I have officially fallen in love with a new workout: Pure Barre, a 55-minute class that incorporates ballet, yoga, Pilates and strength-training into one. When I moved to New York, I wanted to try a sport I never had before, and ballet had always appealed to me. The fact this workout incorporated weights was also interesting to me, as I’ve always had great results from weight lifting.
I went into the class with slight arrogance. Ballet, in my mind, was a feminine and gentle activity. All the reviews on the internet about Pure Barre must have surely been written by weaklings – after all, how the hell could ballet leave you trembling and sweating?!
When you first go into the class you’re handed a stretchy rope, ball and weights. “3kg? I’ve used more than that before,” I scoffed to myself as the instructor, Sarah, handed me the dumbbells.
WRONG! Within a couple of minutes, your arms and legs feel like they’re going to fall off, flexing into positions that don’t feel entirely normal (or legal). I felt so embarrassingly unflexible compared to the other women there (one heavily pregnant woman was touching her toes) and I couldn’t help but let out a few groans and horrible facial expressions as I went along, sweat dripping off my forehead. Sarah was very patient with me, without drawing attention to the fact I was clearly struggling, and helped me stand and stretch correctly.
I asked how long people saw results with Pure Barre. As a rule, she says, the average person sees results in 10 sessions, but she’s seen people’s bodies change in just three.
For someone who gets bored easily, I liked the session a lot. It went by very quick and the upbeat music (think Ellie Goulding, Snoop and Calvin Harris) made it a lot more bearable. You’re made to plank for 90 seconds, as well as doing push-ups, bar work and a whole range of stretches. (Also, prepare to thrust. A lot. It’s like revisiting the 80’s.)
As I left the class, my legs felt wobbly and I almost fell over. I had to elevate my poor, tired legs on a big pillow that night. But hey, if that’s not a sign of a good workout, I don’t know what is.