Happy Thursday to you all! I hope your week has been fabulous!
Last Sunday I decided to take my very first Pure Barre class and I wanted to share my experience with you.
I have been hearing great things about Pure Barre from friends and colleagues, but despite having a studio located less than a mile from my house, I never managed to get over there. I finally decided to check it out and enlisted a friend to come with me. It’s always great to bring a buddy to a new class, right?
What is Pure Barre?
Here’s the description from the Pure Barre website:
The Pure Barre technique is low-impact, protecting your joints by avoiding any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscles without bulk. The technique works to defy gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up!
The concentration involved while taking Pure Barre allows you to block “life” out for the hour, creating the mental benefits similarly obtained by the practice of yoga or meditation.
Registering for class was a breeze. I was able to easily sign up and purchase a pass online. I bought a single class which was $23 (I was a bit surprised that the first class wasn’t complimentary or discounted in some way).
We arrived at the studio about 15 minutes early which proved to be a good idea because it gave us a chance to meet the instructor and get our equipment together (light weights, a ball, and a resistance band). The studio was super clean and felt very inviting. The staff was welcoming and the instructor was very helpful. She went over some of the positions and common terms used in class and briefly described what we should expect.
We got settled and the room quickly filled up. I’ve heard the stereotype that some of the studios can be a bit click-y and unfriendly, but I didn’t get that impression at this particular studio. Many of the women smiled and seemed nice. And I was glad to see there were a variety of fitness levels in the room.
The flow of class
Each Pure Barre class is 55 minutes and begins with a warm-up in the center of the room, on the floor, and then standing with light weights to tone arm muscles. Class then moves to the barre to work the lower body (thighs and “seat”). After the seat work, there is a series of ab exercises, followed by a cool down.
The warm up was probably my favorite part of class. We did a lot of body weight movements like tricep push ups and side planks as well as some mobility movements using light weights (I used 3 lb. dumbbells). The majority of the class was spent along the barre doing various lower body exercises. The instructor referenced the “tuck” a lot, which is basically a pelvic tilt. I loved that we engaged our core for all of the movements and I definitely felt the burn at certain points. My legs were shaking like crazy at times!
We moved quickly through positions and at times I felt really lost. I gave the instructor a few “um, I’m clueless!” glances hoping she might come over to me, but she didn’t notice. In fact, I was a bit disappointed that she only adjusted me once. I really like knowing that instructors are paying attention and correcting my form when needed. I just didn’t get the impression that this instructor was the hands on type (maybe others are more involved). I regret that I wasn’t positioned near a mirror as it would have been helpful for me to see my form.
After the class ended the teacher asked us what we thought. I was glad she came up to us to get our feedback. I asked her a few questions and she took her time answering them. There was zero pressure to sign up or buy a package. In fact, they seemed genuinely happy that we dropped in and invited us to come back. I really liked that we weren’t put on the spot for anything.
Overall, I can definitely understand why Pure Barre has become so popular. The movements we did in class are very different from what I do in my everyday routine. Personally, I wish the class included more upper body work. It felt a bit unbalanced with so much lower body work. And it would have been nice to add a little bit of cardio to the class. I left feeling like I didn’t get enough of a workout. This was a basic Pure Barre class so perhaps others are different. Since I am so committed to doing strength and conditioning work I’m not sure I will be back anytime soon, but I’m glad I got a chance to experience it.
I would love to know if you have taken a Pure Barre class before. What did you think?