New Year’s Resolution to get fit? Try Pure Barre.

Sit down and listen to what will be the start to your best New Year’s and getting that body you’ve always wanted! Let me introduce you to Pure Barre and all that it has to offer.

I should also add that I love Pure Barre and this was my New Year’s Resolution three years ago and I’m still going strong!

My Workout Journey

Being an athlete my whole life I never had to worry about my workouts, they were always given to me by my coach or trainer. I lifted weights through high school and college and loved pushing myself, but after college, I was sick of the weight room and ready for something new.

I tried going to the gym and doing some of the workouts I remember doing in college or looking something up quickly online, via Pinterest or Instagram, but I always found myself extremely unmotivated.

I would cut a set short, or only do eight reps instead of 10. When I would run on the treadmill if I told myself I would do 20 minutes I would end up cutting the time to 15 or even 10 depending on the day.

I really needed that discipline and, quite frankly, I just wanted someone to tell me what to do within my work outs. I didn’t have the energy or time to create my own.

I knew I didn’t want to go back to my college work out format. I felt bulky, and wanted to be more lean and feminine with my body. Something I just felt that I didn’t get before.

My cousin’s secret to getting fit

That’s when I was going to my cousin Carly’s Bridal shower in 2013 and her mom made this amazing scrapbook for her to have. As I was flipping thru the book and looking at pictures I paused and had to do a double take, at the picture and at Carly.

I looked at my cousin in awe and said, “Oh my God, you weren’t always tiny?!” I said this in shock, disbelief and as a seriously confused question.

Now understand my cousin is NOT fat. I’ve never once in my life thought she was, which was why seeing this photo of her really took me off guard.

When I finally was able to pick my mouth off the floor, my follow up question was simple, “Carly, what did you do?”

“Pure Barre.”

Unfortunately, my before and after pictures do not even do justice but here’s what we’ve got!

On the left is Carly before Pure Barre, on the right is Carly after.

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Anyways, as soon as she told me, I was that “basic bitch” who was going to make Pure Barre my “New Years resolution.”

My other cousin was getting married in February and I wanted to look and feel great that day. That’s when my Pure Barre journey began.

Starting Pure Barre

I’ll never forget my first class, I was looking around at everyone else thinking, “I must look like a elephant walking trying to ice dance.” The class is fast paced, with high energy music with supportive and encouraging instructors.

What blew my mind after my first class was how much pain I was in. I mean, come on, I was a college athlete, this should’ve been a cake walk. This was not the case.

If you ever observe a class you’ll notice that all the movements are small and intricate, but that’s why it works! It targets those hard to reach muscle areas that we want to improve on but have a hard time doing.

Susan Rothman, West Loop and Fulton River District Owner in Chicago isn’t surprised by the number of people flocking to Pure Barre studios.

“The results speak for themselves. It’s like hey, if you do this, you’re going to see results, and as a business owner that feels really good. I can feel really confident in what we’re doing,” says Rothman.

My Barre instructor’s insight

Rothman was a swimmer her whole life. She went to the University of Kentucky, but didn’t make it the full four years as a college athlete after pulling her groin twice before the end of her freshman year she came to the realization that, she didn’t think she could do this anymore.

But being a “workout junkie” Rothman found another ways to still be competitive, get those endorphins and have a great sweat session! Before finding Pure Barre she was on a competitive adult swimming team, a dancer, ran marathons, cycled, spin classes and even did triathlons.

After shattering her radial head from flipping off of her bike (head first – ouch) Rothman lost six months of her life in half a second.

“It was definitely a mental thing,” said Rothman.

But she wasn’t really able to get back on a bike after that. After her recovery, next was running. But Rothman was not designed to be a runner — her doctor’s words, not her’s.

One day her friend dragged her to a Pure Barre class and after taking it Rothman had mixed emotions.

“It fascinated me because I didn’t quite know how to category it. It frustrated me because, I was like why am I not good at this? I should be strong enough, this is just a girl’s fitness class, this should be me walking in and doing my mom’s step aerobics. I had all these misconceptions about it,” said Rothman.

She’s definitely not alone, most people do.

I mean, how is it that a class with the highest weighs being three pounds, with little to no impact on your body be this challenging? But believe me, you’d be surprised.

I was shocked by how sore my body was the next day. Rolling out of bed felt like an exercise in itself, that’s how sore I was. But I made myself go back the very next day because I knew if I didn’t I would just let myself continue to be sore.

Rothman went back too and she couldn’t quite figure out why, but she knew she had to.

“When I took Pure Barre, I was like oh there’s something to this. The music is good, the flow is good, everything is challenging in different ways, my body feels challenged, but my mentality feels challenged too… I want to be good at this,” said Rothman.

More than just a workout

I definitely felt that way as well. I wanted to figure this out because it wasn’t just physically challenging but mentally it was unlike anything I’d ever done.

One of things that is stressed in Pure Barre is that mind, body connection. You actually need to think about the movements that you’re doing. It’s not just swinging your leg from left to right, it’s contracting your glutes to make your leg move from left to right.

Seriously, stand up right now, hold onto the back of a chair, stand up straight, put your right foot on the back diagonal line and move your leg left to right. But contract your glutes you make your leg move. Don’t just swing it side to side.

“You can turn off your brain to the outside world but you have to be tuned in to you,” said Rothman.

Another thing I love about Pure Barre is it gives me everything in just under a hour with three different kinds of Pure Barre classes. You have the classic Pure Barre, Pure Empower and Pure Reform. All these classes at the base are true Pure Barre but Empower and Reform offer something a little bit different and more.

Empower is a 45 minute full body class with traditional Pure Barre incorporated and interval training that get’s you heart pumping and the sweat coming.

Reform is similar but this class is based and inspired by resistance training. This class is challenging in a way that really forces you to fully engage your core throughout the 50 minute class.

“It’s a full body workout every time you walk in. We know that our clients have limited time, and busy schedules and when you come in we’re going to give you the best full body workout every time,” said Rothman.

I don’t know what you all do, but I got five jobs and a 95 lb. chocolate lab that’s gets a lot of my loving and attention. I also love to workout and an hour a day is really all the time I can get.

To be able to go in, turn my brain off and leave knowing that I just gave that workout my everything feels AMAZING!

Give it a try, you just might be surprised with the results!

My advice

Here are three pieces of advice on those who are interested in giving Pure Barre a chance!

  1. “Allow yourself to be a beginning,” says Rothman. It will take your body about 5-10 classes for that mind body connection to click and for the terminology to make sense.

  2. Don’t compare yourself to others taking the class. Everyone is on a different path, and remember you’re creating yours.

  3. After your first class go back the next day! You’re going to be sore but it’ll be worth it!

Like I said, I’m hooked! But if you want to give it a try, I say DO it. And if you’re already Barre obsessed like me, tell us your story in the comments!

Until next time…

— Jenna



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