Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pure Barre Class Review (Take Two)

As you all know, my main source of working out is running. It's my workout of choice about 80% of the time.  What I lack is strength training.  I've had periods of strength training, such as when I had a personal trainer during my first marathon training (2011), or the month bout I did at Crossfit recently.  Back in the day (before my obsessive running), I consistently went to weights/toning classes at the gym but that gym is closed and those classes don't exist at my current gym.  I've also slacked off in this area due to my repeat shoulder dislocations.

My body is so weak that numerous doctors and physical therapists have been utterly shocked at my weak glutes and hips. I have been told that I am the worst they've ever seen!  Woohoo!  I'm #1!  And I've been dubbed by a friend as PITA (pain in the a$$.) for my weak glutes.

So when I was presented to attend a complimentary class by Pure Barre in Orland Park for a few of us bloggers, I was NOT going to pass it up!  I was really excited for the opportunity because, if you remember, I had been to an introduction class back in December and I have wanted to come back for months now!  This is my opportunity to take the class again and see what I think.  Plus this was an actual class, not just the introductory class I went to before.  I was previously sore for 3 days following the December class.  I wanted the pain again!  (What is wrong with me?? Maybe this is why I'm a marathon runner.)

At the Pure Barre studio, I met up my fellow running bloggers Jill, Melanie and Meghan.  I run frequently with Jill and Melanie but this was the first time I met Meghan and I was pretty excited about that. We were introduced to our instructor Cassie and shown where to put our things and what we would need for class.  Cassie was great and talked to us a bit about the class, the goal of the studio, and what we should expect. She also explained that she is a "hands-on" instructor and may correct our form if needed. I love hands-on instructors because I want to make sure my form is good to get the maximum benefit of the moves I'm doing.
"But first, let's take a selfie!" Me, Jill, and Melanie (photo credit...I think Jill...)
The moves at Pure Barre are very tiny, isometric movements that really target the areas that you are working.  In my opinion, it has a "ballet-meets-pilates" type of feel to it.  Anything you need for class is provided there, you just need to bring yourself, water, and wear socks.  They provide a mat, a small ball, light weights, a tube, and a ballet bar.

This is a tough workout!  I think I was about 2 minutes in when I said, "Oh My God!"  In a good way, of course!  The instructor's explanations and reminders during class and during the movements along with the form corrections she would give reminded me to check my form and make sure I was doing things correctly (how my back should be, open up my hips, what I should be doing with my feet).  I was doing a move at one point that focused on the glutes and... wow!!... I felt my glutes. I would take a short rest but try to get right back into the move. I didn't want to waste this class!  I wanted to get as much benefit as I possibly could!

I think it would be too hard and not beneficial at all to try to explain the exact moves we were doing. However, we worked every.single.part of the body... from shoulders, to triceps and biceps, to shoulder blades, obliques, abs, hips, butt, quads, hamstrings, and calves!  It truly is an overall body workout. The movements are so small and tiny and there is no impact on your joints in any way. Due to my shoulder injury, there was one thing I didn't do during the warm-up but other than that, I was able to do (at least try to do) every move they wanted me to.
Post class L-R: Melanie, Jill, Me, Meghan, Liz (Meghan's friend and Jill's neighbor)
So what did I think? I loved it. I loved it the first time and I loved it this time. So, why did it take me 6 months to go back?  To be honest, it's a bit out of my price range. What I had thought about doing was to take advantage of the "first time client one-month unlimited" deal they have and see what my results are after 1 month of going on a regular basis.  I have NO DOUBT I would see great results and really tone up my body!  It would be great for me now that marathon training is about to come underway. This is one of the main areas I'm lacking in (and many long distance runners lack) and I know it would help my running.  I also love that they have several evening classes during the week, since that (and weekends) would be the only ones I could attend. I will definitely keep you posted on what I decide to do.

**Disclaimer: The opinions provided in this post are all mine. I was not paid to write this review.  The class I attended was free to me.


  1. Woohoo! I am so glad you had a great experience! Let me know when you want to go back! :)