Get Fit Clovis team tries Barre at Pilates Street

File photo – The Clovis Roundup Community Newspaper team working away at the Get Fit Clovis challenge. From L-R, Clovis Roundup office manager and Get Fit Clovis founder Caitie Reeg, reporter Lauren Mueller, Pilates Street owner Ashley Overstreet, and Clovis Roundup owner/publisher Donna Melchor.

 

By Lauren Mueller, Reporter

Get Fit Clovis is underway and we at the Clovis Roundup are taking our own challenge. After all, it wouldn’t be fair if we asked our community to get fit while we lazed about eating bon-bons and watching TV all day.

But with so many options these days and no “right way” to work out, it can be difficult to choose a gym or routine to stick to. That’s why our core Get Fit team is going out on the town and finding all the ways we can to help our community members find the workout routine that’s best for them.

On Monday, June 6, Get Fit founder Caitie Reeg, Clovis Roundup owner Donna Melchor, and myself went to Pilates Street at Fowler and Shepherd, next to Me-N-Eds, for a Barre class.

I’ve been doing Barre for about a month now, going to Pilates Street twice a week for the 4:30 class. It’s part of my summer plan to get fit and lose the weight I gained during the school year. So when Get Fit Clovis launched, I invited Donna and Caitie to join me for a class.

Pilates Street is owned by Ashley Overstreet, who is a certified Pilates and Barre instructor. Her studio offers a myriad of classes, including Pilates on the mat, Barre, and reformer classes.

I have only tried the reformer class and Barre thus far, but I can’t wait to try some of the others.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Pilates isn’t a high-impact workout, so how can it be part of my fitness program? Or maybe you’re thinking it’s too easy for you and what you really need to do is go to a fitness boot camp.

That’s all fine and good, but let me clear up a few things.

First, while Pilates and Barre are not high-impact (there’s no running involved), they are not low-intensity. You’ll work up a good sweat if you’re doing it right. On average, my heart rate gets up to nearly 130 bpm and I burn 360 calories in a 55 minute class. Couple that with me taking my dog for a mile walk in the mornings and I’ve already burned nearly 600 calories in a day. It all adds up.

Second, these classes are not easy. If you peer through the window you may think it’s not hard, but until you try it for yourself you’ll never know. Barre is whole-body focused, so you work nearly every major muscle group and some of the smaller ones as well. Core, back, legs and arms all get a workout in this class.

And don’t worry about not knowing what you’re doing. While the class isn’t easy, the concepts themselves are. Barre isn’t hard to learn. And if you’re having trouble with a particular motion, Ashley will help you correct your form so you don’t end up hurting yourself.

If Barre doesn’t seem like a good fit for you, you can try Pilates and use the reformer machines. It’s a lower-intensity workout, based mostly in resistance, but it works the same basic muscle groups and has an equally satisfying effect. And then, when you’re ready, you can try Barre and join me.

There are many places out there that offer Pilates and Barre classes, and I haven’t tried them all, but there’s a reason I recommend Pilates Street to my friends.

To start, for those of you who don’t want to spend a fortune to get fit, the pricing is great. For a 55-minute class it’s only $25. And for that money, all the necessary materials (including water) are provided and you get personalized instruction when you need it from certified trainers.

Next, the space is clean. And it’s kept clean. At the end of every class, Ashley has cleaning products she uses on each piece of equipment to prevent any germs from spreading and keep the equipment looking clean and functioning beautifully. No more getting stuck with the “bad bike.”

Also, the atmosphere is welcoming. No “gymtimidation” here. Everyone is friendly and encouraging to each other. In mixed level classes like the one I attend, nobody looks down on someone who isn’t as good as they are. We do our motions in front of a mirror, and everyone is more focused on breathing and keeping our abs in and up than telling the person next to us that they aren’t doing it right.

Finally, everything is flexible. Every exercise can be modified to your comfort and skill level. My mom, who has fibromyalgia, has been able to do Pilates and feel great afterwards. She’s even done Barre with me and, though she was sore after, she was still able to do everything she needed to do without her fibromyalgia dragging her down.

For me, personally, I don’t have strong legs, so sometimes I have to pause in the middle of an exercise to take a breath and rest my legs a moment. My goal for the summer is to strengthen my legs so I don’t have to pause, but until I do, I know I can take a breath when necessary.

So why do I recommend Pilates Street? Because the most important thing here is to have fun and do your best. Ashley is all about doing things safely and effectively, and teaching you how to be able to go home and do some things on your own on off days if you so desire.

If you want to try something low-impact this summer and still walk away feeling fit, I recommend Pilates Street. Tell Ashley I sent you, and have fun!