Puzzlement With Pure Barre Platform

image4 Crash Course: Pure Barre platform is the brand’s newest class offering, combining a number of cardio segments with their signature lift, tone, burn moves at the barre. The 55-minute class is very fast paced and uses a small personal platform to increase range of movement. If you are looking for a classic barre class with micro movements and a measured pace, this isn’t it!

class: Pure Barre Platform

sweat score: 7 out of 10

where: 1841 Broadway Suite 330 | New York, NY

wear: spandex bottoms and barre socks

bring: water bottle, sticky socks

instructor: Abigayle Horrell

perks: class currently available in NY and LA

cost: $33 drop-in


I’ve done many a barre class in my day, and have seen the dance and pilates-inspired moves morphed in a whole lotta ways. Yoga barre. Pilates barre. Cardio barre. Aerial barre. The list goes on.

But Pure Barre is treading on entirely new ground with the launch of its platform barre class. Never before have I ever seen a barre class move so curiously far from the original method we’ve all grown to know and love: tiny movements focused on building strong, healthy bodies while protecting and rehabing joints.

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IMG_2778-0I joined Pure Barre Columbus Circle for a donation-based platform class to benefit the French Red Cross and the victims of the recent attack in Paris. It sounded like a win-win: getting to try out the new platform format while also raising money for a good cause. I was delighted to attend.Everything about the platform class seemed like it would be awesome. Barre + cardio bursts using a fun new piece of equipment? Yes please, sign me up!

The instructor kicked off class with an introduction to some of the moves she would be cuing throughout the next 55 minutes. She demonstrated the proper foot and hand placement on the platform. Talked about jumps that would occur later on in the program. And then we were off.

IMG_2833And boy, were we off.

Let’s break it down this way, shall we?IMG_2838-0Here’s what I really enjoyed about the class: As someone who likes to work up a sweat when I work out, I appreciated the concept behind adding cardio bursts into a barre class. It gets the heart rate up, gets you warm, and lets you leave the studio feeling like you’ve gotten a really well-rounded workout. A little bit of all the best things, in a way.

I enjoyed the instruction and the energy in the room. Abigayle was a powerhouse instructor who really commanded the room and did the moves right along with us. I loved being able to use her as a visual reference throughout class.

I think the platform concept is great, and love that Pure Barre is working on new and exciting ways to build out their class offerings. I went to the original class a few times in DC and really enjoyed it. Bringing in new equipment changes up the pace and really makes it fun.

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IMG_2832-0Here’s what I really didn’t enjoy about the class: During the cardio bursts with the platform, I consistently felt as though I was being encouraged to move too fast and without any precision. Each movement is repeated in three stages: regular time, a little bit faster, and “double time” for that extra cardio kick.

The first time I saw the instructor demonstrate what double time should look like, I almost thought she was kidding. It was flailing. It was way too fast to even properly do. I’m sure she was doing it correctly, but to me, it went against many things I’ve always believed to be true about fitness: doing mindful, controlled movements to get results. Even if it’s a quick movement like jumping jacks or burpees, there’s a method and form to the madness.

I worried multiple times throughout the class whether or not I was getting any benefits from those rapid fire movements or, even more worrisome, whether I was going to injure something.

Ultimately, I ended up modifying and electing not to participate in “double time” anymore. I listened to the sirens going off in my head and instead chose to do the movements at my own pace. It wasn’t worth the risk.

image3I know the platform class is brand new, and so I hope that Pure Barre gets enough feedback to re-work some of the movements and flow of the class. I enjoy their classes and wanted so very much to enjoy this new one too. I think there is enormous potential in the platform/cardio-barre concept and would love to come back and do it again, but not until the format changes, because it was just too confusing, fast, and down-right-scary the first go around.

Eek!

Have you all tried it? Was this a one-off experience and maybe I just need to give it another go? 

Meaghan is the creator and editor of The Fit Crasher. A transplant to NYC from Washington, DC, she’s here to give you the skinny on all of her latest sweaty adventures, must-try trends, and fitness discoveries. When not exploring the city in spandex, Meaghan enjoys cooking, bluegrass music, and finding that perfect Instagram filter.

16 Comments

  1. Nicole December 15, 2015 / 4:26 pm

    ooo thanks for trying this. I was wondering about it but i’m prone to ankle injury and I didn’t want to jump on/off the box. looks like this class is a bit of a miss for now.

    • DC Fit Crasher December 16, 2015 / 2:25 pm

      You’re welcome! I hope they tweak it a bit – has lots of excellent potential but too fast-paced for me as it is.

  2. Ash Diamond December 16, 2015 / 10:12 am

    Yeah I think I’ll skip this one. At first I thought it was going to be like Core Fusion sport etc but yeah, not so much.

  3. Laura January 22, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    This is coming to Louisville in a few weeks and I was intrigued, but I completely feel your sentiments about on getting the form right. I’d rather do it right and slow than half ass the work out. I wish the studios/teachers at PB would focus more on helping student achieve the right form first when the technique is more complex than just tucking!

  4. Grace February 15, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    I just tried one in Seattle, (well, Bellevue), and had all the same thoughts! I actually went looking for reviews to see if I was crazy. I felt like it was kind of a waste of time – not enough focus on precision to get any muscle training, and for a hard core runner, the cardio wasn’t that great. Plus, I too was constantly concerned I was going to injure something.

    • DC Fit Crasher February 18, 2016 / 12:36 pm

      Yes exactly! I hope they make some changes because the idea of cardio barre has such potential, but the current program is just too crazy to try again.

  5. Kelly February 23, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    I actually loved the Platform class. I just modified where I personally needed to modify. My instructor helped really explain, maybe that is the difference. I’m a Pure Barre junkie and now I can get my cardio in too!
    Thanks!

  6. Kelly February 24, 2016 / 8:53 am

    I actually loved the Platform class! I just modified where I personally needed to adjust! The instructor was great at explaining so maybe that’s the difference. I’m a Pure Batre junkie and now I can get cardio in too!!

  7. Annette April 28, 2016 / 10:57 pm

    I felt the same way! Everything I love about barre had suddenly gone out the window to this frenzied class! I thought the idea of a more cardio focused option was good. But this just isn’t it! Too fast & crazy! Pure barre lets me check my stress. This gave me way too much- and is tempting injury!

  8. Tracy Phillips May 17, 2016 / 9:17 am

    I am so glad someone feels the same way I did! I tried my first pure barre platform class last night and felt really confused. The instructor had everyone pulling backwards off the bar while flailing their legs, yelling “lose control!” I opted to move slower and methodically because I was so worried I would hurt my back. I joked afterwards to my friend that the cardio bursts should be called “Herniated Everything,” but it is a real concern. I hope they realize how easy it can be to lose your form and hurt yourself.

  9. Diane May 22, 2016 / 6:17 am

    Thanks for your review. I’ll be back home in the US in a couple of weeks and am thinking about trying a platform class but maybe I should just stick to the regular one.

  10. Alyssa @ Life of blyss May 23, 2016 / 10:07 am

    As a Pure Barre Platform teacher, I can say you were probably not cued well, leading you to assume you should be bouncing/flailing. It is so important to keep the foundations of Pure Barre in every platform class, and you really should be squeezing and making big, controlled movements with every single motion you make in platform. I actually just recently posted about this to try and alleviate the misconceptions. I’d recommend trying it again with a different teacher and seeing if you feel differently! I know I may sound biased, but the class has done wonders for me and my body.

  11. Jennifer July 23, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    I think Pure Barre Platform really rounds out Pure Barre well and it is pretty damn tough in my opinion. You probably werent doing it right. I remember my first Pure class and I had the same feelings, so I would head back and ask your instructor some questions. Im lucky enough to have class taught by one of the Master Trainers.

  12. Veronica August 9, 2016 / 9:22 am

    I went today for the first time AND COULD NOT AGREE MORE. There was zero precision. I love a good HIIT strength workout and this was not it. I actually googled reviews to see if it was just me…thanks for the reassurance!

    • DC Fit Crasher August 17, 2016 / 8:07 am

      Happy the review was useful, Veronica!

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