know it could–like under my shoulder blades (creating the bra bulge), around my neck, and even my calves. I’ve never had a flat stomach or toned arms. I was one of those skinny but fatty people for whom “Exercise is my enemy” –quote from my mom. But in order to chase after my toddler, 3rd grader and my middle schooler, I knew I had to gain some muscles and strength.
There is a Pure Barre studio within walking distance from my house, and I had tried their promotional classes a few times before. I knew that any daily exercise had to be convenient.  So I decided to go to Pure Barre daily for 40 days and see what the results would be. This is a huge act of discipline for me. My husband is skeptical.
Pure Barre is a chain of studios that teaches a particular type of exercise using the barre as in ballet, to do isometric body weight exercises, pilates, and planks/crunches to tone and lose weight. (http://purebarre.com/)  I felt that it wouldn’t hurt my knees, but be effective at targeting my problem spots, waist, arms and seat.

Beginning measurements:
Weight 139 pounds
Chest cirumference:  36 inches
Waist circumference: 33 inches
Hip circumference: 36.5 inches
Mid Thigh:  both left and right were 20.5 inches
Calves:  both left and right were 13.5 inches
Neck:  14 inches
Arms:  both were 13 inches at widest point

Day 1:  Started on March 1, 2017.   I had done some classes a few months before, but I had to pay close attention as the class is very fast paced; moving from one exercise to the next without any pauses. The positive is that the hour flies by. I’m so weak as the two pound hand held weights felt heavy during the 10 minutes of continuous arm exercises that target the triceps especially. My stomach is the biggest problem area, as I currently look 3 months pregnant. The class really focused on abdominal work, with planks, pushups, crunches and pilates movements.  I felt exhausted and a little embarrassed flailing around during class. Sore for two days afterwards.

Day 2-5:  Getting the hang of the exercises, but it’s hard to balance sometimes when the instructor tells us to get on our get on our tippy toes.  I still don’t know how most of the women in the class never drop, never stop…they just keep on following every move without taking a break…even though their legs are shaking from the isometric pose that they are in.  The aspect of Pure Barre that is constant is “Tucking”.  To tuck is to suck in my belly and push out my hips so that I maintain a straight posture.
I kind of dread going because it is hard, but afterwards, I feel so good and pumped!  A huge sense of accomplishment.

Day 7-8: I even went to a 7:15 class on Saturday morning, and an 8:30 class on Sunday morning! That is a big deal for me because I would never get up that early just to exercise; unlike my disciplined husband who gets up at 5:40 every morning to work out in the garage.

Day 9-12: Quick results–I notice that my arms and legs feel less jiggly and are smoother and firmer. A side benefit to exercising is that I don’t want to sabotage all my hard work by eating badly. So I am sticking more or less to a low carbohydrate diet, which I’ve been doing for the last 5 years.

Days 13-20: I am pretty amazed at myself for continuing to go daily to the Pure Barre class. Part of it is that I want to get the maximum for my monthly membership, and I want to see if I can stick it out.  I can see my waistline whittling down—I finally have a waist, not a straight line from my shoulders to my hips. It’s due to all the creative crunches that I do in class, targeting the obliques, which I didn’t even know I had.

Day 21-24:  My double chin is gone!  My cheeks are slimmer, and jowls’ sagginess is much less noticeable.  But according to the scale, I’m only down 2 pounds to 137. Maybe it’s the added muscle that is heavier that counteracts the fat lost. But I went to the dentist today, and she said that I’ve lost weight. My jeans are much looser everywhere as well. The muffin top is smaller and I can fit into my tightest jeans that I couldn’t fit into before I started Pure Barre. Yay!

Day 25-28:  I can follow along the class better, using the correct form. Definitely can tuck the hips automatically now, without really thinking about it. The arm exercises are not too hard now, and I think I should switch over to the 3 pound weights.  One negative to going every day is that my body is sore and doesn’t have time to recuperate. I try to sleep more as the muscle soreness heals during sleep.

Part two coming: Days 29-40 and Final Results!!!!

40 Day Pure Barre Challenge: Days 29-40

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