04 Jan 2019

How Pure Barre Made Me Love Working Out Again

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is having a great start to 2019, and that this year brings us all blessings and miracles. Just like a lot of people, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to work out more — specifically, be more kind to my body in what I eat, how active I am, and what I say about my body. One of the ways I plan to do this is continuing Pure Barre!

Last year, I started going to my local gym, but realized that, besides running on the treadmill, I really had no idea what I was doing. Cardio alone isn’t enough to lose a few pounds (which doesn’t have to be everyone’s goal, but it’s one of mine!) and it got to be lonely. Deciding what to do while in the gym became so frustrating that I just stopped going altogether. I needed to reevaluate working out and think of ways to make it fun and enjoyable again.

I thought back to the times where working out was fun — I was a cheerleader in high school, and we worked out 4-5 times a week: cardio, flexibility, weight training, plus the Friday night games. It was fun because it didn’t feel like working out, we felt like a unit in our matching cheerleading athleisure, and I had my best friends with me. While living in NYC, I worked out at a gym steps from my job. It was clean, chic, I could walk to work right after, and I had the lingering soreness of a great workout.

I realized that the four things I needed to love working out again were camaraderie, an instructor, feeling the burn, and convenience. I found all of these things with Pure Barre.

I walked by the studio a few times and stalked them on Instagram before giving it a try for a month. I realized I loved it, and wanted to share the reasons why with y’all!

For extra videos and chats about Pure Barre, follow me on Instagram @booksandbighair. I have a highlight dedicated to Pure Barre!

First of all: What is Pure Barre?

Pure Barre is a collection of 45-50 minute total body workouts. You use the ballet Barre and other light equipment. I love the class because it makes me think of my very, very brief days dancing ballet. The movements are low impact, and your muscles LITERALLY start to shake. You feel stronger with each class, which, even moreso than weight loss, is a huge goal for me. There’s the classic Pure Barre Class, Pure Empower, which is more cardio focused (this class is a BEAST), and Pure Reform, which focuses on resistance training.

Why I Love Pure Barre:

source: @purebarrelkn

Camaraderie

As introverted as I am, it should be no secret that I love a good girl gang. From Girl Scouts, to cheerleading, to being in a sorority, I love when something has a “Girl Power” culture around it. The Pure Barre studio I went to has just that: my local studio sells Barre centered athleisure that you can wear with pride, lots of in store events, and themed classes. (during the holidays, they offered a Ugly Christmas Sweater class!) I already work from home, so working out alone isn’t exactly fun. When I went to my first class, all of the instructors and women attending the class were friendly and helpful, walking me through everything I needed to know.

An Instructor

One of the reasons I hate working out alone is, I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, or if it’s effective. At Pure Barre, I love that when I’m not in the exact position I need to be in, the instructor will come tell or show me what I’m doing wrong in a kind way. I can definitely tell the difference afterwards, because it burns a lot more when I doing it the right way! Which leads right into my next point:

Feeling the Burn

Have you ever done a workout and felt nothing afterwards? It seems like all your time was wasted. After every Pure Barre class when someone asked “How was it?” I’d always respond “Hard.” But, I LOVE that feeling. I love being challenged every class. It makes me feel so accomplished afterwards!

Convenience

I’m not yet at the point where I’ll workout NO MATTER WHAT (I’ll get there one day!) So, as of right now, convenience is a major factor. Not in just proximity, but I love knowing that I only have to focus on what my instructor is telling me, without planning my own workout and wondering if it’s working. I have so much decision fatigue, especially as an author (deciding on what each character is going to do, wear, or say all day can add up!) so not having to add the extra task of creating my own workout (or choosing my own music) is perfect!

Bonus: No Phones Allowed!

I love the fact that, for 50 whole minutes, I’m not in the same room with my phone. I don’t even know what the time is in Barre class! I’m not distracted by incoming text messages, phone calls or emails, and I don’t feel an obligation to respond right away — they’ll have to wait until class is over. It’s such a fun way to zone out and refresh my mind for whatever I have to work on after.

All in all, I love Pure Barre and I plan to continue this year. I want to go harder with consistency, to build up on the momentum from last year. The instructors say that it only takes 10 workouts before you start to see change in your body! My local studio has a deal for 5 weeks of UNLIMITED classes for only $79, which is an amazing deal — I think I’m going to try it out! I’ll definitely report back as I get back into the groove of working out after the holiday season.

Have you tried Pure Barre? Would you? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Thank you so much to @disney for gifting me this cute package to celebrate #marypoppinsreturns! It’s out now on digital, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray. These books are so adorable! Have you read them or watched the movie yet? ☂️
  • I’ve partnered up with @letstalkYA and @freeform books to share a REALLY BIG book haul on my channel that includes this beauty, #TheEverlastingRose. 🌹 The link is in my bio! I can't wait to curl up with this book! Y'all know I am a huge fan of The Belles. Have you started this series yet?
  • These are the books I read in January (I’ll be sharing the books I read in February on my channel soon!) I didn’t plan on only reading books with blue covers. 💙 I really enjoyed all three of these books and two of them became 5 star reads for me. Have you read any of them?
  • This week was such an exciting one for THE FORGOTTEN GIRL! R.L. STINE, the author of the GOOSEBUMPS books, blurbed my novel!! He says "This ghost story gave me chill after chill. It will haunt you." 😱👻 WHAT! I received more exciting news that I can’t share yet, but can’t wait to. ✨ I’m just so thankful. 🙌🏽🙏🏽
  • “One can't stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?” 💗 I finished Anne of Green Gables in January and it became an instant favorite. It put me in a reading slump bc I wanted to read something exactly like it when I was done! Anne is such a lovable character and I feel like we have the same view on life. This is a classic, character driven story with beautiful descriptions that makes you feel like you’re going through Anne’s life with her. Have you read it? What other books give you the same feelings as this one? #AnneOfGreenGables
  • I turned in second pass pages for #TheForgottenGirl this week, so here’s a tiny sneak peek. 😍 Look at the chapter headings! ✨
  • Very cheesy selfie to tell you that I have a new video on my channel featuring the books I read in January and what I’m reading this month! Also this @olay sweatshirt is one of my favorite work-from-home shirts, ever. 📚
  • @buzzfeedbooks included me in their round-up of books by Black authors not to miss this year, along with so many other authors I admire! ☺️🙌🏽! The Forgotten Girl is for the young and young at heart. It isn’t available for preorder everywhere yet, but I’ve seen it on Amazon, Books-a-million, and IndieBound so far! 💙