A Trainer’s Review of Pure Barre

**This is my opinion review after ONLY 1 class, please also read my follow up post after finishing 10 weekly sessions of pure barre classes.**

Here in sunny San Diego there is a fitness craze holding it’s own amongst the rest…Pure Barre classes.  The classes are held in independent studios with wood floors, mirrored walls, and classic ballet barres.  The La Costa studio where I attended is very chic with a boutique-style theme that makes you feel a bit better about the high end price you are paying (~$20/class).  Socks are required, for hygienic reasons I believe, but they encourage the socks with traction (like the type toddlers wear for grip).  I find this is nice for keeping the floors free of smelly feet, but a bit of a marketing ploy for the Pure Barre logo socks so conveniently hung close to the cashier.  Entering into the studio, set yourself up with the mandatory provided equipment- a nice padded mat and small inflatable ball (like a mini 4-square ball).  Just make sure to bring your own small towel and water bottle.

Finally experiencing the workout for myself here are my thoughts:

  •  This is a great fitness addition for your ‘tool box’, but should not be your ONLY workout.
  •  Be prepared to get sore, but just like any new exercise, your body will get used to it if you go regularly.
  • I like how the exercises challenge your balance and focus onto specific muscles.

My biggest challenge was finding a basis for the foundational claims from the Pure Barre website:

Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time.Right here my ‘spidey sense’ or ‘common sense’ kicks in being sceptical of anything to make the claim of record-breaking time.

Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body. Students see results in just 10 classes“.  Again…really?

Pure Barre is intelligent exercise. The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscle without bulk.”  I agree here.  The exercises are non-impact, short range of motion exercises that challenge muscle endurance and muscle length (flexibility).  For those that know exercise physiology, this is for the Type-I muscle fibers.

“The workout launches a full blown attack on the areas of the body all women struggle with: abs, hips, seat and arms. It defies gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up”Here we go again with unrealistic promises.  Yes, the exercises are for the abs, hips, seat and arms but there is no such thing as spot ‘tapering’ or spot lifting.

Therefore, if you keep your feet firmly grounded in the reality that there are NO QUICK FIXES, please enjoy this fun new fitness craze.  Add it to a well rounded fitness regimen and enjoy the variety it brings.  But be forewarned, it is a craze (in my opinion) and it won’t be around forever.

What do you think about Pure Barre?


8 thoughts on “A Trainer’s Review of Pure Barre

  1. Pingback: Revisiting My Pure Barre Review |

  2. I tried PB for the first month, $100, all you can go. I thought it was a bit expensive and wasn't sure I would move forward with it. After the first month, without being prompted, my BF told me my bum looked different while walking through the bedroom in the buff. I was SOLD! And it's been well over a year now and I have muscles that I never had. I've always been athletic, but had a hard time breaking through the layer of fat in my legs. I still have problem areas, but nothing I've ever tried, from Spinning to Yoga to Swimming AND a personal trainer, has changed my body the way the PB method has. I understand you could be skeptical by the claims, but unless you put other exercises aside for a months time and dedicate it to PB, you can't really give it a solid review after a single class. Heck, most people don't even do it right the first time they go, they're bouncing all over the place. Anyhoo…just saying…and the previous commentor is right about the review. Had I read this before I tried it, I woudln't have gone because it would have reinforced the feeling it was too expensive and not worth it.

  3. I love Pure Barre. It is true what they say about your body changing in 10 classes. I did only 6 and that and a few times on the treadmill and my hubby couldn't believe the difference. I could and feel the change but I was surprised when he pointed out to me without asking. A size 4 skirt that did not fit a week and a half before fit a week and a half later. Even the zipper would not go up. I am 45 years old and going forward I am happy doing this exercise and some cardio. It is mixture of yoga/pilates and ballet.. I do not mean this to be mean but this is the one reason I do not like reading reviews. If I had read this blog before I purchased the tapes I would have never made the purchase and discovered this amazing exercise. Again ..really before you judge or do a review you should really do the program for at least a month.

  4. I'm happy that Pure Barre is helping you achieve your fitness goals! When I refer to a “craze” I do mean the packaging of it and the current excitement of it all. I realize the workout is nothing new. Remember Callanetics back in the 80's? I used to borrow my mom's vhs tapes :).
    If you read, I liked the workout and recommended it. But I still believe that short range training should not be the sole source of a fitness routine/lifestyle.
    Fads and crazes are part of the fitness industry and it's marketing. They come and go with new tweaks and new packaging. If the newest thing out with attention-grabing bells and whistles gets more people moving and feeling better I AM ALL FOR IT! And I know from many days of a sore booty that Pure Barre gets ya where it counts.

  5. It's a bit offensive to hear you call Pure Barre a “craze.” It's a mix of ballet, Pilates and yoga which have been around for MANY years (5,000 to be exact when it comes to yoga!) There is nothing fad-like about those practices–this merely combines them into a tidy workout. Perhaps branding it (Pure Barre, The Dailey Method, etc.) is a bit fad-like in that studios and merchandise are cropping up all over the place and people are making money off of it, but the moves and the concept are pretty well grounded in good fitness techniques: squeezing muscles and holding them, lifting and bearing your own weight, short range of motion followed by stretching, working your core to achieve inner strength, achieving good posture, etc. I've been doing PB for three months now and am in incredible shape, having lost 18 lbs. since starting. I can't remember when my thighs have been this lean and tight, my booty is so much smaller, my arms are looking defined and lean and for the first time since having my kids by c-section, my abs are strong. I can see and feel muscle tone for the first time in a decade. I've just recently added some other workouts into my regimen (strength-training class, Zumba, kickbox cardio) and Pure Barre has made me so strong, those workouts are incredibly easy for me now.

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