Gettin’ that Pure Barre “Ledge” – Studio Review Pure Barre Dallas, TX

picstitch (8)

“Tuck up, up, hold…up, up, tighter freeze…”

I recently bought a holiday pass to Pure Barre, $50 for 2 weeks of unlimited classes.  I hadn’t tried the format before but have heard good things about it, so decided to give it the “GRIT by Brit” review.  Today I finished my 5th class and now I have a decent handle on what this “barre workout” stuff is all about…

The first class was alright…I left feeling like I got a decent workout but nothing spectacular.  However, the second time I went to class, my booty was on fire!  Good technique is key to feeling the burn. To get the most out of this workout,  you must have proper form and do the exercises correctly.  The barre method is based on isometric training, which basically means that you contract your muscles and make sharp tiny movements to strengthen and tighten them.  Isometric training is an effective form of resistance exercise but still requires you to do cardiovascular workouts. This means that doing barre method workouts alone, will NOT suffice for your recommended amount of exercise.

Workout Summarypicstitch (9)

  • Duration: 55 minutes
  • Vibe: The workout is set to music (mostly top 40) and all of the exercises go with the beat of the track.  I like that I can get “lost” in the music when the burn is really gettin’ going.
  • Instructors: Really nice and inviting.  They walk around the room to adjust your form and ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout.
  • Format:  You start by doing a total body warm up routine, then move on to working each of the target muscle groups: arms, thighs, seat, abs, lower back.  You spend about 10 minutes on each muscle group.
  • Equipment: You use a variety of “toys” like light dumbbells for arm work, resistance tubes for thigh work and a small bouncy ball to hold between your thighs and SQUEEZE

Pure Barre IS for you if:

  • You are already pretty lean and just want to tone up
  • You work out consistently and are looking for a new form of resistance training to challenge your muscles
  • You’re already a fan of barre workouts but are looking for a class with hip music and a young vibe
  • You like dance and ballet

Pure Barre IS NOT for you if:

  • You are trying to lose a lot of weight.  Assuming that you do not plan to workout for 2 hours per day, you’d be better off spending your 55 minutes doing a workout that makes you sweat and gets your heart rate elevated. (Also everyone in the class was pretty lean..just keepin’ it 100%)
  • You only like athletic workouts.  Pure Barre has more of a finesse to it which may seem prissy.  However, I consider myself an “athletic” type and I really liked it, so the jury is still out…

P.S.  The “Pure Barre Ledge” is the little crease that connects the top of your thigh and the bottom of your seat 😉

Are you a Pure Barre fan?  Let me know!


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Fly Wheel Texas Studio Review + Soul Cycle Match Up


(above – me and my class after our 90 minute FLY)

flywheelI finally tried out FlyWheel Stadium Cycling! We just got a studio in Dallas – Highland Park, so I went to a special 90 minute class the day after Thanksgiving. It was an “unstuffing” ride and let me tell you – “unstuff” is exactly what it did. There was not a trace of sweet potato pie, peach cobbler or turkey and dressing left in my body. The workout is super hardcore, here’s why…

  • Duration: 45 minutes (standard class)
  • Calories Burned: 500 – 700
  • Style: Indoor Cyclingflywheel torque bord
  • Cool Stuff: A“Torque Board” digitally tracks how much power you generate during your ride. Your “power” is a function of your RPMs (revolutions per minute) and resistance. During the workout, the instructor shows the class ranking on the “Torque Board” to create healthy competition. Obviously, GRIT by Brit had to represent – 1 is the loneliest number. (wink, wink – see pic of my final class results)
  • Workout Details: You go through a series of imaginary terrains, some up hill and others down hill. The music generally goes with the phase of the ride and helps keep you engaged – just like a standard indoor cycling class at your local gym. The key differentiator is that there’s a weighted bar that you pull out towards the end of the ride and use to go through an upper body toning circuit. Overall, it’s an efficient total body cardio and resistance training workout.
  • Cost: $25 per class, a little cheaper than SoulCycle

So here’s the real deal about the trade offs between SoulCycle and FlyWheel, the 2 hottest indoor cycling classes on the map. In case you missed my review of SoulCycle, you can CLICK HERE to read it. Ultimately, Soul Cycle is more FUN and FlyWheel is more FIERCE. I can’t honestly say class one is BETTER than the other, but there are distinct differences between the two that can make you prefer one over the other…

Soul Cycle vs Flyweel

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Studio Review: American Power Yoga (APY) – Power Yoga for “Spiritual Gangstas”

Brit sneaking a pic before class 🙂
  • Name: American Power Yoga (APY)
  • Duration: 1 class = 1 hour
  • Calories Burned: 150-350
  • Focus: Flexibility, mind/body connectivity
  • Location:  Local power yoga studio in your community; Dallas APY Studio – 5400 E Mockingbird Lane
    Dallas, Texas 75206; APY DVDs for sale online here!
  • What is power yoga? This yoga method includes Kung Fu, Tai Chi and athletic movements to really challenge your body and mind.  The studio is warm (about 85 degrees) so that your muscles have the heat necessary to quickly get deep into the poses.  Throughout the class you flow continuously through various yoga poses and exercises.
  • Commentary: If you are like me and have an attention span of about 30 seconds, the thought getting through a Bikram yoga class is as appealing as watching paint dry.  Late last year I got a Groupon for APY, so I checked it out and have been going at least 2X per week ever since.  I like power yoga because it’s like “yoga for athletes” – the warm room and challenging moves give me a good sweat.  APY is definitely a “GRIT Worthy” workout!
  • The Facts: A person’s level of physical fitness is determined by 3 key factors: 1) Muscular Strength 2) Cardiovascular Endurance 3) Flexibility.  You need to have an adequate level of each in order to be “fit.”  Yoga is great way to ensure that you spend time focusing your flexibility.  However, according to my standards, yoga DOES NOT count as one of your cardio or strength workouts – you still need to get these in separately!
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