As we ring in the new year and set our sights on our health and fitness goals of 2021, I’ve set out to determine what the best possible gym membership is. Is it your standard open gym like Lifetime or 24 Hour? Or should you invest the time and money into a more structured program like Orange Theory, 9Round, CorePower, or Pure Barre? 

This was the week I was possibly the most skeptical about, but also the most excited for! I had never tried Pure Barre, but many of my friends swore by it in college and headed to our college town’s local Pure Barre before class every single morning. 

Length Of Workout? One hour

Difficulty Of Workout? Hard!

Is It Worth A Membership? It’s pricey but definitely worth it.

What To Bring? My trainer suggested leggings or joggers rather than shorts. You also remove your shoes before class so a good pair of grip socks are a must-have.

Modifications for COVID? There were 5 of us in my class, so we did have to wear our masks for the duration of the class, but we were told if we started to feel dizzy or lightheaded to take them off. When I arrived, they took my temperature and I signed two waivers: one saying that I wouldn’t sue if I was injured, the other saying I wouldn’t sue if I got COVID from working out there. We were also all provided hand sanitizer along with the rest of our equipment. 

Pure Barre is exactly what it sounds like–a workout based on ballet. It’s a full-body workout meant to improve flexibility and strength by focusing on low-impact, high-intensity moves. It’s perfect for someone who struggles with cardio due to knee or ankle injuries. 

The workout focuses on “isometric” (super tiny) movements and difficult positions to work one muscle group until that muscle is completely fatigued. You’ll hear the teacher call out commands like “up an inch, down an inch” or “pulse” meaning that, most of the time, you’re barely moving at all. If someone were to walk into a Pure Barre studio, it would look like the people there weren’t working out at all. 

You’ll repeat these same, tiny movements for about 3 minutes straight until that muscle is completely exhausted, and then move on to a different muscle. 

All classes follow the same flow, but the exercises change. Class begins with a warmup, then an arm series, a thigh series, a seat/glute series, an ab series, and then a cool down and stretch. 

The studio will provide you with two sets of very light dumbbells (two and three pounds), a squishy ball, a resistance band, and a yoga mat.

The instructor reminded us to focus on our posture by “tucking” our abs in and keeping our spine in a neutral position so as not to injure our backs. She also reminded us that shaking or “trembles,” as Pure Barre calls them, does not mean you’re weak, it means that you’re doing the exercise properly. She even encouraged us when we were shaking to stay in the same position and keep shaking. This meant that our muscles were exhausted, and getting stronger. 

RELATED: I Tried 9Round So You Don’t Have To, Here Was My Experience

Even though the movements we were doing were so tiny that they were barely noticeable, I felt them immediately and was sore for multiple days afterward. I noticed that, unlike other workouts that I’ve tried, I didn’t twist any ankles or injure my knees or back during the workout, I just felt sore. 

At the end of the workout, we were reminded to drink lots of water, stretch, and stay in long pants and sweatshirts to keep our muscles warm and flexible to help prevent some of that soreness. 

Although this was one of the “easiest” workouts I’ve done, I felt strong and like I really worked out my whole body. Pure Barre–I will definitely be back. 

Georgia G

Georgia Gallagher graduated from the University of Alabama in the summer of 2019 where she majored in Journalism and Political Science. She is currently working as a Cast Member at  Walt Disney World in Florida. In her free time she can be found advocating for pro-life policies and working with single or low-income mothers. She often says that her planner is second only to her Bible and she’s never caught without a cup of coffee in her hand.