Road test: Barreing it all

Associate Editor Heather Carney takes a class at one of Pure Barre’s new studios and learns the true meaning behind the slogan “lift, tone, burn.”

THE DEAL: Pure Barre provides a total body workout that targets the areas of the body women struggle with most: seat, hips, thighs, abs and arms. West Palm Beach’s studio Owner Melissa Hirsch recommends taking classes three to four days a week and guarantees results within 10 classes. Her new client special includes 30 consecutive days of Pure Barre for $99.

DRY RUN: I run often. I got into a kickboxing craze for a while. I’ve tried spinning and Zumba. But nothing has made my muscles shake (and ache) like the 55-minute Pure Barre class. Call me a masochist, but I loved it (obviously, I’m not the only one). Hirsch said that as long as I could hold onto the ballet bar, I’d be able to complete the class. She was right. The class started with a floor and small weights routine and then segued into a thigh and seat workout using the ballet bar. While holding onto the bar, we repeated a series of tiny, precise movements that worked to strengthen the thighs, lift the seat and flatten the abs (hence, when my muscles started to shake). Lastly, we moved back to the floor to complete back strengthening exercises followed by a stretch and cool-down period. The whole class took just under an hour and moved quickly – there wasn’t a moment of downtime.

THE VERDICT: I finished the class exhausted but oddly enough, I wasn’t huffing and puffing or dripping in sweat. I was so focused on controlling my movements and engaging my body during the class that I didn’t even realize how tired I felt until I walked out of the studio. It really hit me when I woke up the next morning – every muscle felt fatigued. Hirsch also reassured me that there’s no reason to worry about “bulking up.” “Everything becomes tightened and toned. [Pure Barre] lengthens the muscles by stretching them out,” she says. “We create long, lean bodies.” And honestly, who doesn’t want that?

For more details on Pure Barre and to find the nearest location, visit

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