This past summer, I felt like I needed to switch up my workout and try something new. One of the local Pure Barre studios was running a special for 1 week free and then the following month for $79. After my first week, I decided to sign up for the 1-month special, since I felt like I needed time to evaluate if it was the right fit for me.

me on a mat in a plank pose

When I signed up for my first class, I felt like I sort of knew what to expect since I’d tried other barre classes before. I think it would have been better if I had gone in knowing I didn’t know what I was doing. I ended up taking about 12 classes over the course of 5 weeks, so I wasn’t going every day, but I went pretty regularly. It was enough time for me to get a sense of what Pure Barre is all about and decide if it’s right for me. So if you’ve been considering it, here are my thoughts.

Pros of Pure Barre

  • All of the teachers were super friendly. In my first class, the teacher introduced herself and introduced me to two other teachers that were taking the class. They invited me to sit next to them so it was easier for me to follow along. I really appreciated that!
  • The classes are jam-packed into 55 minutes. We don’t spend tons of time stretching (although all the moves stretch you out!) so you’re truly working out for every single minute. They’re also great about sticking to the clock so you know you’ll get out on time!
  • The studio, as I imagine most Pure Barre studios would be, was super clean and all the equipment was in great shape.
  • Although it seemed like every class was different, it does follow a similar format. The workouts might not feel easier, but it definitely made it easier to know what was coming next. I felt more confident after I’d taken 3 or 4 classes.

Cons of Pure Barre

  • It can be hard to see the teachers. They perform the moves about 1/3 of the time, and the rest of the time they’re moving around the room correcting form and offering pointers. I actually appreciated this, because I definitely needed help on my form, especially in those first few classes. But it also meant that I spent a lot of time looking at other people (which can get a little awkward) and you don’t really know if the person next to you is doing things right either.
  • I got a discount since it was my first month, but the regular prices aren’t cheap. The most cost-effective option is to sign up for a year-long membership but I like to switch up my workouts and the drop-in classes are pretty expensive. If you’re interested in just taking a couple of classes a week, it can add up quickly.
  • Sometimes the classes I was hoping to take were full, so I’d get waitlisted and cross my fingers that I’d get in. This really isn’t a con, it just means the classes are really popular! Obviously, every studio is different. I found that getting on the waitlist usually meant I’d get into the class, it was just a little harder to plan my day around it.

stretching on a yoga mat

Photos via Alexa Marie Photography

Do I really need barre socks?

Ok, ok. I’m cheap. I thought I could skip the grippy sock thing but let me tell you, you need them! Planks on the carpet without grippy socks are nearly impossible. My feet kept sliding out from under me! They do sell socks at the studio but they’re pretty expensive. I just bought this 2-pack on Amazon (<–affiliate link) and they worked perfectly. Plus if we’re being totally honest, I just felt out of place being the only person wearing white socks! Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you bring socks because you can’t be barefoot in the studio!

Who should take Pure Barre?

While I do think it’s an effective workout for most people it could be a little intimidating if you’ve never done any sort of group fitness class before. You certainly don’t need to be a fitness expert, but I found that most people in the class were pretty dedicated to their Pure Barre practice, so it can feel a little scary if you’ve never done it before. That said, they offer a Pure Barre Foundations class for beginners, where they spend a little more time explaining the moves. I also found that the teachers were so helpful if you ever had a question or weren’t sure how to do something correctly. So don’t wait until you feel 100% ready, just go give it a try!

Is Pure Barre a good cardio workout?

I didn’t do a lot of other workouts while I was doing my unlimited month at Pure Barre, although I did do a lot of walking. (I mean, that’s what my treadmill desk is for!) So I did feel like I was missing out on that “high-intensity-sweaty” kind of workout. Not that I really like those workouts but I do feel like I need them from time to time! It was funny timing because as I was finishing my month of Pure Barre, they launched Pure Barre Empower!

I had a chance to take one of the classes and it’s basically a more cardio-centric class. It’s a faster pace and you wear hand weights and ankle weights which definitely increases the burn. I liked that it was still a pretty low impact workout, but I was much sweatier at the end! So if you’re looking for something to get your heart pumping harder, it’s nice that they have that option, too.

A woman stretching

So what’s next?

I’m taking a little Pure Barre break for now. I really enjoyed the classes but I know myself and I get bored easily. I like taking different classes and switching up my workouts, so I knew a year-long membership wouldn’t make sense for me. For now, I’m planning to buy a pack of classes and drop in when I can!

I also bought a couple of Pure Barre DVDs and I’ve been enjoying using those when I want to do an at-home workout. I wouldn’t recommend doing only the at-home workout, though. I think it’s better when you’ve gone to a studio for a while, to make sure you have the basic techniques down. But I’m glad I have the option to do it at home when I’m craving a little lift, tone, burn!

Looking for a great an at-home workout? Check out my review of Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guides.

me sitting with a water bottle

What’s your current favorite workout?