Barre always intimidated me. I've heard so many mixed reviews about barre classes I wasn't exactly sure it would be something I would enjoy...or if I would even get a good workout. Also, I definitely don't look like a ballerina and I haven't been in a dance studio working at barre since high school. But, when my girl Kelsie invited me to her class that she teaches at Pure Barre New Albany, I knew I couldn't turn it down.
I did some research before I went to my first class and found out that I needed to get some barre socks. Luckily, my local studio also offers barre and I was able to buy some beforehand--but Pure Barre also sells lots of them with different styles and pricing options. So, don't panic like I did the first time. You can purchase socks at the studio.
As I was setting up my little area in the class, many of the other ladies who were attending were chatting and laughing together. It was very clear that this was a group of regulars. I love joining a class where the same group of people attend each week. I think it always makes the class more comfortable when people chat and know one another.
Soon the class started and from reading Pure Barre's website, I thought I knew what to expect:
Each Pure Barre class is 55 minutes and begins with a warm-up in the center of the room, on the floor, and then standing with light weights to work those arm muscles. We’ll then move to the barre to work your thighs and your seat. After the seat work, you’ll do a series of ab exercises, followed by a cool down. While the flow of class is always the same, we are always changing the music and exercises, so you never experience the same class twice!
Within the first 3 minutes of the warmup, my core was on FIRE and I was shaking like crazy. I quickly found that each move was short and intense, but purposeful. Kelsie timed every move with the music like she had rehearsed it earlier--and she threw out terms like "tuck" and "pulse" all throughout the class. I always kept my eye on the other more experienced girls in the class so I could make sure I was doing the right thing--but I think "tucking" is just something that you learn with time. My "tuck" looked more like a bad dance move I used in college.
We moved from the floor to the barre many times, with a nice stretch series in between each section. We would exhaust lots of tiny little muscles for 5-7 minutes, and then stretch it out before moving on to the next muscle group.
When the class ended, I realized that I wasn't really sweating. I knew that I had worked really hard, but since there isn't any cardio in the classes, I wasn't as sweaty as after my normal Spin or high intensity classes. You could totally get a killer workout and then hit up a restaurant afterwards without having to worry about being super gross and sweaty.
The experience was way less scary than I thought it would be. Pure Barre is an amazing workout and I love that it's low-impact. There are three locations in Columbus: Dublin, New Albany, and Grandview, and all locations offer a $10 Friday Class Pass for new guests!
Have you tried barre before? What was your experience like?
Ryan and Kelly of Sweat Local Columbus