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Chicago Sun-Times

High intensity, low impact and using muscles you never knew existed is how Rachel Cahayla-Wynne describes a workout at Pure Barre, the new Deerfield fitness studio she manages.

"It's a complete total body workout that targets specific muscle groups and works them to fatigue," said Cahayla-Wynne, a certified Pure Barre instructor and former professional ballet dancer. "When muscles are fatigued, they will strengthen and tone, and then we stretch them to create the long and lean."

Deerfield's Pure Barre, which is located in Deerfield Square next to Ann Taylor Loft, is one of about 200 locations throughout the country for the South Carolina-based franchise.

Locally, it's the seventh location for co-owner Emma Pollert, who has opened one studio in Madison, Wis., and five others in the Chicago area since last August.

"It's been crazy," said Pollert, a Northwestern University graduate who spent three years as a financial trader before opening the businesses. "It's powerful to see that we are building communities of women who are not only getting this amazing workout but who are connecting with each other."

Pollert, who played college volleyball and now runsmarathons, explained that fitness has always been a huge part of her life. She said when she found out about Pure Barre and tried a class, she loved it immediately.

"It's such a good compliment to high-impact activity, as it's very gentle on the body," she said.

"This is a great workout for anyone, including pregnant women, older people, people who are recovering from an injury, and runners," added Cahayla-Wynne, who recommends the workouts three to four times per week. "It's a form of cross training, and the results are toning of your muscles and lost inches off your waist and thighs."

A typical 55-minute Pure Barre class includes a high-energy warm-up followed by sculpting and strengthening of the arms using light weights. Clients then use the ballet barre to tone thighs, and lift and shape the glut muscles. Lastly, they engage in targeted abdominal exercises to define and strengthen core, according to Cahayla-Wynne.

"The format is always the same, but you will never take the same class," she said. "You will never get bored and your muscles never adapt so it remains challenging. We will work muscles you never knew existed."

Tara Frazier, a part-time makeup artist and mom did her first Pure Barre class two years ago at a studio in Michigan. She said when she heard about the Deerfield location, she was "all over it."

"What I like most about it is you really see results," said Frazier, who lives in Arlington Heights, but whose parents live in Highland Park, where she drops off her 3-year-old while working out at Pure Barre. "You're doing small, isometric, movements using different parts of your muscles. You're exhausting the muscle and breaking it down and then stretching it out after."

Pure Barre offers an unlimited monthly membership or packages of classes in which the price per class goes down with larger packages.

"Clients will say, 'I go to a personal trainer and I don't understand why I'm not as sore as I am when I leave here,'" Cahayla-Wynne said.

"Nothing is strenuous or vigorous, but you're doing it over and over again until the muscle is deeply fatigued, and until it shakes," said Frazier.

"There are no other types of workouts that follow that philosophy."


Fact Box: Pure Barre Where: 720 Waukegan Road, Deerfield Contact: 847-914-0755;




March 29, 2014


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