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I will keep it real with you; I’m anything but graceful and coordinated. I could walk on a flat surface, and still manage to trip and fall. Clumsy is my middle name. Dancing? Don’t even get me started! I was born with two left feet. While everyone is going right, I’m going left. Even in boxing class, I can’t seem to get my combos right, even after two years of practice. When it comes to barre classes, I’m always slightly nervous to try them out. So, when Pure Barre Pearl District invited me to try out their class and check out their studio, I was excited yet nervous! If you’ve never taken a barre class, I know it can feel slightly intimidating with not knowing what to expect or wear. Sound familiar? Keep reading!
Like most barre classes, it integrates a fat-burning interval training format with the elongating and shaping techniques of dance conditioning for a full-body workout. Through a series of one-inch movements, you’ll work muscles you never knew existed. With all small movements that focus on toning and tightening your body, you will surely feel the burn. The best part of this workout is that it will help you build lean muscle, making your body a fat-burning machine.
What to expect in your first Pure Barre class?
What to wear
Yoga or pilates wear is recommended. Something that you’ll be comfortable moving around. There isn’t any high-impact jumping around, so a heavy-duty sports bra isn’t necessary. During class, participants wear grip socks or studio wraps.
Like with any other new class, you take, arrive 10-15 minutes before it begins. Once you fill out a short waiver, the teacher will show you where you can leave your belongings and help you get set up with any equipment You might be using in class. This is typically a set of light weights, a ball, and a resistance band tube. Once you’ve got everything you need, you’ll find a spot in the studio where you feel comfortable, facing the front mirror.
A pair of lightweights (very light weights – 3-2 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.
I’m not sure what I expected. I expected ballet class, and I thought it’d be the same because I had taken numerous BarMethod classes nearly seven years ago. It’s nothing like ballet class. It’s similar but nothing like the Bar Method. The class centers around small, repetitive movements with little to no weight. That description makes it sound easy, but let me tell you, it isn’t. We started with a “warm-up” that felt like a workout. And 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.
Squatting, 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’s a Tucking learning curve. The famous tucking that Pure Barre is known for takes some time to learn. It took some real focus and positioning trial and error to make moves correctly so I could feel my muscles working.
I won’t pretend I didn’t love it; I did. Leaving class, my muscles felt fatigued. The next day I could feel it in my thighs and lower butt. You know, the part of the butt that connects to the leg. Who doesn’t want to tighten and tone that area?
I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.