The story goes that, when I was 7, my ballet teacher (Bruce, I remember you) kindly suggested that my parents consider investing my time less into dance and more into sports. As an adult with pretty much zero dancing ability and a great track record with athletics, I understand where Bruce was coming from. That being said, I’ve always been fascinated with dancers and, in my dream world, I’m a prima ballerina. Maybe that’s why I love Pure Barre.
Pure Barre is the largest, most established barre franchise in the nation, with more than 460 studios throughout the U.S. and Canada, and more studios opening rapidly. Pure Barre was founded by dancer, choreographer, and fitness guru, Carrie Rezabek Dorr. Carrie’s first studio opened in the basement of an office building in Birmingham, MI and had neither signage nor a bathroom. Clients loved the workout, and in 2009, Carrie made it a franchise. The principle behind Pure Barre’s proprietary technique is to use precise, focused movements to work each major muscle group to the point of fatigue, and then stretch the muscles back out to create a strong, lean and toned physique.
Through internet review browsing, talking to clients, and personal experience, I learned there are a few common reasons this workout is loved by so many.
First of all, I’m not the only one that wants a dancers body. As mentioned, Pure Barre is a total body workout. Women that are dedicated to PB find that the workout helps burn fat, sculpt muscles, and create long, lean physiques--just like a ballerina’s.
The studios promote community. The PB culture encourages clients to support and empower each other to fitness and lifestyle goals. Most studios have a wall (or a small bar on the wall) where you can sign your name when you’ve attended 50, 100, 250, and so on classes, and clients cheer each other on as they reach the various milestones.
The studio culture and atmosphere is also really fun. The instructors and owners I’ve experienced (in both Cincinnati and elsewhere through traveling) seriously love what they're doing, and it shows. Also, the music is always upbeat and full of hits which is motivating, particularly when your legs are shaking from fatigue and you’re trying to push through.
The workout is super low impact, which can be great for those with pre existing injuries. In fact, I’ve been to physical therapy quite a few times (read: I’m accident prone) and a lot of the exercises in PB remind me of what I did at physical therapy, but enhanced.
We have five Pure Barre locations in the tristate area; Oakley, Kenwood, Cinci West, Mason, and Ft. Wright. Each studio has their own feel and community.
The Tristate locations all offer three classes:
PB Classic: This is the classic barre class. The class uses small hand weights, the bar, and a mat to work all the major muscle groups through small isometric movements.
PB Foundation: This is a great place to start as a newcomer. It is a PB classic based class, but the class size is smaller, and the instructors offer more talks more hand on corrections.
PB Empower: Pure Empower is a spin on PB classic and incorporates cardio-centric circuits (still low impact) with barre and strength training. The class uses your own body weight, a 6-inch step-up platform and ankle weights(it took a hot minute for us to figure out how to put these on). It is challenging, but modifiable for all levels and a great complement to Pure Barre Classic.
We checked out the oldest location in Ft. Wright and the newest location on the Westside. Both are in more suburban areas who until recently didn’t see much boutique fitness. Check out our post on PB West here, and our post on PB Ft. Wright here.