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.
I 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.
Let’s break it down this way, shall we?Here’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.
Here’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.
I 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.
Have you all tried it? Was this a one-off experience and maybe I just need to give it another go?