Lift. Tone. Burn.: My Pure Barre Experience

Their motto: Lift. Tone. Burn. 

Okay, how hard can that be? I was a former dancer after all... and kicked with the world-famous Rockettes … TWICE… so taking a Pure Barre class shouldn't be **that** difficult, right? WRONG!

There's a reason it's known as the fastest, most effective way to change your body. Because IT IS. Just ask anyone who's tried it (like me, keep reading). 

My first thought when I heard barre class was ballet barre. But really, the barre is more for holding on for dear life as you're lifting and your body is shaking. Nothing graceful like my stretching in the picture below.

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As part of my job, I host blogger events at the retailers in our shopping centers. I hosted two blogger Pure Barre classes at their studio at Sunshine Square in Boynton Beach and their studio at Union Planters Plaza in Fort Lauderdale. Here's how the classes went down (taught by Studio Manager Nicole in Boynton Beach and Instructor Mandi in Fort Lauderdale. Both were amazing and encouraged us along the way. Trust me, you'll need all the support and encouraging words you can get. Keep reading to find out why.).

You start on the floor getting your muscles warmed up. By warmed up, they mean being in plank position for 90 seconds and circling your hips. I can barely hold a plank for 30 seconds nevertheless move my hips! And you'll hear the word "tuck" for the first time. The first of about 55 times in a 55 minute class. It basically means you're pushing your pelvis toward the front. Imagine circling and tucking… while planking! The good thing is you can modify. Translation: go down to your knees. This was more my speed. Oh, and this is why they recommend you wear sticky socks. You know, the kind you get at the hospital when you give birth. I've still got mine. But opted for some cuter, Pure Barre ones to wear to class.

After the floor exercises, we used weights to lift and tone our arms. I chose the 2 pounders. There are also 3 and 5 lb. dumbbells but when working on my shoulders, I can't handle too much weight. The other good news here is you can use your own resistance instead of weights. I stuck with the 2 pounds. LIFTING!

After arms, it's back to working your bottom half. THIGHS! This part of the workout is a killer. It hurts so bad I can feel my face cringing as tears roll down it. My entire body was shaking as I was using small, isometric movements that transform it. The "shakes" they say are because your body is literally changing before your eyes. TONING!

You also work your seat when you're at the barre. They call this the Pure Barre ledge… where your tush and your leg meet. It feels great knowing my saggy bum is being lifted and toned. (You can't tell from the above picture taken unbeknownst to me by my friend, Sahily who writes at Pretty in Pigment, but trust me - it's being lifted and toned.)

Another time you hold onto the barre for dear life is during the ab workout. Check it out. Using your core to lift your leg. I thought I was doing this incorrectly because it didn't hurt as much as the other exercises but I was reassured, that was not the case. My friend, Nicole who writes at Sisters From Another Mister, took this beauty shot. Don't mind the fat rolls. Those will go away with more Pure Barre classes.

After more abs on the floor - the typical way you do an ab workout - it's more seat work in a bridge position like Monkey does in gymnastics. Then, the best part - COOL DOWN! We stretched out our muscles which felt really good. Even better when Nicole and Mandi would come by, push down gently and help with a deeper stretch. It feels ah-mazing!

So we've covered LIFT. TONE. The BURN? Yeah, that comes the following day and the day after that and the day after that. I felt the burn in places I didn't know could burn… like my ribs! I must have been working my core to the core.

It's an amazing workout. An addictive workout. One that I can now see why is called the fastest, most effective way to change your body. If you'd like to give it a try, the two studios are holding their grand opening parties this weekend. 

Pure Barre at Sunshine Square in Boynton Beach will have a party Friday, January 31 from 7-9 p.m. with light bites, drinks and raffle prizes. You can also bring a friend for free to their Friday morning classes.

Pure Barre at Union Planters Plaza in Fort Lauderdale will have a party Saturday, February 1 from 6-8 p.m. with light bites, drinks and raffle prizes. You can bring a friend for free to their Friday morning and evening classes.

If you didn't attend the grand openings, no worries. Try out the studio's new client special - 5 weeks of unlimited classes for $99. You'll be hooked and never want to leave the barre!

Read more about Pure Barre's story below and connect with them and our shopping centers on social:

Pure Barre: Facebook - Pure Barre Boynton Beach | Twitter: @PBBoyntonBeach | Instagram: @PureBarreBB

Sunshine Square: Facebook – Sunshine Square | Twitter: @Sunshine_Square | Instagram: @sunshine_square

Pure Barre: Facebook – Pure Barre Fort Lauderdale | Twitter: @PureBarreFtLaud | Instagram: @PureBarre_FTL

Union Planters Plaza: Facebook – Union  Planters Plaza | Twitter: @UPlantersPlaza | Instagram: @unionplantersplaza

Pure Barre is the largest, most established barre franchise in the nation, with more than 180 studios across the country, and more opening every month. Pure Barre is a total body workout that utilizes the ballet barre to perform small, isometric movements, which burn fat, sculpt muscles and create long, lean physiques.

Pure Barre was founded by dancer, choreographer and fitness guru Carrie Rezabek Dorr. Carrie opened her first studio in the basement of an office building in Birmingham, MI in 2001. With no initial clients, staff, signage or even a bathroom, Carrie successfully grew Pure Barre into the dynamic company it is today.

In July of 2009, Pure Barre became a franchise and has exploded in popularity, due to its extremely effective technique (which transforms the shape of a woman’s body in record-breaking time, as you read about above). It also has a friendly, high-energy atmosphere with fun, motivating music.

Pure Barre is more than just a workout; it’s a lifestyle. At Pure Barre, women share a sense of community, in which they are inspired and empowered by each other’s fitness and lifestyle goals. In addition to classes, Pure Barre also offers DVDs, equipment and exercise apparel.

Have you taken a barre class before? What about Pure Barre? How do you like it compared to other workout routines? I hope to see you at the barre!