Well, I have off and joined a cult. Fortunately for me, it’s just girls and we are not sharing the same husband or something dignified like that. It is the cult of Pure Barre. I have sold my soul to carve out one hour, three to four times a week, to work my muscles into a twitching exhaustion.
Pure Barre is a one-hour exercise class that “launches a full blown attack on the areas of the body all women struggle with: abs, hips, seat and arms. It defies gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up.” Ladies, I realize that you do not want to be involved with anything that embarks on a “full blown attack” to your body. Remain calm.
The equipment seems pretty benign at first: a ballet barre surrounding the room, a small medicine ball, light weights, a resistance band and a mat. I have learned they are all instruments of pain. The basic structure of the class is warm-up, arms, thighs, seat, abs and cool-down — all while working your core muscles (come to find out I don’t really have any core muscles to speak of after three children). Some exercises are done on the barre but, there is a lot of floor work — think butt (I mean seat) lifts, sit-ups and planks. You work so hard that your muscles twitch. Now, after taking classes for three months, like Pavlov’s dog, my muscles start to twitch when I turn into the parking lot, and remain twitching well after the class is over. I twitch while driving home. I twitch in the Kroger checkout line, while trying to explain to the checkout person that I am not having a seizure.
Leave your dignity at the door with this class:
- Everyone, and I mean everyone, looks like a toothpick in their Lululemon pants and tank tops. I look like I ate the girl next to me for lunch.
- I do not care how in shape you are, this is seriously hard. I am in shape and I am highly challenged by this class. I am working muscles that have never, and I repeat, never, used before.
- There are exercises here that require positions teetering on scandalous. If ever a picture leaked of you doing them, you would never be able to run for public office.
All that being said, I BEG BORROW AND STEAL to get to this class. It is the fastest hour of my life. You are 100% focused on your movements. The flow of the class is perfectly timed that it is as much of a physical workout as it is an excellent mental release.
I had the pleasure of meeting Carrie Rezabek, the dynamo who started Pure Barre ten years ago out of a small studio in the basement of a strip mall. She came in town to teach a class and it was the most crowded I had ever seen the studio. Girls were stumbling out of there after the class was over. The moves she taught these ladies are the stuff of legend.
Here’s the real story: Carrie Rezabek has tapped into something in our exercise psyche. I asked her what that “something” was and she replied simply, “it works.” She’s right. It does change your body seemingly more than other exercises. It is not that you are not trying when you are running, doing the elliptical, or moving that oreo from the counter to your mouth, it’s just not working. She must be doing something right. She has opened 60 Pure Barre studios in the past 10 years.
Pure Barre has – and most gyms do not – an attention to detail and excellent customer service. All the teachers, who I now call my friends, are literally abusing me with a smile on their face and I am paying them to do it. Logical? I think not. Henceforth, find me labeling this operation a cult – just with really toned members.
Pure Barre is located in Westport Village. To learn more about the classes or to sign up online, go to www.purebarre.com.