BarreAmped instructors: 'I did it one time and I was hooked'

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 3, 2014 

It looks like ballet but it isn't.

"There is no dancing involved," said Ellen Cobb of BarreAmped, the fitness method she and her sister, Beth Anne Kennedy, teach at their Novo Fitness Studio.

Novo opened the last week in February on Flat Rock Road in Midland, Ga., next to Tractor Supply Company. The owners say they are the only BarreAmped studio in Georgia.

People mistake BarreAmped for dance since some of the exercises involve the use of a barre (handrail) like those used in ballet studios.

The sisters say the barre is used only to achieve optimal positioning in the postures.

Cobb said that by working in a neutral spine, meaning no tucked pelvis, BarreAmped assures muscles and joints are kept as safe as possible.

They describe BarreAmped as a method based on insight from yoga, Pilates and orthopedic training, an intensive form-focused, body-shaping experience.

The precision-oriented technique focuses mainly on small isolated movements within deeply held and challenging postures.

"There is no flipping tires or anything like that," Kennedy said.

Cobb said that for some arm exercises, weights of one and two pounds, are used. All of the exercises are for toning and not bulking up.

It is considered strength training with grace.

Cobb said while workout sessions don't look rigorous, they do get the heart rate elevated and that BarreAmped increases metabolism, burns fat and increases flexibility.

Every class targets each part of the body.

"There is a lot of hands-on training, one-on-one interaction between the client and the instructor to get the maximum results," Cobb said.

While there is no dancing, the routine includes upbeat and inspiring music.

During the exercise, there is a lot of tension put on muscles. Cobb said each muscle group gets exhausted.

"I didn't think I would get through the first time I did it," Kennedy said.

Both Cobb, 23, and Kennedy, 26, were raised here and attended Calvary Christian School.

Cobb discovered BarreAmped while working on a master's degree at Middle Tennessee State University. She began to take training to get certified while in Tennessee. There, she did an apprenticeship with Amy Weber, one of top instructors in the country and the owner of the first BarreAmped studio.

Weber trained under Suzanne Bowen, who created the method.

"I did it one time and I was hooked," Cobb said.

Kennedy, who used to be an instructor at Calvary Christian, got hooked when looking for a new fitness method to get back in shape after the birth of her baby nine months ago. Kennedy, also certified as a yoga instructor, decided she would rather teach BarreAmped than English.

"It not only tones the body but builds self-confidence," Kennedy said.

Both women are excited about their new business, the motto of which is "shake, burn, change."

"We've gotten a good response about classes already," Cobb said. "I think people are looking for something a little different."

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