Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pure Barrrrrrrrrrre*

*Turns out PB is much like Alexander Skarsgard and simply must be enunciated with a terribly inaccurate Russian accent... or maybe it's a Pirate accent.  Hard to tell in my head. 

So, I had a lot of questions about Pure Barrrrrrrrrre from my previous post.  I was going to wait until the end of the month to share my thoughts and observations although I am clearly the Star of the Barre after only two sessions but it turns out that PB is nearly identical to Core Fusion, which I enjoyed immensely during the 6 months leading up to our wedding.  {I had a sneaking suspicion this would be the case, but PB is more convenient to our new location and a smidge cheaper.} Plus, I am lacking in alternative blogging material today.  

So... away we go!

What is this Pure Bare you speak of, Crazypants?**

Pure Barre (Barrrrrrrrrrre) combines the Lotte Berk method with pilates and ballet for a low-impact, intense, total body workout that "burns fat in record-breaking time."  The 55 minute class starts with a brief warm-up, then moves on to arms - stretch - legs - stretch - butt - stretch - abs - stretch - back, finishing with a cool-down stretch.  Alternating concentrated, isometric movements with stretching in between promotes long, lean muscle development, strength, and flexibility.

Basically?  You're standing there barely moving, thinking to yourself "well surely this is easy-peasy," and the next second, you're kinda wanting to die.

But, uh, in a good way.

Throughout the class, participants use elastic bands, small rubber balls, very light weights (2-3 lbs) and the ballet barre to enhance their workout. There is also non-annoying music and strategic light-dimming {which I especially appreciate during the ab set when my cheese-and-wine-fetus is at it's most pronounced}.

Do I need any special equipment?

Weights, bands, balls, mats, and barres (barrrrrrrrrrrrres) are in-studio at no extra cost.  My old Core Fusion studio had hardwood floors and you needed special socks with tacky soles (a la hospital or airplane socks) so you wouldn't slide all over the place. My new PB studio also sells these... although it's unnecessary since the studio is carpeted {everyone just wears their normal athletic socks}.  

Will I look like a ginormous tool if I have no dance experience? What about pilates experience? 

I never was, and never will be a Nina Sayers... or a Jody Sawyer... or even a Nomi Malone {Oh come on, admit it, the chick had some moves.... ish. Or atleast she was dedicated to her art form}.  I practiced my five positions as a little tyke and committed a significant amount of time to dance in high school, but, uh, I wasn't all that great.  Good feet and flexibility were about all I had going for me.  I have a deep love and appreciation for dance {picture me saying that with a pinched up, snooty face, por favor} but talent?  Meh.  

Perhaps if I had zero past experience, I'd think differently, but I don't believe my humble background gives me a leg up... at least as far as ability and capability is concerned.  It's possible I am more comfortable in a studio setting, more relaxed at the barre, and more familiar with the jargon {although "squat" and "tippy-toe" are used just as often, if not more so than "plie" and "releve"}.  Am I more apt to make it through an entire set without breaking form?  Um, NO. 

Same with pilates.  I've done it in the past.  Some of the moves in a PB {or CF, etc} are familiar, but the entire class is filled with simple instruction and form correction.  Nothing advanced here, I promise.  

Also: Nearly every movement you perform in a PB class can be modified.  And these are like non-embarrassing modifications that still actually work you out... not like in yoga when everyone else is head-standing, all-Gandhi-esque and I'm forced to lay in child's pose whispering the mantra "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy." 

What do you wear?  Is it all Stepford-Sorority-Girls up in there as the photos suggest?

Um, yeah, the PB website's visual imagery makes me want to stab someone repeatedly with a blunt object. And, yes, there are very svelte women flaunting head-to-toe Lululemon in class.  But, I wear a T-shirt or a cotton tank and I'm in good company.  I would, however, feel uncomfortable in gym or running shorts - yoga pants, capris, or running tights {I can vouch for these} are the way to go... otherwise you're going to be spending a lot of energy wondering if you bum is hanging out during your plies.  Also realize that anything too loose is going to get in your way a bit. 

For honesty's sake... For whatever reason, I've yet to see anyone largely overweight in either PB or CF.  Lots of different body types, ages, and ethnicities though. {And I even had 2 dudes in one of my weekly CF classes!}

Results?  You don't look like a ballerina to me yet. 

And nor will I ever. {Cue the sad trombone} Not to sound like a lameass "testimony," but CF helped me get into the best shape of my adult life before our wedding {obviously this also involved healthy eating habits}. I'm always going to be tall and curvy, but I did feel very confident on our wedding day and on our beach honeymoon. I'm hoping for similar results this time around... same ol' me, less jiggle and wiggle.  

Well, that's about it, folks!  If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!   

**Please note, I am not professionally trained or licensed in personal training, physical fitness, or anything else official/scientific sounding.  This post is purely based on my personal observations and experiences with Pure Barre (Barrrrrrrre) and Core Fusion.   


  1. You should have just told me to stop tweeting questions and wait for the post. haha. Thanks for all your help. My DVD will be here on Saturday. Yay.

  2. You know what's funny? I'm sitting here thinking if the guy in your old CF class is the soon to be groom of a friend of mine--they go to CF together.... Yeah, it's hard for me to NOT gag at that, but, um, it's Dallas, ya know.

    Eeek. I am going to have to try PB for sure!

    And, I love your photo collage there--pure genius.

  3. fun! sounds a lot like the Bar Method classes I took for awhile. I splurged on them for awhile, but my current gym is much more conveniently located and way cheaper, so it was hard to justify continuing that expense. It's too bad because the classes were really fun as an ex-ballet person (similar to your descriptions.. was never talented but spent enough time in classes during elementary/HS/college). And they are a great workout!

  4. That looks like a lot of fun and different... I really need to mix up my workout. But the classes, both Pure Barre and Lithe Method are pretty expensive. Koresh Dance Studio has public classes for 25% less, but I'm scared to try it as someone who last did jazz/tap/ballet before puberty.

  5. Alright, now I just need to convince my gym to offer this class. I would love a return to my amateur ballerina days.

  6. I really want to try PB, they just opened one in Austin. Also, I have to tell you that because of your Wunder-Under love post a long while back, I bought some for my 1/2 marathon training. I don't know how I ever lived without them! Not to mention, I have since forced everyone I know to also buy some. We're like Austin's Wunder-Under gang now....

  7. Oh la la! Im taking Bar Method and its HURTS SO GOOD!! Can't wait to see your updates and RESULTS!

  8. Pure Barre sounds amazing! I wish we had it here, that's the kind of exercise I can actually tolerate.

  9. I love this review, and the recommendation to make sure you wear something that doesn't let your bum hang out during plies. Good luck with the workout. I figure one hour of that at least earns you an extra glass of wine a week ;)

  10. Sounds like a great workout, and I'm glad you're "enjoying" it as well--may not be the right choice of words, but it sounds like you've found a good match at P.B.!

  11. Now that is a group class that I could get on-board with.

    I almost died when I read about your wine and cheese fetus. I've definitely seen that bad boy while I've been doing yoga videos in the basement.

  12. But I want to look like a ballerina!!!!! Where's the class that will guarantee I can spin on one foot a la Jody Sawyer while a cd sounds like it's skipping in the background?!?!

  13. Excellent review! I took a month of PB classes and I loved them. I just wish the regular price was more affordable. PB DVD here I come!


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