1. I am not graceful, but Pure Barre helps.
Although my 10 years of ballet, jazz and tap training say otherwise on paper, I have the grace and posture of a gorilla. A bottom-heavy, arched-back, more interested in hanging from the barre/trees zoo animal is more my aura.
You will notice many a beautiful, lengthened and graceful woman around you. Don’t be jealous or self-conscious – that’s your goal! Not that I will ever be as poised or elongated as others, but I can find MY balance. Literally. Whatever makes me stop falling over during class.
2. I can do anything for 60/30/10 seconds.
Co-owner and neighbor of mine, Meredith, instructed my first Pure Barre class, and I think that had a lot of positive influence on the rest of my time at the Barre.
In that one class, she used her heavy-hitting teaching abilities (she’s also a teacher at a local high school) to chime into my head every time I felt like quitting to say “You can do anything for just 30 seconds!”
She was right! I mean, sorta. Yes, you will be shaking and things will just stop working (like your thighs). But if you are trying, you are doing. And you can apparently do anything for 10... that’s 8… 6… here’s 4… and 3.. 2..1..
3. Muscles you didn’t know you had will slowly show themselves.
The wave fat – can we talk about that? The underarm fat that waves longer than you do?
While Pure Barre focuses on isometric movements using ballet, pilates and yoga positions, it also provides a cardio workout and a pretty intense upper-body segment. There are planks, push-ups (of many varieties), curls in all the directions, and the use of small weights and tight squeezes to make those arms, shoulders and chest burn!
I was expecting the butt of a 91-lb. goddess, but I wasn’t expecting for my wave fat to disappear.
This rings true for a lot of your body. Because each 55 minute Pure Barre class is different, and the movements at the Barre are tiny (which is a challenge in itself), controlled, and all while being “tucked”, all of your body gets torn down and lengthened.
4. Greater flexibility just feels good.
I stretch often. It relieves stress and in my head, I feel like if anything is going to make me appear taller, it’s having better posture (working on it).
After only 8 classes, I can make a much lower split. I can do headstands for twice as long (hey there, core muscles!). Bending over and touching my toes is child’s play, so I reach behind my ankles and grab for a good stretch. When I lean over, sitting on the floor with my legs in front of me, I can tuck my nose in between my “knee bones” now. The 12-year-old me that failed miserably at cheerleader tryouts is jealous.
5. Literally anyone can do this.
It’s low-impact. As in, super-low impact. It’s practically swimming, if you ask me. But that’s not saying it is easy – at all. It is for all shapes and sizes. For example, my short stature means I incorporate the small workout ball while under the barre for core exercises. It’s effective and doesn’t hinder my workout. The students in my classes ranged from ages 18 to 60+.
Pure Barre is as intense as you make it. You can bend deeper, squat lower, tuck harder and that’s actually the beauty of the class – you are your resistance (if not you, then a small red rubber band or ball supplied by Pure Barre) and as your resistance and strength builds, the harder it becomes, thus producing constant results.
Yes, there are bubble-butt ladies strewn across the floor who can do the splits while they fold laundry, but there are also beginners and intermediate students in each class who lurk the darker corners, shake the entire class, and almost vomit while on their “highest toes” in a grande plié. Come say hi to me if you get a moment.
Pure Barre is set to limit the number of students each course in a way that the instructor is really able to evaluate the room as a whole for each new movement, browsing for malformed students (like me) or those who could use a simple correction or more intensity.
I loved my instructors. They were there to re-contort my body every time I fell over.
6. You have to make time for Pure Barre Or It won’t work.
This holds true for all exercise. Yes, any is better than none, but results happen with consistency.
I experienced the sad misfortune of discovering my Mirena IUD had moved while 2 weeks into my month, which hindered my ability to go to a few appointments (which I promptly canceled online as soon as possible to open my spot for other potential students). Additionally, my husband got very sick for a full week and the kids came down with a bug too. This brought my overall attempted class count from 15 to 8. Cue the sad music.
Life will always come with excuses. I am proud of myself for having a “legit reason” for not attending class on several of the nights I did. I am not proud of myself for not pushing myself more. Not just because I should “do it for me”, but because I genuinely loved Pure Barre and already miss my classes.
Fortunately, I am looking into a membership (!), but until that happens I will take what I learned from my month at the Barre and tuck in my car (at red lights). I will get on my highest toes, bend my knees, tuck my tailbone and squeeze while I brush my teeth. You’ll find me grabbing my kitchen counter top, slight bend in one knee, with the other leg extended, making tiny movements up and out (just an inch!) with my foot using my hiney muscles. Perhaps my home-training will prepare me for my next class…
I’d like to invite all of my Birmingham readers to Breaking Down The Barre on Sunday, January 25th at 5:30 pm. This will be at the Highway 280/Greystone location. Here’s a little more from the Pure Barre 280 website on the FREE class:
If you are new or a veteran Pure Barre client looking to deepen your understanding of the technique, then Breaking Down the Barre is for you. This special class will give you the tools you need to take your Pure Barre workout to a deeper level. The class is FREE! Reservations are required. Sign up at the desk or online to reserve your space.
Also, through the end of January, you can get 5 weeks of Pure Barre for $99.
I’ll be there to figure out why I can’t plank correctly.
Tell me, have you ever experienced the #ltb (Lift, tone, burn) of Pure Barre?