My friend Jess from Junior League recently opened up her own Pure Barre studio in Burlington, MA. On Sunday, I was able to finally take my first class. Jess has a similar story to many boutique studio owners. They only know one speed and that is full throttle.
She graduated from law school, passed the bar and practiced at a few different firms while teaching spin class before and after work. She became a Pilates certified instructor teaching privates at Equinox and continued to instruct group classes despite working full time as a lawyer. Finally, she realized fitness was her real passion and began researching franchise opportunities. She applied and was approved to open her own Pure Barre studio. Since someone had already applied for the rights to open up shop in Boston, Jess opted for the up and coming Burlington area which is pretty close to where she grew up in near by Lexington. Jess is one of the first bar boutiques in the area. I wore my inspirational tank from Lorna Jane to honor Jess’s road to becoming a business owner!
My class was taught by Becca and Jess took a few pictures for me! We began class with a traditional barre warm up and then moved into a series of planks to warm up our core. We then flipped over for some Pilates inspired core moves like the teaser. Next was the arm section of class. Unlike at The Bar Method, I used 3 lb weights for the entire arm series. It was tough and I was glad I didn’t grab the 5 lb dumbbells. When it came to our pushups, we were not told in advance how many we had but the instructor told the class to do the first few on our toes, and then suggested dropping down to our knees for a modification most, if not all, of us needed.
We moved onto thigh work at the bar which was very challenging. My legs were shaking by the second set pretty heavily. It was similar to what I experience at The Bar Method but was slightly harder than the average class (similar to hard McKenzie day). We did a version of the chair pose that made my legs burn than usual and then it was over. There was no warning as to when the sets would end but the last ten or twenty counts were announced.
Next, we moved onto our seat aka butt. We used the little red balls for our seat work. We did two sets featuring different moves (at Bar Method you just do 1 long set). I will admit, seat work is my least favorite part of class at The Bar Method because it’s very challenging for me to hold the tuck. My Pure Barre class broke up this set into two different positions. The instructor was not as diligent about holding the tuck, this might have been the instructor or the Pure Barre method… I’m not sure since it was my first class.
Afterwards, we grabbed our mats and sat under the bar for a quick set of the straight leg pull in series. Then we sat with our backs completely against the mirror for some deep ab exercises. The entire class was just as, if not more, challenging than The Bar Method except for this part.
Lastly, we did our low curl crunches and back dancing. Overall, I really enjoyed class but I have to admit it was very similar to The Bar Method. I love Bar so it shouldn’t be surprising that I also loved this class. The studio was clean, bright and had lots of parking. Location is key when it comes to your studio. If it’s not convenient to get to and doesn’t offer classes at convenient times, you are not going to go. I love that the studio in Burlington has classes throughout the the day and not just during the pre and post work rush like big box gyms.
I am so proud of and happy for Jess for following her passion and turning it into a booming business. Lots of people have ideas. Very few actually know what they are passionate about and even less follow through on those ideas.
Lorna Jane, Australian fitness apparel designer, has a blog called Move Nourish Believe that shares inspiration and motivation to live your best active life. I thought this was a good post to feature Move Nourish Believe, because Jess is a great success story of what we are capable of achieving. Today, I’m giving away the identical tank featured in the picture above with Jess that I’m wearing. To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
Why do believe in living an active life?
Side note: Right now they are having a contest on Instagram promoting you to be your own fitsporation using hashtag #LJFitspo to win a $2000 Lorna Jane activewear wardrobe. Think Lululemon but unique!