PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you are on a kick to get fit in 2014, you are not alone.
KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen and Susan Koeppen are in the same boat, and they are doing some of the hottest exercise going right now.
Ballet barre-based workouts have been popular with celebrities like Madonna, Jessica Alba and Natalie Portman for years, but it’s just catching on here in Pittsburgh.
Since Kristine has spent my whole life dancing, she couldn’t wait to give it a try. And Susan is hooked on High Intensity Interval Training, which is rated the number one fitness trend for 2014.
But it’s much easier to do what’s in your comfort zone.
So, Kristine challenged Susan to a barre workout. And Susan challenged Kristine to a hit the gym.
Barre class is less about grace and more about grit.
The barre workout is described as a mix of Pilates, yoga and ballet. Even with Kristine’s ballet background, it’s tough.
The class consists of minute movements using the barre, a ball and bands to tone the muscles. After each strength exercise comes a stretch, all focusing on women’s target areas.
“Back of the arms, and the fat on the back of the arms and waist line, obviously. Defining, just getting that waist line visible, and your hips, thighs,” said Anna Lind, of Pure Barre in Shadyside.
Their triceps burned, their legs were shaking and Susan’s feet were cramping. But she learned it quickly, even if it did hurt.
Pure Barre, a national franchise with four studios in the region, says you’ll see visible results after 10 classes, and the first class is free.
It may look easy because you barely move. But Susan said it’s tougher than it looks.
Kristine: “Did you think it would be easier or harder?”
Susan: “I thought it would be a lot easier.”
Meanwhile, The Attic at Club One Fitness is home to HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training.
Susan: “Why is this so good for me?”
Trainer Jackie Polak: “Because you are working every muscle in your body in one-hour increments. You’re getting your cardio and resistance training in one.”
Jackie, Susan and Kristine’s trainer for the day, took them through a workout that was, well, intense.
They whip ropes to work out their arms and pop kettle bells over their heads.
There is very little down time – it’s on to the next exercise.
Tossing a weighted ball as high as possible, and jumping onto a platform. On the next exercise, they throw a giant tractor tire back and forth.
Then, it’s right into toe taps on the tire. One of the last exercises Susan and Kristine tries was lunges with 10-pound plates over their heads.
Susan: What was your favorite exercise?”
Kristine: “I like those rope things. I mean, favorite is a hard word because they all hurt.”
Kristine: “But I like that it’s so different than anything I have ever done.”