Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pure Barre Philadelphia.

No, it's not a nutrition bar. It's not a cocktail club that emphasizes natural ingredients. Pure Barre is a total body technique that combines barre work, pilates, and weights.  There are locations throughout the country, and most recently, a studio opened on 17th and Walnut  in Philadelphia.

I'm always studying different fitness techniques because once you adjust to a routine, tossing in a rogue workout to keep your body guessing is the way to consistent improvement.  You name it, I've probably taken a class for it.

So when I read about Pure Barre, I was intrigued by how sound similar it sounded to Lithe Method, a technique that I have nothing but serious admiration for. I am very pleased with my current fitness schedule but I figured dropping in on a class at PB didn't mean I wasn't loyal or satisfied with Lithe or my gym. I wanted to experience it.

The studio is smartly designed, spotless, and the branding is clear but not invasive. Whereas Lithe is cool and serene with pale blues and international music, PB fills its studio with high energy pop and dance tunes and embraces a fiery red. There is a carpet on the main floor and socks are required during the workout. Mirrors and barres are off to one wall, with windows facing 17th Street to the other.

I wasn't happy about the carpet and socks, and found myself yearning for the lovely floor and my bare feet over at Lithe. But I did get a serious session in and found myself working every little muscle in my body. Let's just say, my bum hurt the next day. There is a lot of pilates involved here, so it will help you with flexibility, and stretching is stressed at several points of the workout. I learned some killer stretches that I will definitely make a habit out of doing. Most of the workout on the floor or at the barre, so there isn't any jumping or leaping around. Think tight, focused movement.

A single class is $23, but they were offering a special of $100 for a full month. I prefer to take it class by class, however, because of my weirdo schedule. I like the variety that Lithe offers, and pretty much everything else. I honestly wish I could justify taking more classes, but right now I have a gym membership and try to use that 2-3 times a week and fit in 1-2 classes at Lithe Rittenhouse or Lithe in Liberties Walk. Lithe classes are $20 each or monthly unlimited at $200.

I would recommend Pure Barre if you like pilates and floorwork. While there are different routines, there is only the one class that has a full body focus.

If you want to target arms or legs or have a preference on where you specialize and want a variety of class offerings, I would go with Lithe Method.

The bottom line is, that either route you take, your bottom will look all the better for it.

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