Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Pure Barre trendy, yet effective workout

Lift, tone, burn. With a workout that claims to be the “fastest, most effective way to change your body,” Pure Barre has become increasingly popular among women all over America who are coveting the long, lean ballerina figure. Pure Barre is a one-hour class that targets individual muscle groups through small isometric movements on a ballet barre, all set to music.

I decided to give this workout craze a chance by attending classes three to four times a week for three weeks. I secretly wanted to prove their slogan wrong. My nose was already turned up like I do when it comes to most other trendy workouts that appeal to celebrities and socialites.

Upon entering the Tuscaloosa Pure Barre studio for the first time, the boutique-like atmosphere was among the first things I noticed. The front half of the building is flooded with merchandise – from Pure Barre brand athletic clothes to Lily and Laura beaded bracelets and Emi-Jay hair ties. They definitely have the Tuscaloosa female demographic down pat. The next thing I noticed was the dancer-esque workout ensembles sported by the instructors as well as the majority of the women in my class.

I was surrounded by beautiful, already toned, ballerinas. By now my intimidation level had increased to an all-time high. My running shorts were a no-go and crew socks were borderline sinful. Be sure to purchase sticky socks for your first class and wear long leggings (capri length is also appropriate).

The class moved quickly from warm-up, to light weights, to stretching, legs, glutes, abs and then more stretching; which kept things interesting and left no time for me to complain about my leg cramps. The pump-up music played throughout the class also helped keep me going when the going got tough, aka thighs. The instructors encouraged all participants to hold positions until muscles were shaking and fatigued – needless to say I was shaking and ready to fall over pretty quickly into each movement set.

As I was contorted and bent into awkward positions that somehow managed to target muscles I never knew existed, I gained a sense of respect for these girls I had immediately judged for their glitzy athletic wear and perfect make-up.

Immediately following my seemingly humiliating workout I bolted for the door, my legs like jello, but was stopped by the friendly instructor who asked for my name and any questions I had regarding the Pure Barre techniques. Throughout my three week experience I was impressed with the friendly staff, eager to help and calm any newcomer’s anxiety. This was one of the reasons I left ready to try again, next time maybe a little less embarrassing and maybe even a little bit stronger.

As the weeks progressed I definitely found the movements a little easier and found myself able to push myself a little harder. The newly formed indentation in my tiny bicep is my trophy for my hard work and is my incentive to keep trying and not just give it up like most of the workout trends I have tried.

I never did buy the right clothes, I chose to stick to my guns and continue sporting my lackluster gym clothes. I think they still accepted me.

Many college students may be turned off to Pure Barre classes because of the high price, especially considering the fully-equipped Rec Center on campus. Noting the college budget, Pure Barre has cut monthly rates from $255 to $125 a month for students.

I encourage students to give the Pure Barre technique a try. At the end of the three weeks, the wall I had created between myself and the beautifully toned Barre girls had tumbled down. I found myself eager to work harder in classes and might have made a friend or two in the process.

Pure Barre is located at 1520 McFarland Blvd., next to Bow Regards.

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