Allow me to give you a glimpse at what it is like to have a conversation with my son:
My son: So what did you do today while I was at camp?
Me: Aside from writing and errands, I took a barre class.
My son: Exercising with a bar? Are you training to be stripper now?
Pure Barre, as we briefly discussed on Monday, is a low-impact full-body workout that focuses on isometric movements involving strengthening and stretching of the muscles to, as they say, Life, Tone and Burn.
I haven’t had an actual gym membership since last summer. I had canceled my Lifetime Athletic membership about a year ago because I didn’t feel that that the amount of time I was actually spending there was justifying the cost.
I prefer to run outdoors year round and for the days that I can’t or for days where I need to cross train, I have a gym inside my community which can serve my purpose really very well.
But I needed a little something different this summer incorporated into my routine. I wanted something different. I deserved something different… even if only for a one month new client special.
Why I signed up for Pure Barre:
I do enough cardio.
Spinning is great and I miss it but I didn’t want to pay to do more cardio.
The Pure Barre technique certainly has my muscles fatigued and shaking immediately but in a low impact, easy on the joints, no sweating or heart rate increase (at least for me) kind of way.
I am learning this new technique they refer to over and over as “tucking” which involves your abs, and core, and seat and ribs and hips but I still can’t describe what the heck it is to you. Give me a few more classes.
I didn’t want to rejoin a whole big gym.
I don’t need all of the features of a gym filled with cardio equipment, weights, class variety and babysitting.
I didn’t want other options.
Having multiple options normally available in a full-service fitness center would leave me tempted to step on a treadmill and run a few miles when my purpose for joining in the first place was to NOT run and do some cross training or strength training instead.
Other options would give me an excuse to leave a body pump class because I don’t feel like lifting weights or get off a spin bike because I don’t like the instructors choice in music in favor of fluttering around the gym doing other random things and I don’t need to pay money to do random things.
I wanted a focus and a purpose.
I wanted to focus on strengthening the muscles I use to run in a low-impact way while also figuring out how to stretch and relax everything in me that takes a pounding on the pavement.
Even though you feel yourself working those muscle groups immediately from the warm up, somehow you leave there all relaxed which is probably because Pure Barre produces similar mental benefits as you would achieve from a yoga or pilates class.
The whole mind-body connection is real.
You really are so focused on isolating and working each muscle group (while you see yourself visibly shaking in the mirror) that you block everything else in your life out.
And while I am connecting my mind and my body, I am completed disconnected from my phone.
I leave my phone in my bag which is inside the cubby room so for 55 minutes, I am unplugged. It is wonderful.
The cubbies are in the same area as the weights, balls and stretchy tube things we use for each class.
It’s nice to not have my phone next to my water bottle. When it is near you, you notice it. Even on silent. You would notice the screen flash and that is annoying and distracting.
Although I do wish something could take my focus off of my abdominals shaking through my core but since that’s the whole point of the class, I participate like a good student.
Some poses and exercises are easier for me than others. I notice my legs are quite strong but my core sure needs work.
The planks that I do on my own have helped me some but the challenge created by the different-than-I-am-used-to ab work is brutally awesome.
I struggle through some of the sets but stop when I need to. I am sure I could push myself more but I was never one to really do so.
I am not looking to see a six-pack in my abs. I am 36 years old and had a baby.
Whatever I can do I feel is more than I was doing on my own which is more than enough for me.
If someone could train my stomach to remain flat and not to bloat from vegetables, I would take that for sure over really defined abdominal muscles.
Today will be my third class at Pure Barre. I am really looking forward to it.
My plan is to attend two, if not three, Pure Barre classes a week.
Although I will want to, I probably won’t sign up again right away when my one-month membership expires because it is pricey.
If they offer another deal, that is another story.
I am hoping to learn enough in this month to be able to incorporate some of the exercises into my own fitness routine at home.
I have a “yoga” room separate from the gym – here’s a peak:
I use it on occasion for stretching, free weight nonsense and for those times where I try to simulate my own kick boxing class.
If I can kick box on my own, I am sure I can Pure Barre on my own.
I just don’t have a barre.
Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!
Do you leave your phone home/in your gym bag when running/working out?
Favorite cross training activity/class?
Random question —> Is your coffee iced or hot today?