Welcome! This week’s post is all about Pure Barre. You’ve probably heard of it by now since it’s one of the most popular barre franchises out there. As a barre instructor myself, I’ve been wanting to try it out and give my feedback for a while now.
If you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on Pure Barre from the perspective of a barre instructor, just keep reading!
What is Pure Barre?
According to their website “Pure Barre offers an effective total body workout focused on low-impact, high intensity movements that lift and tone muscles to improve strength, agility and flexibility for every body.”
Pure Barre is one of the most popular barre franchises and has been around since 2001. They have more than 500 studios across the US and Canada and have expanded into On Demand workouts that you can do from home.
About the studio.
I went to the Westport, Connecticut location. The studio was located in a cute plaza with plenty of parking. They were renovating inside, so it was a bit chaotic with boxes everywhere. I also didn’t see a water fountain, which was a bit strange. But the actual workout studio was spacious and there was plenty of barre room. I like that since Pure Barre only offers barre, they have a barre across all 4 walls! Every Pure Barre studio is carpeted; it’s something I’ll never understand. The workout is low impact but you still sweat. Sweat + carpet = kind of gross.
The studio wasn’t anything special to look at, but I was there for the workout!
I attended via ClassPass. I took the Pure Barre Classic for 6 credits, which I consider very reasonable. Pure Barre offers a free introductory class for first-timers. It’s a foundations class meant to give you the basics. It definitely won’t challenge you as much as a classic Pure Barre Class. If you’ve done barre before, I’d recommend skipping the intro!
For this location, the only options available online are a single class for $30 and a 10-pack of classes for $290. Given that the 10-pack only saves you $1 per class, I wonder whether they’ll offer a more cost-effective unlimited membership in the future. I know that other Pure Barre locations offer an unlimited monthly membership, so I’m not sure why Westport doesn’t.
Even though it’s a bit pricey, it’s in the same range as other boutique fitness studios in the area. Is it worth it? Keep reading to find out.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Pure Barre experience and definitely plan to go back.
The instructor was very friendly and excellent at correcting form. Although the class was large, she was very good at making sure we were all in proper alignment. Several of us were first-timers and she didn’t get frustrated when we didn’t understand exactly what she was telling us to do. She used a great combination of verbal and kinesthetic cues!
The instructor didn’t demo any of the moves, which was interesting. I learned that the warm-up is essentially the same every class. The regulars knew what was coming before it came and had no issue keeping up. I tend to do really well with visuals but not so well with listening to the instructor without a demo. As a newbie, I often found myself a step behind. But I definitely think you’d get the hang of it after a few classes.
This class was unlike any barre classes I’ve taken or taught. We spent surprisingly little time at the barre and there were zero references to ballet terminology (plie, first position, second position, etc.) If you’ve never done ballet, Pure Barre is the perfect place for you to try barre - you don’t need to know the names of any moves or exercises.
This was a full body workout and I appreciated how much time we spent on core work. It’s so important! I wish we could have done a bit more with arms, or made the arm work more challenging.
The equipment was simple and high-quality - a mat, light dumbbells, a ball, and double tubing. The ball was a lot smaller and firmer than the ones I’m used to using, and I think this made some of the exercises a bit more challenging. I loved their double tubing because there are so many uses for it. Plus, it was much tighter than the bands I usually use. This made the thigh and seat work killer!
The music was okay; it wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t terrible! The selection was mostly fitness remixes of songs that I’d expect. I appreciated that we used the beat of the music when workout out, though. It’s clear that the music is selected to meet a specific BPM so that our movements are done at an appropriate speed. If you know me, you know that musicality is one of my favorite parts of creating classes. I almost always have my students work to the beat of the music.
Was I sore?
I did feel a little soreness in the legs/glutes the next day. It’s possible that I wasn’t more sore because I regularly train my lower body. If you’re new to barre, you may be in for some serious soreness the next day, though! If you’re new to exercise in general, I’d recommend starting with their Foundations class.
Tips for Pure Barre first-timers.
Don’t feel self conscious if you aren’t keeping up with the movements. I can usually keep up with fitness classes pretty well. But during a few points in the class, it took me a second to figure out what was going on. Don’t sweat it if this happens to you! If you keep showing up, it’ll become second nature.
Don’t underestimate how challenging the class is. The movements look small, but Pure Barre isn’t easy. Your muscles are definitely going to shake, regardless of how fit you are! The class is low impact, but don’t expect low difficulty.
Get there early. Pure Barre will ask you to arrive 15 minutes early. This is actually important, especially if you’re new to barre altogether. It’s likely that your class will be packed because Pure Barre is popular. You’ll want to be there early enough to find a good spot and ask your instructors any questions you have. Chances are, you’ll be using some equipment. So, it’s important to be there early enough to make sure you have what you need and get some pre-class stretching in.
Is Pure Barre worth it?
If you’re looking for a low impact workout that’s going to help you get toned, Pure Barre is a great option. I think the level of training and instruction that goes into each class definitely justifies the prices I’ve seen. You can rest assured that in a Pure Barre class your instructor knows what they’re doing. I’d especially recommend Pure Barre to anyone who’s injury-prone. The instructors do an excellent job of making sure your form is on point at all times!
I personally don’t see myself buying an unlimited membership at a Pure Barre location, mainly because I like to mix up my workouts a bit more. But I would definitely consider a class pack, which would save you money on the drop-in rate and allow you to attend classes a little more frequently!
All in all, I really enjoyed my experience at Pure Barre and I hope to try a couple of other Pure Barre studios in the near future!
Thanks so much for reading! Have you tried Pure Barre? Do you have a favorite barre studio? Let’s chat in the comments!
If you liked this post, you might like some of my other class reviews! Check out a few popular ones here:
Les Mills Barre Review
Dominique Cheylise, 25 year-old engineer and group fitness instructor.