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


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!


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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  • Still swooning over this @galmeetsglam dress and @kendrascott jewelry 😍 @whitv is a creative directing genius!
  • I met the Planner Queen @emilyley today and she is just as sweet and warm as you’d think! I had the pleasure of participating in the @simplified planner photoshoot and planner gals: y’all are NOT ready for the new covers. I already have mine picked out lol! Today was such a fun day with so many amazing and hardworking women. 💕 #simplifiedsisterhood
  • So this is the first true bookshelf I’ve had since I’ve started Booktube like FIVE years ago!!! These aren’t all of my books, I need another shelf, and I don’t know if this shelf will stay organized like this (I’ve already arranged one), but for right now, I’m soo happy with it. Two of these rows are TBR shelves - I haven’t read the books on them yet! Do you see any faves? 💕📚 #shelfie #shelfiesunday
  • The cover of my debut novel, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, publishing with @scholasticinc on November 5, 2019! The full interview including the inspiration behind the story and some fun facts about me are at the link in my bio! I LOVE this cover so much and how it perfectly embodies the story! The cover focuses on our ghost, Avery, who was buried in an abandoned and segregated graveyard. 👻❄️She wants to be remembered by any means necessary. Iris and Daniel try to help her but ... to what end? Thank you so much to @maevenn for such a BEAUTIFUL cover. A bonus is that blue is my favorite color! 🙌🏽💙 #TheForgottenGirl
  • I’ve uploaded my 2019 Bookish and Writing Goals and a Copyediting vlog to my channel, and a bpost all about @purebarrelkn and how it made me love working out again to my blog! The links to all of these are in my bio. I’ve turned in first pass pages for #TheForgottenGirl too! 😍 I can’t wait to show you what the cover and inside pages look like! This past week was pretty busy, so I felt this shirt from @clutchcowork was pretty fitting. Here’s to an restful Sunday to prepare for the start of the a new work week. ❤️
  • Happy New Year everyone! I took the day yesterday to set goals for the year in my #powersheets, and figure out my Word of the Year. I decided on Steadfast. Here’s why. ⬇️ Steadfast: fixed in direction; steadily directed: a steadfast gaze. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.

Last year I spent a lot of time dwelling on decisions - from big ones to small ones like figuring out which book to read next. 😂 I was easily distracted by worry, stress or social media. 
This year, I’ll have tunnel vision and focus on what matters. I’ll be able to make a decision and stick to it. I’ll focus on my debut author year without the noise. I’ll be so strong in my faith that I won’t think to worry or stress. I’ll be intentional in both work and play time! 
And there’s this Bible verse: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah ‭26:3‬ ‭NIV‬ 
Here’s to a fruitful and exciting year! 🙌🏽🎉What’s your Word of the Year?
  • This month marks 6 years since I chopped my hair off and went natural! Every December, I get my hair trimmed and straightened (this time, I got around 3 inches cut bc i wasn’t that kind to my hair this year.) Swipe for the blowout I got right before I got it straightened, and some other fun pics through the years! ❤️ the very last pic is a length check. Thinking of doing a natural hair journey video on my channel! 🙆🏽‍♀️
  • Merry Christmas from us and our 3 different types of plaid. 😂🎄🎁 ❤️#PajamaChristmas