I’ve written before about new experiences and trying new forms of exercise. Crossfit relies on variability. It tests an athlete’s physical and mental prowess in a multitude of ways. This allows Crossfit athletes to become adept at a variety of different physical activities, like me and my Strongman competition or Spartan race.
Basically, Crossfit makes me good at everything, so I try everything. One form of exercise I had yet to try was Pure Barre. I didn’t know much about what these classes involved, but I know women who attend them religiously, so when I saw that my local studio was offering free classes, I decided to take advantage of the deal. I can’t pass up a good bargain.
We’re not in the box anymore
I arrived at the studio 15 minutes early, as the instructor requested. The instructor, Lindsey, took me on a quick tour of the facility. The interior was very clean and upscale. The reception area featured athletic clothes and jewelry for sale, all at typical boutique prices (meaning these were not the bargains I oh-so-love.) Then, she took me down a small hallway with cubbies and chalkboards that displayed the names of women in the different level clubs (don’t ask me what these levels mean). In the restroom, there was a tray table with tampons, mouthwash, and deodorant available. If my description so far tells you one thing, its that this place was completely foreign from the gritty, chain and chalk box I am used to.
We then came to the studio space, a room of mirrored walls with a ballet barre around the perimeter. In the back, there were mats, tubes, small rubber balls, and 1lb and 3lb weights. Just by viewing the weights, I knew I had come to the wrong place.
Bend don’t Snap
Lindsey started explaining how everything worked. She explained that Pure Barre is all about small movements: little contractions, lifts, and circles. There are not any forceful split jerks or exaggerated kips involved. The key movement of Pure Barre is tucking in the abs (at that moment I definitely regretted the 120 GHD sit-ups I had completed the day before.)
Let the Games Begin
As the other slender white southern women began to trickle in, I felt like an outcast. My biceps and quads felt extremely out of place, and the stares from the other women confirmed my premonitions.
The class began, and we were squeezing and lifting along to the sounds of pop music. The transitions were fairly fast paced and the movements were so small that often it was hard to tell exactly where and what the instructor was clenching. I did my best to keep up without looking like the rhino in the china shop, the elephant in the room, or the Arnold in the aerobics class. The workout that made me feel the most ridiculous was when we stood tall with our arms bent, fists clenched and slightly pulsed our biceps, like somehow this would force them to grow.
The class had a few advantages: A small burn ignited in my abs (most likely do more to my previous soreness,) and I enjoyed admiring my glutes and hams in the mirrors during “seat” work.
Now, What You Came For: The List
If my amazing retelling of my experience wasn’t enough to get you speed walking to the nearest Pure Barre studio, here are the top five reasons I promised:
You want an excuse to wear all those sticky socks.
Did you get a stocking full of sensible non-slip socks last December? Well now you have a use for them other than navigating hardwood floors. Bring your sticky socks along to Pure Barre, or pick up a $12 pair at the studio to add to your collection.
You would like a new way to bond with your grandmother.
Are you worried grandma might feel a bit neglected sitting in that nursing home. Take her to a class! The light weights and delicate movements won’t be a problem for her.
You want a cameo spot on the Real Housewives.
Pure Barre is the perfect form of exercise for the over-stressed doctor’s wife. It’s like tennis with less sweat. If you hang around long enough, I’m sure you’ll get into a shot or two.
You need a form of exercise that doesn’t require you to put down your Frappuccino.
Just buy yourself a trenti double chocolate turtle, extra whip, skim milk, skinny Frappuccino from the nearby green mermaid but realize you don’t have time to drink it before your workout in fear of a brain freeze? Don’t worry! The minute movements involved in Pure Barre will allow you to sip your drink as you lift and tone.
And the top reason to give Pure Barre a shot: You hate having extra money on hand and need an option other than setting it ablaze.
For the low-low price of $195/month you can come and lightly squeeze your muscles as much as you would like.
There are my reasons, now get yourself to the Barre, or maybe try a real workout.
*Disclaimer. This post is all in good fun and not meant to offend anyone. The ladies at my local studio are all very sweet, and I applaud them for finding a form of exercise that inspires them to get moving.