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Sunday, July 28, 2013

See you at the Barre... A Healthy Obsession

If you follow me on any other form of social media, you probably are already annoyed at how much I mention Pure Barre and how wonderful it is.  Well, for anyone that would like a more elaborate explanation, I’d love to gush a little bit more about what exactly barre workouts are and how much they can change your body in such a short amount of time.  I hope that by the end of this, you’re inclined to Google the closest location to your house to start chiseling your abs, thinning out those thighs and firming up that booty, girl.

I looked into barre workouts because I had heard that Kelly Ripa did them, and who doesn’t want Kelly Ripa’s bod/clothes/hair/awesome stainless steel fridge/life in general?  There is a location less than a mile from my house in Jax Beach ( and when I saw a Groupon, I signed up and thought I’d see what all the fuss is about. 


I like to think that I have been in decent shape since about 2010 when I did my first half marathon.  I’m always into trying new workouts, and I love new forms of conditioning classes (especially Les Mills ones – BodyAttack and BodyPump are a must if you’ve never tried them out!).  Cardio is great, but strength training is so important to really get your body looking the way you want it. 

I rolled into this “ballet barre class” where the heaviest weight is 5 lbs (you start out with 2 lb weights) and you get a sweet little ball and fun stretchy band as accessories for your workout.  I wasn’t intimidated.  I will say that as soon as I rolled in, I looked around and immediately noticed the hot bodies of the ladies that were in attendance.  It’s always a good sign when you show up to a class and you know you want to look like the people who frequent the workout.


What’s a class like? GO: Warm up (mostly abs/arms), push-ups, 90 second plank followed by side planks, tricep session with weights, biceps with slightly heavier weights, upper back (“tank top line”), stretch, 3 thigh workouts (OUCH), stretch, 3 seat workouts (OUCHHHH), stretch, core and upper body workout round two, stretch, ABS ABS ABS (OUCCHHH),  lower back, final full body work out, STRETCH! All to fantastic music.


By the end, I was sore in places I didn’t know I could work out…and I was in love.  You really do work to fatigue every part of your body, and then you stretch out to build long, lean muscles instead of bulking up.  You spend the 55 minutes in a “tuck” position—pushing your hips forward and sucking them back in during certain movements. 

Awkward at first, but I got used to it, and PB instructors are like personal trainers.  They will walk around and correct your form to ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout, and they’ll give you positive feedback when you’re working hard.  After the first class, I was proven wrong - this “little ballet barre” workout was no joke!


Long story short, this workout targets problem areas for women that aren’t always fixed with hours of cardio.  (Abs, thighs, butt, and arms.) I will mention that I eat pretty healthy during the week, and if you have a lot of weight to lose, you should combine PB with some sort of cardio, and you will see amazing results.

Pure Barre is a combination of yoga, Pilates, strength training and isometric movements that shape the body in a way like you’ve never seen.  Not only are you burning crazy calories, but because the moves are so precise, you have to really concentrate about what you’re doing to effectively and correctly position yourself.  The 55 minute workout is an escape from the world, and a wonderful outlet for your mind. 


Most people see results in about 10 classes, which I definitely did.  I have always struggled with upper body strength, and now, I have no problem powering through the full body pushup sequence or the 90 second plank in the warm up.  I have better shape to my arms, my abs exists again, I’ve never been more proud of my backside, and my thighs are too small for my jeans. WIN.

This is me before and after 15 classes.  I can’t wait to see the results after 30!

I have been in the San Francisco area all week and haven’t been able to go in 5 days. I’m craving it.  I can’t wait to go tomorrow—it’s that serious! True life: I’m addicted to Pure Barre & I don’t think I’ll ever go back.


*If you don’t have Pure Barre in your area, just google barre workouts in your city.  PB is expanding but I’m a big fan of Barre 54 and The Bar Method in Winter Park too (I have been to both while traveling in the area). Barre classes are all over. Check them out- it does the body good!*

Stay healthy!


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