Tuck, tuck, roll: My first Pure Barre experience

There aren’t many fitness classes I’m afraid of. I can handle the strange yoga poses and the intense muscle resistance in Pilates. Even lung-burning cardio classes are fun.

Pure Barre is a mix of yoga, Pilates and cardio. It kinda seems like the fitness fad for wealthy women who buy vanilla lattes and spend $200 at Nike. Piece of cake for someone like me, right?

I was so very, very wrong.

Let me give you a brief history of Pure Barre. According to their website, dancer Carrie Rezabek Dorr started Pure Barre in her basement in Birmingham, Michigan in 2001. In a few short years the fitness class took off and franchises were popping up all over the country.

Murfreesboro’s own Pure Barre headquarters, located at 1970 Medical Center Parkway, Suite C, is nestled among eccentric restaurants and a smoothie establishment (which I found extremely ironic). Last week, I decided to accept my friend’s invitation to try a class.

And, of course, she canceled at the last minute.

Since I’d already paid – your first class is only $10, but there was no way I was going to waste that – I was locked in. Alone and slightly anxious, I went to the class alone.

First impression? Aromatherapy. Lavender essential oil, to be exact. The whole studio was like a Japanese zen spa.

The studio/torture room. *photo by Etta Petersen

Word of advice: Show up at least 15 minutes before your first class so you can get everything situated and talk with your instructor. It took my instructor 10 minutes to fully explain the equipment and the class process.

Also, bring “sticky socks.” Sticky socks have little rubber pieces glued on the bottom. Pure Barre offers its own high-quality sticky socks for $14, but I’m positive other stores sell similar socks at a lower price.

So back to my sweat-fest: By the time the class started I’d been joined by one other woman. So, the three of us (my instructor, the woman and myself) began our incredibly awkward class.

During the one-hour class you work out four different body areas: arms, thighs, glutes and abs. Pure Barre is famous for its high-intensity muscle-resistance workouts. During each exercise set, you never move a body part more than an inch.

And I mean one. Inch.

Don’t underestimate this small move. By the end  of my first set of thigh moves, my quads were shaking so hard I couldn’t stand up straight. I don’t even want to mention what happened during the glute section.

As you can see, I can barely handle standing. *photo by Etta Petersen

For me, the most confusing move during the class was the concept of “tucking” your hips. Apparently if you “tuck” your hips (under what, I’m still not sure) you get a better glute workout. They say it takes a few classes to properly master this move. Let’s see, shall we?

This is what “tucking” is. Yeahhh. *photo by Kerri Shore

After the four sets of movements were finished, I felt like I had just performed a muscle detox. I was sweaty, twitchy and pretty ecstatic. This class had worked areas of my body I didn’t realize were there.

My instructor Taylor Adams. *photo by Etta Petersen

Now, that’s not to say I would recommend this program to everyone. Each class is about $20, so college students may want to look elsewhere to get their sweat on.

I severely underestimated Pure Barre. I went in thinking it was going to be a meetup of  women discussing the recent Nicholas Sparks novel and left unable to walk a straight line.

My only critique: Jump In The Line (Shake Senora) by Harry Belafonte should’ve played during the class. Just saying.




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