Pure Barre is Pure Hell, But You’ll See Results

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 10.41.56 AMBy: Sarah McWilliams

CrossFit has changed the way many people exercise, and in the process has changed the bodies of many female athletes. Cross-fitters tend to be more muscular or even bulkier, and for good reason. The heavy lifts of the sport aid in quick muscle building, and it certainly shows.

It’s unclear whether the timing of a new fitness workout, Pure Barre, stemmed from women who weren’t interested in that type of body, but the timing certainly seems to add up. Pure Barre has very little in common with CrossFit – the largest weight for Pure Barre is only three pounds – but it does share in the fact that it has almost a cult-like following, and it gets results fast. Across the nation, women are working on their seat (glutes) and ledge (lower butt) to sculpt a long, lean dancer’s body through Barre classes.

The strength and determination necessary for Pure Barre is comparable to CrossFit, but with much different results. Pure Barre stems from Pilates, yoga and ballet with the intention of lengthening the muscles rather than bulking.

So how hard is Pure Barre? An article recently went viral where a man tried Pure Barre to see what all the hype was about. Although the Pure Barre website touts that the fitness classes are for both genders, most classes are predominantly female. As somewhat of a fitness guru himself, David Covucci assumed the class would be a piece of cake. However, once starting the fitness phenomenon he quickly realized the class wasn’t a joke.

“What is wrong with you women? If this workout is what you think is required to have socially acceptable toned arms, tight butts and trim stomachs… I’d rather go a month without food,” Covucci writes half-jokingly. “That would be preferable to the near hour I spent pumping my hips up and down as both my shoulders and quadriceps quivered uncontrollably as I constantly fought the near overwhelming urge to toss a noose around the Barre bar and end it all.”

While the article was written to be funny, there is much truth behind it. Pure Barre will push you to your limit, but it works. If it didn’t, women wouldn’t be lining up to put themselves through the pain, especially at a price of anywhere from $20 to $35 per single session.

Lyndsey Williams is one such follower who shells out the hefty price tag for the classes. Although it’s admittedly expensive, she believes the price tag is worth it.

“I wish I could do it every day but it is expensive, so I am limiting myself to 2-3 times a week. I really think it is worth the money because the results are there,” said Williams. “It is also fun, of course in a masochistic, tortuous sort of way.”

Which really makes us wonder, what it is about the class that is so effective that people are willing to pay this much money for it.

“The concept behind the class is that you work certain muscle groups until they are completely fatigued and then you move on to another group,” said Williams. “You start with a warm-up that is as challenging as most of the classes I have taken. You then move onto arms, thighs, your ledge — this is their fancy term for your butt– then finish with abs.”

And even though the students are working out, and their muscles are trembling, they aren’t counting the seconds until it’s over.

“The class is an hour long, but it doesn’t feel like an hour. I’ve never found myself looking up at the clock wondering when I could leave and go get a “recovery” drink at a real bar,” said Williams. “I was too busy trying not to just lie down and die.”

For more information on Pure Barre, or to find a local studio, visit www.purebarre.com.