Experience Sarasota: Pure Barre Sarasota | Pure Barre LWR
I thought that this class would be a breeze. Instead, I found myself making exclamations aloud like, “are you serious?”, “you’ve got to be kidding me!” and “please tell me we’re done!”
When I try something new, I’m the type of person that doesn’t want to have any preconceived notions, so I avoid doing research in order to have the most organic experience possible. I had never heard of Pure Barre before and in my mind, I created what I thought it was going to be like. Plié, kick, plié, kick... you know, the stuff I did when I was a ballet student 20 years ago, maybe with a few weights thrown into the mix.
Pure Barre’s motto is ‘lift, tone, burn’ and they use small, hard-for-the-naked-eye-to-see isometric movements that will blast those trouble zones into a frenzy. From the moment you start the warm up, it’s pretty apparent that you’re in for a hell of a workout. The class moves at a cheetah’s pace and doesn’t stop until the hour is over. There is a concentration on toning the “seat” (aka gluteus, booty, rump, etc.), thighs, arms and the upper abdominal muscles you just can’t quite get to at the gym. These muscles are targeted with the use of a double band, a little ball, some light weights and of course the barre. The movements are small and are designed to contract muscles you never knew you had. For someone who works out every day, I thought that this class would be a breeze. Instead, I found myself making exclamations aloud like, “are you serious?”, “you’ve got to be kidding me!” and “please tell me we’re done!”
Luckily owners/instructors, Sara Ferguson and Melissa DeMore are on hand to encourage me as well as making sure i'm in proper form. Each exercise can be modified to my comfort level. They assured me that this allows for people at all levels of fitness to come to Pure Barre and get a great workout in without killing themselves (if they don’t want to).
The company was founded in 2001 by choreographer, dancer and fitness guru Carrie Rezabak Dorr in a basement in Birmingham, Alabama. Pure Barre has now grown to 159 locations in 34 states with new franchises opening every couple of months.
While in Alabama for a wedding, Sarasota native, Melissa DeMore took a class at the first location in Birmingham and fell in love with the movements, instruction style and music. She came back to Sarasota and partnered up with close friend Sara Ferguson to open up the first ever Pure Barre in Sarasota. Word quickly spread on the effectiveness and intensity of the experience and classes filled up...so much so, they opened a second location in Lakewood Ranch. Right now they’re offering a $99 New Client Special, which gets you unlimited monthly classes. They also have a free Pure Barre 101 class that is offered to those who want to learn more about it before they commit or those who just need a refresher course.
This class is undoubtedly the hardest workout I’ve ever been through. All the shaking, trembling and squeezing really left me exhausted and cursing under my breath. But it made me realize something... this is what a real workout is supposed to feel like. What’s the point of working out if it’s easy? The sore muscles give way to larger, toned ones and who doesn’t want that? The hard work gives you a sense of accomplishment and humility. I’m all in.
Pure Barre | Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch