This new class at Equinox couldn’t have come at better time! It’s the time of year just after after Halloween (sale candy) binging (I just can’t resist a sale) and right before Thanksgiving gobbling and all the holiday parties to distract me from getting to the gym.
When I saw the name of the class I immediately wanted to try Pure Strength because using weights is one of my favorite forms of workouts. That’s because it has always worked for me to help turn flab to firm muscle. With weight training, I always feel the warmth in my muscles (the fat is burning!) long after I walk away from the gym.
Created by Chicago-based Personal Trainer Dennis Rittenhouse, Pure Strength is set up with an innovative circuit that alternates weight lifting with body resistance, mixing moves like pull-ups, planks, deadlifts and arm presses to keep you constantly challenged. During the 45-minute session you will be motivated by a coach to lift heavy weights with perfect form and intensity. I attended the class at Equinox Lincoln Park and our “coach” was Ty Johnson.
Ty started the class by explaining and demonstrating specifically what we would be doing on the circuit while he warmed us using bands around our upper ankles, above our knees, and wrists. No time was wasted here! Everyone worked in pairs, and luckily the woman I teamed up with was also new to the class, and like me, could not lift a ton of weight. There were no weights less than 30 pounds in the class, and the idea is to push you to lift as much weight as you could for no more than six reps. This way you train for strength as opposed to muscle endurance. And no, you won’t look like a bulky body builder but rather develop lean muscle.
You can still work at your own pace but your partner and the team setting helps keep you on track as you switch stations and do six reps at a time. Ty was very helpful and came around to make sure our form was correct while training, and in case we had a question such as “Can you help me onto this pull-up bar?” Yes he came to my aid. You see, the class is challenging but not intimidating. This is your time to do your best, and with this class you can’t help but get a fantastic workout.
“Next time go to the next higher weight if you did not feel challenged.” Ty told us at the end of class. The challenge is addictive, the 45 minutes went super fast and I know, for me and probably everyone else…there will be a next time!
Pure Strength is offered at Equionx Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Loop and Highland Park locations.
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Equinox and Second City Style