I’m really excited for today’s #MondayMuse post, because Pure Barre is something I have wanted to try for a long time! As soon as I came up with the idea for this blog, I knew I wanted to reach out to Pure Barre Little Rock as soon as possible. One of the main reasons I have been so interested in trying Pure Barre, is because it’s a huge franchise and I have seen several locations in cities when we have traveled. Not to mention, a lot of people I know and others I follow on social media (all who look dang good) have credited Pure Barre for their physique.
What is Pure Barre
According to their website, “Pure Barre is a total body workout that uses the ballet barre to perform small, isometric movements, which burn fat, sculpt muscles, and create long, lean physiques.” In my research before going to class, I learned that Pure Barre was founded by a dancer and choreographer. Ding ding ding! I’m already a fan of the method just because A) I love to dance B) who DOESN’T want to have a “dancer’s body”?! It’s clearly effective and sought after by enough people to grow into a franchise that now has over 460 studios throughout the U.S. and Canada! Pure Barre also promotes a sense of unity in women as this workout is made to concentrate on the areas women struggle with most. It’s not a “no boys allowed” studio, but the strong majority of clients are female.
Pure Barre Little Rock
The Pure Barre Little Rock location offers two different classes: Classic and Empower. When I spoke with the studio manager, Whitney, she offered me the chance to try both classes so I could really fill you all in on what a Pure Barre experience is like in Little Rock! Before I dive into my experience, I want to lead by saying I really went into this opportunity as a true first timer, and I had all of the side effects that come with that. I didn’t have any friends taking the class with me, I was a little nervous not knowing what to expect, and I felt anxious about my ability to perform in the class. These are feelings that I realize we have all felt at some point, going into something new; but I wanted to share with you that I, too, have those feelings even being a fitness instructor and someone who continuously aspires to try new things. The toughest part is just getting in the door, and (if the place is doing it right) those on the inside will help subside those feelings of intimidation. Pure Barre Little Rock is doing it right. Whitney greeted me by name as soon as I came in the door, and this was our first time meeting in-person. It wasn’t just me, she greeted every client that came through the door by name and asked them questions outside of the “hi how are you” generic small talk. I could tell she had a relationship with all of these women and she knew aspects of their daily life that someone less invested wouldn’t have. She even took the time to introduce me to other clients in the lobby and I immediately felt less alone. Due to my anxiety and impulsivity, I blurted to Whitney “I’m probably not going to be good at this!” about 5 seconds after I walked in the door. She just smiled and told me I would be fine, that class is always a challenge for everyone because it’s supposed to be, and that we were just going to have fun. That was all the boost I needed to head into the barre room!
Pure Barre Classic
The equipment needed for class was minimal: we used a set of hand weights (I used 2 lbs), a ball, a double looped tube, and we wore sticky socks. Sticky socks are just regular ankle socks with tiny grippers that help keep you from sliding everywhere. Class began with a warm up in the center of the room. The warm up began with movements like picking your knees up, arms over head and pulling down, and twisting elbows to knees. The warm up continued with some core work on the floor and then standing arm work with our weights. From there, we went on to work our thighs, seat, and abs moving between the center of the room and the barre and finishing with a cool down. This class is fast paced in that you do several reps of one exercise and then you move right on to the next movement. The movements are small and isometric and my muscles were shaking pretty much from the beginning. The class was very musically driven in that we did all of our movements on beat. The music was all fun dance club remixes of current tunes! Whitney was there to verbally cue us when to lift, tuck, squeeze, bend and press but it went right with the music tempo the whole time. In addition to her verbal cueing, Whitney came over to correct my positioning multiple times in class, which I actually loved. Being the competitive person that I am, I want to do whatever I’m doing right. I don’t always recognize when something needs to be corrected, so I welcome an instructor to put hands on me and correct my form. Another benefit of this is when they help improve your form, they decrease the chance of injury! No one has time to get hurt! The class was 50 minutes long and it literally flew by! We stretched after each targeted section but outside of that it was go, go go the whole time. Afterward my muscles were definitely tired. My Apple Watch reported that I burned 257 total calories, 185 active which is a good burn for me in a 50 minute class but the effects were *felt* more than seen on my watch screen. All of that shaking in class led to little muscle quivers throughout the rest of the day gently reminding me that I need to get stronger! I was sore the following day, but not to a debilitating degree. In my opinion, if I’m not sore after a workout then something has gone wrong- I want to be sore. I was sore throughout my whole body which confirms that this class is indeed a full body workout. I was the most sore, however in my abs! A strong distinction to the Pure Barre method is that they encourage you to tuck your pelvis under and squeeze your abs throughout the whole class. Holy moly it makes such a difference in targeting those abdominal muscles! I felt like this class was very effective, challenging, and fun over all!
First of all, I love that the name of this class is Empower. Before I even know what’s coming, I know it is going to make me stronger in some way just because of it’s name. This class requires strength of both mind and body as it’s an even faster paced class with cardio intervals to elevate your heart rate and push you harder. For this class, the equipment required is sticky socks again, a platform, ankle weights (2 lbs) and hand weights (I used 2 lbs). Empower class followed a similar flow to Classic, but with bigger movements, a faster tempo, and cardio intervals. Again, we alternated between working at the bar and in the middle of the room. Let me slow clap this: Ankle. Weights. Change. The. Game!! I thought lifting and bend pressing was challenging in the Classic class, but doing it with ankle weights had my muscles on fire! Another aspect of this class was that it incorporates some balance work- which is challenging and beneficial because my balance has much to be desired. Standing on one leg on the platform while lifting the other leg out to the side without toppling over was VERY difficult for me. There were other parts of this class that I felt more equipped for, though. The cardio intervals were my comfort zone! Jumps at the barre and some cross stepping were examples of some of our cardio rounds. Empower, with it’s larger movements, use of weights and a platform reminds me somewhat of the old school Aerobics classes. We were always moving, bending, stepping, lifting all to the beat of the music. It was a lot of fun and went by so quickly! Our class instructor was Khani, and she did a good job of demonstrating our movements and transitioning between each section smoothly. This class is 45 minutes compared to the 50 minute Classic class and I burned 303 total calories, 230 active during this one, according to my Apple Watch!
I really, really enjoyed my experience at Pure Barre Little Rock! Their space is so cute with retail pieces hanging in the lobby by some of my favorite athletic brands and the people in studio are kind, encouraging and really provide a sense of community, even after one class. While I was chatting in the lobby after Empower, someone asked me which class I liked better between Classic and Empower. This was a tough question, because I think I enjoyed Empower more just because it’s closer to what I’m used to doing in my current workout regimen; but I would actually want to add Classic to my weekly routine more than Empower just because of how different it is and I know it targets so many of my points of weakness. I like that there were clients of all ages in the classes, and all of different fitness levels. In no way did I feel like I was isolated because I’m not a regular member, my age, or my beginners level. Walking away from this experience, I feel stronger and motivated to work harder in these areas! Pure Barre Little Rock offers one week free and I intend to head back a few more times before my free week is over! They will only be offering the free week for the remainder of this month and from then will be offering first class free only, so take advantage while you can! They offer a new client Intro Month for $99.00, A summer special of 3 months unlimited for $395, 10,20, and 40 class packages for varying prices, and a 12 month unlimited membership for $1500. If you are interested in visiting Pure Barre Little Rock for a class you can schedule by downloading the free MindBody App and searching for the Little Rock Location or call them at (501)-246-3528. They are located at 11525 Cantrell Road Suite 306 in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center! If you go, let them know you heard about Pure Barre from the Bold Condition! I want to thank Whitney and the Pure Barre Little Rock team for giving me the opportunity to come in and try their classes. I have such respect for the work they are doing and the environment they have created. Thank you for reading and sharing today! I hope you feel more at ease about taking the first step of signing up to try Pure Barre out for yourself. You won’t regret it! XXO