Pure Barre: A Breakdown (by a First Timer)

Good morning folks!

You’re probably here because you’re interested in this:

(Click for source)

Yup, I tried my very first Pure Barre class yesterday!!

Pure Barre in Chapel Hill, NC recently had a Groupon-esque deal through OurLocalDeal based in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County in general. For $36, I got 4 Pure Barre classes and, after asking around, this is one heck of a deal!!

I’ve been looking for a new exercise method to get me excited about working out again. Well… look no further.  I look excited, right?

Excited, nervous, they’re all the same.

Ok, I’ll shoot you straight: I was actually totally nervous! I’d go so far as to say there were butterflies in my tummy. After reading an INTENSE review of Pure Barre from Lauren of Raw is Sexy, I was ready for the worst. I walked in the studio, accompanied by my buddy, Anne, and, as expected, the studio entrance was chock-full of Lululemon attire for sale, as well as some fancy shmancy Pure Barre socks.  Luckily, I brought my own.

This little piggy went to Pure Barre

I was honestly more nervous, initially, as to what to wear than anything else. Luckily, my ToeSox have little grippy dots on the bottom that are perfect for not slipping and sliding, considering the floor is carpet!!  For some reason, I definitely wasn’t expecting that.

As for what else to wear:

  • Most women were rocking yoga pants, with the occasional legging/crop legging mixed in there (I went for the crop legging). I would NOT recommend wearing shorts, as they could ride up during the seated portion
  • Tank top/tshirt that breathes. You’re going to be sweating a lot, don’t make it worse by over-dressing. Again, I’d recommend a longer length, as there are portions that could lead to riding up.
  • Socks – Grippy dots are helpful, if you’ve got em or have access to them

My instructor asked us to grab some equipment, and I picked up what I needed.

All the Accoutrements for a Pure Barre class!

What you need:

  • Resistance band
  • Mat
  • Ball
  • Weights (2lb set and 3lb set…. but I only ended up using the 2lbs!!)
What I wish I’d brought:
  • Water bottle
  • Towel
  • Another towel (seriously, I was drenched in sweat)
But I managed to make due.
The class started out promptly (which I LOVED) and, honestly, the music was much less irritating than most workout classes I’ve taken part of (like, for instance, the BodyPump track featuring none other than…. Nickelback. Blech.)  Within the initial five minutes, I was sweating.
Within the first set of pushups, I was straining.
After the first set of squats at the barre, I was burning.
Not just a little burn.  A burn that felt like the insides of my thighs were literally being hit with a cold blue flame.
We started with some small weight lifting and a few leg actions that were very reminiscent of that time I hated tried pilates. We did pushups, we straightened our legs, and, without fail, I was the first person who was approached by the instructor who fixed my form.

You want me to do what with my butt?

There was a lot to think about, much like pilates. You were tucking your hips in, you were straightening your leg, flexing your foot, pointing your toes, and squeezing balls between your legs (in the least sexual way possible). Despite all the well-dressed ladies looking fierce in their form fitting Lulu gear, I’ll admit, there was NOTHING about this class that looked sexy. That’s not to say that the women didn’t all look gorgeous. But when they’re drenched in sweat, standing on their tiptoes, thrusting their hips back and forth, it’s a lot less sexy than you’d think (who bets someone finds my blog in the future searching “Lulu hip thrust”?)

My thighs and butt definitely felt the most worked out, with my abs feeling the least. The thigh set at the bar was AMAZING! Literal burning, like Icy Hot minus the sexy rubbing that goes on beforehand. Just Pure Burn. The portions where we were squatting and on our tiptoes, working in tiny little thrusts and tucks, I felt like my legs were about to reject the rest of my body and walk away.

They didn’t.

I think, however, I have figured out why the abs weren’t getting their full workout.

Oh, don’t mind me, giant wooden bar. Just trying to workout.

An entire ab set was supposed to be set with us sitting against the wall, and your head/back against the wall. Only, when you’re 6’1″ with a torso that goes on for days, well…. apparently the studio wasn’t ready for that.

My head was literally jammed against the wood of the bar and I couldn’t even turn it straight. It was…. ridiculous. Anne looked over at me and chuckled as I strained to turn and face the instructor (which required a bit of bobbing/weaving around the wood.) It was hilarious, it was distracting, and it was REALLY difficult to adjust accordingly.

Oh well, I guess there aren’t too many tall ballerinas, right?

The tail end of the class focused on…. our tail end.  Lots of booty work including lifts and bridges that pushed the burn out to the last moment of class.  I felt worked the entire time. There were very few breaks, very little arm work, and LOADS of sweat (I think my perspiration may have left watermarks on the bar.)  I felt worked out the whole time.  I feel like the lifting at the beginning was kind of silly and put in there just to make use of those fancy looking weights.  However, the aspect of the ball was CRUCIAL and I think a core part of this Pure Barre method.  The resistance band was best for stretching.

My fanny is sore, my thighs still feel like there’s some creep who’s lighting small fires on them now and then, and I honestly can’t even wait to go back.

Pure Barre Virgin, NO MORE!

What’s been an exercise that’s gotten you excited lately?

Have you ever tried Pure Barre? If so, what do you think? If not, would you want to?

38 thoughts on “Pure Barre: A Breakdown (by a First Timer)

  1. It’s unfortunately they don’t accommodate tall people as much as they should when it comes to workouts. I’ve never tried Pure Barre but it certainly sounds like a major workout! I’m sort of searching for something new to do during my month-long running hiatus.

  2. Okay, I don’t know what that “cottage cheese” you tried is, but that looks nasty. You need to try LARGE CURD cottage cheese. And it’s delicious PLAIN or on a salad. *does not own stock in cottage cheese* Also, I did not know you were 6’1″. We should be friends because you are taller! (5’11”)

  3. I’ve been dying to try a Pure Barre class but have been to chicken to go. Thanks for this awesome review though. It sounds like a bad ass workout so I think I’m going to muster up enough confidence to sign up and go!

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  7. I absolutely love Pure Barre!!! I have lost inches and have never felt better. Just be careful because it is addicting but I guess its better to be addicted to a workout routine than crack, right?!?

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  9. I took Pure Barre classes for 1 month, and initially I thought it would be a wuss class, I want burn, sweat, heavy breathing… even though I am a former ballerina. Well, I was proven wrong and got all of the above, and haven’t felt that incapable in a loooooong time! I am addicted, and unfortunately it is too expensive of a habit for me to keep up, so I am doing the exercises at home until I get the dvds. these workouts are AMAZING!!!!!

      • You also need an exercise band (though it was only used for a few stretches in the workout I did) and a barre. The barre might take some doing to make happen at home. The Pure Barre site has two versions: a wall mounted one that you have to install, and a door mounted one that straps to a door frame. Suitable barres can also be purchased elsewhere. If you need something completely portable, a Fluidity setup could probably be used to do the Pure Barre workouts.

  10. I love Pure Barre too! The lovely gal who owns my studio is super tall, so our barres are made to be tall person friendly. Are you still going, post groupon?

  11. I really want to join you all. By reading your article ans the comments it seems that you all are enjoying a lot. I will join you Guys so soon. I love Pure barre classes.

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  13. I’m trying out the Pure Barre class for the first time tomorrow. Do I need my own mat? I have one I use for Yoga

  14. I found this post while googling “what to wear to a pure barre class” and everything about it was perfect and very accurate. I too am 6’1″ with a long ol’ torso and had the same issues scrunching behind the bar, but otherwise loved it!

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