My First Pure Barre Experience Didn't Set the Bar Very High

From the malfunctioning microphone to the monotonous movements, I’m sad to say that my experience at Pure Barre was a FWAB "miss."

After noticing the studio in Buckhead, I decided to give Pure Barre a try. If you would like to try the class yourself, there are studio locations across the country. The format involves small movements that utilize a ballet bar and other equipment to “lift your seat, tone your thighs, abs and arms.” (The photos above are from Pure Barre's website and showcase some of the exercises you might do in class.) So if you’re looking for a cardio class to get your heart rate up, this is not a good fit.  

I registered for the class online (it was $23) a few days in advance, which was great. Here's a key piece of advice if you're taking a Pure Barre class — bring socks. You are required to wear them for the class. If you don’t bring a pair, you will be tempted to buy the special socks with "grips" on the bottom that you can purchase at the studio. My opinion? Just bring regular socks.

Before class, we were asked to gather a few toys: a small ball, light and heavy weights and a resistance tube. Once class began, it was obvious that the microphone wasn't working, and I really felt for the instructor (been there plenty of times myself). But instead of turning down the music so we could hear her, she tried to teach the class with the music turned up — which meant that I couldn't understand a word she was saying. Also, she spent a great deal of the class going back and forth to fiddle with the mic, which meant I couldn't hear OR see what I was supposed to be doing.

From what I learned after the class, people who were regulars weren't as lost because they knew the routine. (And most of the 12 people in my class were regulars.) But that argument is no good for the new folks in class who have paid good money for a workout. With that said, I understand that I might have had a better experience with another instructor. However, the other issue I had with the class is that I was left feeling a bit bored.

You work through basic movements for the arms, legs and butt, and abs and back. And you are often doing the same movement for 30 seconds or more before you move on to another. Now, that's not to say that the repetition isn't effective — I certainly have some sore spots a day after the workout. But this style of primarily working one muscle group at a time doesn't keep my attention for long.

The other thing that bugged me about the exercises is that we weren't given many options to make things easier or harder. So, for example, if I'm brand new to exercise and can't do what the instructor is doing, I'm stuck. There is a possibility that if the mic had been working I would have heard some of these cues. But I've got to go on what I experienced.

Although, the studio was clean and the instructor was very apologetic for the mic malfunctions, I walked away feeling disappointed and wishing I'd gone to yoga instead. Oh well, here's hoping that the next group ex class I try is a "fit." Maybe it's time to finally try CrossFit...

Any suggestions on the best gyms in Atlanta for CrossFit classes? If you have one, post it to the FWAB Facebook page or the "Comment" section of the blog.

Until next Tuesday, stay FWABulous and have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!