What is Pure Barre?
First of all, what is Pure Barre anyway? According to their website “Pure Barre is a total body workout that uses the ballet barre to perform small, isometric movements, which burn fat, sculpt muscles and create long, lean physiques”. When they say small movements, they are not kidding. You move just inches. But it works!
What to Bring
A water bottle, a hair tie and maybe a towel. Since the studio is carpeted, I like to bring a water bottle that closes tightly – one I know won’t spill if it tips over. A hair tie is a must for me regardless of the type of workout. The studio I go to has jar of hair ties in the bathroom (along with tampons, face wipes, etc), but make sure you have one just in case. Sometimes I bring a towel with me, but more often than not I forgot. Barre isn’t like spin class where you are sweating buckets, but there are times I wish I would have brought a towel. Most studios (mine included) want you to put away your cell phone before class starts. Cubbies or lockers will be available to stash your things!
What To Expect
When you arrive (try to arrive 15 minutes before your class starts) you’ll check in at the front desk where you will be asked to complete a questionnaire / waiver. Someone (the instructor or front desk employee) will show you wear to store your things and will walk you into the studio. They will show you where to get your weights (I grab both 2lb and 3lb sets), ball and tube. Some studios (the one I visited in Hawaii did) will have the tubes and balls set up in advance, but my local studio does not. I personally like to sit by the side barre with the mirror. There are barres on every side of the studio with mirrors in the front and on one side. At first, I didn’t love looking at myself in the mirror while I was working out, but it’s a great way to check on your form and you can easily glance at the instructor if you are lost on a move. Plus I like to sit on the side so I know exactly which barre to go to. There are no assigned barres, but in full classes, they can get a little crowded and I just find it easier this way. One tip: Try to avoid the corner barres – there just isn’t a ton of room!
Pure Barre Classes (this post covers Classic PB classes, not Empower) are typically 55 minutes and broken down into six sections (warm-up, arms, thighs, seat, abs, and cool-down) with stretching in between. The warm-up, arms, abs, and cool-down are always on the floor. Thighs and seat are generally barre work, with a little floor work mixed in. One of my favorite parts about Pure Barre is how quickly it moves.
Be prepared to be confused. You’ll hear a lot of terms like “Tuck”, “Pulse”, “Final 10”, “Waterski”, “Highest Heels”, “Up An Inch, Down an Inch” “Hold”, ” Freeze”, etc. and won’t always know what they mean. The instructor will (likely) give you a quick demo on “tucking”, but it takes a few classes (at least) to really put it all together and that’s okay! Instructors walk around the class and may adjust your form or give you more detailed instructions (off mic) if necessary. It happens to everyone and is no big deal!
It’s harder than you think. 2lb and 3lb weights seem like nothing, but your arms will be sore! In fact, the day after your class your thighs, butt, and abs may be a little sore too! Those little movements don’t “look hard”, but when you’re the one doing them, you’ll see how quickly your legs will start to shake too. Embrace it!
Whether you love or hate it after your first class, I recommend waiting to sign-up for a long-term membership or swearing it off completely, until you have been to a few classes. I started with a one-month unlimited membership (they usually offer it at a discounted rate to new members) and then signed up for an annual membership after that!
One final note – don’t compare yourself to anyone else in class! You have no idea if the person next to you is on their 2nd class or their 500th class. Give it your best and take the class time for yourself!!
Note: This post was not sponsored by Pure Barre and I have no affiliation with them other than being a member and taking classes. As always, consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.