Last night I made my first visit to Pure Barre Boston (PBB) with my friend Laura. We both got a GiltCity deal for 3 classes. I was tempted to buy the new client deal of $100 for a month unlimited but I thought it might be a good idea to try out the studio first. I’m trying to be good with my resolutions -especially the one to be better about using up my deals as well as being more mindful about purchasing them.
When I first arrived, the owner Lauren checked me in. She actually recognized me because I was being a tweet-a-holic about my excitement for this class! I always appreciate when businesses are attentive to the social media buzz about them. I think it’s important to keep in touch with your clients and make an effort to try to get to know them.
Once I signed the usual wavers and what not, she showed me the changing area and the lockers. Like Exhale Spa and Healthworks, the lockers have the key in them so you don’t have to worry about bringing a lock which is a million times better than you having to remember a lock. I think I might have bought a lock from my old gym more then 3 times because I would forget to put it in my gym bag!
The entire interior of the studio was clean, fresh, and modern. The bathroom was spotless and you didn’t dread walking in there like some places. Exhale Spa has showers available (I think I just saw bathrooms at Pure Barre) and a lot more space. However that is probably because Exhale offers a lot of other services and aren’t right on Newbury Street where any space you get is going to be smaller unless you are ready to sell your soul!
Pure Barre has some clothes for sale that looked to all be from Splits59 . I resisted the urge to purchase cute workout clothes. Sometimes (okay-all the time) I wish I could go to work in spandex, leg warmers and a comfy sweatshirt. I suppose I always could…but I don’t think that would go over too well! Lauren was talking with one of the ladies who was attending the class who used to work at Lululemon about how it is odd being able to wear comfy clothes all day. When you wear comfy clothes all day, you don’t have the relief of changing into them once you get home. Hey-I think that still sounds pretty good!
Once the class before ours cleared out, Laura and I grabbed our equipment. I have been to the and knew Pure Barre may be a little different. The equipment was one of those differences. You still used a yoga mat and light weights but you used a resistance band instead of a yoga mat and you also use a little exercise ball that is 5″ in diameter. Our instructor for today’s class was Courtney. Here she is in the middle of Laura and I!
The class was pretty similar to the Exhale classes in the flow. You start warming up by marching in place with high knees and moving your arms. We worked on our plank moves, push ups, and then moved into an arm sequence. Once we got to the ballet bar and we put that little exercise ball between our thighs and things got tricky! I was shaking and my abs were burning as I tried to make sure that ball didn’t fall. This is probably why Courtney had the Jack White song I’m Shaking playing at the end of the class. I love Jack White! I saw him live at Lollapalooza and LOVED his show!
If I had to compare to the Exhale core fusion barre classes, both are equally a great workout. Like yoga, I think it is great to explore other studios and instructors to find what is right for you. I was wondering if because Pure Barre is a franchise, it might not be as personal as or some other small businesses. I can’t really make a judgement on this yet as I have only been to one class. I do like how the instructors at Exhale Spa always seem to always introduce themselves, ask you what your name is and if you have any injuries and call your name out in class. But Courtney did seem a bit more excited to take a picture with me for my blog! She even asked what my blog was which some instructors don’t even ask me. I think these instructors must just think, “This girl is a little creepy asking for a picture…I’ll just let it fly-she looks harmless…”
I already confessed that I’m addicted to the barre , but I just wanted to confess it again. Each class I go to, I feel my entire body getting stronger. While I was trying to distract myself from the shaking and burning in this class, I realized how much barre forces you to become aware of your body. You have to learn to control your muscles so you can lift and tuck in just the right motion (your instructors will say “tuck” more than you can count in classes!). I never have workouts that make my abs burn as much as they do in these classes. The best part is that I can tell that my hips are getting stronger and stronger.
My original intention with attending all these new fitness classes was to keep my distracted from the fact that my hip overuse injury prevented me from running and to help me get stronger so that I can run that next marathon. But I think things have changed. I am not obsessed with immediately getting back to my fastest running time or longest distance. Now I am driven to become stronger and enjoy the fun, new experiences that are out there. Yes-I am going to run a marathon again and will want to run fast and get a PR (who doesn’t?!). But maybe now my intention is to improve my fitness and well being not just to get back to being a marathoner but to become a stronger athlete as a whole!
Have you had an injury that has changed your perspective on fitness?