Hey there! Earlier this month I asked everyone on Instagram what they’d be interested in reading about on my blog this year. The most popular response was definitely my workout routine, so here we go!
I have always enjoyed working out whether it’s in a gym, at home work outs or going for a run. In September, Matt and I made a deal that if I went to an actual structured workout class 5 days a week he would treat us to a vacation somewhere tropical. That was all the motivation I needed!
I decided to sign up for Pure Barre in Atlanta, GA. I tried Pure Barre when I was in college, but I wasn’t very dedicated/motivated at the time. I was so excited to start back because I knew from past experience how effective Pure Barre really is.
For those of you who are not familiar with Pure Barre, it is a full body low impact workout that targets trouble areas such as stomach, thighs, seat (butt), arms and hips. The workout uses small isometric movements to target and isolate muscles to build long, lean muscles. A lot of people think it is a “ballet class” or an “easy workout” but that is not the case. Yes, there is a ballet barre in the class room, but you do not need any dance experience. Also, for those who think it’s going to be “easy”, think again! If you’re not shaking during the workout and covered in sweat afterwards, you’re not working hard enough.
“Nothing worth having comes easy” -Theodore Roosevelt
One of my biggest insecurities has always been my thighs. I remember when I was younger and trying to get signed with a modeling agency, I was always told to come back once my body matured and “leaned out.” While playing sports in high school, we were always working out in the weight room. I had a fear that I was going to bulk up and have huge muscles. Nothing against having big, strong muscles, I just prefer to have a long, lean and toned body. I tried working out with a trainer for a few months, but as expected, my muscles were growing and I felt “heavy.” Everyone’s body is different and it’s important to listen to your body and set your own personal goals. I personally love Pure Barre because it has shaped and transformed my body into the strong, toned, lean body I’ve always dreamed about. Another great thing is that I started seeing results after 10 classes! I’m always so excited to go to class because I love challenging myself, setting new goals and seeing results.
What to expect at your first class:
Your first class may feel awkward, unfamiliar and challenging. That’s totally normal and okay! I would advise arriving 15 minutes early to class that way the instructor can explain a few key tips and help you grab the equipment you need. It’s so important to stretch, so I always arrive early that way I can get a good stretch in before class. Make sure that you are early for your first class so that you also have time to sign the waiver form, purchase sticky socks and get a good spot in the studio. (You will need sticky socks in order to properly do the workout. You do not wear sneakers during your workout, just the sticky stocks which are for sale at the front desk)
What to grab:
Once you walk into the studio (depending on your studio’s layout) there are lockers/cubbies for you to put all your stuff in. Grab weights, a tube, and a ball. Some people grab 2 different sets of weights to challenge themselves. However, at this time I just grab one set; the 2lb weights. Make sure you also bring a water bottle with you to drink during class.
Pure Barre Class Modifications:
If you are pregnant or have any injuries, make sure you inform your instructor. There are lots of Pure Barre modifications that the instructor will go through with you as well as check on you during class. Again, listen to your body! Tip: If you have any injuries feel free to grab a cushioned mat to make the workouts on the ground more comfortable.
The community at Pure Barre is amazing. Being the new girl in any workout class can sometimes be awkward. Luckily, everyone is super friendly and welcoming. I challenge you to introduce yourself to some of the girls when you first get to class. I’ve made many friendships through Pure Barre in both Tuscaloosa and Atlanta. Before you know it, you’ll be making tons of new friends, attending the same classes, and grabbing coffee together afterwards!
The instructor doesn’t do the workouts with you. She will demonstrate how to do each workout but then walk around the room to give hands-on corrections. The instructor will have a head set on and will talk through what you should be doing and what you should be feeling. Don’t worry if you missed the instruction or can’t get into the right position, the instructor will come by and help you. Don’t be embarrassed if she has to come by and correct you. That’s what the instructor is there for, to help! All of the teachers are so friendly and helpful. They are there to help you get into the right position so that you get the best out of your workout. It can be frustrating to feel like you’re not doing the movements correctly so I am thankful that the instructors are there to help make adjustments. I also love how encouraging the instructors are! Nothing makes your ears perk up more than hearing your own name. Throughout the class, the instructor will say things like “Perfect form Ayla!”, “Beautiful adjustments everyone!”, “You’ve got this Ayla!” or “Great focus around the room.” It may not seem like anything at first, but just wait until you hear your name. It’s such a great feeling to know that your hard work is not going unnoticed and it makes you want to work that much harder.
SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE!
I used to be so embarrassed when I would shake during the exercises. I thought it mean that I was weak or out of shape. Turns out, shaking is actually a good thing! It means you are doing the work out correctly and that your muscles are reaching the point of fatigue. When you get to this shaking point, don’t stop! Keep pushing through the shake and finish the exercise. In return, you will receive the long, lean muscles of your dreams. I always tell myself “If you’re not shaking, you’re not working hard enough or challenging yourself enough.”
Tucking is probably one of the top 5 most important things to know for Pure Barre. You will hear your instructor reminding you to tuck throughout the whole class. A tuck is pulling in your abs toward your spine while simultaneously dropping and pushing forward your tailbone. Basically, you push your hip bones up, your tail bone goes forward and your abs flex hard towards your insides. You’ll hear the phrase “heavy tailbone” a lot too. A heavy tail bone is the complete opposite of you arching your booty out. You’ll want to tuck your hips and draw your booty forward. Again, arrive to class early so that your instructor can demonstrate for you.
Pure Barre is not a competition to see who is better than someone else or who is working harder than someone else. Pure Barre is about constantly improving and challenging YOURSELF! You are your only competition. I have the tendency to close my eyes during the workouts because it helps me focus, listen to my body and concentrate on whatever muscle I am working. Don’t give up, you’ve got this!
Don’t be hard on yourself after your first class. No one is a pro after day one. Quite frankly, I’ve taken over 100 classes and I am still the farthest thing from a pro. If you go consistently, everything will become a little smoother and you’ll feel much more confident. Do not ever be afraid to ask for help. Again, the instructors are all so nice and willing to help you after class if you have any questions.
I am not a Pure Barre expert by any means, but I wanted to help you guys out by sharing my experience as well as a few tips. My personal goal is to attend Pure Barre 5 days a week. I usually go Monday-Friday. If I miss a week day, I make up for it on the weekend. When I am traveling, I do Pure Barre on demand which comes free with the 12 month membership.
I want to mention that my Pure Barre location also offer “Pure Empower” and “Pure Reform” with your Pure Barre membership/classes. Both of those classes are definitely challenging but worth the results!
If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to try Pure Barre out for yourself, the Buckhead and Chastain location are teaming up with me to offer you an Intro Month for $79 and 10% off any future packages. Meaning, you can try Pure Barre for an entire month with unlimited classes for $79!
If you have any questions feel free to message me and I’ll be more than happy to help. Also, if you are nervous about trying Pure Barre for the first time by yourself, I’d love to join you at your first class!
A big thank you to the owner and staff at Pure Barre Buckhead for teaming up with me. Another big thank you to Emma Camfield for these amazing photos.
I’ve listed some of my favorite workout gear below!