Pure Performance: Finding inspiration amongst the weight racks

A simple piece of paper taped above the community scale at Pure Performance Gym & Fitness Center bears the above message. As someone who spends a considerable amount of her free time in fitness pursuits (some might even call it a ‘hobby’), getting caught up in the numbers game happens from time to time. So, I considered that unassuming sign, quietly affirming that my self-worth is not dictated by three little numbers, an added perk of this month’s featured gym.

While I reside on the east side of Hwy. 49 (#getdowntown!), I’ll make the journey westward down Highway 98 for a worthwhile cause. Nestled in a small shopping center just west of Newpointe is Pure Performance. After getting the lowdown on personal training last month, I decided to put my money where my mouth is (possibly not the right metaphor when it comes to fitness) and entrust my beach bod goals to a professional. Enter Ashley Baudoin, personal trainer with more than two decades of experience, and her torture chamber, aka gym, of choice, Pure Performance. 

Aside from inspirational signage, Pure Performance boasts a full arsenal for their $25 monthly fee. With 24-hour access available via a keycard, members can utilize the meticulously-designed strength training space (reminiscent of old-school body building gyms, but with ice cold A/C) at their leisure. If machine-assisted workouts aren’t your jam, take your pick from the treasure trove of free weights, barbells and other fitness goodies like kettlebells, resistance bands and bosu balls. Store your bag in one of the cubbies provided in the locker rooms (one for both sexes), and finish up your sweat sessions with a shower. Did I mention they have towel service, too - something I definitely took advantage of following my sessions with Ashley. 

While I’m no stranger to most exercise equipment, I’ve been the MVP of Team NoCardio since my short-lived career as a marathon runner (which lasted approximately one race). And while Pure Performance differs from other gyms in their cardio-versus-strength ratio, the usual trio of treadmills, ellipticals and stairclimbers round out their equipment catalog.  Just as a trainer should, Ashley immediately challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and up my cardio game, explaining that my subsequent strength-training work would produce even greater results if I could bear to spend 15 minutes getting my heart rate up on the elliptical first. 

Ashley then put me through my paces on a series of machines to gauge my strength range as well as note any asymmetry in my muscle ability – something she works with clients to remedy. As we worked, Ashley, who has previously provided training for local law enforcement officers – something I should have taken as a warning – explained the purpose of each exercise, examined my form and, not to be outdone by that sign, provided words of encouragement to motivate me to the finish. One does not truly begin to understand why Leg Day is so revered until the third set on the Hip Abductor machine.

Aside from one-on-ones, Ashley also leads several group circuit workouts every week, which proved no less difficult, but at least I wasn’t suffering alone. She expertly demoed the compound kettlebell and dumbell movements and even offered some modified abdominal exercises to accommodate my longer-than-average tailbone (which is a story for another time). 

As one size usually doesn’t fit all, Ashley is just one of a handful of trainers available for hire at Pure Performance (additional fees for personal training apply). Whether you’re looking for that next step in your fitness journey, or just want to take advantage of a no-contract membership,  visit Pure Performance from 4-7 p.m. on weekdays and start getting your gym on for only a $10 signup fee. 


When Whitney isn’t crying her way through a warmup, she’s getting her cardio in as part of the Hattiesburlesque crew. Promotional consideration for Modern Fit provided by Pure Performance Gym & Fitness Center.