You may remember a couple of months ago Pure Barre hosted a private class for SLU Med. Everyone had a blast (especially the guys!!) and they offered us a great deal on their new member special.
I had done one-off barre classes with friends, but never consistently. To be honest, I wasn’t really a fan of the whole “lights weights, girly workout” type thing — I was far more a part of the heavy weights and functional movement camp. But I decided this was my opportunity to see what it could do for me! It didn’t hurt that some of my best friends were signing up so we could workout together.
Over the five weeks I attended 13 classes. The majority were Pure Barre but some were platform. That kind of makes me cringe – I wish I had gone to more, but I was balancing it with my yoga and also a stressful class at school that caused me to skip a few workouts.
Thoughts on five months of Pure Barre:
Most Strength Gains: Core.
Pure Barre has a tough core sequence! I think the “warm up” planks are even harder than the core section at the end of the class. I couldn’t get through it at that first SLU class and I’m really proud that I was able to do the whole sequence after a few classes. My core is definitely stronger, and I would never push myself that hard alone.
Most Sore Areas: Glutes and Triceps.
My outer butt will never bet the same. Pure Barre really gets at your glutes, especially the outer glutes and hip area, and oh boy did I feel it! Those glut segments were still hard for me every single time.
My triceps also got pretty sore. I actually thought I had pretty decent tricep strength due to lots of chaturangas at yoga, but using the light 2-3lb weights for the arm sequence really got to the back of my arms!
Areas Lacking: Back and Biceps
Back and biceps were “worked”, but with the really light weights I never felt very challenged in those muscle groups. I think I would have needed heavier weights to really feel a burn, even when doing the intense “squeezing” like they suggest. Also, the one minute of back work at the end after all the core work in class seemed a little unbalanced.
Platform is the newest class at Pure Barre, and it’s meant to include more cardio. The set up of class is still the same — warm up with some arms, legs, glutes, core etc. The moves are slightly different, it’s a little faster paced, and you do some “cardio bursts.” It’s called platform because of a little black stool (platform) you use during class.
I really like the faster pace and cardio — it’s a great addition to barre — but I’m not a huge fan of some of the moves. It’s probably because I’m not good at them yet! I still went a few times though because I loved the sweat and the “flying” move. So fun.
I think Pure Barre is a great workout! I love that it’s low impact but still fairly full-body, and I love that it’s strength focused. I do think it lacks in important functional moves, and I do think that people benefit from using heavier weights at times. It’s something I’d love to do once a week as a balance to other workouts, but the price is cost prohibitive for that.
I’m of the “do whatever workout you love and will actually do” motto, so if that’s Pure Barre for you then go for it! I am in awe of the strength and fitness of some of the people in those classes. The people at the studios I went to are also SO kind and welcoming. They call you by name and are so upbeat and friendly. That makes it a really nice place to work out.
As for now, it’s back to my regular yoga and workouts at the SLU gym. I’m excited to get back to some heavy lifting, a little running, and some circuits.
- Have you ever tried a barre class?