Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Pure Barre

If you've been following Chic in Carolina for a while, you've probably heard me talk about Pure Barre in my weekly recap series, My Chic Week. I get a lot of comments asking whether I like Pure Barre and my experience with it as well as friends in "real life" so I wanted to put together a post talking all about Pure Barre for y'all (be sure to check out my first Pure Barre Class experience post and my Pure Barre 100th Class post as well!).

What is Pure Barre?
I would describe Pure Barre as a full-body workout inspired by dance and yoga/pilates. I was worried going into my first class that I would be walking into a room of ballerinas (which I am definitely not) and is definitely not the case. As you can see in the picture, there is a ballet barre (hence Pure Barre) and you can tell some of the moves are inspired by dance but it is not a dance class at all.

What should I wear?
A tank or tee with leggings or Capri-length leggings. Shorts and exposed midriffs are not allowed in most Pure Barre studio and it's a lot more comfortable to wear leggings. They don't state this anywhere but most people wear tank tops to class (some workout tees as well). I learned this one the hard way, it gets pretty toasty wearing a long sleeve top.

Pure Barre also sells a line of sticky socks that are so helpful in class but not required at all. I took my first few class without sticky socks and was fine but you can tell the difference between normal socks and sticky socks.

What should I bring?
The beauty of Pure Barre is all the equipment is provided for you so all you have to bring is yourself and a water if you want it. My studio asks that you don't have any phones in the studio during class so that's one thing to note but it helps me disconnect and focus on the workout.

What should I expect?
Pure Barre classes follow the same "formula" each time: warmup, arms, thighs, a quick stretch, seat (your butt and there's right seat and left seat with a stretch in between), and then abs. Even though the class follows the same formula, the moves always change from class to class so you will never get bored with it. The class also moves fairly fast!

How long does it take to get the hang of it?
When I first started taking class, I remember being completing overwhelmed by the class but a family friend who regularly takes Pure Barre told me it would take 10 to 20 classes to get the hang of it. While that sounds like a lot, there is always something new to learn in class and even though I've taken over 200 classes, I still have plenty to learn, keeping Pure Barre from ever seeming easy!

What is the difference between Pure Barre and Pure Barre Empower?
Pure Barre Empower is the cardio supplement to Pure Barre. The class is fairly new as it just started this month and replaced the previous cardio class, Platform. Empower is shorter than Pure Barre (45 minutes rather than a hour) and uses a platform as well as hand and foot weights. Empower goes very quickly and is high intensity. I've taken a few Empower classes before going to Clemson and loved them as they are a challenge!

How much does Pure Barre cost?
Pure Barre can be pretty pricy but to me, it's worth it as it works. Most studios have an introductory offer where you can get one month unlimited for $99. There's a bunch of difference packages (5 classes, 10 classes, one month unlimited, one year unlimited, etc.) and the unlimited packages can save you money if you go a certain amount of times each month (I had the student unlimited and went approximately 20 times a month, which made my cost per class $7, which is a lot cheaper than the one class cost of $23).

My Pure Barre studio also offers discounts for students, teachers, veterans, and nurses so be sure to ask as that's another way to save some money!

Why do you love Pure Barre?
I love Pure Barre for a few reasons:

1. The Community- Everyone at Pure Barre is so nice from the instructors to the clients. The instructors go the extra mile to learn everyone's names and encourage you during class, "Good job ___" or "Keep on going, ____. You got this". Other clients will gladly chit chat with you before class or share a "what the heck are we doing look" during thighs (it happens). 

2. The Changes I've Seen- Pure Barre has toned muscles I didn't think could be toned and has helped me increase flexibility as well. Changes are slow and steady but I can tell the difference in my legs, arms, and even my abs!

3. Stress Relief- Pure Barre is a hour to focus on you and block out the outside world. Taking classes throughout the week helped me so much with managing my stress during senior year as I didn't have to focus on anything else. I always leave class in a better mood than I came in!

4. It's Motivating- When I would just go to the gym, I would quickly loose motivation as honestly, there wasn't anybody else there cheering me on and helping me through it. PB teachers tell you how long you need to stay in each position and guide you through the class, allowing you to focus on the positions rather than "How much longer till I do the next pose?". The playlists at Pure Barre are also awesome and really help you focus on class too! Pure Barre has an emphasis on a healthy lifestyle so the instructors will push you through the workout but will tell you to eat tacos on a Friday or enjoy your thanksgiving dinner, which I love as it takes away a people who workout only eat healthy food and green juice image and makes it more realistic.

Have you tried a Pure Barre class before? Let me know in the comments!

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