My best friend is obsessed with Pure Barre. She, like so many others, swear by it. Some even call it cult-like, so clearly I was ridiculously excited when I heard Pure Barre was coming to Birkdale Village in Huntersville.
I dropped by with Hailey a few weeks ago to peak inside and drop the not-so-subtle hint that I wish they had childcare.
Since they don’t have childcare, I wasn’t sure when I’d get to try it out. However, David worked from home on Tuesday, so I skipped out during nap time to try their noon class.
What to wear – I wore cropped yoga pants and a workout top with built-in bra. There isn’t any high impact jumping around, so a heavy duty sports bra isn’t necessary. During class, participants wear socks, not shoes, so I brought a plain pair of socks with me and decided to skip paying $15 for the fancy ‘sticky-socks’ the studio sells. I found my socks to do just fine for most of the class, with an exception of a few moves I found myself sliding around for.
The equipment – a pair of light weights (very light weights- 2 lbs) were provided, along with a resistance cord, ball and mat. I got a little cocky when I saw the light weights. I shouldn’t have.
The moves – I’m not sure what I expected. Well, yes I did. I expected ballet class. It’s nothing like ballet class. The entire class centers around small, repetitive movements with little to no weights. That description makes it sound easy, but let me assure you, it isn’t. We started with abs and I after 5 minutes I feared I wouldn’t make it through the class. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it was that made it so challenging, but I imagine the isolated movements, the number of reps and the focus on squeezing individual muscles made it unlike any workout I’ve ever done.
Arms lasted all of 5 or so minutes, but it burned. Today I still can feel it in my triceps. A lot of class is done in the middle of the floor, but as the name would suggest, we also spent some time at the bar. Squatting and flexing and ‘tucking’ my way through class made my muscles tremble. By the end, I couldn’t keep my legs from vibrating when trying to straighten them.
There is a learning curve, though. The famous ‘tucking’ that Pure Barre is known for takes some time to learn. It took some sincere focus and positioning trial and error for me to do moves correctly so I could feel my muscles working.
The Pros –
- The music is upbeat and the energy is rocking. Katie did a great job of keeping us all focused and engaged.
- It’s exciting. The studio vibe works for me. Whether yoga or Pure Barre, I get really excited to go to a studio over the gym.
- It works! Leaving class, my muscles felt fatigued. The next day I could feel it in my triceps, my thighs and my lower butt. You know, the part of the butt that connects to the leg. Who doesn’t want to tighten and tone that area?!
- You don’t get drenched in sweat. At least I didn’t. Since I often go run errands after workouts, I liked that.
The Cons –
- It is EXPENSIVE. To drop in for one class is $23.00. A package of 10 classes is $200. A month unlimited is $225 (unless you sign up as a new member and take advantage of their 1 month unlimited for $100 that they are offering now). That’s some serious money.
- No childcare. This one is huge for me. Maybe when Hailey starts her school program in the fall I’d be able to do it, but for now, I refuse to pay for a sitter to watch her to only go and pay more to take a class.
- I think it would be really difficult to do during pregnancy without some serious modifications. I know people will argue with me on this one, and that’s fine, I may be wrong, but almost the entire class incorporates your abs. There are straight forward bicycle crunches and plenty of ab engagement at the bar, which is great, but I think it would be difficult with a pregnant belly. (I’m not pregnant, but have friends that are that asked what I thought.)
I won’t pretend I didn’t love it; I did. If a year of unlimited classes and childcare dropped onto my doorstep, I’d go 5 days a week. The low impact, sore muscles and upbeat vibe was right up my alley. I thought about ordering one of their DVDs, but I know myself enough to know that I won’t stick to it at home. So I guess for now, I’ll just be an admirer from afar!
Have you ever tried a Pure Barre class or something similar?
What did you think?