Hey guys! I’m finally back from Guam. It was nice to get away for about two weeks to soak up some sun, relax and work of course, but it feels good to be back with my munchkin! It’s amazing how much she has learned and changed in just the few weeks away.
Jet lag the week I got home was a killer. All I wanted to do was sleep but someone else had other plans for me:
Now that I’m back to work and into my routine, my energy level is as normal as it’s going to be for right now. One thing that I didn’t skip a beat on was working out. I was back at it the very next day. When I’m super tired, working out always makes me feel ten times better. It’s counterintuitive, but it helps so much.
Running and barre have always been my two favorite workouts to do. They go hand in hand with one another and I’m a strong believer that barre is the reason I remained completely injury-free during my last marathon training cycle. Since moving back to Milwaukee from Chicago, the Milwaukee area now has THREE barre studios. Barre is here to stay folks.
The latest studio to open is Pure Barre-Whitefish Bay. It’s located just north of the city near The Bayshore Town Center. I first heard of Pure Barre while I was taking barre classes in Chicago. I never got a chance to try it while I was there, so I was excited to be given the opportunity to try out a class at the Whitefish Bay studio.
When you walk in, you almost feel like you’ve stepped into a place located in the North Woods. The retail space has a very woodsy, cozy feel. The actual studio itself is carpeted (Just like the Bar Method studio I used to attend), and off of the studio is a prop closet. It looks like the props stay the same for each class: two sets of weights (one heavy, one light), a ball and a band.
The class began with a warm-up. For our warm up we did a series of leg lifts with alternating arm raises. We moved right into arm work using both sets of weights and our band. Next, was core followed by thighs, seat, abs with round back and flat back against the bar and wall, finally ended it with seat dancing and a cool down. The class is 55 minutes long and it moves along very quickly. There is a stretch session after each muscle group is worked. Along with the instructor leading the class, there were two other instructors taking class that we were instructed to watch in case we got lost in class. This particular class I took was a little bit lower energy than what I am used to, but it could be that the energy of the class varies by instructor. Although I left feeling like my muscles had been worked, I found the thigh section to be a bit shorter than what I was used to. Short, but yet still effective.
-Class went by incredibly fast! There was a lot packed into those 55 minutes.
-Hands on corrections. I know some people don’t appreciate being corrected, but even the slightest move can make a world of difference in that muscle and prevent potential injury.
-Positive reinforcement. Just when I wasn’t sure if I was doing a sequence right, the instructor said, “Great job Maria!” So I kept with it. I once read somewhere that people really enjoy hearing their name. I think that’s why Bar Method is so adamant that the instructors learn the clients name so that they can use them in class.
-Lights out during back dancing and stretch. I felt like I was in a yoga class during stretch and I LOVED that! The instructor came along and gave us gentle pressure, getting us deeper into the stretch. It felt really great because my hamstrings are super tight.
-Controlled mic volume. The instructor had a device in her hands that allowed her to lower the sound of the music while she was setting up the move so hearing her was never a problem.
-It’s Expensive. A single class is $23. They do offer a 1 month new client special for $99 so that you can decide if it’s something you want to invest in for the long haul.
-Small changing area. I can see that being a problem for the after work crowd.
-The music. It wasn’t so much the genre as much as it was that you heard the same song repeatedly during a set. If a song ended in the middle of thigh, the instructor just repeated it instead of moving onto another song.
Overall, I think that Pure Barre is a great studio in a good location. It’s a little far from where I live and not at all on my way home from work, but parking didn’t seem to be a problem which is always a plus. It’s located in Whitefish Bay, so there’s plenty of residential parking and I believe they do have a parking lot in the back. It reminds me a lot of The Bar Method, which is where I found my love of barre workouts. It’s a little lower energy & gentler than what I’m used to and the only class they offer are barre classes. If you’re in the North Shore area, and looking to see what this barre craze is all about, I highly suggest checking it out!