I’ll Meet You at the Barre: Pure Barre

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    Pure Barre: Lift, Tone, Burn

    Photo credit: Pure Barre

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2014 is here!

    Many of you have heard me talking about Pure Barre. I mentioned it briefly in one of my blog posts in the past and I have shared with you Pure Barre on Instagram. It’s time for me to share with you my personal experience with Pure Barre! Perfect timing for those who have New Year’s resolutions! :)

    First, have you heard of Pure Barre in your area? You probably have. There are numerous Barre type workouts popping up all over but specifically, Pure Barre is fastest and most effective way to change your body. And it is above all, safe. One thing I will not stand for is folks who want to find a “fast and easy”‘ fix to losing weight or getting in shape. There is absolutely ZERO way to achieve all that and do zero work. Sorry to kill all your imaginary dreams, but there is no magic pill to losing weight. Like with anything, you have to work hard to get to your goal.

    Let’s chat real quick about me and my lifestyle.

    • Being a web developer, I work in front of a computer all day. 7:30am-4pm, Monday through Friday. It’s a pretty sedentary lifestyle.
    • I’m also a food blogger/recipe developer. Meaning, on my days off, I test recipes in the kitchen. Testing recipes = taste-testing = my jeans aren’t happy.
    • Prior to finding Pure Barre, I pretty much have tried every exercise class in the book. I’ve tried Jazzercise, Zumba, Spin, you name it. I’ve tried numerous gym memberships only to cancel them a few months later.
    • I have zero coordination.
    • I’m not the most flexible person in the world, even though I used to be a dancer. Those days are long gone ;)
    • I absolutely loathe exercising. Thinking about it makes me want to eat more cookies and cheese.

    I was driving down to the grocery store one day and I noticed this big red sign that said “Pure Barre,” on this retail strip. I came to a stop sign and peered in really quick. It looked barren and was still under construction. Shrugged my shoulders and kept on driving. Since I live about 30 seconds from this new Pure Barre location that was being built, I drove past it pretty much every day and I finally decided to just Google what this Pure Barre was all about.

    Interesting. Another exercise class, but this time, it was something about utilizing the ballet barre to do isometric movements. My ballet days are long over so there was no way I could see myself doing any type of movements like that again. Plus, just the thought of going to an exercise class with skinny, mini girls intimidated me like whoa.


    Photo credit: Pure Barre

    The Pure Barre down the street from me opened in September but I was still ignoring it since I felt so burnt out by all these other exercise classes that I ended up quitting. I didn’t want to go and I was “fine” with my regular gym routine (ok – getting up at 4:45am was not ideal but at that point, I was desperate for something). Not sure what it was, but after weeks of mulling over just giving Pure Barre one try (and if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have to go back), I finally signed up for my first class. I seriously dreaded it to the core. I worried about it all day, the day leading up to my first evening class. “What if I can’t hold the postures as long as the other girls? What if I just completely mess up? What if I just don’t get it? What if the instructor is totally hard core and mean?” All these silly “what if’s” in my head.

    I walked out of my first class with my entire body feeling like jello. And guess what? I was instantly HOOKED after my first class. I knew for sure I was going to pay for it the next morning, but oh my gosh, I loved being that sore. It was an amazing feeling. There were muscles on my body that were sore that I didn’t even know existed.

    I’ve been going to Pure Barre now for about 2 months and I can tell you, I have never ever found an exercise class or routine as enjoyable as Pure Barre. I actually crave the burn of my muscles, I miss classes when I have to miss them in the evenings due to prior engagements or being out of town. Jason sees how thrilled I am every evening that I have Pure Barre class. It’s kind of weird to think of myself as having a regular exercise routine and being so happy about it. It’s just ’cause I’ve always been so opposed to working out.


    Photo credit: Pure Barre

    A few take-aways for those that are still on the fence about it:

    • Common misconception: “so it’s like ballet.” Sort of. Just cause a barre is involved doesn’t mean it’s ballet. It’s more like ballet, pilates, and yoga combined into one intense and amazing workout. You don’t have to have any prior dance experience for this class. You aren’t doing ballet. You use the barre for most of your thigh and seat workouts but it’s mostly just there for support. You’re not like twirling or whatever.
    • There is nothing to be nervous about. I realized after my first few classes that the instructors and everyone in that class are nice and genuine people. They were in your shoes at one point or another. No one started Pure Barre classes knowing exactly what to do. That’s what the instructors are there for. I seriously love every single one of my instructors at the Pure Barre I go to. They’re SO helpful, motivating, and encouraging. I think those three things are major when it comes to any exercise class.
    • After a few classes, you’ll just get it. You figure out what “tucking” is, you figure out what the Pure Barre “ledge” is, you figure out what the best position is to get your “seat” to be fabulous. Pure Barre studios offer “Breaking Down The Barre” workshops where they literally break down every single move for you so it helps you understand each move and it helps you improve your technique so you can be sure you’re getting the best workout.
    • Shaking. It’s a good thing. I love when my muscles shake. It means I’m pushing myself to my limit and that is where I see results.
    • No one in class cares how you’re doing your moves; no one is class is staring at you. Everyone is so focused on themselves and so focused on getting the technique right and looking themselves in the mirror that no one is looking around the room being like, ‘oh snap, did you see that girl over there? She is totally doing it wrong!’ …so get that out of your head as a reason to not go!
    • The instructors are there to help. They’re there to motivate you and help you push through your last ten. They make it a point to learn everyone’s name. You have no idea how awesome (and motivating) it is to hear, “looking good, Julie!” or “YES, JULIE!” in class. It makes you want to work that much harder.
    • You’ll make friends. Trust me. Everyone is so easy to get along with and everyone pretty much has the same goal in that class!
    • I’ve gotten two of my friends to come with me and they BOTH enjoyed it and have returned! :)
    • The music is AWESOME. I’ve even created my own “Pure Barre” playlist on my iPhone. The music gets you going, pumps you up, and I just want to work harder when the songs come on!

    RESULTS: I’m sure you’re dying to know how much weight I’ve lost, etc. right? To be honest, I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost. I don’t really step on the scale anymore because it’s just a number to me and I don’t let it define me; and if it’s something that will upset me, why even bother? What matters to me is how great I feel and how awesome I feel when I button my jeans. What matters to me is seeing my waistline shrink, my jeans falling down (and having to use a belt), and watching parts of my body get definition and tone. Yes, I’ve lost inches and I’ve lost a jean size. I’m way more tone in my core than I ever was before and my arms are showing definition! Also! This is one of the biggest accomplishments for me: I could never do the splits. Being a ballerina, it was kind of devastating for me that I couldn’t do them. Guess what? Pure Barre has given me so much range of flexibility that I think I’m the most flexible than I’ve ever been. I can do the splits now!! Oh my gosh, it was such an amazing feeling that day when I just went for it and tried. I was beaming from ear to ear!

    Just Begin

    Photo credit: Love. Luck. Kisses & Cake.

    Anyone going to try Pure Barre for the first time? Or are you already hooked? Let me know!

    This is not a sponsored post by Pure Barre. It’s strictly my own personal account of my experience with Pure Barre and my desire to share with everyone my addiction!

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  • Kate @ Coffee with Kate says:

    I LOVE your post! I don’t have a Pure Barre studio near me, but we do have a local one. I tried it out once last year and was amazed at how I felt after one class — just like you. Never did I know or hear before that “shaking is good, keep shaking.” And parts of me were sore that I never even knew existed. I’ve been wanting to get back into it and your post just inspired me to give it a go again :) Thanks and Happy New Year!

    • Julie says:

      Yay!! So glad I was able to inspire you to go again, Kate :) Happy New Year!!

      • la says:

        Honestly, i love the classes but the customer service is terrible. I’ve been to many of their franchise locations and their cancellation policies differ and arent communicated well. For Buckhead, GA if you cancel within the timeframe you dont lose the class and arent penialized. For Mainline Philadelphia, I cancelled 12 hours beforehand but they charged me $20 ONTOP of taking away my class credit. that was $42 down the drain and I didnt realize until I checked my account. I called them 6 times with no reply and emailed them.

        I also dont like how your classes expire. Why should they expire if you pay the studio upfront? What cost is it to them to let you keep your classes?
        My classes expired while I was traveling for work and marathon training and when I asked the studio about it they snobbily said, ” Our Clients usually run and couple barre training with their running.”

        that was $56 down the drain! I wrote corporate and all they said is “we will work on making cancellation policies clearer.”

        • Julie says:

          Yes, I’ll agree with you that the Pure Barre corporate customer service is very lacking. I recently had issues at my local Pure Barre and I wanted to get in touch/speak to someone at corporate about it (major health issue..re: ringworm at our studio) and they never got back to me. It’s as if they don’t care and are just ‘too big’ to care. That’s the one thing I can’t stand about companies like this. We’re your clients, the ones that helped build your community and yet you’re going to treat us like crap. I’m sorry about what happened to you – they usually make the cancellation policy pretty clear..or maybe this is different based studio to studio.

      • la says:

        Ugh you took the words right out of my mouth. I wish there was someway to get their attention. Its so impersonal and sooner or later it’ll bite them in the butt.

  • simple green moms says:

    this looks fun! wish we had options like this in my town =)

  • Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says:

    I LOVE pure barre. Unfortunately, I don’t have one where I live now, but we have two barre studios that are very similar. It is so addicting, and I agree, before I discovered piloxing, pure barre and pilates, I hated working out. Now, I love it!

  • Jenn says:

    Where is the one you go to? I live in Arlington so I’m wondering if there’s any locations nearby that are this good, I’m very intrigued!

    • Julie says:

      Hey Jenn! I go to the one in Fairfax. There’s an Alexandria location opening February 3rd, and they also have a Georgetown location.

  • Amy says:

    Hi Julie! Funny you should write this post now because just 2 days ago, I was at a local food store I love going to and saw a Pure Barre studio right across from it! I was like, “Oh wow! I heard about that, I’ve got to try it!”

  • Trang says:

    I’ve wanted to try pure barre for the longest time but there isn’t a class locally here :( do you happen to know of any DVDs on pure barre that you could recommend? -of course I know I could easily look it up but it’s always safer to go to a trusted source ;)

    • Julie says:

      Pure Barre has a bunch of DVD’s you can buy on their website here: http://purebarre.com/shop/dvds-equipment.html I’ve personally never done it at home since the studio is so close to me, but I imagine you’d get about the same workout, just modified for home-use.

  • madison says:

    I love Pure Barre! So much! Changes the body and helps you really concentrate on what needs to be worked on–spiritually and physically. :)

  • katie says:

    I’ve seen so many people talking about Pure Barre over the past few months. Once the baby arrives I think this will be my workout of choice! :) Now I just need to find a place close to me! :)

  • Claire Gallam says:

    Can’t wait for Alexandria to open up!!!

  • Alison says:

    I was just Pure Barre lurking on the internet and ran across this. My husband is the cook in our family. We eat well! New Year’s Day, he cooked Lobster Newburgh in puff pastry with pineapple vodka mimosas for our friends.

    To balance that, we both try to be very physically active. My (other) addiction is Pure Barre. Today was my 168 class! I don’t really count, but since I was going to post this, I thought I’d add it up. I was the sorest today that I’ve been since my very first class! Every quarter, the warm-up changes, so yesterday, we started something completely new. Also, all of the exercises change constantly depnding on the instructor. It’s all about muscle confusion; hence, the amazing results.

    My Pure Barre studio is a community of all kinds of women! We have so much fun. And by fun, I mean that when the doors open at the end and we file out, we look like a battered group of women who have just finished our very own FIght Club, complaining, moaning, and actually thanking the instructor! It may be a form of mental illness… There is no way to describe what it is about. You just have to try it!

    Go with a friend The first time is intimidating and you will feel self-conscious. Trust me, nobody cares that your flailing about…we’ve all been there. But, if you keep it up, the changes in your body are amazing. But that is a simplistic and superficial overview of it. The first thing my husband noticed was the difference in my head. And he was right! It’s just an incredible process.

    Sorry to hijack your blog. Maybe I should start my own…. I’m overtaken by the passion of Pure Barre. And, I just got out of an Epsom Salt bath with a glass of champagne…..Cheers!

  • ashley - baker by nature says:

    I LOVE barre! Wish we lived closer so we could be barre buddies!!!

    Happy New Year, Julie ;)

  • Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's says:

    I love barre classes! My studio also has Zumba, Yoga, Poise, and my favorite Pound…seriously if you can find a studio to try Pound, do it, it is one of my favorite workouts, and each class flies by!

    • Julie says:

      I had to google what Pound was – it sounds insanely fun. I love rocking out to good music! Unfortunately, there isn’t one super close to me and the times they have them are really odd and I’m either at work or I could never make it in the evenings cause I’m commuting from the city. I hope it gains more popularity around here so I can try it out! :)

  • Nikki @Seeded at the Table says:

    Love that you found such a great fit for you!

    I really want to try out the Pure Barre that is less than 5 minutes from me, but the schedule of classes is horrible for my schedule. 9:40AM – no good, got kids. 12:00 Noon – no good, got kids. And 5:30PM – no good, right at dinner time! I wish they had a 6:00AM or 6:30PM-7:30PM class! haha! Sounds like an excuse, but really, these are horrible times for people with kids!

    The 5:30PM could work, but I’m not going to miss dinner with my family every night, and if I do this workout thing I want to commit to a regular 4-5 days per week schedule. Hmph. What to do? :)

  • Kelsey says:

    I have been dying to try Pure Barre. As a former dancer, I crave the dance elements to it, but I also want a full-on workout. You’ve convinced me!

    • Julie says:

      Yay!! Let me know if you go and how much you LOVE it! :)

  • Amy says:

    Love PBF too and so happy I have gotten to meet you there! Hope to see you again soon. :)

    • Julie says:

      Same to you, Amy!!! <3

  • Emily says:

    Hi Julie! I just came across your wonderful blog googling Pure Barre. I am also a Pure Barre enthusiast here in Fort Worth, TX! Just thought I would say hi! Cheers to more strong forceful tucks!

    • Julie says:

      Yay! Tucking love it! :)

      • Nicole says:

        I am dying to try pure Barre but I am scared I will get hooked and it’s kind of pricey. They offer the first month unlimited classes for a good price but then it seems to more than double. I just discovered your blog today for the first time and really enjoy it! Keep up the good work!! :)

        • Julie says:

          Thanks, Nicole! If you think about it this way: the price you pay for being in shape and exercising is a great justification. Better than spending your money on disposable things, right? Your health is way more important! :) xo

  • Heather says:

    Thanks so much for the post on Pure Barre. I noticed one opened in Fairfax and I’ve finally worked up the courage to sign up for the beginner first month. It’s been 7 years since I’ve done Pilates and I’ve never tried a Barre class but the reviews convinced me that it’s worth it. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    • Julie says:

      Hope to see you around the studio, Heather! You’re going to love it :)

  • Abigail says:

    Thanks for your write up Julie! I just did my first Pure Barre workout and was looking for info about how sore people feel afterwards. I’ve been doing strength training, but this was a totally different kind of intensity. Definitely planning to go back! Love your observation that everyone is too concerned with their own form to pay attention to what you’re up to – very true!

    • Julie says:

      I’m so glad you’re loving Pure Barre! It’s definitely a way different workout than most think! :)

  • Karen says:

    In Singapore, it is called xtend barrer. I am also doing it as part of my exercise regime. I have the disc: lean and chisled by Andrea Rogers.

    I love the muscles aching feeling!

  • KARENA DIXON says:

    Googling Pure Barre and what all the rage is about . After reading this and the comments I’m sold. There’s a studio in Annapolis about 45mins from me. I think I’ll try a few classes and get the dvd’s for days I can’t cross the bridge. Can’t wait!

    • Julie says:

      Yay, I hope you enjoy it! I absolutely LOVE it! :)

  • holly says:

    i love going to my class ans have become hooked after one month! it is my “out”, my little way to forget everything. i was wondering if you could share your playlist? i cannot find any of the remixed songs they play in class and i love them! thanks for sharing your experience!!

    • Julie says:

      Hey Holly! Love that you love pure barre as much as I do. I don’t have any of the remixed songs they have, I just have the regular versions. If you still want those, I can let you know.

  • Nicole says:

    Pure Barre is awesome! What songs are they playing right now? I just set up my PB Barre at home to practice here instead of the studio but I need the music to make it feel more authentic!

    • Julie says:

      They’re playing remixes of Katy Perry’s Dark Horse, Ellie Goulding’s Beating Heart, Sara Barellies’ Brave, lots of Pitbull/J.Lo songs…so hard to think off the top of my head! Selena Gomez…basically anything top 40 and they remix it, ha

  • Alana says:

    I am a Pure Barre addict now. I have recently (in the last 5 months) lost about 80 pounds (I went very low carb). I still have some to go but things were starting to need toning and lifting, and I had NEVER been someone to exercise. I was intimidated but excited about Pure Barre when I first went. But the studio in Dupont Circle (Washington, DC) is right around the corner and I know the owner, so I felt like I had to give it a try. I definitely need all the lifting, toning, and burning I can get. I go every single day now and when I can’t go, I am disappointed. The studio I go to is awesome- the women who take the class are always encouraging each other and so friendly— the instructors are great. It’s hard – very hard sometimes. But in the past month and a half of doing Pure Barre, I have seen so much improvement in my ability to do the different moves (the 90 second plank, for instance) and it is the only thing that keeps me sane after a really stressful day at work. I NEVER thought I would be a person who loves to exercise, but I found my thing. Don’t be intimidated to do this if you are overweight or out of shape. You do it at your own level and use your own body resistance. Over time, you get better and it’s so motivating. I brought a friend from out of town and she liked it so much she joined her local studio when she got home!

  • Susie says:

    thus week I completed my 300th class. I haven’t lost significant weight, and that is frustrating, but am I strong!!! My golf game is the best it’s ever been and I can crank out the men’s push-ups! Love that tricep definition…never thought i would find an exercise plan I love like this!

  • Jenny Stone says:

    hi, pure barre is coming to my town, I am so excited. I can’t seem to find the answer to this silly question, though: do we need slipper socks for class?? Thanks!!! I am nervous!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Jenny! You do need socks for class but I suggest buying the sticky socks they sell at the Pure Barre. They help you stay on the ground without slipping and sliding! Good luck and enjoy your first class :)

  • Andrea ordodi says:

    thanks so much for this post. I am positive that you are a lot younger than me, I am 59. Absolutely so out of shape it is super hard to find a pleasant exercise program. My 24 your old daughter is coming home today after a 4 day instructor training for our new pure barre salon opening in july. She is loving it but she is a fitness buff. even though she is in shape she has told me how tough it is but in a good way. She wants me to try it and so very tempted. after reading your story I think I just might! hopefully they have a super beginners class 4 super out of shape older people l_o_l.

    • Julie says:

      You will love it. I know so many “older” women in barre classes that get through it just fine and end up being stronger than they thought they were. You really should give it a try. It’s a no judgement zone and the instructors love to help!

  • Tanna says:

    Hi There, Thanks for sharing your experience with Pure Barre. I just took my second class. I am wondering how often you go a week?

    • Julie says:

      I stopped going to Pure Barre ’cause it doesn’t give me that cardio kick but when I did go to PB, I went 3-4 times a week :)

  • Emid says:

    Any idea if you can buy the DVD’s at the studio? I don’t have one that’s easy to get to before or after work and I’m a full time grad student on top of that so time is precious. I don’t see the point in paying $8 in shipping if I can just find the time one day to drive there and buy it.

    • Julie says:

      I would call the studios closest to you to ask. They sometimes have them in stock but many times they don’t.

  • Cat says:

    Just saw this blog. LOVE this post, I’m a new Pure Barre student myself (tonight will be my 5th class) and I am OBSESSED. All the things you write about I thought too. I was super intimidated (I’m not exactly in the best shape when I started; I used to be a Pilates goddess and a size 3. Not anymore!). I’m so excited to continue with Pure Barre! Thanks for posting

  • Marta says:

    How many times a week do you go ?

    • Julie says:

      Right now, 4-5 times a week! :)

  • Lori says:

    Really thinking about doing this – but I am really heavy :( Your post is inspiring me though!!!

    • Julie says:

      Omg, please don’t feel that because you are “heavy” you can’t do this!!! It’s a judgement-free zone and I totally mean it. You may feel self-conscious – who doesn’t? I sure as heck did! But you will end up loving it and feel so invigorated and motivated to keep doing it! You can do it, Lori!! If you were in the area, I would totally tell you to come to class with me where I’d root you on!

      • Lori says:

        I went! And I survived. I couldn’t fully do any of the exercises and I am so sore, but it is a good sore. I go again today.

        • Julie says:

          Hooray! That’s such great news :)

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