The Lotte Berk Method, Rediscovered
Pilates On Steroids
The definition of a "classic" is thing or event of lasting significance. In the fitness world there is an unheralded classic exercise method long practiced by the cognoscenti of Manhattan and the Hamptons which is now on the verge of mass discovery.
The exercise method was originally developed over 30 years ago by Ms. Lydia Bach who improved upon a rehabilitative method used by Ms. Lotte Berk, a Jewish dancer who fled Nazi Germany and relocated in London. After a year of study with Lotte Berk, in 1970, Ms. Bach bought the worldwide rights to "The Lotte Berk Method" name and brought it back to the U.S., opened her studios and began a journey of continuous improvement of this unique exercise method.
The Lotte Berk Method blends in the best of yoga, dance, stretching, and strength building into a one-hour group class. Highly trained teachers and upbeat music motivate pupils to excel. Because of its ability to transform bodies into long, sleek, attractive figures, the Method is highly coveted by professional models, dancers, actors, and New York's trendsetters.
For the past 3 decades Ms. Bach has been continually evolving and perfecting the method and embellishing the brand. Having written a book in 1971, titled The Lotte Berk Method, she recently created a series of videos and DVDs, which star her own teachers. As Lotte Berk practitioners, these teachers have enviable bodies that are easily mistaken for fitness models.
Imitation Is The Highest Form of Flattery
With the proven results given by Lotte Berk, a lot of clones have sprung up claiming to be based upon the Method but don't have the originality nor the 3 decades of development that Ms. Bach brings to the technique. "Unfortunately, these copycat studios are causing confusion in the marketplace, claiming to be the Lotte Berk Method, or a variant of it, just to benefit from the popularity of the name, that's why we call ourselves 'The Original, and the One And Only Lotte Berk Method', " said Ms. Bach, the inventor and grandmaster.
One of her licensees, Carrie Harnish of the Pilates Institute of Michigan, said of Ms. Bach, "She is fabulous looking in her 60's, she can even do full splits and a backbend with one leg stretching straight up, balancing on the balls of one foot. She's always innovating and creating more exercises, demanding so much extra to truly make beautiful bodies...I am hooked."
As to the results she personally obtained, Harnish added, "Due to my intense Pilates training, I thought I was in pretty good shape and quite flexible, but The Lotte Berk Method took my strength and flexibility to a whole new level."
An Innovative Portable Exercise Bar
One of the hallmarks of the Lotte Berk Method is the reshaping of the gluts into what she calls "high round assets" that's sure to attract the attention of the opposite sex. The results are best achieved via use of a ballet barre.
Since most exercise studios don't necessarily have ballet barres attached to the walls, Ms. Bach recently developed and patented an exercise bar that is free standing and can be conveniently collapsed to 4" in height for storage between classes.
"The exercise bar is ideal for health clubs because it's portable and can be conveniently stored anywhere", says Ms. Bach, "Since bars are a critical device for that all important stretching component of general fitness, they should be a staple in every strength training and cardio room within health clubs."
A Re-Release of the Famous Book
Publishers have been calling Ms. Bach to discuss a re-release of the famous book she wrote over 30 years ago that is currently out of print. She has plans to do just that, but wants to write an update on how the method has progressed since she originally developed it. Look for it some time in 2005.
New Exercise CDs with Driving Rhythms
Ms. Bach also develops her own music for her studios. She has recently cut her own CDs, "The One and Only Lotte Berk Method Original Music", blending in her own form of Punjab with a sprinkling of street funk. They're set in beautifully-designed boxes with original modern art by Minot Argento, a Long Island contemporary painter. Each track has a rhythm beat that is tailored to the specific phases of the method.
Chic Fitness Apparel
Ms. Bach is fanatical about injury prevention and thus requires all muscles to be covered and warm during exercise. She expressed, "Unfortunately for women who exercise, the fashion is to show the bare midriff and consequently the lower back is exposed to cool air, making it prone to injury. To remedy this, we took tube tops and modified them into 'back warmers'. Then we embroidered our "Lotte Berk Method" monogram on them and they've become fashionable and are seen all over the streets of New York and the Hamptons."
Not Just for Women
It's true that women are attracted to the Lotte Berk Method because it gives them the beautiful bodies they desire, but there are many men who have also benefited by the Method. An injured NBA basketball player was able to resume competitive play after rehabbing with the Lotte Berk Method, a top-10 ranked professional tennis player improved his game, and numerous New York City firemen and policemen have trained with the Lotte Berk Method.
The Method Is Ideal for Health Clubs
Although currently in freestanding studios, Ms. Bach wants the Lotte Berk Method to penetrate the health club industry. "It can be practiced in any existing group fitness room and would be a logical compliment to yoga and Pilates. Although the exercise bar would optimize the results, the program can be modified to do without it", she said.
View the DVDs