SHAPING UP IN A HURRY
STORY BY Elizabeth Brunetti PHOTOGRAPHY BY André Chung
Cherie Beck purchased a Living Social deal for a month’s worth of classes at 39 Minute Workout in Ellicott City thinking it would be a quick fix. “I hoped to get back into shape quickly and then move on to the next ‘specialized’ program,” recalls the 52-year-old Columbia resident. A year later, Beck still attends three classes a week and has gradually embraced other aspects of David Beares’ three-pronged program – nutritional guidance and acupuncture treatments.
Her commitment to Beares’ approach took her by surprise, she says. “My thinking that I would find another program after I ‘got back into shape’ dissolved within the first three months.”
Beares, a 37-year-old Sykesville entrepreneur, aims to help all of his clients achieve this type of transformation. He also wants to transform “the conversation in women’s minds,” he says. Too many women, he says “think that to lose weight means eating disgusting foods and going hungry.” Furthermore, he says, women are misled when it comes to exercise. “They’re taught to pick up tiny weights and do a million reps; that it’s dangerous to pick up anything heavy,” he says. “That’s just so far from the truth.”
Beares tackles these misconceptions in his book, “EXPOSED! The Weight Loss Industry Wants You To Be Fat: Primitive Health and Fitness expert reveals his 9 secrets to quickly and dramatically transform your body.” In it, he discusses the three pillars upon which the 39 Minute Workout is built: training, nutrition and
A certified kettlebell instructor, Beares creates workouts using movements that come naturally – so you won’t find any weight machines in his Columbia studio, located in the back corner of a strip mall on Waterloo Road in Ellicott City. Instead, the 39 Minute Workout sessions rely on weight resistance provided mainly by kettlebells and clients’ own body weight. “The workouts teach women just how strong they are – and it’s usually a lot more than they expect.”
Cherie Beck’s main goal wasn’t weight loss, but she began to notice results right away. After her third session, she says, she began to notice “a ‘kettlebell butt’– [it was] noticeably firmer,” she says with a smile. “It’s a big bang for less than three hours a week,” she says.
Beares’ approach to nutrition – the second pillar in his program – is rooted in what he calls a “nourishment plan” as opposed to a diet. Dieting, he says implies deprivation. “Healthy, lean people don’t diet,” he points out. Instead, Beares encourages frequent meals with adequate protein, hydration and avoiding certain foods.
The third and final pillar of Beares’ approach is acupuncture. He and other trained acupuncturists work in a quiet room adjacent to the exercise studio. “A lot of people just need the stress reduction that acupuncture offers,” says Beares. “Western medicine is for acute care – it’s there when you need a higher level of attention. Most everything else can be addressed with alternative medicine.”
Beares likens the 39 Minute Workout to a Zen boot camp – clients are guaranteed a challenging, results-oriented health and fitness regimen that helps them feel in charge of their bodies, he says. “People come here to take back control.”
Beck claims that the 39 Minute Workout has helped her to build lean muscle, and cut her percentage of body fat – while gaining more awareness of her body. “Wellness is not just a lack of illness,” she says. “I am much closer to wellness than ever before.” Furthermore, she says, she doesn’t feel alone on that path.
Beares works hard to create a sense of camaraderie and inclusion. He posts polls or workout “teasers” on the group Facebook page and organizes group outings to reward clients for perfect attendance. Such events as a bowling party and a field trip to an Orioles game encourage clients to embrace a sense of community. He likens the atmosphere of 39 Minute Workout to the bar in “Cheers” – where everyone knows your name, and everyone is welcome.*
What can you do in just 39 minutes?
The 39 Minute Workout is designed for maximum results in minimal time. Here is a rundown of the type of workout to expect in a 39 Minute class.
Sessions typically start with a few minutes of mobility drills such as foam rolling or yoga poses to warm and stretch the muscles.
Next is about eight minutes of strength training, alternating sets of military presses, squats or lunges – performed while holding kettlebells for more resistance.
The cardio portion uses interval training and only lasts for about five minutes. Exercises like jumping jacks, mountain climbers and pushups are performed in cycles of 30-seconds of high intensity with a 20-second recovery.
The final 12 minutes is more cardio (jumping jacks, kettlebell swings, pushups) at your own pace, though clients are encouraged to work at their maximum cardio capacity.
The workout usually ends with abdominal work such as front and side planks.
Pricing ranges from $18 to $20/ class, or $169 to $269/month. Go to 39minuteworkout.com.