Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pure Barre - Tuck yeah!

"You're stronger than you know!"

"Put your mind to the muscle."

"Embrace the shake."

"Build that beautiful Pure Barre ledge!"

This is what you'll hear upon entering a Pure Barre studio, franchises of which are quickly popping up around the county. Listen up, because you need all the motivation you can get when your thighs are burning and you're shaking so hard you're fairly certain you'll never walk again.

Just stick with it for two weeks and you'll start to love this sign!
This is the class I love to hate. It's hard, but not hard like doing-a-gazillion-burpees-in-a-Cross-Fit-class, more hard like holding-a-wall-sit-for-an-hour-with-a-bucket-of-rocks-on-your-lap.

I started attending regularly when I was 6 months pregnant because I wanted a low-impact workout that I could continue up until delivery. I had attended a local bootcamp for years, and was consistently using 25 lb dumbbells for the majority of my exercises. I silently scoffed at the selection of 2 lb and 3 lb weights offered at Pure Barre. A word to the wise: Don't be cocky. Start with the 2 lbers.

Watching the class through a window doesn't do it justice, although you might dig the blaring, fun music. It just doesn't look like we are doing much other than holding really awkward positions. Similar to pilates, Pure Barre is a conditioning class designed to lift, tone and burn ("LTB" in PB speak.  Sad how long it took me to figure that one out!) your core, arms, thighs and rear. Um, yeah, who wouldn't want to shape those areas?? Instructors walk you through miniscule movements and isometric holds, followed by lengthening stretches. In fact, the goal is to decrease your range of motion while holding perfect form. Apparently this control makes the exercises more effective.

The almighty "tuck," or roll under of the tailbone, is used throughout the entire class to increase intensity and protect the lower back. You will hear that term a lot. Possibly even in your sleep. About half of the exercises are performed with the support of a ballet barre. Other equipment used is a small inflated ball, resistance bands and the afore-mentioned hand weights.

The Pure Barre uniform is pretty simple: yoga-type gear and socks. "Sticky" or toeless socks make it easier to hold planks. Many women leave their hair down or even styled, but I "glow" a bit too much for that. A sports bra isn't necessary because there is no impact, but I always bring along a hand-towel and water (Thanks again, glow).

What do I love about Pure Barre?  The music, the consistency, the pleasant soreness I experience at least once a week, the fact that instructors mute the mic to correct your disastrous form, the Lulu Lemon fashion show going on around me and....drumroll....the fact that the instructors and faithful attendees look the way I want to look. Coincidence or not, this is powerful motivation! The studio I attend in Chandler, AZ is owned by the sisters Weyand: Marirose and Veronica. They own two other studios in the area: Phoenix and Scottsdale. Along with the other instructors, these gorgeous girls make it a point to know everyone by name and are always encouraging, never intimidating as you might expect.

I've heard to expect results after 5 consecutive classes - I think that's probably accurate for someone a bit slimmer than me.  I found about 2 weeks of consistent attendance caused me to check out my arms and hammies a bit more in the mirror. My flexibility has increased and I definitely feel tighter overall. I expect I would see an even bigger transformation if I put down the Ben & Jerry's more often.

As I mentioned before, I started pregnant.  It was really, really hard but I continued to go until the day I checked into the hospital for induction. AND I WAS BACK TWO WEEKS LATER. I really feel Pure Barre deserves a lot of credit for how great I felt after delivery. Going back quickly was no issue, although I didn't argue when my doc said no splits until the 6 week mark. :) In fact, class was suddenly 50 lbs easier, so I began to really look forward to it.

At least at my studio there is, unfortunately, no daycare. This hasn't stopped me. I'm not exaggerating when I say this is the one thing I have continued to prioritize post-pregnancy. I get a babysitter and drive the hour roundtrip 3-5 times a week because I truly believe that taking this personal healthy time makes me a better woman, wife and mommy. I feel great when I go and it's my favorite way to start the day.

Check out a class and see if it's for you! There are different payment options in addition to bridal and baby packages, but on average it costs $175 for an unlimited month (keep eyes open for Living Social discounted deals). If that's too steep or there isn't a studio in your area, workout DVDs are available on their website, so you can take the LTB home!

"Borrowed" from an official PB newsletter.  Just an idea of what classes look like!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by, let me know what you think!