All About Pure Barre: Part 1

by agirlandhermutt on March 11, 2014

Hello, hello, hello!

Typically I would have a fun recap of what I’ve been up to, but really all I have been doing is purging and packing for a move at the end of the month. Fun, huh?!

Instead I’m going to chat a little bit about my recent workout routine. About a month ago I randomly came across an announcement for a new Pure Barre location opening in Brookline right in Coolidge Corner.

I had taken one Pure Barre class before, but wasn’t quite ready to get into it right then. Since that one class several of my friends have become devoted Pure Barre fans. I figured if I signed up, I had to go.

On Monday, February 10th I went to my first class. AND I WAS HOOKED!

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Originally I was just going to review my new studio, but then I started getting A LOT of questions about the classes both online and in my real life so I decided to write up my entire barre experience. I have quite a bit to say so I’m going to break this up into two posts. The first post, this one right here, will be about the structure of the class and tips for your first time. The second post will be more about my experience with barre, my results and how I incorporate it into my fitness schedule.

If you have any questions, just let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Oh, and I am not getting paid to do this review. I bought my own package with my own money. They don’t even know I’m writing this. Also, I’m not a certified anything. Not a personal trainer. Not a nutritionist. Not an anything. Just a girl who bought a package.

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Pure Barre is a total body workout that has a focus on the seat (your booty!), hips, thighs, arms and core. It is low impact and focuses on small movements. Those small movements seem like they will be easy until you feel like your butt is going to fall off. Literally.

What to Wear:
-Longer pants, capris or anything that covers your booty and thighs
-SOCKS! (I’ll talk a little more about this in my tips section below)
-A fitted shirt.

By wearing clothing that is a little more fitted your instructor can see your form much easier. There are times when you are laying on the ground and baggy clothes just get in the way.

What to Bring:
Just some water and socks! They provide the equipment: ball, band, weights. All you need to do is show up.

Class Structure
The class structure never changes. The choreography and music changes each class, but the actual structure stays the same. You will always have a warm-up, followed by arms, followed by thighs, etc.

*Warm-up
This includes high knee lifts, planks, and push-ups. Around this time I start to sweat and feel totally out of shape because there is no reason that some silly little push-ups should be making me so worn out. They say that the plank is only 90 seconds but I think they lie.

*Arms
The weights at Pure Barre range from 2lbs-5lbs. You start small and have the option to get heavier as the section progresses. I use no weights for the first bit of tricep work and still feel the burn. For the rest of the section I use 2 or 3lbs depending on my feeling of braveness.

*Thighs
They call this section “thigh sprints”. Your thighs will shake and burn. At times you use the ball or the bands to assist with the movements. Much of the choreography utilizes the barre in its movements.

*Seat
Once you start Pure Barre you will start referring to your butt as your “seat” and it will feel totally normal. The focus is on those little muscles that make your butt get that great indention on the sides (you know what I’m talking about) and the “Pure Barre ledge”, which is that bit right where your hamstrings meet your thighs. This section focuses on one leg, does a little stretch and then focuses on the other. It is amazing to see how one butt muscle compares to the other.

*Abs
This is probably the toughest section for people to both perform and understand. There is sitting against the wall with a mat and there is some tucking involved. Then you move to a more traditional crunches series.

*Back
After abs you flip over to your stomach to work your lower back for a short period of time. Just one or two moves.

*Seat
Last push and your are working your seat from a laying down position. Think low bridge position and squeezing those seat muscles.

*Cool Down
Stretch, stretch, stretch.

Tips for Newbies

Be open to a new experience.
The biggest tip I can give you for your first time going to Pure Barre is to have an open mind. This is probably not going to be like any of the other group fitness classes you have tried. You won’t be perfect right from the start.

Wear socks!
You must wear socks. They sell sticky socks ($12) and I did buy a pair. However, I find that I don’t really like them. They slip off my feet too easily and really irritate me. Instead I wear little thin anklet socks that I buy at Target for $1. I have them in a variety of colors and patterns. Yet another thing for me to buy!

Don’t get discouraged.
There will be times where you think you are the only one that is not able to keep your leg lifted, or get it higher or go through a whole series without a break. That is 110% not true. I promise. We all have to start somewhere and we all need a break sometimes.

Try a variety of instructors!
I’m go over the instructors at Pure Barre Brookline a little more later this week, but in general, if you don’t like one just try another. The class setup is the same and they say almost the same things. However, there are instructors that you will just be drawn to for some reason and others you won’t. I have learned that I like instructors that are chatty and tell me what I should be feeling or focusing on throughout the workout.

Be prepared to be touched.
Sounds fun yet creepy, huh?! Nah. Just be prepared for corrections. Instructors constantly walk around making adjustment to form. When you are doing such small movements it really is about getting the best form to get the best workout in.

ASK QUESTIONS!
Confused about what tuck means? Ask your instructor after class. There isn’t much room for asking *during* the class, but before and after I have found that they are more than willing to answer questions. Also, if you think you might be getting into the classes, sign up for a “Breaking Down the Barre” class. They review each part of the class and give tips on how to improve your form.

Don’t be intimidated.
I’m sure you have heard that Pure Barre is filled with Lululemon groupies. I can’t deny that. If that isn’t your style, just do you. Come in the workout clothes that work for you. Don’t worry about anyone else. You have the right to a spot in that class just like anyone else. Don’t shrink into the background. (Possibly a speech I have given myself a number of times?!)

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I think that is enough PB for today! My next post I will focus on PB Brookline specifically, along with my own personal experience and results.

Again, any questions you want me to specifically address, just let me know! Also, if you are a pro Pure Barre client, leave me your best/favorite tip!

*Images are all from Pure Barre*

 

Want to read more about my experience and hear my results? Click here for Part 2 of my review!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany March 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm

“Just a girl who bought a package” I love it

Reply

Tiffany March 11, 2014 at 3:30 pm

And apparently the rest of my message didn’t post!
Great review and I like that you’re breaking it up into two (this one
portion is a lot of information so phew!) You have me all excited and
kinda nervous for this class now……but in a good way. I’ve never been
one for doing group fitness but know you’re all about it so I trust
what you’re saying. One of my goals this year is to mix it up with my
routine and I’m proud of myself for buying a Pure Barre package (props
for Living Social!)

Reply

agirlandhermutt March 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

I love mixing it up! It keeps me from getting bored and then I stay motivated to keep going. I can’t wait to hear how you like it!

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Theresa March 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Nice review…sounds hard but fun

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agirlandhermutt March 12, 2014 at 11:04 am

You would LOVE it! There is one in Newton Center!

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Lauren March 11, 2014 at 9:57 pm

I take total barre at my gym and love it. I describe it as the most deceiving workout ever. Those small moves are killer!

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agirlandhermutt March 12, 2014 at 11:04 am

Great description! It is totally deceiving!

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Lauren @ Me and the Mountains March 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Awesome review- and thanks for posting this! This is my #1 class that I want to try and I need to just shut up and do it! Especially since I see what Tiffany posted above- I’d have a friend to go with!

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Amanda - RunToTheFinish March 19, 2014 at 6:09 pm

I haven’t ever taken a class, I’ve just done the moves from a few different youtube videos and I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be able to walk after a whole class, ha!!! I love that it works muscles in such a different way

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