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Get on the beam to get fit

March 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A new fitness program is proving to be a real balancing act. It offers a killer core workout and a mind-body connection, without striking a yoga pose."It's hard, harder than I expected. It takes a lot of concentration," said Monica Pack, Beam Fit student.

"It's really about going within and connecting with mind and body," said Catherine Chiarelli, Crunch. "I'll be honest it's like nothing I've ever done."

Fitness pros like Catherine Chiarelli are always looking for new ways to challenge their body. And a new take on an old piece of equipment proved to be just the ticket.

The balance beam is one of the best in a gymnastic event. Well it's made its way into the gym -- kind of. If you'd like to get to the core of your workout this one is for you.

Beam Fit, stands for balance, engage, align and move. Currently classes are held at Crunch three days a week in West Hollywood, although you can buy foam beam and DVD's online. But take note, this program requires a lot of concentration.

"It really forces you to be present in the now because if you think about something else you're going to fall off the beam," said Chiarelli.

The one hour class offers Pilate type moves with balance work and an emphasis on feet and ankle stability. While it looks easy it hits muscles hard.

"I got a huge workout. I was sweating, but I was connecting and my body felt amazing," said Chiarelli.

Like many fitness programs today, the core or stomach and back are key players.

"Your inner thighs, your butt, everything is sore," said Chiarelli.

Along with balance, posture and flexibility, more advanced classes utilize weights for fat burning benefits. Yet Beam Fit students like Monica Pack say it is the body to brain connection that sets this program apart.

"It's not about what part I want to look good, it's about the whole body," said Pack. "If you only think about one part something else goes. It's a whole body connection definitely."

Classes are Monday at 3:15 p.m., Wednesday at 6 p.m., and Saturdays at 9:15 a.m. at Crunch in West Hollywood.

If you mention you saw the story on KABC-TV you can take your first class for free, otherwise a day pass is $16.00.