Exploring New Studios: The Barre

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My second studio stop in MN was at The Barre Studio in Wayzata. This is one of the only barre studios close to my new home, so I was anxious to test it out and see how it compares to Pure Barre (my workout of choice for the past three years). I signed up for the 9am Open Barre class last Sunday. Before I get into the class itself, I have to talk about the gorgeous studio and its unbelievable location. The Barre Studio is located in downtown Wayzata, right across the street to Lake Minnetonka. The studio is two stories; the first consists of the locker room and bathroom and the second level is where you can find the lobby, a small play area for daycare and the studio room. When you walk into the studio room for the first time you may gasp as the front wall is floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake! I gravitated right to the front row so my barre spot could be looking out the window entire time; talk about relaxing! Okay okay now onto the class…

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The class itself reminded me SO much of a Pure Barre class. It was broken up into a warm up, thigh sprints, seat work and abs just as a Pure Barre class is structured. All the thigh and seat work were the same moves (water ski, knee dancing, etc.). The Barre Studio had a very different warm up incorporating a lot more push ups and ab work which challenges you right from the beginning of class. The ab sequence at the end of class was also a lot different; the sequence used weights to give you an extra challenge. The music was much softer in nature than a Pure Barre playlist but there was consistent instructor encouragement during every exercise. I truly enjoyed the class and felt that it was very challenging. I am very happy to have found a good local barre class 🙂

For anyone local who hasn’t checked out The Barre Studio, I highly recommend you do soon! There is also a second location in Edina, MN.

Pure Barre Platform

Pure Barre Platform finally arrived at Pure Barre Wellesley this past week, so I quickly signed up for the first official class. I have been very anxious and excited for Platform since it has a large cardio component, something that is missing from a regular Pure Barre workout.

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Let me just say…Platform is on a VERY different level than a normal Pure Barre class; and is actually totally different and pretty much incomparable…

The class is high intensity and cardio based but still incorporates the same toning techniques as Pure Barre does. It has what are called “cardio bursts’ that occur throughout class during the warm up, thigh sprints, seat work and even ab work! These bursts are big and fast movements thatt make your heart rate quickly sky rocket. My favorite cardio burst are the jumps that occur during seat work – you have the opportunity to fly for a few seconds by jumping off the platform while holding onto the bar (I am sure some of you have seen the videos).

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The technique of the class is focused on much bigger movements than the small contractions used during a Pure Barre class – this is hard to adjust to at first, but it is what allows you to keep your heart rate up throughout the class; burning calories and fat more rapidly! The class flew by with its upbeat tempo and “double time” sprints that caused my thighs to burn like never before. Class ended and I was dripping in sweat and feeling a new kind of Pure Barre high.

I cannot say enough great things about this class and can’t wait for everyone to try it. You do not have to be super coordinated to succeed in this class; all the movements are simple and easy to pick up on quickly! So check out the schedule at your local Pure Barre as these classes pop up in 2016!

Pure Addiction #PureBarre

Why I am Still in LOVE with PureBarre

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It has been about 16 months since I first started taking Pure Barre;350 classes later, somehow I am in still in love with it. I had to stop and think what about Pure Barre really keeps me interested and motivated enough to get up every morning and attend. Here is what I came up with:

  • The confidence and pure happiness you have after making it through all three thigh sprints (shaking so much it is hard to balance).
  • This workout is just as straining mentally as it is physically. Once you realize that the burn and shake won’t physically stop you; you learn how to push through each challenge in a different way.
  • The 60 minutes ALWAYS seem to fly by every time and each class is completely different; I never feel bored or unmotivated.

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  • I love that the class is gentle on your body and is the perfect complement to my other cardio activities. PureBarre really tones you and the results are awesome. The strength I have gained through PureBarre only makes it easier when I go for a run or attend a spin class.
  • PureBarre never gets easier and it becomes a total addiction. As you take more classes, you learn how to perfect the technique, and as you perfect the technique, the ways you discover to push yourself further are incredible.
  • The Instructors are dedicated and motivating. They are truly an amazing support system in the studio as well as outside of the studio. As you create deeper connections with them, they learn your limits and begin to push you (sometimes physically push you) to pass them. This only motivates me more and keeps “raising the barre” higher!

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  • I love that PureBarre forces you mentally shut out everything going on in your life for the 60 minutes. You have to be so focused on your technique and breathing, so it forces you to let go of all your stresses. There is an incredible mind-body connection that occurs and makes me feel much more at ease and energized for the day after class.

The Power & Influence of Fitness Instructors

Do you jump out of bed in the early hours of the morning or sneak out of work a little before five to get to a fitness class? Do you book out your classes weeks or months in advance to ensure you get a spot? This enthusiasm to work out is hard to find and a big reason most “fitness obsessed” people have this drive is partially because of their instructors.

Anyone who takes group fitness classes knows how crucial having a great instructor is to your workout. Everyone has experienced an instructor who is lacking energy, speaking softly, and just seems to be going through the motions of class, which causes you to have a not- so-awesome workout. Fitness instructors to most become like family; they are the people you see every day, probably more often than most of your actual family of friends. These women and men start or end your day on a high note with energy and self-confidence. Instructors have the ability to turn your bad day into a good one and it is so important to find a studio where you know you can always depend on this. Good instructors deserve so much more credit than they receive because they always find a way to put their life stresses and bad moods off to the side to make their clients experience the best it can be.

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For me, at Pure Barre Wellesley, I never have to worry about having a bad instructor or a lack luster workout. This group of ladies is amazing, and they always show up to teach a class with 100% enthusiasm. These women are what make it so easy to get up out of bed each morning for 5:45 am class. One of my favorite instructors, Ang, has a way of pushing me to my limits in every single one of her classes. She is known to keep you performing your “A-game” all class and never lets anyone give up. She has a way of making you move your body in ways you didn’t know it could and always makes sure to give you a shout out in class when she notices your extra push. I leave her classes feeling as strong and confident as ever. I look forward to the classes she teaches because I know I will be challenged both physically and mentally. Being  a member for almost a year now, and taking at least two to three classes with Ang a week, I have never had a mediocre experience with her so I had to find out how she and many other great fitness instructors do it..

How do you stay motivated and energetic for every class, especially days when you teach 3 or 4 in a row?

Without a doubt my motivation comes from the energy that our clients bring to class every day. When I see a client push themselves out of their comfort zone, it always gives me the fuel to keep things challenging! Physically, it’s important to eat small healthy snacks in between classes and stay hydrated as well.

What is your favorite way to keep the clients pushing for their best during class?

My favorite thing to do to keep clients motivated is to give a few name shout outs and say what they are doing well. When people want to break out of a position, I think specific positive reinforcement can really help!

What do you love most about being a Pure Barre instructor?

My favorite thing about being a Pure Barre instructor is when a client tells me that they are seeing results in their body that they’ve never been able to attain before. When clients begin to experience positive changes, they become even more confident in class and in themselves.

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I hope everyone is able to find a place where they can experience great instructors, and for those that do, remember to thank these amazing people for the crucial role they play in your everyday life!

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.