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This Is Not Your Mother’s Barre Class

Pure Barre’s newest class, Pure Reform, proves that strength strengthening is (once again) on-trend

First, let me begin by formally debunking an unfortunate misconception about barre: it is not easy. The killer workout is made up of small, tight ballet-inspired movements that lengthen and tone your muscles, and is a go-to for supermodels and fitness fanatics alike. Second, the workout just became a whole lot more intense thanks to Pure Barre.

The barre company is as innovative and forward-thinking as other non-franchise boutique studios such as modelFIT and Pop Physique. But, they’ve managed to create a special cult-like following for unique and effective classes including their newest launch called Pure Reform.

Pure Reform targets, shapes and defines all major muscle groups through resistance-based training. Unlike Pure Barre’s standard barre class called Pure Barre Classic, Pure Reform promises to burn more calories, increase muscular strength and improve balance and coordination, something I found to be particularly true following a sweatier-than-usual go at the class. The class features all new equipment (resistance bands and slides) and delivers a more intense burn—with the same results (and more) that you love.

Below, we spoke with Pure Barre’s resident kinesiologist Rachelle A. Reed, PHD about the new class, what to expect, and what actually goes into Pure Barre’s initiative for class innovation.

How important is it for the Pure Barre team to innovate in the barre space? How often does Pure Barre strive to create a ‘new rendition’ of barre?

Pure Barre strives to be one step ahead of the boutique fitness industry as a whole through research and development, constantly working behind the scenes to innovate within our space. Over the past two years, you’ve seen evidence of this innovation with the launch of both Pure Empower and Pure Reform, and the ability for our clients to now effectively cross-train in the studio space. With fitness, the future is now.

Should people new to barre do Barre Classic before signing up for Pure Reform? Or is the new Pure Reform class appropriate for beginners?

Although Pure Reform is built from Pure Barre Classic technique, we do feel confident that any client—whether it’s their first workout in a while, or they are an avid Pure Barre client—will get an effective, total body workout in Pure Reform. Of course, the more familiar clients are with our technique, the more comfortable they will feel moving through the choreography in the class. Our Pure Reform teachers have been specifically trained to work with clients one-on-one before, during, and after class to help with alignment, modifications and understanding of the technique.

How did the concept of Pure Reform come about? What differentiates it most from Barre Classic?

Pure Reform offers a unique blend of strength, sculpting and balance training in just 50 minutes, merging Pure Barre Classic positioning and movements with resistance bands and slides to burn more calories, increase muscular strength and improve balance and coordination. The class focuses on alignment and intentional movement, with a musically-driven, energetic and fun emphasis. Pure Reform is a resistance-based workout that complements Pure Barre Classic and Pure Empower. The combination of all three classes allow for a well-rounded exercise regimen under one roof, at any one of Pure Barre’s 500+ studios across the continent.

How do the results (physically, mentally, etc.) of doing Pure Reform differ from those from doing Barre Classic or even Pure Empower?

Pure Barre overall focuses on small movements that result in big changes with class offering that target strength, cardio and flexibility for people of all levels; that said, there are a few differences between each class format. Pure Reform highlights core stabilization and muscular strength, as your core muscles are engaged and challenged throughout the entire 50-minute class. This class format also encourages a sharp mental focus for clients to reach full muscular fatigue. Pure Barre Classic focuses on strength and flexibility training, as each muscle group is stretched after working to fatigue while offering the same mental focuses as Pure Reform. Lastly, Pure Empower fuses full range strength training movements with Pure Barre Classic technique to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular power.

Can you walk through the equipment that’s used in the new Pure Reform class and how your team came up with it?

Pure Reform incorporates Velcro tube resistance bands, as well as sliders that are used under the feet and hands during class. The resistance bands increase intensity of the movements throughout class, which helps to strengthen all major muscle groups of the body. Because you are constantly working to stabilize the core with your hands and feet in the resistance bands, the major movers of the core – the transverse and rectus abdominis, as well as the internal and external obliques and the pelvic floor – are working hard throughout the entire 50-minute workout to help you maintain safe exercise posture. The sliders add a stability challenge as well, helping to improve balance, coordination, and neuromuscular control.

When introducing new classes, how involved are the Pure Barre instructors in the creation? We see a growing trend in studios who ‘uplift’ instructors (especially since they’ve become influencers in their own right), is this the case at Pure Barre?

Our Corporate Teacher Training Team, which is comprised of women who teach in their home markets in addition to their full-time roles, regularly incorporates feedback from our around-5,000 active teachers and owners across the continent to keep our pulse on the everyday happenings across our over 500 studios. Class formats like Pure Reform are brought about to help Pure Barre stay at the forefront of the boutique fitness industry, while also staying very true to our roots and improving the in-studio experience for clients.

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