Today started off with my latest fitness obsession: Pure Barre.
I’ve been attending Pure Barre classes on average three times a week for the past month, and so far I love it! I took a few barre classes back in Houston, but never at a Pure Barre studio. I had been wanting to give Pure Barre a try for a while, so when we moved to Winston and I found out that there was a studio within five minutes of our house, I jumped right in and bought the new client package of unlimited classes for your first month for $99.
Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes.
Pure Barre is a 55 minute low impact group exercise class that uses small isometric movements to tone the entire body, focusing on what many women consider “problem areas” (arms, thighs, seat, abs). The classes all follow the same format, though the specific movements vary from class to class. Each class also uses the same equipment – a small pilates ball, a band, a mat, and weights ranging from 2-5 pounds. Every class starts with the same warm up and ends with the same cool down. In between, there is a section targeting the arms, the thighs, the seat, and the abs, with short stretching sessions in between each section. You work each muscle group to the point of fatigue, then stretch to create long lean muscle. The thigh section is always the hardest for me – I never imagined my muscles could burn and shake that much! Sometimes I have to stop and break for a few seconds because I can’t handle any more. The class is relatively easy to just jump in and follow if you’re a beginner (you’ll probably be confused a few times, but eventually you’ll get the hang of it). One piece of “must know” knowledge before you take your first class is that when they say small movements, they mean really small. Most movements that you make during class will be one inch, which can be difficult to grasp at first.
Reasons Why I love Pure Barre:
1) Pure Barre classes are low impact, making them more relaxing than a lot of group exercise classes. You will feel the burn and your muscles will shake, but you’ll rarely be out of breath. For me, Pure Barre classes are the perfect complement to my high impact running.
2) Pure Barre focuses on toning muscle areas that I tend to neglect, such as the core and gluteal muscles. If you’ve never taken a Pure Barre class, I can guarantee your abs and “seat” will hurt after your first class (or the next day).
3) I’m Type A. I love how the classes and instructors follow a strict format for each class so that you know what to expect, yet there is enough variation in the specific movements from class to class that you don’t get bored.
4) I don’t get drenched in sweat. While I always feel the need to eventually shower, I don’t need to wash my hair and can easily go run errands after without feeling disgusting.
5) Class flies by. Because you are concentrating so hard on making the tiny movements, the class goes by really quickly. It also allows you to “block out” the rest of the day and concentrate in the moment.
6) Results! Pure Barre claims that people see results in 10 classes, and they have many people backing up that claim, including myself. Visibly, Pure Barre has impacted my abs the most, but I know from the soreness I feel everywhere else that I will eventually see results all over.
I believe that combined with a healthy diet, and ideally some kind of cardio (running, biking, even walking), Pure Barre is a fast and effective way to tone your body. While I also recommend weight training at the gym, Pure Barre is a great supplement to that, or a good way to tone muscle if you are too intimidated by working with machines and free weights at the gym. I’m planning to continue taking Pure Barre classes twice a week throughout my half-marathon training this fall, in addition to one weekly weight training session at the gym.
I hope you give Pure Barre a try if there is a studio near you, I think you’ll glad you did!
And if you’re looking for more tips for Pure Barre beginners, check out Brittany’s post – lots of great advice, especially how crucial it is to wear leggings or capris (not shorts) and invest in a pair of “grippy socks”!