Review: Pure Barre Workout

by agirlandhermutt on September 27, 2012

A few weeks ago I was feeling the itch to try out something different for a workout. I have finally figured out that I am a group fitness kind of gal and was looking to add things to the calendar besides my beloved Zumba and new BFF, kettle bells. I turned to my trusty YELP app and found that close by was a Pure Barre Studio.

I have heard things about this boutique fitness center before and decided to give it a try. I like for my friends to suffer with me so I invited some folks to come along. Last night, Jeanne and I tried out Pure Barre Newton. <—Thank you Jeanne for being a guinea pig with me!


From the Pure Barre website:

Pure Barre utilizes the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to motivating music. These movements target areas where women struggle the most: thighs, seat, hips abs and back of the arms.An intense and intelligent exercise technique, Pure Barre works muscles to fatigue without any bouncing or jumping, and then stretches the muscles back out.


From the minute we started the warm-up I knew I was in for a world of hurt. Although the class is filled with small movements that seem easy when just watching, it works those tiny muscles that are sometimes an afterthought in regular full body workouts. There was a lot of shaking, sweating, and a few under my breath curse words. I survived and I’m here to tell ya about it.


1. The class goes lighting fast! There are no breaks in this class and you are constantly doing a movement or moving into the next exercise. It makes the hour go by in a snap.

2. You can feel the burn in those trouble zones. I love the feeling of my muscles working themselves into a freenzy. All of the squeezing, tucking and pulsing can really wear those muscles down. Sometimes when I workout on my own I don’t get that feeling because I’m not pushing myself. This workout allows you to achieve that burn.

3. Smaller classes=More attention. On several occasions that instructor stopped by to adjust my posture and form. She offered encouragement over the microphone, but all corrections were done off mic.

4. This is specifically about Pure Barre in Newton…the instructors and employees could not have been more friendly. When we walked in they immediately knew that we were newbies and showed us around. I appreciate the instructor actually walking us back to the equipment area rather than just pointing to it and leaving us on our own. Nice, nice, nice.

5. The studio was relaxing and clean. The entire room is carpeted with one main mirror wall. Along every side of the room is a barre with plenty of room for people not to be all up in your space.


1. The instructions go really quickly. This location did not offer a beginner’s class, or at least I couldn’t find one, so we were in a class with people who looked and acted like professionals. The instructor would call out the next move and by the time I figured out what we were actually doing it was halfway through the move. Unlike other group fitness classes the movements are sometimes so small that it is hard to figure out what everyone is doing. No creepy staring here!

2. Ok, honesty at its finest here. Every.single. woman. was a teenie tiny spokesperson for Lululemon. If you have any type of insecurities about your body, check them at the door. Fortunately Jeanne is the world’s most positive person and best cheerleader. I, on the other hand, have snark and self-depreciating humor for days. I will *not* be including any of my jokes from last night. One involved the idea of me looking like I ate one of the little ladies for lunch. Needless to say, it is a bit difficult to be surrounded by what I had deemed in my head as the “clan of perfect bodies” but I quickly remembered that you don’t look good without work and that was why I was there. I repeated to myself on several occasions, “no one is looking at you. Just keep going.”

3. I don’t think this could be your only form of working out. This is all low impact meant for toning. A great addition to your workout toolbox, but certainly couldn’t be the only thing.


1. The equipment requires a set of weights, a ball and a band. In several of the moves you put the band around your thighs. For those of us that have a little more thigh than others, this band is SUPER uncomfortable. It was tight and a few times I found myself concentrating on the tightness of the band rather than the toning movement.

Ok, this biggest BOO of them all.

2. Price. My drop-in class price was $23. For one class. That is $3 more than my entire gym membership for the month. If I wanted to go on a regular basis the monthly pass is going to set me back $225/month. Phew. That is a serious chunk of change.


Who: Pure Barre (Locals: Check out Pure Barre Newton’s Facebook Page)

What: A total body workout that combines elements of ballet, pilates and strength training in an hour class. All you need to bring is water and socks!

When: Check your local Pure Barre studio schedule. For those of you with no studio near you, check out their DVD selection.

Where: Find a location near you. Boston folks, there is one in Newton with 3 more opening soon!

Why: Why not?! To lift, to tone, to burn. #LTB baby! People swear they are addicted to it.


My overall thoughts: Great class for lifting, toning and burning. You WILL feel it during the class and you WILL feel it the next morning. But at such a high price, and my need for serious cardio, there is no way that this could be my primary workout. I’ll be back to try it again and will probably take advantage of their new client special for 1 month for $100!


Have you been to a Pure Barre class before or something similar?

What do you think I should try next?!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Life's a Bowl September 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I have been meaning to and wanting to try a Pure Barre class! I’ve heard great things about them [similar to your pro’s mentioned above] but haven’t found a class near me- lame excuse hehe 😛 Definitely will have to remember to check any and all of my insecurities at the door!


Renee {Eat.Live.Blog.} September 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Not sure the price is worth it for this one! If you need a buddy to try out one of these classes with you, let me know!


Lynn January 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Just ran across this – I’m one of those addicted-to-Pure Barre people so I took my family there over the holidays. My sister just ordered the DVD set since she doesn’t have one near her, but my 2 SIL’s didn’t seem to enjoy it so much. The price is a major pain – wish they’d lower it.


Brandis January 6, 2013 at 6:59 am

These reviews are spot on for someone new to Pure Barre. I especially had to laugh at the body con comment because I also felt the same thing. Everyone looked great and like little perky petite women. Almost as it they were paid actresses to fill the class!!

However, I will say that doing Pure Barre 3-4 times a week for a few weeks will yield you some drastic results. I didn’t do anything else for 6 weeks to see if I noticed a difference and boy did I. The key is making sure you breathe! I didn’t learn this until I attended a Barre Merhod class with a friend…similar workouts except more upper body workout. People were instructed to focus on breathing more than doing the movements 100% correct. The truth is the more you go the easier it becomes to do the movements because you become aware of your body and the muscles.

I can’t wait to start back after I have my baby in May! Although, I remembered seeing a pregnant woman in one of my classes but I’m having enough difficulty moving around in normal activities let alone doing modified Pure Barre.

Oh yea, for a class that shows you how to do the movements…they may offer a Breaking Down the Barre session. You should attend that or ask an instructor about it.


Pam August 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Pure Barre is definitely not worth it. It is very pricey and there are other much better Bar types of workouts that are much better. In addition the corporate team is very inexperienced and unprofessional, so all of the Pure Barre franchises get pathetic support from a bunch of folks that don’t know what they are doing.


Mica May 24, 2014 at 2:06 am

You nailed it! Every single girl in class hovers around 95-110 lbs and that’s being generous. Plus, they don’t sell any apparel larger than the standard ‘L’, which really stinks since I would so love to purchase one of their baggy pony tees to cover the girls and baby belly while I’m ‘tuck’ing away. Ugh.


Lisa July 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I just started this Barre stuff as well. I’ve decided to put it in my fitness routine along with crossfit (which I’ve been doing for 2 years) and a mile or two run a day. Been doing this for a week and it definitely is going to change things for me. I agree, I don’t think I could stand to just do Barre on its on but as an addition to other time spent at gym, box or even pounding pavement, this has some serious potential. Oh lawdy yes, check your body insecurities at the door. I am by far the largest woman there and I’m not large. Thankfully I don’t care much how I compare to others so it didn’t bother me but I did notice. The price for me isn’t bad – after the $99 for 30 consecutive days is up, the unlimited averages (for me) about $6 a class base on how often I would go. That’s far more reasonable than the $20 walk in fee that they have posted at my location. I am waiting to make my final decision after I’ve completed my 30 days (going 5 days a week) but so far I kinda like it.


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