As a manager at Orangetheory Fitness, there’s no doubt that I love the workout. I’m all about getting a great sweat on and pushing myself to go harder, faster, and stronger in each session. I do, however, gravitate towards mixing low-impact workouts into my weekly routine as well, and the combination of high and low-intensity workouts has always worked the best for me!
That said, I was absolutely thrilled when I got the opportunity to team up with my local Pure Barre in Park Slope, Brooklyn and try out their Baby Bounce Back package (three months of unlimited access to classes), starting at about six months postpartum.
While this post isn’t about before and after photos, my intentions of reviewing the program are to share my thoughts on the workout, how I feel 3+ months in, and what I like or didn’t like about each type of format at Pure Barre, along with how I feel overall.
Now, before we dive into the good stuff, there are two things you should know.
One is that I absolutely love barre workouts and used to teach classes in Orlando! I’m entertaining the thought of getting certified to teach here in New York, so I just might get the chance to get on a microphone again if the right opportunity comes up and the
Two is that I totally fell right into some popular excuses that I hear from members on a regular basis throughout my trial. This includes the lack of time to work out with a baby at home/no sitter available to watch Skyler to enable me to go to the studio, getting busy with work and visitors in town, the holidays, etc. I don’t like that this happened, and I’m sharing it because I think it’s important to note that I didn’t get to utilize my unlimited membership to its fullest. And, it’s completely on me.
I did, however, do my best to make what classes I could, and that averaged about 1-2 sessions per week. I made a point to sign up for a class on a day I wasn’t working, and I found the 45-50 minute session times very convenient for a busy, new mom like me.
Now onto the deets …
Pure Barre offers a variety of workouts from traditional to specialty formats like themed and partner workouts. Each class has a different focus and uses a variety of different equipment. Pure Barre offers 45-50 minute total body workouts that feature a series of low impact, isometric movements using a ballet barre and other light equipment. Don’t be fooled by the 5 pounds weights, however, as they get pretty heavy just a few minutes in!
Here’s a breakdown of the different classes, along with my thoughts:
Pure Barre Classic
Classic is exactly what the name implies as the classic, traditional barre class format. Pure Barre Classic is a fast-paced, full-body workout that involves equipment like
Barre has always been a favorite workout of mine because the results are quickly noticeable to me in regards to core strength and muscle endurance. While I miss traditional strength training with heavy weights if I strictly do barre classes without anything else, I really love the low-impact endurance training that comes along with doing the same movement for an extended period of time. You basically burn the muscle group out completely before moving on to the next one and then stretch it all out. To me, the best part about a barre workout is the mix of bodyweight or low-weight strength training followed by stretching. The last stretch of a barre class with the lights out is truly my happy place!
Empower is a fusion of barre and interval training that is designed to elevate your heart rate. It’s the cardio version of Pure Barre, and is probably the one that I sweat the most in, despite the shorter 45-minute class time. You aren’t on the barre as much, but you use extra equipment like a platform and ankle weights around your legs and arms throughout the class for extra resistance.
I loved this format because it was the shortest and almost felt like I worked harder toning more parts of my body with an added bonus of interval training. The platform made movements more challenging, and I liked the multidirectional movements that were more common in these classes like a push up on the bar to a squat flow.
Reform was created to add more resistance training and targets all of the major muscle groups with the use of resistance bands, sliders, and the ballet barre. It’s a 50-minute class and incorporates strength and coordination with more complex movements, in my opinion.
I was only able to take two Reform classes because they were only offered during times that didn’t usually fit with my availability, but I absolutely loved the classes that I took. I felt extremely challenged with the resistance bands, and they mimicked a scaled down version of a portable reformer machine to me. They were no joke! I also love (to hate) using sliders. Low impact resistance training is where it’s at!
While I’ve taken a handful of Pure Barre classes before, this is the first time that I’ve been able to utilize a membership. My home studio was Pure Barre Park Slope, and I can’t say enough nice things about the staff there. They all welcomed me with open arms and were more than accommodating for me to take photos in their studio (twice — thanks to a disappearing iPhone on a commute) with a little babe in tow.
As far as cost goes, every Pure Barre location and market around the country is different. As you can imagine, studios in New York City run on the higher end, and a single class is the most expensive way to attend at $36 each. The Baby Bounce Back Membership was a great value for three months of unlimited classes ($600, so $200/month), and they have an even better new client special running right now that is Unlimited 5 Weeks for $169. If you get to the studio about 3-4 times per week, that’s just under $10 per session!
As a full disclaimer, I’m typing this post at eleven months postpartum, but I’m thinking back to how I felt at the end of my membership just over a month ago. The first few weeks of workouts were the most challenging, as I had a lot of work to do, specifically in strengthening my core. As my plank holds got a little longer with each class, I was proud of myself for the small but measurable progress. I remember my first class back thinking how hard it was to hold positions for a length of time, followed by the satisfaction of knowing I pushed through it and gained strength and endurance throughout my journey.
At the end of my three months at Pure Barre, I could get through the entire warm-up without taking a break which is a huge accomplishment. I used to teach them several times a day forever ago, but post-baby is another story. The first time I kept up with the entire core and arms section of warm-up was a big deal. I was amazed at how much my body could gain in just a few weeks time and hope this serves as inspiration to moms coming off of a workout hiatus, too. Everyone has their first class and months back where their bodies feel completely foreign, and that’s totally normal.
Thank you so much to Pure Barre Park Slope for inviting me into classes, and it certainly won’t be the last that you’ll see of me!
Check out my personal Tips To Take To Your First Barre Class, and know that everyone starts with their first barre class, too.
Questions of the Day
• Have you tried barre yet?
• What is your favorite type of Pure Barre class format?
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. As I mentioned above, I was offered a complimentary 3-month membership to Pure Barre in exchange for an honest review. As always, all thoughts remain my own. Thank you for reading!